Vertigo Sound VSM-3 Mix Satellite

Vertigo Sound VSM-3 Mix Satellite


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Master and mix with a one-of-a-kind harmonic generator.

Vertigo Sound’s VSM-2 Satellite is an immaculately constructed, $8,000 piece of analog rack gear that is beloved by mixing and mastering engineers for its bounty of colorful saturation flavors. From subtle to intense, the VSM-2 also sports innovative features for expertly targeted harmonic generation.

Developed by Brainworx, the Vertigo Sound VSM-3 Mix Satellite plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is an obsessive emulation of this over-built analog beast, capturing all the tone and character of the original hardware, while also adding to its feature set for more versatility.

Now You Can:

Generate subtle saturation or air-ripping distortion with targeted preciseness

Use the 2nd Harmonic FET Crusher for tube-like cohesion or crank it for fat, rich distortion

Add clarity sparkle to dull sources with the 3rd Harmonic Zener Blender

Combine the Crusher and the Blender in parallel or series

Process specific frequency ranges and use the Solo function to hear the exact frequency you are tweaking

Use M/S mode for adding solidity to the center of a mix, or air to stereo instrumentation

Take a listen:

Take a listen:
UAD Tutorial Video
UAD Tutorial Video

UAD Tutorial Video

Features the Vertigo Sound VSM-3 Mix Satellite Plug-In in action.

Tactical Precision

Tactical Precision

The VSM-3 Mix Satellite plug-in for UAD-2 and Apollo gives you unparalleled control over analog-style coloration — from subtle saturation of a drum or vocal bus, to the sonic destruction of a synth sound, to deftly polishing a mix or master. With its innovative frequency range isolation, filtering, and Mid/Side isolation controls, the VSM-3 plug-in goes way beyond typical saturators.

Two Shades of Distortion

Two Shades of Distortion

At the heart of the Vertigo Mix Satellite plug-in are two very different distortion generators, each sporting independent Mid/Side functionality allowing you to target every aspect of your mix or master.

Harmonic FET Crusher

Harmonic FET Crusher

The 2nd Harmonic FET Crusher produces rich, warm tube-like saturation and distortion, generating pure second harmonics. Use it for cohesion, or crank it up for fat, rich distortion. In Mid mode, it's great for adding solidity to the center of a stereo mix.

Key Features

Two sophisticated coloration generators ranging from subtle saturation to berserk distortion, recreated from the Vertigo VSM-2 hardware and authenticated by Vertigo Sound
Pure 2nd Harmonic FET Crusher for warm, rich, saturation or distortion
Pure 3rd Harmonic Zener Blender for bright, clear, exciter-like saturation or distortion
Crusher and Blender can each be applied to specific signal frequency ranges and then further filtered using the Shape control
Apply a custom balance of harmonics using the THD Mixer or switch between parallel and serial configuration
Each circuit is switchable between Soft or Hard clipping
M/S Decoding and Encoding for each circuit allows processing of entire stereo signal, or Mid or Side stereo channels
Solo the Crusher and/or Blender in isolation, or Mid and Side stereo channels in isolation using the Monitoring section
Requires UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface, available from authorized dealers worldwide

Customer Reviews

Vertigo Sound VSM-3 Mix Satellite

Overall Rating

UAD User

February 26, 2016

Another Review

This is my favorite sound sculpting tool. M/S is indespensible.
Use it on your instrument. Heck use two of them.
Use it as an EQ. Use it as a compressor. Use it in mastering.
Use it to resonate your third eye.
This is as good as it gets.

Because, you know all those old classic recordings that still sound amazing? Yep, it's the harmonics.
Buy it while it's still on sale. Even if it's not. The best money you can ever spend.
I highly recommend it. If you have the means.

M. Ihmor

January 25, 2016


When I first demo'd this plug I was like: what the hell? If you solo the plug and listen to what it adds to the sound my first impression was: this is a lot of sludge and dirt. But this sludge is very harmonic and adds to an overall live feel of flat digital recordings. A livesaver, the golden touch - you name it. Just slap on MS Masterin or Hifi Your Mix Presets and take it from there.

I am pretty confident that this harmonic hiss and rumble is what also makes vinyls sound to much more lively.

T. Munck

December 12, 2015

A wonderful harmonics shaping tool

Like other reviews have stated, the VSM-3 really does work! I have used it mostly on the master bus, and almost everytime you can improve things, either subtly or for jaw dropping improvements. The modelling on the VSM-3 is exquisite, certainly one of the best brainworx efforts. Two thumbs up!

If the frequency bands could be configured continously instead of just having LOW/MID/HIGH/etc stepped controls, woulda given this one 5/5. Maybe in VSM-4..?

J. Escalona

November 17, 2015

Hello Harmonics!

Pulls things out and lays it on your face for you to hear what the instrument/vocal/track/mix is all about. Makes things sound more pro... Harmonics is the lock and VSM-3 is the key.

a. fung

March 9, 2015

Amazing Mix Buss weapon.

My first review for a UAD plugs ever! This is one insane cool shxt! Snap in on ANYTHING with the Hi-Fi presets and tweak the 2nd harmonics low end lvl according to your needs. THEN you probably need no Sterling Sound mastering anymore....

H. Zwarts

December 14, 2014

very useful

Easy to use and sounds great.
the MS function is very handy and you get a good result in no time.
Use it on your mix or drumbus and you get more space and power. Really love this brainworx plug in!

S. Kemper

December 11, 2014

Oh my god!

Take an already good sounding mix. Remove everything from the master bus. Place an VSM-3 there and bypass it. Select the "Hifi up your Mix" preset. Press play and de-bypass it when you are ready. It is like a sunrise! It is unbelievably good. This is in fact so good that this is by far my most loved UAD Plugin. In combination with the Ampex ATR Plugin on the Master Bus you won't need any bus compression on the master.

