Gearslutz

Gearslutz (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/)
-   Product Alerts older than 2 months (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/product-alerts-older-than-2-months/)
-   -   Announcing Boost by UrsaDSP (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/product-alerts-older-than-2-months/1320075-announcing-boost-ursadsp.html)

UrsaDSP 28th July 2020 12:07 PM

Announcing Boost by UrsaDSP
 
3 Attachment(s)
Boost



Boost increases the loudness of audio material. Use it as a signal enhancer during mastering, or to reveal hidden details while mixing or creating new sounds. Set the Output Ceiling, dial in Attack and Release times, and use the main Boost dial to get anything from a gentle increase in average loudness to an all-out smashed-up signal.

Boost applies transparent signal maximization for a professional sound, and thanks to the unique Focus control, you can maximize a signal upwardly, applying more gain to quieter sounds – no clipping, ever. A Drive control (plus extra Punch setting for transients) are on-hand to add energy and warmth to the signal.

See how Boost compares to other dynamic range devices in this Testing Whitepaper.


Boost is the first commercial plugin from UrsaDSP, who found success with their Lagrange delay as part of the KVR Developer Challenge 2016. UrsaDSP plugins will be distributed by Devious Machines at deviousmachines.com


Features
  • Increase average loudness of a signal with no clipping and minimal distortion
  • Unique Trajectory Technology detection algorithm maximizes gain at every step
  • Focus control can push quiet sections harder than loud sections and reveal hidden details in audio with up to 52dB dynamic gain
  • Set Input gain up to 28dB and Output ceiling up to 0dB – Boost’s algorithms mean there’s no clipping, ever
  • Choose Attack and Release times to complement your audio and maximization style
  • Add harmonic distortion using the Drive control
  • Activate the extra Punch setting to add more power to transients
  • Set Max Gain to limit the range of maximizing, keeping very quiet sounds unaffected
  • Compare signals with the Bypass button
  • VST/AU/AAX plugin for PC and Mac

Trajectory Technology

Boost can get the most out of any audio signal thanks to Trajectory Technology. Placed at the detection stage of the signal path, this algorithm ensures that the plugin is always achieving the maximum possible gain increase, while keeping the signal transparent and avoiding non-linearities.

You can check out the Boost Testing Whitepaper to find out more.


Focus: Upward Maximizing

ncrease Boost’s Focus control and quieter parts of the audio signal will be processed harder than louder parts. By bringing quiet signals up instead of peak-limiting loud signals, Boost offers a different way to control dynamic range, and can bring out hidden details in an audio signal.

Increase Average Loudness

Boost’s ‘upward maximization’ process is an alternative way to reduce a signal’s dynamic range without simply clipping the highest peaks into distortion or resorting to ‘soft clipping’. This method, combined with Boost’s Trajectory Technology, leaves the signal more transparent, and can squash dynamic range even further than most limiters, should you wish.

Reveal Hidden Details

Boost can restore elements that have been suppressed by heavy-handed mixdowns or during the mastering process.

In mixing, use Focus to bring out reverb tails and mechanical noises that were previously too low-down in the mix.

Sound designers can find inspiration using Boost to put a new spin on existing audio, transforming loops, breathing new life into vocals, and bringing out a new focus in acoustic instrument recordings.

UrsaDSP plugins will be distributed by Devious Machines at deviousmachines.com, where you can buy Boost for the introductory price of £39.99 (usual price £59.99). A 14-day free demo is available.

ChocolateHawkins 28th July 2020 12:56 PM

Looking forward to trying this one tonight! Looks like the upward stuff is like OTT/MV2. I am interested to see how all the other features compliment it.

Rickskii 28th July 2020 03:25 PM

Just had a play for a few minutes and this thing slams. Almost no CPU used also. Hmmm think i will be buying.

bmanic 28th July 2020 04:00 PM

Hmm.. interesting. During Pro-L2 development I toyed a lot with this idea but it is _extremely_ difficult to pull it off naturally over a wide range of audio material. You've come to the same conclusion I did, it seems as you need the "max gain" type of control and huge look-a-head values to get it to behave properly.

There are real reasons for why clipping/peak limiting is what most companies have chosen for ultimate loudness, especially considering perceived transparency. It's simply very difficult to get an upwards algorithm to follow the music in a natural way. Most sounds decay naturally from loud to quiet.. same for complete works of music. Most parts of the music flow from loud to quiet. Thus maintaining that 'illusion' is really difficult with an upwards algorithm. Even if you heavily clip a kick drum, once it's been through the digital to analogue conversion, which involves filtering, the actual physical wavefront still keeps most of the original shape intact and thus the illusion. Yes you get some momentary distortion with all the negative that brings but at least the overall energy and shape of the sound is pretty much intact. This same thing is incredibly tricky to achieve with upwards processing.

