Enhanced Tone and Phase Correction for Live Sound
A glance at Vitamin’s GUI initially led me to surmise the plug-in combines a harmonic exciter, stereo imager and transient shaper. But it turns out the inside story is a bit different. Vitamin uses hidden multiband compressors and clippers to generate harmonics more subtly than most exciters, and its transient processor affects only that portion of processed signal.
The Sonnox Fraunhofer Codec Toolbox is a streamlined version of the Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec Version 2 plug-in for auditioning and encoding mono, stereo and surround audio mixes using Fraunhofer codecs. Codecs included are: MP3, AAC-LC, HE-AAC, HE-AAC v2, MPEG Surround and, on Macs only, Apple’s latest version of the iTunes+ AAC-LC codec as used in the current iTunes Catalog.
I’ve been a huge fan of iZotope RX 2 Advanced since its introduction more than three years ago, consistently using the comprehensive suite of noise-reduction software on all my post-production sessions. Now a major update brings new modules, comprehensive metering, and augmented and optimized algorithms to the mix.
To provide the most flexibility and power, a multiband processor should be able to increase or decrease gain not just in select frequency bands but also at either end of a track’s dynamic range, top or bottom. Pro-MB provides upward and downward compression and expansion in up to six independent frequency bands. Each band can operate in stereo or M/S mode and use variable stereo linking and sidechain filtering. The plug-in’s extremely comprehensive and powerful feature set is augmented by highly intuitive operation that breaks the mold.
Pitchmap promises polyphonic pitch transposition and correction in real time. This goes way beyond wholly shifting the pitch of a recording up or down to change its key, although Pitchmap can also do that. The plug-in can shift at once the pitch of all sounds in a mix that voice on the same fundamental musical note, transposing it up or down to another note. Do that on four different pitches, and you can make an ensemble that played a C mj6 chord, for example, sound like they played an F mi7 (using virtually any chord inversion you like). Pitchmap can also deliberately dish out synth-like sounds. I reviewed Version 1.1.4 of the Audio Units plug-in in Digital Performer 8.01, using an 8-core Mac Pro running OS X 10.8.2.
Many plug-ins that model vintage hardware strive to emulate the original item’s complete sonic and functional attributes, warts and all. Slate Digital’s Virtual Buss Compressors, on the other hand, cherry-picks the best and jettisons the rest. Each of the three compressors included in the bundle is either a modified model of a single hardware unit (attempting to improve its sound or function) or combines the best traits of various compressors to create a hybrid processor.
As engineers, we are always looking for the “Magic Button” to bring that polish to our work, something to take our recordings to the next level in our search for audio perfection—but more EQ plug-ins? Yes! And these three EQs are a great way to add mojo to your finished product. For the most part, the Pultecs, NSEQ-2 and RS56 plug-ins are mastering EQs, meaning they are at home performing wide sweeping tonal shifts on an entire mix rather than surgically cutting specific frequencies on a single track.
A GREATLY EXPANDED VARIETY OF GUITAR TONES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
MODULAR APPROACH WITH PRESETS OFFERS SPEEDY WORKFLOW, GREAT SOUND
WELL-DESIGNED GUI, UNIQUE FEATURES, GREAT SOUNDS