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Paul Frindle - new company, new plugin
Old 1st April 2008
  #1
Paul Frindle - new company, new plugin

Pro Audio DSP - Professional Audio Plugins for Digidesign Pro Tools

Price: 200 pounds


The Dynamic Spectrum Mapper (DSM) provides multi-dimensional control over both the spectral response and dynamic characteristics of audio programme, bringing a whole new dimension of facility and artistic ability to the sound engineer.
Novel processing and programme capture algorithms provide the ability to achieve exemplary results in common tasks such as -
  • programme compression
  • loudness enhancement
  • de-essing and vocal character processing
Furthermore, the ability to capture, modify and re-apply the spectral characteristics of programme is a powerful creative tool in all stages of the production cycle, from recording and mixing to mastering stages -
  • personalise mixes
  • match-up sonic characteristics of different tracks
  • new class of dynamic effects in level and frequency
Old 1st April 2008
  #2
May one venture to suggest that these might possibly kick some serious arse..?

heh
Old 1st April 2008 | Show parent
  #3
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

AU or VSTs in the near future?
Old 1st April 2008 | Show parent
  #4
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mac black's Avatar
Shame its not TDM .... I won't be able to use it in Logic/TDM if its rtas only ...
Old 1st April 2008 | Show parent
  #5
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noiseflaw's Avatar
 

Oh boy!

I want it...

if this is PT only

I will be

sad

angry

jealous
Old 1st April 2008 | Show parent
  #6
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severe's Avatar
 

thumbsup

Due to upgrades, my studio's down for the next week or so. Looking forward to reading some reviews.
Old 1st April 2008 | Show parent
  #7
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I see it's PT only right now.

If anyone knows of any AU plans they can talk about for this plug please post here.
Old 1st April 2008 | Show parent
  #8
Great, more ways to separate me from my money...
Old 1st April 2008 | Show parent
  #9
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peeder's Avatar
 

I see so this is effectively a "matching compressor"... Remember when I think it was Steinberg released a "matching EQ"? You played your favorite mastered hit song into it, and it analyzed the EQ settings, and then you could apply those to your own song. I think Logic has one of these plugins in it. There's also Har-Bal.

This would be a multiband compressor version of that...they analyse the dynamic signature of the material and you can then apply that to another signal. Yes? The parametric knobs on the bottom let you tweak the memorized threshold curve. The manual has interesting suggestions for using this as an e.g. De-esser (apply the non-sibilant profile of the same voice to the sibilant one).

BTW I remember watching the demo of the original Steinberg Free Filter EQ and them predicting it would put mastering engineers out of business. heh
Old 2nd April 2008 | Show parent
  #10
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WOW!

This Plugin Rocks

So far I'm loving it!
Old 2nd April 2008 | Show parent
  #11
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noiseflaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Nomad View Post
This Plugin Rocks

So far I'm loving it!
How and what are you using it on?
Old 2nd April 2008 | Show parent
  #12
Cool! I was looking for a clean utillity plug. Was looking at the Sonnox ones, but this might fit the bill.

AU please!
thumbsup
Old 2nd April 2008 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Gosh... looks way good... will test it.

I wonder who's working and developing for Sonnox now...
Old 2nd April 2008 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noiseflaw View Post
How and what are you using it on?
Well so far on vocals, both spoken dialog and an operatic female vox that had to sit with both a strings section and then a hip hop backing when it comes in. (A radio advert - concept from agency) Also on low male rap voice. Just playing around with some of the presets and some mild adjustment though not always necessary. This thing can really add life to material. Also It can have color and keeps the original bounce or energy. This is where most plugs suck as they will take away the life of the material.
Also in the same session it was used on strings section and a cello ( samples from Motif XS) Then a buss with all the elements from the hip hop backing which are about eighteen tracks had an instance on it.

To round it of I captured "Apologize" and strapped that on the master buss turned up the volume and my ten old daughter came running into the studio, "that's so cool!!"
Yeah, I totally feel like a cheat but I got a mix done a lot quicker than it would normally have taken.

One more thing - on one of the loops in the the hip hop backing I wasn't too happy with the kick element which is the one used for the"knock" and I'd put RenBass on to give it depth but is was to prominent. Using the Tape1 preset and turning the first Parameric threshold down a bit gave me the perfect tone.

Hope this helps.
Old 2nd April 2008 | Show parent
  #15
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Have noticed that there's a noticeable lag between adjustments and the process updating. This can be a bit annoying when making fine adjustment to the parametric threshold. But the results far out way this.
Also when you change presets you can have nasty loud bursts of noise as the it adjusts.

for those who have not yet seen this in the manual;

Total processing delay.