Did try a quick demo of the plugin and I have to say you've made a great algorithm! At low settings it remains quite natural. Well done!

However, for actual mastering grade loudness boosting of full program material, it simply can't compete with the established plugins/hardware, in my opinion. You need to do a LOT of tinkering with your settings and pretty much have to use the Punch button + distortion to get back some of the lost impact from the skewed illusion created by boosting all the low level material.

Also, for mastering you absolutely need some kind of control over left/right linking. It feels like the algorithm is now 100% unlinked which on some of my test material creates real problems.


Having said all that, as a mixing tool this could be pretty interesting. Now the question is, what makes this unique from all the other upwards capable dynamics tools out there? For instance DMG Audio Multiplicity has absolutely ridiculously transparent upwards capabilities (both compression AND expansion if so desired). Then there are all the various Melda Productions dynamics processes that offer tons of upwards compression possibilities.. though they come packaged in a very awkward User Interface.

Will need to test the demo a bit more until making up my mind. Having explored these avenues for literally months I can appreciate the algorithm you have going. It's good! For mastering it's not enough in my opinion but for general purpose easy to use and very clean upwards limiting it's very impressive and undoubtedly useful.

V4nger 28th July 2020 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmanic (Post 14883856)
...It's good! For mastering it's not enough in my opinion but for general purpose easy to use and very clean upwards limiting it's very impressive and undoubtedly useful.

Interesting points.

Devious machines are pretty on the case with updating their own products with user requests.

I hope that they will relay these ideas to UrsaDSP so that a version with linking controls and direct control over the hidden parameters like the Advanced Gate, Advanced Smooth Mode and the Punch timing window which can be seen when viewing a generic interface like in Ableton Live or Logic's Controls view.

The Advanced Gate seems to give a threshold for the upwards expansion to act above.

I've bought it cos it's awesome but I'd love to see this programmed further towards being more useful in mastering contexts with such things as channel link.

Cool plugin!

melopie 28th July 2020 09:39 PM

Hi.

For mastering this appears to make the initial transients much too soft with the massive amount of look ahead.

V4nger 28th July 2020 10:43 PM

Mid/Side setup in Parallel. Amazing.

trevon 29th July 2020 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmanic (Post 14883856)
Hmm.. interesting. During Pro-L2 development I toyed a lot with this idea but it is _extremely_ difficult to pull it off naturally over a wide range of audio material.

Are you the dev behind fabfilter plugins?

bmanic 29th July 2020 01:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trevon (Post 14884752)
Are you the dev behind fabfilter plugins?

Nope. I was just deeply involved with Pro-L and Pro-L2, helping to develop some of the limiting algorithms, thus I have thousands of hours of experience when it comes to this particular case.

FabFilter are two awesome dudes called Frederik and Floris. Those are the geniuses behind the FF plugins.

bmanic 29th July 2020 01:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by melopie (Post 14884483)
Hi.

For mastering this appears to make the initial transients much too soft with the massive amount of look ahead.

It's most likely not touching the initial transient at all, that's why you need such a large look-a-head, to cover bass transients.. but the perceived psycho acoustic effect, due to boosting everything after the transients, is indeed a softening of the transients. This is why it is so tricky to get this kind of algorithm to work. Hence nobody has really done it for mastering type loudness maximizing.

Also, due to distortion from the typical brickwall limiter, especially if set to an aggressive setting, you actually get a sort of transient enhanced initial attack (basically a burst of distortion) which can have a transient enhancing psycho acoustic effect. Thus if you compare UrsaDSP's Boost type of algorithm versus a typical brick wall limiter, these are the main perceived differences.

It's most likely why they added the Punch control and the ability to dial in the exact amount of it. Quite a clever solution in my opinion.

explorer 29th July 2020 10:02 AM

Quite a cool tool. I wouldn’t market it so much as a limiter/maximiser personally - I’m drawn to using it more for production/mixing. Works well for increasing density in a fairly transparent way. Also interesting putting it on something with reverb - can give the impression of side-chaining the reverb behind the original signal.

