Category Archives for "Plugin"

New Music Gear Monday: Audified MixChecker Plugin

Audified MixCheckerEven back before the cassette days engineers and producers checked their mixes in their cars. Back then, some studios maintained a low power AM transmitter on site so you could run out to your car to make a quick check, but now we use all sorts of portable files to check on everything from computers to phones to even an Amazon Echo to be sure that a mix translates. All that running around takes time away from mixing, so that’s where Audified’s new MixChecker plugin can be a big help.

MixChecker inserts across the stereo buss to simulate the response of a number of different devices and environments. You can switch between simulating a pair of headphones or a monitor with a 5 inch or an 8 inch monitor to start, or just hit bypass to hear the mix normally. When it comes to environments, you can then switch between normal monitors (although with different speakers), small Auratone-like monitor simulations, headphones, smartphone, tablet, laptop computer, computer with external speakers, earbuds, the car, a television set, a home stereo system and a boombox. Pretty cool.

I can’t say for sure how accurate these are, but it looks like Audified spent a lot of time sampling the environments and devices to at least get you in the ball park. That said, we all know how our cars sound, and for many of us, that’s still the ultimate test.

That said, Audified MixChecker is definitely something to look into. It’s only $149 and is ilok protected (although you don’t need the hardware key, only the License Manager), and is available for AAX, AU and VST in 32 or 64 bit and for Mac and Windows. There’s also a 30 day free trial. Check out the video below for more detail or visit the dedicated Audified MixChecker page.

Thanks very much to Kurt Hoffler for the heads up.

New Music Gear Monday: Mastering The Mix LEVELS Plugin

Mastering The Mix LEVELSThere are a lot of plugins that monitor a single aspect of your mix, like dynamic range, frequency response or headroom, but until now there hasn’t been one that looks at everything and more within the same plugin. That’s where Mastering The Mix LEVELS plugin comes in, a neat bit of kit that instantly tells you exactly what’s happening with your mix.

LEVELS monitors headroom, the stereo field, the “bass space,” and the dynamic range of your mix, as well as provides a mono selection and left or right solo. Just insert it into your master buss you’re ready to go.

The Headroom function provides a true peak meter to make sure your master buss doesn’t clip, as well as EBU R128 compliant integrated and short term LUFS meters to accurately measure the mix’s perceived loudness.

The Stereo Field function features a vectorscope to see the stereo width of the track, a correlation meter to any monitor potential phase issues, a Left/Right meter to check the stereo balance of your mix, and a unique Low Pass button that solos the low frequencies below 300Hz so you can see just the stereo width of the low end.

The Dynamic Range function allows you to instantly see if your music is over-compressed, thanks to an oscilloscope that glows green if your music is dynamic. It also features a ‘DR’ Dynamic Range display based on the Short Term LUFS to peak ratio.

A particularly cool function is the “Bass Space” feature that provides level meters for 40Hz, 80Hz, 120Hz, and 160Hz to help you identify any channels that are too hot in any one low-frequency area.

Mastering The Mix LEVELS is about $89 USD (depending upon the exchange rate of the British Pound) and is available for both Mac and Windows platforms in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats (both 32 and 64 bit). There’s also a free 15 day trial with no credit card required.

This is a very cool plugin that’s worth a checkout. Thanks to Kurt Hoffler for the heads up!

New Music Gear Monday: SoundRadix Muteomatic Plugin

SoundRadix MuteomaticAnyone who doesn’t use a console has the same problem while recording. You have to manually mute the talkback or listen mic when recording starts, and you have to unmute it when recording stops. Doesn’t seem like much, but doing it dozens of times during a session can be a complete pain. The clever boffins at SoundRadix have created a solution for this though, and it’s a plugin called Muteomatic.

Muteomatic will automatically mute the talkback or listen mic channels according to your DAW’s transport state, opening the mic automatically when the DAW stops and muting it when the DAW is in playback or recording mode, all while clearly displaying when the mic is open or muted, so that you won’t have to worry about talking to yourself for a few minutes without the players hearing you ever again.

In addition, Muteomatic can be used to automatically mute reverb or delay channels so that long effect tails end when the DAW stops playing, so you don’t have to worry about talking over them.

Muteomatic also works the other way as well, opening up the talkback channel when the DAW is in playback or record mode so you can give cues to the players.

The plugin is RTAS, AAX, VST and AU compatible on both Mac and Windows platforms, so it’ll work with any DAW application.

Here’s the best part though. The SoundRadix Muteomatic plugin is FREE, and you can get it here on the dedicated page on the SoundRadix website. You can check it out in action in the video below.

I love it when someone creates a truly useful utility, and it’s even better when they’re priced within reason. In this case, it’s a major bonus that the plugin is free. Thanks again, SoundRadix. You make truly awesome plugins.