44.1KHz & 48Khz: 48 samples
88.2KHz & 96KHz: 96 samples
176.4KHz & 192KHz: 192 samples
Old 2nd April 2008 | Show parent
  #16
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noiseflaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Nomad View Post
Well so far on vocals, both spoken dialog and an operatic female vox that had to sit with both a strings section and then a hip hop backing comes in. (A radio advert - concept from agency) Also on low male rap voice. Just playing around with some of the presets and some mild adjustment though not always necessary. This thing can really add life to material. Also It can have color and keeps the original bounce or energy. This is where most plugs suck as they will take away the life of the material.
Also in the same session it was used on strings section and a cello ( samples from Motif XS) Then a buss with all the elements from the hip hop backing which are about eighteen tracks had an instance on it.

To round it of I captured "Apologize" and strapped that on the master buss turned up the volume and my ten old daughter came running into the studio, "that's so cool!!"
Yeah, I totally feel like a cheat but I got a mix done a lot quicker than it would normally have taken.

One more thing - on one of the loops in the the hip hop backing I wasn't to happy with the kick element which is the one used for the"knock" and I'd put RenBass on to give it depth but is was to prominent. Using the Tape1 preset and turn the first Parameric threshold down a bit gave me the perfect tone.

Hope this helps.
Thanks a lot.

It looks like a very impressive plug, I really hope it can be ported to AU.
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #17
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robot gigante's Avatar
Looks cool, but- I'm not sure if I would ever use it..?

Maybe Paul can chip in and explain what his thoughts are as far as what he thinks what sort of uses people would get out of it. I mean, the last thing I think when I pull up a mix is "Boy, I sure could use a Dynamic Spectrum Mapper on this mix"!

Seems like overkill for a de-esser, which is one thing I could use if it's good for that.

(Don't flame me for this guys, I think it's sweet he's got a new company and maybe this new plugin is the best thing since sliced bread, I just don't know what it would be useful for)
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #18
I gotta say it's pretty damn good based on what I heard during my very short demo today. I was using it as a limiter on the 2 mix and it did a great job of making everything punchier and louder without f'ing with the general balance of the mix. I didn't read the manual so I'm not getting everything out of it, but the basics were plain enough that I could adjust comfortably. I think this one's staying in my plugin folder.
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #19
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

This plugin is interesting.

I completely understand the Tiger/Leopard only thing, but I would hoped Mr Frindle would make the new plugin line available for PT6x in Panther as well.
Like URS, they are top notch when it comes to compability thumbsup.
I work in various PT6/7 based environments.

And, another vote for TDM!

Ruudman
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Nomad View Post
Have noticed that there's a noticeable lag between adjustments and the process updating. This can be a bit annoying when making fine adjustment to the parametric threshold. But the results far out way this.
Also when you change presets you can have nasty loud bursts of noise as the it adjusts.

for those who have not yet seen this in the manual;

Total processing delay.

44.1KHz & 48Khz: 48 samples
88.2KHz & 96KHz: 96 samples
176.4KHz & 192KHz: 192 samples
You are correct - and there is no real way of avoiding this in the design, as the time constants take time to respond to the changes. The amount of time it takes to respond to manual parametric threshold adjustments (or loading a complete new set up) will depend on the time constant settings - it will be quick for fast settings but can take significant time for long settings, where it may happen so gently that you might seem to miss the changes, if you don't wait long enough.
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frindle View Post
You are correct - and there is no real way of avoiding this in the design, as the time constants take time to respond to the changes. The amount of time it takes to respond to manual parametric threshold adjustments (or loading a complete new set up) will depend on the time constant settings - it will be quick for fast settings but can take significant time for long settings, where it may happen so gently that you might seem to miss the changes, if you don't wait long enough.
I figured as much. Did notice that one can miss out if you don't wait for the results of you adjustments.
Used the plugin again today on some material and master buss and am really liking it.
Only thing I'd like to see is an optimization update if possible as DSM is rather CPU hungry.
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Nomad View Post
I figured as much. Did notice that one can miss out if you don't wait for the results of you adjustments.
Used the plugin again today on some material and master buss and am really liking it.
Only thing I'd like to see is an optimization update if possible as DSM is rather CPU hungry.
I am glad you are using it :-)

Yes - it is a bit processing intensive, it uses similar amounts to the limiter I made before. But when you think of how much is going in 'under the hood' there isn't much room to optimise it further.
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
Looks cool, but- I'm not sure if I would ever use it..?

Maybe Paul can chip in and explain what his thoughts are as far as what he thinks what sort of uses people would get out of it. I mean, the last thing I think when I pull up a mix is "Boy, I sure could use a Dynamic Spectrum Mapper on this mix"!

Seems like overkill for a de-esser, which is one thing I could use if it's good for that.