Wish there was a linked input and output control so we don’t have to keep juggling the controls to maintain the same level.

melopie 29th July 2020 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmanic (Post 14884789)
It's most likely not touching the initial transient at all, that's why you need such a large look-a-head, to cover bass transients.. but the perceived psycho acoustic effect, due to boosting everything after the transients, is indeed a softening of the transients. This is why it is so tricky to get this kind of algorithm to work. Hence nobody has really done it for mastering type loudness maximizing.

Also, due to distortion from the typical brickwall limiter, especially if set to an aggressive setting, you actually get a sort of transient enhanced initial attack (basically a burst of distortion) which can have a transient enhancing psycho acoustic effect. Thus if you compare UrsaDSP's Boost type of algorithm versus a typical brick wall limiter, these are the main perceived differences.

It's most likely why they added the Punch control and the ability to dial in the exact amount of it. Quite a clever solution in my opinion.

That makes a lot of sense sir. Thanks for that! rockout

UrsaDSP 29th July 2020 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by V4nger (Post 14884326)
Devious machines are pretty on the case with updating their own products with user requests.

I hope that they will relay these ideas to UrsaDSP ...

I've bought it cos it's awesome but I'd love to see this programmed further towards being more useful in mastering contexts with such things as channel link.

Cool plugin!

Thankyou.
I am listening, and definitely looking for the features I need to take Boost forwards.
I'm glad you spotted the hidden controls, there's quite a few novel techniques that the underlying Trajectory and Peak Remapping algos could be used to achieve, but I struggled to make them fit with a limiter in an intuitive way. Rather than completely hiding those, I've left a few params in and would welcome your thoughts on which work for you and on which material.
Channel link has been raised by others during the beta testing, I could add that in a point release, thanks for the reminder! :)


bmanic has nailed some key tradeoffs when making a limiter.

With Boost I set out to make something that has a clean sound - leaving a mastering engineer free to choose how much saturation and transient clipping they added as a separate concern.
The drive / emphaisis circuits are options, with the punch (emphasis) algo focusing on transients and the non-punch (drive) algo focusing on the body of the sound. That said, the engineer is equally able to set the knob to 0% and pick their favourite character compressor, etc...

Glad you're enjoying the plugin,
Dave @ UrsaDSP

mastervargas 29th July 2020 12:20 PM

so is this a kinda-sorta Oxford Inflator competitor or am I way off?

V4nger 29th July 2020 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrsaDSP (Post 14885310)
Thankyou.
I am listening, and definitely looking for the features I need to take Boost forwards.
I'm glad you spotted the hidden controls, there's quite a few novel techniques that the underlying Trajectory and Peak Remapping algos could be used to achieve, but I struggled to make them fit with a limiter in an intuitive way. Rather than completely hiding those, I've left a few params in and would welcome your thoughts on which work for you and on which material.
Channel link has been raised by others during the beta testing, I could add that in a point release, thanks for the reminder! :)


bmanic has nailed some key tradeoffs when making a limiter.

With Boost I set out to make something that has a clean sound - leaving a mastering engineer free to choose how much saturation and transient clipping they added as a separate concern.
The drive / emphaisis circuits are options, with the punch (emphasis) algo focusing on transients and the non-punch (drive) algo focusing on the body of the sound. That said, the engineer is equally able to set the knob to 0% and pick their favourite character compressor, etc...

Glad you're enjoying the plugin,
Dave @ UrsaDSP

I'll look into those controls a little more. The Advance Gate is very good for subtly controlling the amount of upward compression. I'd love to see the threshold range extended up to -12db or so for more control. -42db doesn't seem to give all the reduction in upward compression I'd like. Subtle control though to be fair and it works nicely as it is.

Advanced Expansion doesn't seem to get me anywhere and simply cuts the sound out but it does send the GR meter flying backwards which you've clearly programmed into the GUI.

While you're at it with the channel link, would you mind providing the option to switch between L/R and M/S processing along with a dial for the percentage of link from 0% through to 100%? I understand that M/S limiting isn't as effective as L/R so no worries if that isn't something you would want in Boost and I am happy with dual mono setups as it is right now. It would just be really cool.

miscend 29th July 2020 12:52 PM

I will be watching this one.

Neptune45 29th July 2020 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mastervargas (Post 14885429)
so is this a kinda-sorta Oxford Inflator competitor or am I way off?

I am wondering this as well.

bmanic 29th July 2020 02:22 PM

If I recall correctly, the Oxford Inflator is just a harmonics processor. Adding loudness with clean 2nd and 3rd harmonics.

