kiloHearts Faturator

So there is an all new version of Izotope’s Trash (Trash 2) that was just released. It’s certainly good and has hundreds of paramaters you can mess with. Sometimes however you just want a really good distortion unit with a few killer presets. Think about guitar pedals and imagine if they had a hundred options. That wouldn’t make sense. kiloHearts from Link√∂ping, Sweden have plug-in called Faturator. It’s really nice, lightweight and with a great sound. This reads like a sales pitch and they did give me a NFR license however I really am using the plug-in a lot. Besides the “right” sounding fuzz and distortion there is a great stereo widener which I actually used a few times on its own (turning off the fuzz altogether). $19 USD Mac or PC.

“Faturator can do everything from adding subtle and warm gritty character to your sounds to slam them into a wall of heavy saturation and digital fuzz. Contrary to many distortion effects, Faturator will preserve the dynamics of your sound and work its wonders on it regardless of input gain. For the heck of it, it can also color the input to emphasize a specific tone of the sound, or throw some stereo width into the mix. Everything to give you a fast and easy way of making any input come alive.” – kilohearts.com

For more info: kilohearts.com/products/faturator

Car Stereo in House


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av9gp02XF7g

I often thought to myself, “This car stereo sounds better than anything I hear in my home.”. So here’s an idea… why not put a car stereo in your home? I know the car’s acoustics is probably a large factor in its sound but could this be another way to check your mixes? In the late 80s I had an incredible Alpine system in my car. It was one of those units that the green buttons turned beige when you pressed them. Of course I had to take the faceplate with me everywhere I went and I had a “NO RADIO” sign on my window. Ah the old crime ridden yet a lot more fun NYC. Now if I can hack my bed to mechanically bounce…

“pioneer head unit with 2 clarion tweeters beatin” – subwoorferman

What do you think… good idea or just plain stupid?

Fix hard panned stereo files using Ableton’s Utility.

I came across a problem recently when I recorded an interview using Skype. For some reason my own vocal only ended up recorded on the left side of a stereo file. You can see the issue in the above screenshot (inside the light yellow square). After a little head scratching I remembered Ableton’s Utility plug-in can fix this. I added Utility as an insert and switch the Mode to Left and now my vocal is properly centered.

“The Channel Mode chooser allows selective processing of the left and right channels of a sample. If, for example, Left is selected, the right channel is ignored and the left channel appears on both outputs. This is especially useful if you have a stereo le that contains different information on both channels and you want to use only one.” – Ableton Live User Manual

Related post: Adjust volume automation using Utility.

UpStereo. A free stereo enhancer from QuickQuak.

UpStereo Plug-in

A few months ago I made a post titled “The wide stereo sound with Izotope Ozone & more!“. In it a discuss how I use stereo wideners. This week software house QuickQuack released a FREE widener plug-in for Mac and PC.

  • Loudness control enables a complex saturator to boost your mixes.
  • Stereo width slider going from mono to wide, bringing the stereo image out and towards the listener.
  • Subtle Air & Bass boosters to lift and help the audio ‘breath’.
  • Very low CPU usage.

Considering it’s free there’s no reason not to go grab and try it yourself.

The wide stereo sound with Izotope Ozone & more!

Izotope Ozone - stereo zoom

I almost always take the lead roaring synth in my songs and make them wider in the stereo field using a plug-in called Ozone from Izotope. Ozone is a complete mastering suite plug-in with several modules you can turn on and off. It consists of a Paragraphic EQ, Multiband Harmonic Exciter, Multiband Dynamics, Mastering Reverb, IRC Maximizer, Dither and Multiband Stereo Imaging. When I master full finished songs I use many of these modules. However, during the creation of the song itself I only use the Stereo Widener on one sound. I keep the other modules off. From the Izotope website:

Ozone allows you set widening and imaging for the mix using a multiband stereo imaging module. As with the other multiband modules in Ozone (Dynamics and Harmonic Exciter) the module is split up into four bands determined by the multiband crossover points displayed on the spectrum.Izotope Ozone - small

I put the plug-in as an Insert (not a Send Return), click on the Stereo Widener, turn off bypass, slide all the bands to the right until the number reaches 6. That’s it. Done.

If I want a dirtier more aggressive tone sometimes I will use Ohm Force’s excellent Predatohm plug-in. Load the plug-in as an insert and the look in the bottom right corner. See where it says “Super Stereo”? Thats your section. Click the little white square button on and turn the phase up. Done.

Ohm Force - Predatohm

There are few other plug-ins that do widening such as DUY Wide and the Waves S1. I’ve never used those so I can’t comment how well they work. I have lots of little rules I like to keep when it comes to panning but thats the subject of another post. Do you use any stereo widener plug-ins?