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Get­ting started with In­ferno CM

Computer Music - - Free Software -

1 To get In­ferno CM on your Mac or PC, run the ap­pro­pri­ate in­staller. There’s no au­tho­ri­sa­tion re­quired, so with the in­stal­la­tion com­plete, fire up your DAW and load the plugin onto an au­dio or in­stru­ment track to get started.

2 In­ferno CM em­u­lates two sep­a­rate preamps: the RCA BA-11A all-pen­tode tube mic pre, and the tran­sis­tor preamp from a cas­sette tape recorder. Each has its own par­tic­u­lar sound and dis­tor­tion be­hav­iour. Switch be­tween them us­ing the Cir­cuit knob.

3 Up to 24dB of in­put over­drive or at­ten­u­a­tion can be di­alled in with the Drive knob, and as the gain rises, the sat­u­ra­tion of the sig­nal in­creases, from sub­tle ana­logue warmth and colour, to sear­ing dis­tor­tion. As you’d ex­pect, this brings with it an in­crease in vol­ume…

4 To counter that, lower the Out­put knob. You can see the ex­act re­la­tion­ship be­tween the lev­els of the in­put and out­put sig­nals in the VU me­ter. The in­put level is rep­re­sented by the green nee­dle, while the black nee­dle shows the out­put level. Ad­just the VU me­ter cal­i­bra­tion by turn­ing the screw head be­low the win­dow, so that 0dB equals any­where be­tween -18 and -3dBFS.

5 The Dry/Wet Mix knob en­ables blend­ing of the un­pro­cessed in­put sig­nal with the sat­u­rated out­put – aka par­al­lel pro­cess­ing. Set an ex­treme level to toughen up a sound, then lower the Mix to rein­tro­duce the sound of the dry sig­nal and find the per­fect bal­ance be­tween the two.

6 A pair of 6dB/oc­tave fil­ters are also on­board for shap­ing the high and low fre­quency ranges. The High Pass Fil­ter Drive sweeps from 20-300Hz, at­ten­u­at­ing ev­ery­thing be­low the cut­off fre­quency, while the Low Pass Fil­ter at­ten­u­ates the high fre­quen­cies be­low 1-20kHz. Ac­ti­vate and de­ac­ti­vate each fil­ter with On/Off.

7 The Low Pass Fil­ter is par­tic­u­larly use­ful for al­le­vi­at­ing the mid and topend harsh­ness that heavy tube or tran­sis­tor sat­u­ra­tion in­evitably in­tro­duces. To thicken a vo­cal up, for ex­am­ple, crank up the Drive til it hurts, then pull down the Low Pass Fil­ter and blend the orig­i­nal dry sig­nal back in with the Dry/Wet Mix knob.

8 Ex­per­i­ment with the two preamp Cir­cuit mod­els to see which sits most com­fort­ably with your source ma­te­rial. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, SGA-BA11A is the more punchy, fo­cused and tran­sient-sen­si­tive of the two, while SGA-UAP is ideal for a touch of ana­logue vibe at low Drive lev­els, and plenty of wild har­mon­ics when pushed.

9 In­ferno CM isn’t re­ally the kind of plugin that re­quires pre­sets, but you can still save your set­ups out for later re­call. Sim­ply click the Save but­ton at the bot­tom right to store the cur­rent state as a pre­set file into the pre­sets folder cre­ated dur­ing in­stal­la­tion.

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