DT-1 performance


I’ve had the same experience as the other user on the plugin’s page. There is a significant drop in output level when engaging the DT-1. It sounds like the guitarist got mad and took their amp into a soundbooth and closed the door. I’ve tried using switchboxes to route between DT-1 and other distortion plugins for comparison - there is something clearly not right about what DT-1 is doing. From what I can hear, the tone sounds like it can be pretty nice, but this plugin isn’t usable a practical way for me right now.


We hear you @unbracketed. We’ve reached back to the developer and he will work to fix this issue. We’ll get back to you soon.


I’d bet it’s for headroom (digital and sonic headroom). As I understand it, in order to fit all that harmonic information–which I can clearly hear and this is what distinguishes it from the other distortions–the overall amplitude is perceptively less. Otherwise, some dominant harmonic characteristic would saturate the channel and it wouldn’t sound as rich.

Does this make sense?

Btw, to me it sounds great!



Do you get the level drop even when the “Level” knob is at the maximum position?


I just tested it again, and it seems a little better than I remember. Some observations based on a pedalboard like:

  • Switchbox ( DT-1 / GxTubeScreamer)
  • GxAlembic
  • x42 Parametric EQ
  • CS-1 (purchased!)
  • Shiroverb MkII (purchased!)

I guess I’m hearing some differences in sonic quality with the DT-1 that are changing my perception a bit. When switching between the DT-1 and GxTubeScreamer, it was apparent that the DT-1 is changing the characteristics of the sound in more noticeable way. Compared to the Screamer, the DT-1 seems to cut out a lot of the brightness in the sound. Switching between Screamer on/off sounds more natural / consistent to me, when the DT-1 comes on the change in sound is a little jarring - losing the extra noise / brightness makes it seem like the level is dropping but after switching back and forth several times it seems OK once I got more used to it.

As another point of relative comparison, with the Screamer the gain and level are around 25% and that there is plenty of distortion for me but with the DT-1 the level needs to be around 75%

It does sound really nice, just has required more fiddling than other plugins which can be dropped onto the board and play well with what I already have going on. I’ll keep playing with it, and maybe try building some boards starting with the DT-1 and working to preserve a nice balance between clean and dirty modes.


There is a topic that @fps started more than an year ago regarding volumes, levels and distortions

We’ve been postponing such a directive but it seems we’re getting to the point in which it is becoming mandatory.

We’ll discuss this internally and also with the developers.


Thank you for the link @gianfranco that does clarify some things for me. I vaguely remember seeing that thread in my newbie days and filing it away as ‘probably important to know someday’ :slight_smile: I think I’ve been encountering some of these issues as I’ve been spending a lot more time lately building boards for specific sounds and uses. (for example, being surprised that output would go from green to clipping with a small parameter change, etc.)

I’ll start making more use of the level meter(s) around plugins to understand what is happening with the signal when building the board out. There seems to be some internal knowledge about what levels the various plugins operate best on - is it worth it / possible to create a shared spreadsheet or something that would act as a field guide for those of us less experienced to use as a reference?


I’ve used the DT-1 for years recording with Ardour and Harrison Mixbus, it truly is a phenomenal effect and is one of the best overdrive simulations out there period. Thanks @gianfranco and the rest of the team for fulfilling the promise of including commercial plugins along with our phenomenal Open Source choices. In my experience it is almost best to use the DT-1 more like an actual amplifier sim than an effect… It might be worth trying it with the Tubescreamer… for example use the DT-1 to behave like an amp turned up to a nice saturation point for a crunchy rhythm sound and then rely on the Tubescreamer (or other OD/Dist/Fuzz) pedals for a louder and more driven lead sound.


I was coming to same conclusion. Thank you for the tips, it does sound real nice just sitting on its own, i’ll stop trying to shoehorn it into existing boards :slight_smile:


Hello all,

let me give a very broad or common statement to this topic:
Thanks to @x42 and his programming skills in the aforementioned old topic we got a level meter and the TinyGain plugins which helped me a lot facing loudness inconsistency between different hardware synths and patches.

Regarding consistency of plugins/ plugin presets:
I follow John Lehmkuhl Pluginguru on youtube who constantly reminds patch/preset/pedalboard builders to look for consistent levels, and I hope levels are consistent within plugin presets or if it is on.or off on my own or shared pedalboards. He always tests a synth patch against a drum pattern to get consistency.

I don’t know a good test method for us users/ pedalboard builders like feeding a pedalboard with a noise signal and to check levels to get more consistency. Maybe a more experienced core developer might answer that.
I hope my answer might help somehow…

Greetings and God bless,


Something I forgot or that came to my mind about the 25 percent to 75 percent perceived loudness levels @unbracketed describes:

Some plugins need that extra 3dB to 6dB gain boost for an outstanding solo part. We want to be heard!

Plugins with nonlinear behaviour and rich harmonic content like distortion/ compression pedals might show different results than their perceived amplitude when just tested with the Level Meter.
In Mixbus I often look at the 1/3 octave spectrum display by @x42, too. Let your ears decide at last.

Greetings and God bless,


The Level meter shows digital peak. It is a medium (not message) related value (signals > 0dBFS will clip when they reach a physical output). Although RMS has some relationship as to how humans perceive loudness.

The 1/3 octave analyzer is mainly targeted for measurement (it also has little musical value). I wrote a spectrum analyzer for the MOD, too (instrumentation tools are very important when prototyping), but it does need a non-standard branch of MOD-1.5 with LV2 Atom support: (https://github.com/x42/modspectre.lv2)