JfromRVA 30th July 2020 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrsaDSP (Post 14885310)
Thankyou.
I am listening, and definitely looking for the features I need to take Boost forwards.
I'm glad you spotted the hidden controls, there's quite a few novel techniques that the underlying Trajectory and Peak Remapping algos could be used to achieve, but I struggled to make them fit with a limiter in an intuitive way. Rather than completely hiding those, I've left a few params in and would welcome your thoughts on which work for you and on which material.
Channel link has been raised by others during the beta testing, I could add that in a point release, thanks for the reminder! :)


bmanic has nailed some key tradeoffs when making a limiter.

With Boost I set out to make something that has a clean sound - leaving a mastering engineer free to choose how much saturation and transient clipping they added as a separate concern.
The drive / emphaisis circuits are options, with the punch (emphasis) algo focusing on transients and the non-punch (drive) algo focusing on the body of the sound. That said, the engineer is equally able to set the knob to 0% and pick their favourite character compressor, etc...

Glad you're enjoying the plugin,
Dave @ UrsaDSP

Alright. You now have my attention because you are here listening and responding. As a new dev here with a new product that is important to me. I will certainly give this a go in the next week or so. Looking forward to it!

Edit: Actually may need to test drive it sooner on this drum mix.....

Neptune45 30th July 2020 03:38 PM

I am going to give the demo a go. Anyone know how long the intro price will last for?

Cheers.

JfromRVA 30th July 2020 04:07 PM

1 Attachment(s)
ut oh. I'm already making presets. Just dial up the attached settings on a 'finished' kick drum. Very cool as a transient designer as well. Adds sustain (or shorten the sustain if you want!). Very modest settings took what I thought was already a good sounding kick and made it sound great. I would change the name to IMPACT because that is what this plug can add to sounds.

JfromRVA 30th July 2020 04:23 PM

A couple things regarding the GUI. The Input/Output sliders are very 'touchy'. The instant I click on them they move. Generally at this stage I am typing in values. Would be great if they sliders had a little more, idk, 'grip'?

I would also like to be able to type in values for the Drive/Emphasis and Release knobs. In Reaper, I'm not able to do that.

Love the plug after just a few minutes of playing around with it. Ultra low CPU. I already know I'm gonna replace channel limiters I have on the drum shells catching rogue transients with Boost.

Is there a reason why we can't dial in punch and drive? Or am I missing something?

Edit: The 'Focus' function is brilliant! I can now add some 'air' between the source and the speaker or bring it right to the front. This is quickly becoming a must have for drum mixing!

no genre 30th July 2020 04:31 PM

Since the Inflator has been mentioned in this thread, here is how Paul Frindle described the Oxford Inflator. Post #3 with even more detail in post 6, and there are more thoughts from Paul throughout the thread. Not a super-long thread.

Sony Oxford Inflator - Please Demistify?

To me, Boost and Inflator appear to be two different animals. I am also interested in how Boost functions with and enhances individual tacks. Will try a demo soon. In part because - as JfromRVA mentioned - the developer is listening and contributing.

Nokturnal 30th July 2020 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmanic (Post 14885604)
If I recall correctly, the Oxford Inflator is just a harmonics processor. Adding loudness with clean 2nd and 3rd harmonics.

Sounds like you are describing Reviver by Fielding DSP.

bmanic 30th July 2020 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nokturnal (Post 14887988)
Sounds like you are describing Reviver by Fielding DSP.

That is also another harmonics generator yes, but so is Inflator.

JfromRVA 30th July 2020 08:01 PM

This thing can make a drum room PUMP!

V4nger 30th July 2020 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JfromRVA (Post 14887824)
A couple things regarding the GUI. The Input/Output sliders are very 'touchy'. The instant I click on them they move. Generally at this stage I am typing in values. Would be great if they sliders had a little more, idk, 'grip'?

I would also like to be able to type in values for the Drive/Emphasis and Release knobs. In Reaper, I'm not able to do that.

Love the plug after just a few minutes of playing around with it. Ultra low CPU. I already know I'm gonna replace channel limiters I have on the drum shells catching rogue transients with Boost.

Is there a reason why we can't dial in punch and drive? Or am I missing something?

Edit: The 'Focus' function is brilliant! I can now add some 'air' between the source and the speaker or bring it right to the front. This is quickly becoming a must have for drum mixing!

Second that with the direct value entering for Drive and Release dials.

