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Loc-Ness Smash Box: Check Out This Monster

Loc-Ness Smash Box: Check Out This Monster


Are you familiar with Tone Empire’s LOC-NESS? No worries, we’ll bring you up to speed, keep reading.

As music producers, we’re always trying to find new tips, techniques, and plugins that will instantly give our music an edge or introduce a unique sound. Having your own sound separates you from everyone else, and with the abundance of possibilities and tools out today, it’s not hard to achieve.

But one must also keep up with the latest trends simultaneously, depending on your aim.

For example, some of us make music as an outlet, others a career (or a hopeful career); in either case, we need tools that make our jobs easier and fun.

This is where the  LOC-NESS Smash Box comes into play.

What In The Heck Is LOC-NESS?

Not to be confused with Nessie, but we are talking about the MONSTER here! This plugin can seriously transform your tracks with its aggressive approach, especially on the bus channels. The result is some seriously impressive textures and dynamics that are sure to turn heads.

LOC-NESS was created By Tone Empire, and it’s a compressor designed to add various characteristics to your music, including, but not limited to, transparency, smooth along with, warmth, and crunch. This is done by emulating various hardware compressors.

Which Vintage Hardware Gear Does LOC-NESS Emulate?

Now while the dev doesn’t directly say which units LOC-NESS emulates, I’ve spotted two that might be possible means of inspiration.

One being the Level Loc and the other being the 1176

Shure Level Loc: A compressor developed in the 60s. It was popular among broadcasters and known for its coloration and texture. The name word LOC was a giveaway here, not to mention the Devil Loc plugin has some of the same features as LOC-NESS, but not as robust or flexible.

1176: A classic compressor, known for its ability to clamp down on transients fast, and it had an ‘all button’ that smashed the audio signal in a very nice way. LOC-NESS has a similar behavior when using its ‘crush’ feature.


Listen To That Bangin Drum Loop!

This is present, crunchy, and raw sounding. If you’re a Boom Bap Producer, this should definitely raise your eyebrows.

What Is Boom Bap?

Boom Bap is a genre of hip-hop known for its raw and gritty (unpolished) sound. From its hard hitting drums down to its edgy processing and sample use.


Standout Features Of Tone Empires LOC-NESS

Pre-Filtering: This is a section that includes a high-pass filter and a low-pass filter. These filters allow you to filter and shape the audio signal before it hits the Crust and Smash sections.

Post-Filtering: Similar to the Pre-Filtering section, but happens after the audio signal has passed through the Crust and Smash section.

Mix: Adjusting the mix knob the parameter is ideal for mixing and wet signals together. This means processed vs non processed. Sometimes, you want the dry signal with just a touch of the processed fx; this can help keep transients intact.


Loc-Ness Crust Crash Type

Crust: This controls the level of saturation introduced into the signal, the more, the merrier ????. No, seriously, adjust to taste.

Type: You have 4 options here that all offer different saturation tones.

Smash: This is the compression, baby. SMASH IT!!!!



Trim: It’s a gain control that adjusts the amount of amplification applied to your processed signal.


What Is Saturation?

Saturation involves increasing the harmonics of the audio signal to add warmth, depth, and character, resulting in a more pleasing and dynamic sound for your mix.


5 Simple Tips To Help You Get Started With LOC-NESS

Presets: Don’t ignore the presets, they are there to help you and can be great starting points.

Serial Processing: Experiment with using multiple instances of LOC-NESS. For example, set 1 to Type 3 and another to Type 1. This allows you to have 2 flavors of saturation (and compression) on a single channel.

Filtering: Don’t ignore the filtering built within LOC-NESS. Yes, the functionality may seem basic, but it gets the job done.

Add To Reverb: Yes, place LOC-NESS on your reverb channel (delay as well), adjust the compression level, and dial in your pre and post filtering options.

Presets (Again): Study and deconstruct them, as this will help you create your own presets. Randomly test presets out on sounds. Meaning, try a drum preset on a vocal and a synth preset on a drum loop or singular instrument.



Even though LOC-NESS is marketed as a drum smasher, feel free to experiment with it on other bus channels and individual instruments, as it makes for a great sounding tone shaping tool.

Use it to bring presence, grit, or clarity to your vocals, synths, drums, bass, or any instrument within your mix. The processing options on the unit offer a range of possibilities, whether you’re looking for aggressive or subtle nuances within your sound textures.

Experiment, and you’ll be surprised at the unique and creative effects you can achieve with it.

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