Monday, July 9, 2018

CompPlus™ - Compression with Articulation

View on the CompPlus™ Website

In each mixing project we need to address two concerns; one, achieving overall dynamic balance, two, getting all parts heard.  It would be nice to have a tool that does both.  That is where CompPlus™ comes in. CompPlus™ provides compression as well as Articulation control, which actually rides the gain up to compensate as musical words and phrases trail off.  Yes, it can do the gian-riding for you!  And CompPlus™ is a unique compressor even without its additional capability of Articulation control. As compressors go, it provides very transparent dynamics control without the music sounding squashed or overly processed.  And since the dynamics stage can be automated, you can record the compression to an automation lane and then edit as required for just the results you are looking for.

To use the plugin, you place CompPlus™ on your track and adjust the threshold as needed.  The Ratio control gives you smooth amounts of depth to the compression without sounding processed.  The compression displays as a downward moving green bar, which changes to yellow, then red, for deeper compression.  You have both input gain, and output gain controls for maintaining your gain staging.

The Articulation control allows you to dial-in the amount you will like to have the plugin ride-up the gain to keep a part sitting just right in the mix.  The amount of Articulation applied is displayed on the meter as a rising blue bar, which changes to purple at greater amounts of gain.  So, you always have a good indication of what the plugin is doing with a quick glance to the meter.

And since Articulation is part of the dynamics stage, it is also recorded as part of the same automation lane as the compression.  So, in one lane, you can have compression and gain riding recorded, and available to edit if needed.  For vocal tracks and instruments, this will save you hours of manual editing of the gain.  This feature alone will pay for the plugin the very first time you use it.  But you will continue to use it because of its transparent dynamics control, making CompPlus™ a great value!

CompPlus™ gives you a compressor that also brings up levels to be heard in the mix!  A simple and easy to use dynamics tool. The plugin is available in VST, VST3, AU, AAX, for 64bit Mac and PC.
  • Full Disclosure: Direct Approach is my company, and I am the creator of the CompPlus plugin.

Monday, July 2, 2018

BoostX™ A Mixer's Secret Weapon

View on the BoostX™ Website

Wouldn't it be great if you had a way to keep the level consistent on a track without having to reach for a compressor, or do manual gain riding?  Enter BoostX™. The BoostX™ plugin, from Direct Approach, gives you a secret weapon in the battle to control the dynamics of your tracks. The plugin does its job by following the quieter parts of the track and boosting the level as musical words and phrases trail off in volume.  This neat trick is accomplished very transparently giving you a gentle, even subtle, increase in the level of quieter parts. BoostX™ is perfect for vocal tracks, but also any track where you need the track to be heard within the surrounding mix.  Thus allowing words, and those little musical nuances, to be heard, and not fade away.  BoostX™ is a great tool for getting a track to sit in the mix.

The difference with BoostX™ compared with a compressor, is that a compressor works by reacting to the louder levels and pushing them down in level, while BoostX™ only watches the quiet parts, and raises their level as necessary.  And a compressor can sometimes make the track sound "squashed" because of sudden volume reduction, while BoostX™ is much more transparent and subtle.  Since the louder parts are not boosted, you do not have to worry that you will exceed the desired levels for the mix.  And no need to worry about make-up gain, since, in most cases, the overall level will remain the same.

You use BoostX™ by placing it on a track and adjusting the threshold to the desired level of boost shown on the boost meter.  BoostX™ will then raise the gain as required to achieve the level you want.  If the track needs help with de-essing, you can adjust the Low Pass filter until BoostX™ is not boosting the higher frequencies.  This can reduce the need for a regular de-esser, or, in some cases, eliminate it altogether! 

And, as with all Direct Approach dynamics plugins, you get the unique ability to automate the dynamics stage.  So, using automation, you can fine tune the response of the plugin to give you the exact sound you want from every track!  This is a powerful feature and can save hours of manually editing gain-riding.  Simply let BoostX™ draw the automation, and then fine-tune, if necessary, for the exact needs of the track.

BoostX™ gives you a tool that allows you to gently boost the soft parts of your track, and have it sit in the mix, and even do some de-essing!  What's not to like?  The plugin is available in VST, VST3, AU, AAX, for 64bit Mac and PC.
  • Full Disclosure: Direct Approach is my company, and I am the creator of the BoostX plugin.