Last week Brainworx released their second free plugin bx_cleansweep and since I actually use their other free plugin bx_solo quite often I figured I’ll talk about them both. 1 is new, 1 is not, both are helpful tools. PC: VST & RTAS; Mac: VST, RTAS & AU
bx_solo is a simple MS tool. It allows you to swap Left and Right, solo Left/Right/Mid/Side as well as a handy stereo width control. Once in a while I’ll have something in a mix that I want über wide and in the background so I’ll set the stereo width control to 400%. More info on bx_solo
bx_cleansweep is a hi-pass and low-pass filter (aka bandpass) but goes about it in an interesting way with a joystick to adjust HP and LP cutoff simultaneously. Additionally there is a knob for each filter for finer/more traditional adjustment. More info on bx_cleansweep
I guess this isn’t really a trick, but since I don’t often read manuals for software this option went unnoticed for a long time. I was always cursing that some of my favorite plugins would only work on stereo tracks. This was a big pain in the ass for gates (like ReaGate, which I prefer over the digi Dyn3 Expander/Gate because there’s no latency) and especially for guitar amps (like the awesome Nick Crow 7170, 8505 and LePou SoloC). By default these show up in the wrapper program as stereo plugins, which means they would only show up on stereo tracks. I did NOT know this was a user assignable parameter! I’ve been using this program for over a year! Facepalm. See the picture below, click to enlarge.
So just for fun I looked up what the manual has to say about this:
This column reports whether a plug-in can operate in mono. If a mono to stereo
or stereo to stereo plug-in can operate in mono, it will also appear as a mono
plug-in in Pro Tools. This parameter is user-editable, so that you can force plug-
ins to operate in mono.
Yep, I’m an idiot. I wish I knew about this a year ago!
I hope this helps someone else, it certainly made my last mix better.
Lately I’ve been finding this new plugin TT Dynamic Range Meter by Pleasurize Music Foundation to be useful. I use it for two things, when I’m building a mix up I have it on the master so I can have nice big meters showing peak and RMS, this helps me keep things a conservative level from the start. The other thing I use this for is the MONO button. Setting your balances and even panning in Mono can really help. My interface doesn’t have a mono button on it (my 002r did but my 2626 doesn’t) so the MONO button on this plug makes it really simple.
My only complaint about this is the plugin is HUGE! It takes up nearly a 1/4 of my 22″ monitor
Oh yeah…it’s FREE! VST|RTAS|AU Mac/PC so everyone can play. A great weapon for fighting the loudness war, whichever side you’re on.
They also have an offline program to analyze the dynamic range of audio files, might be useful to some.
Continuing the series on explaining effects, this time it’s all about Compression. Compression is a form of Dynamics processing which is any device that preforms automatic gain changes. Other Dynamics processors are Noise Gates, Maximisers, and De-Essers.
Compression is an effect that can take a while to understand because the results are not always as obvious as other effects. To explain it as simply as possible, when a signal goes into a compressor, it gets turned down. That’s it. How it does this, how fast, and smoothly is what makes each one unique.
The lethal combination of my busy summer schedule and laziness has resulted in me ignoring a bunch of stuff. Here’s as many as I can think of.
Stillwell has new plugins, one called The Rocket Compressor, and a ‘pitch tracking resonator’ called TinMan. There’s an older one I failed to mention before, Oligarc Filter. PC/Mac VST & AU.
The Rocket Compressor - Character compressor with super-fast attack and analog mojo. (1176 & Distressor type compressor I reckon.)
TinMan - Auto-peaking resonant filter with multiple pitch detection and individually triggered attack/decay envelopes. In other words, it listens to your audio and makes matching spooky wooo-eeee-oooo effects.
The Oligarc Filter - a sophisticated emulation of a classic analog ladder filter, complete with nonlinearity, instability, character, good looks, and danger.
Massey De:Esser - Hate S’s with a fiery passion! Pro Tools 7.0+ Win XP/OS X RTAS only.
Anyone else using Google Chrome? I’ve been using it since day one and I like it.
Kel Audio has a new mic the HM-7U (Expected to ship late September). The new HM-7U delivers gorgeous vocals with glossy highs and thick, chewy, mids thanks to its K47-style capsule and dual-FET amp circuit complete with premium WIMA capacitors and cool phantom power indicator. $299USD within Canada and US including shipping. They have 3 mics really affordable mics in their line now and I’d really love to try them.
These are some ideas I came up with for improving the FXpansion VST to RTAS adapter to make it a little more user friendly.
Clockwise from the top left.
Correct Version #: currently V2.11 displays as V2.0 and that’s just careless.
Saving and recalling plugin sets: being able to save a preset of your favorite plugins to wrap would be nice. That way if you unwrap them all you don’t have to search through the list for them again.
Unwrap selected plugin: This is currently not an option in the Tools menu, there is Detect New; Wrap selected; and Unwrap all. To unwrap one you have to do them all. Annoying!
Resize the window frames: As you can see there is a lot of unused white space there in the middle and a tiny little list you have to scroll though. Shrink that top part please!
Plugin category sorting: the list currently displays various characteristics of the plugins but there is no way to sort the list to help you find what you’re looking for. Sorting by name, vendor, and type would be great.
I really think these 5 small improvements would help a lot.