The following list contains tools that we think bring something new to the table and push the boundaries of digital with new concepts but still stay useful and musical.
01 – Oeksound Soothe
The make everything natural and smooth tool. A kind of auto dynamic eq for resonances. From vocals, to hihats, to synths and generally sounds that contain poking, unnatural mid-high resonances soothe can tame them in a precise but musical way. It contains all you may need to tune it and use it from sound design, to mixing and mastering. Simply by using the graph to target the problematic frequencies and cranking the depth gets great results. From there you can fine tune the algorithm (sharpness, selectivity, resolution), oversample, use in parallel and check the delta to see what the processing does to the sound. Also contains really nice presets you can use as starting points.
Tip 01: Use it like a de-esser, high frequency limiter to obtain a tapey, analog style top end you can tune to your liking.
Tip 02: Don’t be afraid to experiment with extreme settings to produce new unheard sounds.
02 – Soundtheory Gullfoss
A very intelligent auto eq that can help your eq decisions, tonal balance and improve the clarity and detail of your music. You can also achieve better translation of your mixes and reach the sweet post much easier. Settings are easy and self explanatory. You can recover buried frequencies and detail, tame dominant sounds, brighten or darken and intelligently boost with a curve based on the frequency balance as perceived by the human ear. After you set it up Gullfoss adapts itself to the incoming signal more than 100 times per second without any audible artifact or degradation of the sound. A real “make it sound better” plugin.
Tip 01: Use it on sounds you don’t know how to eq as a guide.
Tip 02: Use it on your master with subtle settings to enhance the sound and add movement.
03 – Sonible frei:raum
This offering from Sonible may seem like a standard eq but is much more than that. It consists of three layers: the smart:EQ, the proximity:EQ and the entropy:EQ layer. The smart:EQ layer is a high quality seven band eq. Three of the bands are smart bands that can learn the input and create custom filter curves so you can boost or attenuate the best way possible according to your input. You can boost without pushing resonances up or attenuate without touching the “good stuff” of your sound. It has a certain quality in the processing and one of the best transient responses we have heard. Proximity:EQ layer is where things start to become interesting. Here you can boost or attenuate the spaciousness, the reverberation of the sound on each of the seven bands. You can move things closer or further away and still sound very natural. It is a great problem solver on bad recordings. The entropy:EQ layer pushes things even further dealing with the harmonic and inharmonic components of the sound. You can manipulate the attack of a kick, snap of a snare, pluck of a synth or guitar and go from really punchy and dry to very sustained and boomy all with ease like using an eq.
Tip 01: Use the high smart band to create a custom curve for your track and push the top end smoothly and cleanly. It works wonders for that.
Tip 02: Use the proximity and entropy layers to tighten boomy or spacious sounds you want controlled like kicks or basses.
04 – Oeksound Spiff
The master of your music’s transients whenever you want to boost or cut them. All intelligently and frequency dependent. You can surgically smooth clicks, pops, consonants or enhance the punch, freshen and bring elements to the front. The interface is very intuitive and easy to use (as soothe). By using the graph you target the areas you want the processing to take place and from there you can fine tune the algorithm with the extended settings provided and manipulate the transients any way you wish. It is a really great tool to lift your sounds, especially old drum samples and bring them to today’s standards.
Tip 01: Use it in cut mode as a sound design tool to remove transients from sounds and transform for example a guitar to a kind of pad and drums to a rhythmic noise bed for your track.
Tip 02: Use it in boost mode to tightly enhance the fundamental frequencies of your tracks, buses or master.
05 – Ohlhorst Digital DeEdger
A tool that deals with the hardness of signals without compromising the original sound’s qualities. As hardness you can think of poky/spiky transients. The processing works only when hardness is detected and threshold free so you can set and forget it. With DeEdger you can focus on the frequency those problems appear and invisibly tame them. It is very easy to use, fine tuned and the processing is very musical. Even though it is created with modern mastering in mind you can use it all over the place during sound design or mixing.
Tip 01: Use it on percussions, drums or percussive instruments to fine tune them.
Tip 02: Use it early on your master chain to deal with problematic areas of your mix.