KIT Plugins launch BB A5 channel strip

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KIT Plugins launch BB A5 channel strip

Words by Jack O'Shea Ayres

Nashville’s Blackbird Studio's Little Brother

KIT Plugins have announced the release of BB A5, a channel strip plug-in modelling the API Legacy consoles of Nashville’s Blackbird studios, one of the largest of its kind to ever be built. KIT Plugins have worked closely with Blackbird Studio owner and sound designer John McBride on the development of the newly released BB A5, designed and built to closely replicate McBride’s self-adored API Legacy consoles.

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BB A5 Preamp and Master Selection

The new model accurately captures the original console’s frequency response between 10Hz and 96kHz, and when driven harder the BB A5’s preamp selection adds some slight compression and additional harmonic content, with an added Auto-Gain feature automatically adjusting output levels, maintaining a consistent level. 

A pair of 20 – 600 Hz High-pass and 300Hz – 20kHz low-pass filters come with the new model, joined by a -20dB pad, polarity switches and a Continuous Gain Option, which removes the stepped movement of the gain control, allowing for finer input level control. The BB A5’s master section has been designed with the sound of the API master bus amp in mind, preceded by a level fader, allowing signals to be driven into the section to achieve subtle compression and saturation. The BB A5 also comes with a switchable analog hum feature, offering users three levels of 60Hz hum, with an optional linking so adjustments can be carried out across multiple loaded instances of the plug-in. 


Three separate EQ modules come included with the BB A5. The three-band designed 55A based on the API 550A offers ±12dB of gain at each band and switchable bell or shelf filter types for the low- and high-frequency bands. A Filter Switch has also been included, used to engage fixed low- and high-pass filters. 

The 55L, modeling the 550L, is a four-band design providing the same ±12dB of gain at each band, with switchable bell or shelf filter types for low and high bands, with both the 55A and 55L providing optional stepped gain control, allowing for more detailed adjustment. 

The ten-band graphic EQ 56L, modeling the API’s 560L, features ±12dB of adjustment per band, with a bandwidth which narrows as gain is adjusted in either direction. 

The BB A5 is supported on PCs operating Windows 7 or higher, and Macs running macOS 10.14 and above, with VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions currently available