Friday, April 1, 2011

PSP N2O Multi-Effect Plugin

"PSP N2is a semi-modular multi-effect plug-in which offers unparalleled flexibility and total sound creation freedom.  The high-quality sound processing modules can be routed in any configuration, allowing for endless musical journeys. While built upon the same basic concept as the PSP Nitro (which I use often), the PSP N2O with its new modules and extended modulation features, explores completely new sonic areas. The plug-in engine has been rewritten and redesigned from scratch in order to improve the sound and take full advantage of the optimizations offered by modern CPUs. The enhanced user interface improves the experience of both sound designers creating their own soundscapes as well as everyday users who aren’t as fond of looking under the hood."

For more info

Waves L3 Ultramaximizer Tips

The Waves L3 Ultramaximizer is part of the Limiter Bundle that Waves sells for $350. It's also included in the Platinum & Diamond Bundles at no extra cost and is a scaled down version of its bigger brother the Multimaximizer. The main difference is, you dont have access to the 5 individual bands but there are presets which allow you to change the behavior of the limiter. It does Peak Limiting and Bit Depth Re-Quantization (eg 24 to 16 bit for CD) and is fairly easy to use. But requires understanding how the threshold, ceiling and release work to maximize the level of your mix without destroying it. Before I explain further I want to make it quite clear that I do not advocate the use of this plugin as a replacement for proper mastering by an experienced and knowledgeable mastering engineer. But for a quick CD or mp3 reference, it will do the job.
When using the L3, the first thing to do is set the ceiling to -0.2db. Never set the ceiling to 0db because many portable/car CD and mp3 players will overload and distort. Next, while listening to the audio, adjust the threshold until the audio starts to distort and then back off slightly. 3 to 5 db of attenuation usually works well. In my experience, higher attenuation will degrade the sound. The release should be adjusted in realtime while listening to the material. I find larger release values work for slower tempos and smaller values for faster tempos. But this varies from song to song. Be very careful of your levels going into the plugin. if its clipped on the input it will sound ten times worse after being limited. Use your ears and the Attenuation meters to get the best sound. Last but not least the L3 should be used as the final plugin process on your material.
A good way to implement the L3 and also be able to A/B your song with and without the L3 limiter is to import the song into a new session and duplicate the track. Mute the original track and place an L3 on the insert of the duplicate. After adjusting the parameters of the L3 to get the loudness you desire, un-mute the original and adjust the level of the L3'd track to match it. Once you have both tracks level matched then switch back and forth between each track to see which one sounds better. If the L3 sounds worse adjust the parameters until the sound improves over the original. It's a little tricky since you have to re-adjust the levels as you make changes but it's worth the effort. Because of the way our hearing works we're easily fooled into thinking louder is better but that's not always the case.

Marshall Model 5002 Time Modulator (Vintage)

"The Marshall Time Modulator is a classic analogue delay and modulation unit from the mid-'70s. Designed by the late Stephen St. Croix (aka Stephen Marshall), it became popular for its ability to produce deep flanging and crazy modulations."
"The 70's was full of creativity and new ideas. This Time Modulator was a direct product of that era. It can do high quality time related effects like positive flanging, negative flanging, cardboard tube echo, automatic double (and triple) tracking with pitch and delay dithering, resonant flange, straight vibrato, 'circus vibrato', arpeggio, pitch quantizing, high Q filtering, drum tuning, echo, Leslie, doppler panning, etc. "
Here's a link to Studio Electronics website where you can learn more about the unit and it's creator Stephen St. Croix. They are authorised to sell and repair the Time Modulators.
Here's a link to a current Ebay auction of a Marshall Time Modulator.
and there is also a plugin version of this effects box made by Mr. St. Croix's

Nebula3 Pro

"Nebula3 Pro is Acustica Audio's showcase product. Experience the full power of our proprietary audio processing technology, based on Vectorial Volterra Kernels, and find out what Nebula technology can do for you!
Nebula emulates the character and personality of analog hardware with exacting accuracy. Whether it is high end outboard equalizers, classic compressors, the latest reverbs, or vintage time-variant effects like phasers and flangers, Nebula3 Pro has them all. With over 400 included presets, you'll be adding the warmth of analog to your digital mixes in no time at all.
In addition to the included presets, customers can also enjoy the benefits of a huge collection of premium quality program libraries created especially for Nebula by certified 3rd party developers, including free, fully-functional demo presets. If you like Nebula's included preset library, you will really love these!
Nebula3 Pro features a completely redesigned GUI, and can be run using the latest CUDA processing techniques, relieving the strain on your CPU."