It is so fascinating how the Vertigo VSM-3 give Reverbs an extra depth. How it add compression - even if this isn't a compressor. It is worth every single penny! Thank you UAD. Thank you so much for this one -_ Been using it even on my home hifi to add some loudness when listening at low volume!!!

M. Kartashev

December 9, 2014

saturation control

This is groundbreaking at the amount of control and precision it gives you over saturation and distortion of a given material.

could find both creative or corrective methods using this on any source or on buses.
love the tone and the fact it could be pushed to extreme settings and still sound good!

if you look for a deep and easy tool to get saturation control this is the best one so far...

G. Vandy

December 4, 2014


Great plug. Love using it parallel to drums. Easily brings out the snap of the stick. Also does nice things to cello and acoustic Guitar

M. Olsen

December 3, 2014

Very Pleasant Noise

I've been testing this puppy on bass and mastering. In short, it excels in both arenas. I am thoroughly impressed. It occurred to me that this might be released natively by Plugin-Alliance, but I want the ability to use it with zero-latency monitoring in the Apollo. Also, I didn't want to wait. :) The distortion in this unit is unique, fat, and very analog sounding. I'm impressed!

F. Jara

November 20, 2014

The best plugin

Sounds good in almost everything.
thanks universal audio

M. Coninx

November 20, 2014

Excellent Plugin

Very good plugin, brings the right colour and sounds very wide.. It's very easy to use and it can mix the 2 harmonics together in serie or parallel. I never used or heard the real one so I can't give opinions about that.. it's just a nice plugin to make your music phat at the end mixing.. i'm glad to see something else then compressors or gain knobs, hope UAD will reduce the price of this unit at the december sales as well ;)

J. Eli

November 16, 2014

Glad I waited!

i took my time on picking the 3 plugins that came with my thunderbolt satellite and I.m glad I did! This came out, my three were switched around a bit and after messing around with it on my baritone guitar, I'm so glad I got it! So cool how you can set different distortions for center and sides! Really making for some interesting sounds! I'm setting up the baritone with a nice solid main sound with some nice fuzzy warmth on the sides! Super excited to try it on everything else! I'm sure it will become a staple in my tracks!its only been a few months since I got the Appolo twin and I'm completely sold on Universal Audio!

N. Fiumefreddo

November 15, 2014

Get This Now

It is beyond me why this plugin was a "b side" release so to speak in V7.11. This plugin is by far my favorite in the update. A prime example of what subtle distortion can do to a piece of audio. When I put this plugin on my drum bus, it opened up the mix in ways unachievable by eq and compression. Don't even get me started on using this to master with... The sonic possibilities this plugin has to offer are compelling and infinitely creative. The Mix Satellite falls in the realm of equipment that you didn't think you needed, until you have used it. I strongly recommend to not engage the demo unless you have $300 ready. Because the second you use it, that $300 will fly off of your credit card. You have been warned.

S. Boman

November 12, 2014

Extremely versatile distortion

I love having this amount of control on a distortion plugin.
It's great to be able to choose what frequencies they work on.

Fantastic on vocals! Fat bottom and crispy, love it.
Excellent compliment to the Vulture Culture

J. Robert

April 2, 2015

You don't know even know!!! The only satch plug you 'll ever need!!!

OK this plug is obviously being downplayed by UA marketing so far. Could it be that this renders obsolete and irrelevant every other saturation, tube warmth emulation or plug in ever made and currently for sale on the UA site? This includes both of their pricey tape emulators, other saturators. tube warmth plugs etc. No other analogue dressing in the form of software has provided the direct intuitive application of tape vibe and tone than the VSM 3. I am a novice and have only my ears. Damn!! this is the best "no -suck" plug in since the Izo Ozone and the TC finalizer from the standpoint of an exclusively digital tool consumer. As a novice with only 6 albums and 12 years of DAW experience under my belt, this tool teaches the ear!

G. Hall

January 3, 2015

How did I make it this far without this!!

Absolutely stunning plugin. This is my most valued UAD plugin, there is no limit to what this saturation box can mean for your sound. 5, 10 stars. This is a must have
dig it.

J. Klein

October 13, 2015

Amazing sound, interface not great

When I tried it on my drumbus and on acoustic guitar, I was totally impressed. This tool makes everything larger, nicer and wider.
It makes it easy to change space and perspectives in your mixes.
The yellow beast goes from subtle to beefy and juicy, the MS-mode is a fantastic feature.

BUT - the interface is terrible for its size, almost unreadable.
You have to learn the manual and try to get to know and love it.

Come on UA, is it realy that hard to design software with resizable interfaces (like many other - even smaller - companies do) ?
Therefore, I don´t love my massive passive - and this yellow thing is even worse.
So 6 ou of 5 stars for the sound, but the interface sucks. Therefore, I won´t buy it (right now....)

E. Dahlberg

June 13, 2015

Buy the native version instead

This is an amazing plugin but make sure you buy the native version, not the UAD version. The native version is much more efficient and doesn't require much from your CPU, whereas the UAD version takes over 40% of a DSP!

B. Voiles

February 19, 2016

Nothing but 3-Weeks of "Support Hell" + Frustration so Far

I can't get this, and about 3 other UAD plug-ins to show-up as "available" inside of Cubase 8.5. I reported this to "UAD support" (if you want to call it "support") about 3 weeks ago. About every 4th day I would get a lame suggestion from them, like: "Try re-installing the plugins" or "Try restarting your computer".

Sorry... but that is NOT "customer support".

I'm frustrated with this plug-in, and with UAD's lack of caring... in spite of the fact I have spend easily over $5000 on their plug-ins. I've about had enough of their BS.