Get with the programmers Lubor Prikryl
The MD of the Czech company behind MixChecker and MixChecker Pro answers our questions
How did Audified start? LP “We started 20 years ago as DSound, creating some studio effects and models of guitar stompboxes as plugins. Some people in the industry told us it was nonsense; that guitarists will never process their sound in software. Then we did a lot of other work for installations, partners, etc, but after some time we renewed the development of our own effects and apps for musicians. Our specific approach is in close cooperation with universities, where we actively participate in research and teaching.”
What makes MixChecker stand out?
LP “We hope that the idea of it is really original in many aspects. Its predecessor was originally developed for students at the Janáček Academy of Arts seven years ago. Talented classical students with perfect perception of sound nuances used it to check their recordings. Now, it’s a matured product with a lot of contents and workflow-improving features – remote control from mobile devices, for example.”
Having ditched MixChecker’s Compensation feature, how does MixChecker Pro deal with the infinite variables of playback systems? LP “Unlike the simulations in MixChecker Pro, the original ‘compensation’ was not precise. MixChecker simply did not solve the differences between playback systems perfectly. There are some other solutions doing it and we have a plan for solving it, but one of the MixCheckers’ strongest features is their simplicity, which we don’t want to lose.”
MixChecker Pro represents a major technological advance over the original MixChecker. What changes were made?
LP “The main change is in the approach. Instead of a simple, fixed set of simulated devices, representing an average, we have measured many more devices, and the product lets users choose the ideal set representing the expected conditions where the mixed material will be heard. There are many other improvements, like simulation of distortion and environment, and remote control from iOS and Android devices. Logically, MixChecker isn’t a part of the DAW project, but an independent tool. So moving the control from your screen full of other effect windows to a mobile device lying on your desk reflects the real workflow.”
Your DW Drum Enhancer simplifies the processing of drums with its preset-driven approach. Might we see a ‘Pro’ version of that, too?
LP “We’re not sure whether it will be a Pro version or just an update, but DW DE will evolve in this direction for sure. The cooperation with DW is great, as the people in the company are great, so the new versions and variants will be a result of discussions between DW and Audified.”
What’s next for Audified? LP “A redesigned, rewritten version of one of our guitar effects, and several products similar to TNT Voice Executor and DW Drum Enhancer for other instruments. Also: hardware – we now have a flexible, powerful multichannel system that will be the base for products where hardware solutions make more sense.”
Mastering The Mix Animate
This four-stage effect promises to help imbue your mixes with “the perfect flavour of punch and movement”. Expand offers “pristinely clean” upwards expansion, increasing the volume of signals exceeding the threshold, for greater dynamic range. Punch bolsters transients and Ignite delivers harmonic distortion. And Grow increases stereo width via a “psychoacoustic precedence effect”. Each of the four processes can target a specific frequency range, with stereo or mid/side operation and threshold-based dynamic operation. It’s £59.
Plugin Alliance ADPTR MetricAB
As readers know, we’re huge fans of AB referencing here – that is, comparing our mixes-in-progress to top-drawer commercial mixdowns, to ensure we’re hitting the same sonic ballpark. MetricAB does just that. Stick it on the master bus, load up to 16 reference tracks, and then instantly flick between them and your own effort. Features include volume matching, cue and loop, multiple monitoring modes, and DAW position sync. There are five analysis modes including spectrum, correlation and stereo image. Go compare right now for the price of $239.
With a bazillion plugin emulations of the classic Pultec EQP-1A equaliser out there, what can Klevgrand’s effort possibly do differently? Quite a lot. You get dual opposing low cut/boost shelves for the famous Pultec ‘low-end trick’, but with a “similar formulation” up top: a ‘high-end trick’ is possible, too. There are two mid bands instead of one, and crucially, Klevgrand have given them dynamic attenuation capability. This allows everything from de-essing/ deharshing to bass control and gentle bus compression. The plugin is $59.99 – more about the $19.99 iPad version on p11.
Amp sim aces Mercuriall already brought us spot-on British (Marshall), German (Engl) and US (Mesa/Boogie) tones. Their latest release, though, offers a sound straight outta their Russian homeland: SS-11X is an official emulation of AMT Electronics’ SS-11B tube preamp. Using new Neural Hybrid Engine tech, they say it’s “virtually impossible to distinguish the sound difference between hardware or software”. It’s got Clean/Overdrive/Lead channels, Treble Shift switch for brightness, and 3-band tone controls. Extra plugin-only goodies include a noise gate, overdrive pedal selection and more. It’s $39.99, out soon.
“Some people in the industry told us it was nonsense”