(Don't flame me for this guys, I think it's sweet he's got a new company and maybe this new plugin is the best thing since sliced bread, I just don't know what it would be useful for)
Hi, I'm certainly not going to flame you :-) I have looked at this thread from time to time over the last couple of days and noted people's thoughts and suggestions, which I really welcome and appreciate. But I have resisted wading into this convo because I don't want to influence people at all - neither do I want to seem like I'm promoting our own stuff on here in the slightest, as a public forum should be kept impartial, or it loses it's value..

It would be great if you could give it a go and scan the manual - I am completely open to all comments and suggestions - good or bad. After all, we are trying to make what we think you guys would use and appreciate :-)
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #24
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peeder's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frindle View Post
Hi, I'm certainly not going to flame you :-) I have looked at this thread from time to time over the last couple of days and noted people's thoughts and suggestions, which I really welcome and appreciate. But I have resisted wading into this convo because I don't want to influence people at all - neither do I want to seem like I'm promoting our own stuff on here in the slightest, as a public forum should be kept impartial, or it loses it's value..

It would be great if you could give it a go and scan the manual - I am completely open to all comments and suggestions - good or bad. After all, we are trying to make what we think you guys would use and appreciate :-)
I for one would like to know what you were thinking when you designed the processor and I would appreciate your championing it a bit. We know your bias of course so conflict of interest isn't a problem. There are enough unbiased loudmouths here that you won't be able to destroy the impartiality or ruin the value of the forum even if you try!

Go ahead and tell us what you think makes your baby destined for greatness.
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #25
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robot gigante's Avatar
Yeah Paul, go for it!

I seriously doubt anyone will flame you, and my post wasn't really a flame or critique, just honest curiosity.
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frindle View Post
But I have resisted wading into this convo because I don't want to influence people at all...
I for one would love it if you'd influence me during te next 21 days as I demo this plugin. For instance, a few pointers, tips and tricks for getting the most from it.
Old 3rd April 2008 | Show parent
  #27
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Yes! Bring it on.

How about some hints on forthcoming plugs?
Old 4th April 2008 | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
I for one would like to know what you were thinking when you designed the processor and I would appreciate your championing it a bit. We know your bias of course so conflict of interest isn't a problem. There are enough unbiased loudmouths here that you won't be able to destroy the impartiality or ruin the value of the forum even if you try!
LOL - well yes you are probably right :-) But I am not going to labour the point - this forum is not an advertising board.

Quote:
Go ahead and tell us what you think makes your baby destined for greatness.
Ok. But where do I start? I have written a whole manual about what it does, so I guess it's the motivation that's most interesting to you - and why we bothered to make it at all?

But first of all I must say there's no assumption of 'greatness' what so ever :-) This is just another, (hopefully) artistically useful object to add the the many others that already exist. We made it because we think it is useful and artistically very exciting :-)

It is basically a novel kind of multi-band compressor that uses FFT methods to split and recombine the bands rather than the more usual IIR or FIR filters found in other devices. This method was used to avoid the variable phase recombination issues (phasing) associated with IIRs and the timing smear (softening of transients) associated with phase corrected FIRs - both of which I can't stand personally. Of course it does have artifacts (sadly you can't get anything for nothing) but they are of a different kind, one which I find more musically acceptable than the other approaches.

Because of the above and it's tolerance, we have a large degree of freedom in modifying the response dynamically, whist maintaining a good perception of musicality. This means that it can respond more adaptively to changing events in the programme in a manner that causes less bad stuff to happen elsewhere in the programme spectrum (IMHO). Quite simply, we can get away with doing far more dramatic stuff with this than would otherwise be possible (or tolerable sonically).

But to get away from boring tech detail; what mostly sets this apart from other multi band compressors is that it is primed with the spectral information acquired from the programme itself - rather than just aiming for a flat fixed threshold in a conventional comp. This means that what it is doing dynamically is based on the sonic characteristics of the original programme. This means that it can manage a great deal more compression of even highly difficult to process material in a more elegant and musically 'believable' fashion. In a way it's a bit like the dimension that's missing from conventional compression?

