It slices! It dices! Makes julienne fries!
Wait . . .
It limits! It EQs! It adjusts transients… and the clipper will make your music soar!
I’ve always been a sucker for multi-band limiters. Without separately limiting the bass, or whatever has the most energy, then that one thing is controlling the ebb and flow of the entire mix. So much better to isolate areas of the frequency range and limit them separately.
Plugin of the decade.
Elevate from Newfangled Audio is my candidate for plugin of the decade. It is reasonably priced and sounds fantastic, giving you control and a marvellous sound you may have never experienced in your mix — at any price.
I’m going to give away the keys to my kingdom here. After using Elevate with its 26 bands for a while I decided to instead simplify and locate the ten key frequencies that I would always like to adjust. Here are those ten bands along with brief explanations of what I use them for:
0 – Use this band to tamp down rumble.
50 – This is where the bottom of my kick lives. Up for more oomph, down for less.
100 – The low end of the bass.
200 – Higher up on the bass.
400 – Use this to pull mud from the mix. You should be tending to lowering this, unless you’ve been a good mixer and have taken care of the mud already. EARS!
800 – Here on up, use these to balance the meat of your sound.
10000 – Air.
So there you have my settings for Elevate, reduced from 26 to 10 bands. I find these frequency bands to make it very easy to get the sound I want at the very end of the mastering chain. I designed it firstly to isolate mud and rumble, the other bands mostly separated by octave are strategic and nice to have.
What I do after going most of the way with limiting is to play a bit with transients, which can do wonders for some types of music and harm others — careful! Then I go on to the clipper and push up the rest of the way. That clipper is amazing sounding and with very little time can make the whole mix nicely compelling. I’d pay full price for the clipper alone, others feel that way about the transient section.
- Analyzes and alters the gain, speed and transients of each filter band in real time.
- Includes presets by: APS Mastering, Matt Lange, Jeremy Lubsey, Eric Beam, ROCAsound, Chris Tabron and John McCaig.
- Automatically adapts the attack, release and look-ahead parameters for each filter band to greatly reduce “pumping” and breathing artifacts and perceived distortion.
- Preserves or emphasizes fast transients to avoid squashing your mix.
- Manipulates transients across the critical bands to preserve the attacks from kick drums, snares and cymbals, without affecting the entire mix.
- Uses linear phase auditory filters — based on the Mel Scale — to manipulate the audio in a way that is natural to your inner ear.
- Solo the output of one band (or a number of bands) to hone in on problem frequencies, tweak transients or alter gain.
- Use the Auto Output Level feature to compare the limited signal to non-limited signals with the same amount of gain allowing you to easily hear what impact the processing is having on your sound.
- Use the Spectral Clipper to overdrive the final output without affecting the tonal balance or allowing the signal to get “tubby.” Perfect for a more aggressive sound.
- Six different types of metering allow you to keep an eye on every aspect of your output audio.