Get with the pro­gram­mers Lu­bor Prikryl

The MD of the Czech com­pany be­hind MixChecker and MixChecker Pro an­swers our ques­tions

Computer Music - - News -

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.

URL mas­ter­ingth­emix.com

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.

URL plugin-al­liance.com

Klev­grand Go­toEQ

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.

URL klev­grand.se

Mer­cu­ri­all SS-11X

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.

URL mer­cu­ri­all.com

“Some peo­ple in the in­dus­try told us it was non­sense”

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