With the new Needlepoint plugin, Unfiltered Audio promises a revolution in vinyl simulation thanks a fully-tweakable physical modeling engine.
I have to admit that I really like the plugin releases from the US-based company Unfiltered Audio. They come with fresh ideas, have intuitive interfaces, and offer a lot of sonic tweakability. If you look closely, you can get these sophisticated plugins at a very fair price. Hello, Plugin Alliance’s daily sale madness.
For their newest effect processor release, they have tackled an all-time classic theme in the plugin world, the characteristic sounds and noises of vinyl records. Yes, UA is now launching a vinyl emulation with a very extensive feature set.
Unfiltered Audio Needlepoint
Unfiltered Audio Needlepoint is marketed as “a revolution in vinyl simulation.” That’s a steep marketing rate, whether that’s true needs to be tested more closely. The developers want to achieve this goal with a special engine. Needlepoint differentiates itself from countless vinyl emulation plugins by relying on physical modeling instead of samples.
Physical modeling can imitate characteristics down to the last detail using real-time synthesis. In this case, the developers use the technology to replicate the condition of the record and player, including any possible dirt or scratches that might be present.
Unfiltered Audio hasn’t skimped on control capabilities. You can tweak Needlepoint’s engine precisely at various points
A significant difference to classic vinyl emulation is the ability to set the speed (normally RPMs like 33 1/3…) freely. You can even tempo sync it to your DAW. Needlepoint also offers a spindown functionality allowing you to create stop/start effects. Then, there is a broken button to generate unpredictable, authentic looping effects.
Of course, you can precisely tweak the sound character of the final effect that is infused onto your input signal. On the left side, you can set the gain and age of the recording and apply wow and flutter. Then, the dust and noise section gives you deeper tweaking options. Besides various parameters, each section also gives you a separate filter stage for mangling your sound further.
One Step Forward
Needlepoint also features a one-knob compressor that emulates the vintage hardware samplers associated with vinyl-based beat production. So Unfiltered Audio’s new processor goes beyond most other vinyl emulations by offering the second processing step many beatmakers like to add after vinyl-izing their samples. That’s a clever addition.
At first glance, another exciting deep Unfiltered Audio plugin. Physical modeling promises very authentic effects on the sheet. And thanks to the technology, very deep interventions in the emulation process will be possible, which could be a big plus for this plugin. We can probably look forward to a large playground for vinyl effects.
Unfiltered Audio Needlepoint is available now for an introductory price of $49,99 USD + VAT and is included in the Plugin Alliance MEGA Bundle. It runs as a VST, VST3, AU, AAX Native, and AAX AudioSuite plugin on macOS (Intel + M1/M2) and Windows.
More information here: Plugin Alliance