UrsaDSP 30th July 2020 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by V4nger (Post 14885432)
I'll look into those controls a little more. The Advance Gate is very good for subtly controlling the amount of upward compression. I'd love to see the threshold range extended up to -12db or so for more control. -42db doesn't seem to give all the reduction in upward compression I'd like. Subtle control though to be fair and it works nicely as it is.

Advanced Expansion doesn't seem to get me anywhere and simply cuts the sound out but it does send the GR meter flying backwards which you've clearly programmed into the GUI.

While you're at it with the channel link, would you mind providing the option to switch between L/R and M/S processing along with a dial for the percentage of link from 0% through to 100%? I understand that M/S limiting isn't as effective as L/R so no worries if that isn't something you would want in Boost and I am happy with dual mono setups as it is right now. It would just be really cool.

I toyed with the Gate when looking at vocal processing - Tim Hamill over at Sonic One studios in Wales had some great results using the drive on vocals but in my not-quite-as-high-end studio testing setup I was picking up too much noise which interfered with high levels of focus. Gate was a way to cut out this noise and any breathing, etc.. If I was to develop that into a UI exposed feature I'd want to add soft open close of the gate, and perhaps some other typical gate features (hold etc...). In the end though this was dangerously close to feature creep / bloat as it is not core to what Boost does, I held it back.

Expansion is a very experimental feature, I have some ideas, but please don't count on it behaving the same way in future versions. This is why it is hidden away. A novelty easter egg that was discovered on the very first day.

Stereo link seems pretty straight forward in terms of what I need to add and how it should behave and be exposed to the user. M/S needs some thought though. Personally I'd want to have a slightly different peak-remap shape on the sides as the mid, so that might need some further reaching changes or become the subject of a dedicated use of the Trajectory and Peak Remapping algos all of its own.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Dave

UrsaDSP 30th July 2020 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JfromRVA (Post 14887824)
A couple things regarding the GUI. The Input/Output sliders are very 'touchy'. The instant I click on them they move. Generally at this stage I am typing in values. Would be great if they sliders had a little more, idk, 'grip'?

I would also like to be able to type in values for the Drive/Emphasis and Release knobs. In Reaper, I'm not able to do that.

Love the plug after just a few minutes of playing around with it. Ultra low CPU. I already know I'm gonna replace channel limiters I have on the drum shells catching rogue transients with Boost.

Is there a reason why we can't dial in punch and drive? Or am I missing something?

Edit: The 'Focus' function is brilliant! I can now add some 'air' between the source and the speaker or bring it right to the front. This is quickly becoming a must have for drum mixing!

Thanks for the feedback.

You can use the ctrl key when dragging to switch to a balistic and relative movement mode mode, that should help a little. As the default move mode is absolute (e.g. where you point and click) grabbing the corner of the plugin and resizing can help too.

Drive and Emphasis focus the saturation on different parts of the sound. The punch (emphasis) algo focusing the saturation on transients and the non-punch (drive) algo focusing on the body of the sound (e.g. the loudest bits in terms of dBFS). I'm currently researching further character options.

Currently, double click of the knob controls sets them to a default, I imagine that's not going to be used much so I've added double click => typed input input to the feature request list.

V4nger 30th July 2020 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrsaDSP (Post 14888481)
I toyed with the Gate when looking at vocal processing - Tim Hamill over at Sonic One studios in Wales had some great results using the drive on vocals but in my not-quite-as-high-end studio testing setup I was picking up too much noise which interfered with high levels of focus. Gate was a way to cut out this noise and any breathing, etc.. If I was to develop that into a UI exposed feature I'd want to add soft open close of the gate, and perhaps some other typical gate features (hold etc...). In the end though this was dangerously close to feature creep / bloat as it is not core to what Boost does, I held it back.

Expansion is a very experimental feature, I have some ideas, but please don't count on it behaving the same way in future versions. This is why it is hidden away. A novelty easter egg that was discovered on the very first day.

Stereo link seems pretty straight forward in terms of what I need to add and how it should behave and be exposed to the user. M/S needs some thought though. Personally I'd want to have a slightly different peak-remap shape on the sides as the mid, so that might need some further reaching changes or become the subject of a dedicated use of the Trajectory and Peak Remapping algos all of its own.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Dave

Loving the interaction here.

Check out the source code for SoftGate by Airwindows for a nice method for gating. He just asks for credit.

I've only seen one developer integrate one of Chris's algorithms and that was for DitherFloat inside one of LVC's plugins.