Thanks to Oz Amaro for the heads up.

New Music Gear Monday: Hofa 4U+ BlindTest Plugin

Hofa 4U+ BlindTest pluginLet’s face it, when it comes to a new piece of gear or plugin we’re often enamored because it’s brand new, or because of the name on it, or what we’ve read about it. How often do we do real blind testing? The answer is probably “Not much” since blind testing is pretty hard to do. Until now, that is, since the Hofa 4U+ BlindTest plugin has made blind testing a piece of cake.

To use it is pretty simple – insert 4U+ BlindTest as last plugin on every track you’d like to compare. At that point, only the tracks that are soloed play and all the other tracks are muted.

The real key is the Shuffle function though, since that will put the tracks in random order without names. You can then switch between the different signals to judge them objectively, then assign a ranking and add your comments. You can later uncover the track names.

It’s pretty easy to shuffle and evaluate several times so you can get average ratings. The Hofa 4U+ BlindTest will allow comments to be summarized so that you can check if your aural impression was always the same. If there’s a track that you’ve eliminated from the competition, just drag it to the “Inactive” section to eliminate from the next round of listening.

The Hofa 4U+ also has a couple of other very important features. There’s a peak display and a gain control per track so you can avoid influences caused by loudness differences, because as we all know, louder = better. The user interface is also scalable so that you can use it to hide anything on your screen that may influence your decisions, like your DAW’s mixer panel.

Like all Hofa plugins, 4U+ BlindTest works with VST, AU, AAX and RTAS formats. Best of all, the Hofa 4U+ BlindTest plugin is free if you can live with just 3 comparison choices. Want unlimited choices? Then just upgrade at any time to the paid version, which is about $45US.

Hofa makes some great other plugins as well that are definitely worth checking out.

New Music Gear Monday: Softube Modular Eurorack Emulation Plugin

Softube ModularThose tiny Eurorack synth modules have been growing in popularity, going from a simple 10×20 foot booth down in the no-mans-land basement at NAMM to a huge pavilion on the main floor. While everyone loves hardware, for many of us its just impractical in our musical creation so the new Softube Modular Eurorack emulation plugin addresses the issue nicely.

Softube Modular is a new cross-platform modular synthesizer plug-in that looks, works and sounds exactly like its analog Eurorack counterparts.

The company’s award-winning modeling experts have collaborated closely with both Doepfer and Intellijel to create circuit emulations of each company’s existing hardware modules, which is why Modular is about as close to the sound of the real thing as you can get.

The plugin includes six Doepfer modules and 20+ utility modules, such as sequencer, mixer, delay and more, as well as a large preset library. Additional modules from Doepfer and Intellijel will be available as add-ons, and other emulations from top hardware synthesizer brands are planned for the future.

The Softube Modular plugin should be available any time now and is priced at $99. Additional module emulations will cost between $29 and $49. All Softube plugins are available in VST, VST3, AU, AAX Native and AAX DSP formats. There’s not a lot of info available yet, but you can check out this page for a few more details.

New Music Gear Monday: Eventide Tverb Room Reverb Plugin

Eventide Tverb pluginWe all love great room sounds and one of the most famous rooms ever recorded was on David Bowie’s “Heroes” by Tony Visconti. Visconti set up three microphones in the hall of Berlin’s Hansa Studios; the first for Bowie to sing directly into, a second positioned about 15 feet away and the third further back in the hall. Visconti placed gates on the second and third microphones set to open as Bowie sang louder and louder. This same sound can now be duplicated with the new Eventide Tverb, which consists of three completely independent reverbs with compression, selectable polar patterns on microphone 1 and adjustable gates on microphones 2 and 3.

What’s more, the original effect was mono due to track limitations, but Tverb provides it in true stereo. The use of stereo microphones enhances the effect and DAW automation can be used to program the microphones to wander around the hall as the track plays.

Tverb consists of a variety of parameters, like 2 moveable microphones to adjust reverb size and tone, a custom Eventide reverb algorithm with EQ, diffusion, and decay control, 2 linkable post-reverb gate modules with control of when the gates close, the speed at which they close and the length of time they are forced to stay open. Signal inversion buttons are also available to remove (or create) phase cancellation, and a Mix Lock allows for scrolling through presets or settings while keeping the wet/dry mix constant.

The user interface is based on a “console” that was inspired by the one used in the session and is complete with Visconti’s “grease pencil” labelling, and provides post-reverb channel processing for each individual mic and the master. The room mixer module alters the sound of the room itself with control over decay, diffusion and frequency attenuation.

The Eventide Tverb is normally priced at $249 but currently has an introductory price of $149. A fully functioning 30 day demo version is also available. The plugin is available in AAX, VST and AU versions that work on most DAWs. Find out more on its dedicated page at Eventide.