STL Tonality Will Putney Review

STL Tonality Will Putney Review

STL Tones are back with another Tonality plugin, this time it’s been developed with producer and engineer, Will Putney. If you don’t know the name there’s a good chance you’ll have heard his work through bands such as Body Count, Hydra and Thy Art Is Murder.

The previous Tonality plugin covered a huge range of sonic ground thanks to it’s five distinctive amp, this time it’s all about metal. Included are four amp models based on some of the finest metal amps available along with the welcome addition of a bass amp. You’ll also find distortion, delay and reverb pedals, five cabinets plus IR loader and a parametric EQ. This is a plugin with plenty of features!

Layout

If you’ve used the previous Tonality plugin you’ll be right at home here. The preset options run across the top of the screen. The bottom of the screen is where you’ll find the input and output controls, noise gate and tuner. This is also where you select between the effects, amps and cabinets being shown in the middle of the screen. It’s a simple layout which works very well. The Will Putney Tonality plugin has an extra trick up its sleeve. Select Mixer Mode and you have access to a dual amp setup. This allows you to mix two different amps and cabinets so you can create sounds not possible with a single amp. Many bands get their sounds by blending more than one amp so this simple addition is a huge bonus. Good thinking STL Tones.

STL Tonality Will Putney Diezel

In Use

STL Tones have created a very user-friendly experience with the layout of their Tonality plugins. Everything is easy to access so making changes to your sound is nice and quick. There are a huge number of presets included and the album presets even include custom impulse responses. I must admit, I’m not usually a fan of presets and that is no different here. A lot of people like to start building their own tones from presets though so it’s great to see so many included.

The distortion, delay and reverb pedals are as excellent as they were in the Howard Benson Tonality plugin and offer a huge amount of range for helping you tighten up an amp, push it with extra distortion, create atmospheric clean tones or singing lead tones.

The amps are based on five of Will Putney’s favourites to use in the studio. Amp 1 is based on a Peavey 5150, AMP 2 is a Bogner Ubershall, Amp 3 is a Mesa Boogie TC100, Amp 4 is a Diezel VH4 and Amp 5 is a 1969 Ampeg SVT. The cabinet selection has been chosen to match these amps based on the cabs Will Putney would use.

STL Tonality Will Putney Review

Quickly clicking through the amps reveals a huge range of metal tones. AMP 1 gives the familiar 5150 sounds heard on countless albums. I found it a little mushy compared to the other amps but this was soon fixed with the help of the parametric EQ (thanks to Glen Thomas for the tip). Amp 2 simply sounds huge. The Uberschall is an incredible sounding amp if you want a big sound and this model doesn’t disappoint. Amps 3 and 4 are easily my favourites. They’re both tight and aggressive but with different tonal qualities. Dial down the gain from the default settings and tighten up the low end and they’re both incredible for riffing through. Although all of the included cabs sound great, I found myself choosing Cab 1 most of the time. It just seems to give kind of sound I was looking for. Amp 5 provides the perfect bass tones to fit pretty much any kind of metal and it blends seamlessly no matter which amps have been used for the guitars. I think including a bass model is a masterstroke by STL Tones and having such a versatile amp at your disposal is going to be invaluable for many people. From warm and clean to dirty and clanky, it can do it all in style.

Switching to Mixer Mode, the benefits of running two amps is quickly obvious. If you like Amp 1 but you need some extra definition then simply add Amp 3 or 4 and use the blend controls until you have the sound you’re looking for. If you have a great sound with Amp 3 but need some extra low end then add Amp 2 to fill the sound out. STL Tones have even included handy solo buttons so you can work on the sound being produced by each amp separately. This makes it very easy to switch between them and make adjustments when you can hear something isn’t right with the combined sound.

STL Tonality Will Putney Review

With all of the wonderful features available, the parametric EQ might not seem like the most exciting part of the plugin but it’s undoubtedly one of the most useful. Being able to make anything from a minor adjustment to a huge change in sound adds so much to this plugin and I’d like to see more guitar plugins include this as a standard feature.

With all the talk about metal don’t think this plugin is just about brutal distortion. Although it can handle that with ease it’s also very capable of lower gain and clean sounds. Certain crunchy tones are some of the best I’ve heard from any plugin. It’s not going to be top of the list for a jazz lover but it’s actually a pretty versatile plugin if you want to move away from earth-shattering chugs and ripping solos.

Conclusion

The huge range of metal guitar and bass tones available from this plugin will make it an easy choice for many metal guitarists. The dual amp mode expands the tonal options even more and is a huge plus point. The overall quality of the sound is great and sits very well in a mix. Compared to some other plugins it didn’t feel quite as responsive as I’d have liked but STL Tones aim is to make the sounds as mix-ready as possible. What you lose in dynamics you gain in knowing the sound will fit well in a final mix with minimal tweaking which is definitely a good thing for recording purposes. For the price it’s hard to beat, especially if you want to record bass too.

Rating 9.5/10

Guitar Noodle Top Pick

The STL Tonality Will Putney Plugin Suite is available from STL Tones now – Please visit them HERE

STL Tonality Will Putney Demo Video

 

STL Tonality Will Putney Plugin

9.5

Rating

9.5/10