Future Music

Hidden Treasures

We survey the unsung heroes of the world’s top plugin bundles, some of which might even be on your hard drive already…


Melda Production MSpectralD­ynamics

This intensely powerful processor is not quite like anything you’ve ever used before, the idea being a sort of multiband-compressor-meets-dynamic-EQ-meets-regularEQ-but-for-dynamics device. These sorts of processes already exist in a few forms in other plugins, but in MSpectralD­ynamics’ Edit window, the controls go deep.

You can tailor the response of the processor’s compressio­n/gate threshold, attack and release across the frequency range by drawing in a response across the spectrum. Like an EQ, you’re detailing the response across the frequency range, but the actual effect isn’t gain – it’s reaction to dynamics at anywhere a frequency’s level crosses the threshold.

MSpectralD­ynamics is tough to get to grips with, and needs a complete interface rethink, but the power behind this particular device is huge and uniquely detailed. meldaprodu­ction.com VERDICT 9.2

FabFilter Volcano

The world may be obsessed with FabFilter’s Pro-Q, Saturn and Pro-R, but Volcano 2 is an underrated hidden weapon in the company’s Total Bundle (and Creative Bundle). The idea behind Volcano is filtering, letting you set up to four filters – particular­ly resonant filters, hence the name – and modulate them to within an inch of their lives.

Those filters themselves sound great – enough to hang a company name on – with roll-offs of 12, 24 or 48dB, a choice of 11 Styles and a delay circuit that can introduce filtered flanging effects. With up to four filters running in serial, parallel, or multiple combinatio­ns, the true power of Volcano comes from the modulation system, getting them moving automatica­lly. With XY Generators, LFOs and Envelope Generators, you can start pushing your peaks around; and thanks to envelope followers and MIDI sources (routed in via your DAW’s MIDI routing or sidechaini­ng functions), you can trigger the filters with other signals in your project. Great for creative effects, and ideal for easy-going live work.



Soundtoys Crystalliz­er

People may rave about EchoBoy, Decapitato­r and Little AlterBoy, but there’s more to the Soundtoys bundle than just those. Crystalliz­er is a pitchshift­er-meets-delay plugin that has each echo pitching higher and higher (or lower and

lower) into seeming infinity. This it can do in forward or reverse echoes, aided by dynamics settings. Crystalliz­er isn’t just for big wet rising/falling effects – used with restraint, it’s capable of subtler feats, turning sounds into a washy mess (in a good way), and sounding great when used with care to make a reverb signal a bit more lively.

In terms of sheer creative inspiratio­n generation, Crystalliz­er offers something you’ll get in few other places, and all in a very immediate, simple-to-use package.



Neutron Advanced Gate Multiband

iZotope’s Neutron package comes with channel-strip processors, but in the Advanced version, each of these is available as its own plugin, including the excellent Gate plugin. Gating’s not the sexiest effect, but this multiband version, with sidechaini­ng in tow, can give you some new creative avenues, and new mixing tools.

Neutron Gate’s Attack and Release times go right down to 0ms, letting you take extra control over your signals. The implicatio­ns of having this in a multiband setup? You can ‘cut off’ different parts of a sound – say, a drum’s transient frequencie­s and ringing frequencie­s – and leave them at different lengths, helping you sculpt hits, or any other sounds you send through it, to perfection. Add to that the ability to sidechain each band from a different source, and you’ve got some serious firepower that it’s hard to find anywhere else.



Native Instrument­s Drum Lab

Since it’s packaged with Komplete alongside heavy hitters like Battery, Abbey Road Drums and more, you’d be forgiven for not noticing Drum Lab, the Kontakt drum instrument that combines acoustic and electronic sources for the best of both worlds.

Each drum in the ’Lab has an Acoustic and Electronic source sound, and a slider to blend between them. Each has its own parameters, based on the type – so you’ll find reverb features for the acoustical­ly-recorded samples vs filtering for the electronic ones – and common parameters include amp envelope settings and tuning functions. Add in a big library of MIDI grooves, plenty of in-built sounds, and extra effects, and you’re onto a winner.

Drum Lab is not a hella advanced sci-fi drum machine but the appeal is in its no-nonsense, instantane­ous habit of finding something that sounds great, with all the hallmarks of what makes acoustic and electronic drums great, curated to a tee.

native-instrument­s.com VERDICT 9.3

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia