elysia nvelope 500 by bgrotto
This is a box that does exactly what it says it does, and it does it very, very well.
Straight outta the Fedex packaging, I used it to dial a bit of extra attack out of the kick drum for a Blood For Blood EP I was working on. Minimal hassle hooking it up; virtually no learning curve to get it where I needed (though I had watched the extremely informative promo video on Elysia's website). It delivered the EXACT thing I was after: a bit of extra definition (via the attack control), and a slight decrease in the low end sustain to keep some of the faster parts from getting murky or overly boomy.
If you're not familiar with BFB, they're a hardcore band that's rather loud, very aggressive, and generally pretty fast, but still tend to use more "natural" drum sounds (in other words, they steer clear of the "ticky" staple gun kick sound common in a lot of contemporary metal). This thing provided just enough "point" to get the kick to poke through a very dense bottom end and very bright wall of guitars, while avoiding a "triggery" sound. The multiband nature of it was completely essential for this, and I'm already considering buying a second one because I can see this thing becoming very addictive.
The following weekend, I used it on a front-of-kit drum mic (in this case, the AEA R92, about a foot off the ground and three or four feet in front of the kit). Created a threshold-free smashy drum room sound. Lots of sustain, reduced attack; great for sneaking in at -30dB to add some extra body and, if I wanna push it higher in the balance, some trash to the drum kit. While sound checking, I nailed a god-like snare sound (heh, yea), but when the drummer was playing takes, his dynamic inconsistency yielded a rather limp-sounding attack. The nvelope rendered this a non-issue when it came time to print roughs; I dialed in some attack in the upper octaves while pulling back the overly-aggressive ring that came about from a wimpy stick impact with poor stick definition. Snare sounded godly again.
In that same session, I had recorded a rather large, 26" x wicked deep kick drum, with a fundamental somewhere down around brown note. Anyway, the thing sounded great in the nearfields (meaning, the upper bass, mids, and top were pretty well nailed), but on the mains and in our more bass-centric cans, that gnarly fundamental was rearing its ugly, loose, and waaaay too long head. In other words, it needed to be tamed.
Gating didn't really do the trick; the kick was still obscuring the lower octave of the bass. Along with my usual compress-to-tighten tickery, I found that EQ helped, but as soon as I'd dial back one frequency, another one would seem to spring forward. Rather than notching out a half-dozen frequencies under 150 cycles and turning the low end of the kick into phase-mangled swiss cheese, I decided to have a go at a bit of a reduction in the sustain of the bottom end c/o of the nvelope 500. Problem solved. Like, instantly. 30 minutes of goofing around with gates, compressors, and EQs were trumped big time by fifteen seconds of knob fiddling on this thing. Three processors were replaced by one. Boom.
I can very much see this thing becoming quite addictive. It makes such short work of drum processing that it almost feels like you're cheating. The two channels I have now keep my kick and snare covered (though I admit I'd like a second unit for separate snare top/bottom settings), but I'm already itching for another for use on toms. And maybe another for room mics (this thing is simply AWESOME at minimizing funky resonances, allowing you to essentially retune a mediocre-sounding room). Haven't used this thing much on guitars or other instruments yet, but I'm guessing I can find a use there too.... Yeah, I think I'll probably end up with another one (or three) of these things. Very cool unit; can't recommend highly enough.