June 12, 2024
MusicRadar: “An absolute triumph, with a depth of colouration that’s flexible in many settings”

"Fancy adding some analogue impurity to your DAW? It's time to turn on, plug in and freq out…" Dive into the newest Freqport test review from Music Radar, where the FT1 received glorifying marks and praise. Celebrated as a technical triumph, the FT1 offers a depth of coloration that’s versatile across various settings. Discover why this product is capturing the attention of audio professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Welcome to the latest exploration of our FreqTube FT1, featured in an in-depth review by Future Music. We're thrilled to share how our device is being received by one of the most respected voices in music technology, and why it's becoming an essential tool for audio production enthusiasts everywhere.
As a technical achievement, this is an absolute triumph, with a depth of colouration that’s flexible in many settings.

Key Features Highlighted in the Review

Analog Warmth

Future Music captures the essence of our design goals, stating, "An absolute triumph, with a depth of colouration that’s flexible in many settings." The FT1 is designed to bring the cherished analog warmth into your digital recordings, enhancing your audio with a richness that softens the often sterile digital sound.

Versatility and Engineering

"Provides beautiful degrees of colouration (if used sparingly!) and gives an audio signal a huge distorted kicking (if driven to destruction!)."
This flexibility makes the FT1 suitable for a wide range of musical tasks, from subtle enhancements to aggressive modifications.

Build & Ease of Use

Highlighting the seamless integration between analogue and digital technologies, Future Music notes the user-friendly aspect of the FT1, facilitated by its "skilfully engineered" hardware and intuitive interface, which offers real-time control directly from the hardware with guidance drawn from both the display and computer screen.
The casing is beautifully engineered, featuring a crisp colour display which presents information relating to eight pots, laid out below. This allows flexible real-time control, direct from the hardware, with guidance drawn from the display and computer screen, simultaneously.

Innovative Integration

This basic experiment underlies the flexible nature of the plugin and hardware; it’s absolutely ideal as a back-end mastering tool, where that ‘warmth’ quotient can be applied to varying degrees, depending on the result you wish to obtain. However, we were immediately enthused by the possibility of placing the filters under automated control, to create heavily saturated synth lines.


This also brings us to another area of flexibility, where the tubes may be paired with different instances of the plugin, so you can quite happily pair one set of tubes on the master bus, while using the remaining two tubes as mono signal paths.

Seamless Control for Optimal Workflow

One of the niceties accompanying the FT1’s way of working is the ability to align the eight hardware pots with the software. It’s obviously no hardship to use the mouse, but having capacity to tweak different elements of saturation simultaneously is a very nice way to work. The hardware display mirrors your pot’s control settings, using numbers to indicate which of the pots applies to which control on the plugin GUI.

No Latency!

You’d also be forgiven for thinking that latency might be an issue. It certainly wasn’t something that we were aware of during our testing. The signal clearly passes through the valves at some speed, and given that the processing is taking place within the hardware, there was no CPU pull on the system.

Conclusion: Full-tube ahead!

In our brief time with the FreqTube FT1, we were definitely impressed. Sonically, it provides an enormous amount of colour, so much so that we loved it in various scenarios. Used subtly, its warming qualities coloured and compressed our mixes by osmosis, resulting in some truly appealing audio examples. Pushing to an extreme, it had our 101/303 synth lines ripping and distorting to such a degree, that it made us want to liberally apply it to a lot more than we had capacity for.
It’s perhaps this final point that we need to ponder most of all though; the FreqTube FT1 is undeniably a premium product, with an audio character which is undeniably a cut above the rest, but given its price tag, it’s considerably more expensive than many other fine plugins that will yield similar results. Moreover, you’ll also be able to use continual instances of these, where the FT1 will run out of tube capacity at a certain point in time. The trade-off of this, however is that [with a plugin] you won’t get a beautiful box for your desk, that warms your room, your mix, and your soul, and that could be worth the expenditure in itself.

MusicRadar verdict: As a technical achievement, this is an absolute triumph, with a depth of colouration that’s flexible in many settings.

Read the full review on Music Radar's website to discover more about the FreqTube FT1’s capabilities.

Review published in Computer Music' Magazine, April edition, 2024.