SPL’s “Transient Designer” and its utilitarian, little Microplug cousins have held the admiration of innumerable audio engineers for about 25 years. It’s no secret that Transient Designer more-or-less remains the de facto standard by which most nearly every other Transient-shaping dynamics tool is measured against.
I won’t bother you with rhetoric and pointless word-count, reiterating what is considered common knowledge. Suffice it to say that SPL’s original hardware units, and their precisely-modeled plug-in counterparts, don’t raise the bar – they *ARE the bar.
As first-time purchases, each of the Microplugs requires a healthy bit of weight in your piggy bank – Attacker Plus rings in at $99 (USD) with Mo-Verb and De-Verb closely taking up the rear at $79 bucks apiece. If you own licenses for the original versions, and are expecting enticing upgrade prices, Plugin-Alliance have slashed those amounts in half for you.
SKnote’s gentlemanly, unassuming admission into the league of transient shaping is not one that should go unnoticed or be easily overlooked. Rather, this robust, able-bodied dynamics-device merits serious consideration. MatterTone packs quite a whollop for its low, conservative CPU demands. It doesn't hit your pocketbook hard though; it’s priced at only $30 (USD). This plug-in holds up very well under scrutiny. MatterTone can stalwartly occupy the same DAW space as any of its more costly competition without shame or timidity.
Perhaps, dear reader, you're thinking that we already have enough transient shapers on the market to choose from. What makes this variant of transient shaping unique? For starters, it is a “Level-independent” apparatus. Unlike typical compressors, limiters and most envelope shapers, this plug-in does not react according to the amount of channel gain – it responds directly to the audio source. Secondly, MatterTone is truly a multi-band design, providing separate ‘attack’ and ‘release’ controls for each band.
MatterTone takes typical transient shaping, splits it into three separate bands, and hands it back to you, empowered with some serious BAM!
C’mon, gang, let’s get to know this new recruit better, shall we?
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