Yes it is changing the dynamics - yes it is changing the freq content over time - but what it is doing is based on the character of the original music - so we find it more acceptable, more believable etc. One of my show pieces is a Chesky record of Argentinian music with the greatest dynamic range of anything else I can find, complete with loud and soft bits that almost disappear and dramatic harmonically complex percussion parts that blast out of near silence and yet have delicate character. This track defies any large scale dynamic reduction using any compressor I have ever made - yet I can compress this whole thing to flat out with only around 3dB dynamic range from 0dB to around -3dB at the output using the DSM - and it still sounds OK - so much so that on several cases I had to keep bypassing it to prove to people that it was actually working :-)

Anyway - to follow on from this notion of compression working towards a a valid stored version of the original spectrum; it is obvious that one can use it to automatically 'smooth out' difficult parts of instrumental and vocal sounds, just by capturing the spectrum when things were sounding just great, then leaving the DSM to apply that spectrum to the bits that get nasty. The point is that the DSM returns the nasty parts to a real and sufficiently complex and believable version of the performance itself, rather than simply applying a bit of EQ wound in at the right moment to take off the 'rasp' - and wiping out all the sibilance and character you wanted to keep.

So for instance to de-ess, you can simply capture a bit of the spectrum of the voice sounding just fine, set the threshold appropriately and let the DSM hit the nasty bits by - returning it to a spectrum of the voice itself when it was sounding fine. The greater the ratio - the more it will return to the captured spectrum - set it where the effect is just right and you are done. If you find that you would like some more sibilance on the explosives in the voice, slow down the attack to let some through on the peaks etc.. You can apply this procedure to single instruments, sub mixes or your whole master mix. It's all very simple to understand and fast to operate :-) I can't count how many hundreds of hours I have toiled under awful pressure over the years with difficult vocal parts and ultra-finicky record and advertising producers, fiddling around endlessly to try to tame and characterise performance - without ever managing to get even close to what I can do with this in just a couple of minutes :-(

Are you getting what's different about this - why it's not just another compressor/limiter/enhancer and why we bothered to spend the best part of a whole year making it - (with my wife hollering at me to get a real job, before we ran out of food) - LOL.

Ok - following from that, you can take the spectrum of one track and apply it to another in order to make tracks sound more similar - and compress/limit/enhance them at the same time. Just play the source track - capture the spectrum (press and release the capture to get a small section - or hold it down to get a long term average) - save the setting if required and play the target track through it. If you decide that you just want the overall spectrum character and not the dynamic activity, just hit the freeze gains button and hold the current response throughout the whole track - like a complex EQ etc.. I have done some great trials of taking the vocal character of some famous hits and applying it to other completely unrelated material - it can be quite uncanny..

You can of course apply the same technique to single instruments capturing their spectral character too and applying it elsewhere in the mix or on other tracks or other instruments - either like an EQ (with the freeze gain function) or with compression, limiting and enhancement all going on as well. You can add some HF density without increasing level with the HF rel control, which preferentially speeds up the HF release time - or add some LF punch with the LF att control, which preferentially slows down the attack time of the LF ranges - on indeed both at the same time.

You can also modify the captured spectrum (or make one up from scratch) using the spectrum threshold section - which looks like an EQ for familiarity, but actually modifies the curve response. So you can add some zing to the top end, take out some rasp in the upper mids, reduce some honk in the mid ranges at the same time. Or you can do the reverse - for instance pile on some more mid range in the response - set the overall threshold up towards say -3 - -6dB or so and apply more bite to the loud passages of your whole mix, to give it some loud punch to the high level bits, whilst leaving the lower level parts as they were, sounding sweet. The you can wind up the gain and stick in the limiter to take out the overs - and create some real excitement :-)

Because of the different character of the artifacts in the processing arrangement and it's tolerance to fast changing signal, you can make some interesting effects using fast attack and release times. I have used these to create the tape style set-ups which mimic the way HF progressively saturates in high level programme, without any apparent audible time constant. It's that 'softening' effect we remember from days of old. This kind of thing is also useful in many cases of instruments (especially stringed ones) and vocals to soften their sounds quite nicely...

Another trick is to put an EQ in front of it, EQ the sound you want at low levels, bypass the EQ and capture the original, then put the EQ back on and let the DSM progressively 'undo' the EQ on the louder bits. This is great for vocal intelligibility and the spoken word - or just to brighten up the quiet parts of orchestral pieces without creating harsh louder passages.

I could go on and on about what I could use all this for and this post is beginning to resemble some kind of infernal operational manual - but written in reverse? I'm not sure this kind of post has place on the forum?

Have I rattled on enough :-(

But you did ask and I hope I have at least given a flavour of it - and why it excites me? I'm sure you guys will come up with masses of stuff you can do with it - and I can't wait to hear it :-)
Old 4th April 2008 | Show parent
  #29
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Hi Paul,

Could you let us know if there any plans to port it to AU?

I'm sure that there are many who would snap it up in an instant if there was an AU version.

I know I would!
Old 4th April 2008 | Show parent
  #30
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SoundEng1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by siddhu View Post
Hi Paul,

Could you let us know if there any plans to port it to AU?

I'm sure that there are many who would snap it up in an instant if there was an AU version.

I know I would!
Ditto
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