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*Disclaimer: I'm a songwriter, producer, and educator. My writing style may read like a billboard ad, but my user review is sincere and authentic. I only appraise a product I consider extraordinary, hence the high rating. I don't work for the developer. In fact, I rarely work at all. :-) I hope you find my review useful. — Tommy Zai
Inflator by Sonnox is a unique loudness expander plugin that adds dynamic punch to tracks without crushing them into lifeless road-kill. I'm not exactly sure what goes on under the hood, but everything I run through Inflator simply sounds better. It not only increases the perceived loudness, it also adds a pleasing touch of vintage tube-ish warmth, harmonics, and presence without oversaturation! It can add harmonics or remain clean, depending on how much of the Curve parameter is used. Inflator can be used on virtually anything and in many ways, depending upon the user's workflow. I mostly use it when mixing drums hits, percussive loops, bass, and vocals (just a touch). I also use it when mastering. I have read reports of users placing Inflator in various positions in their FX chain, i.e., after the limiter, or on sub-groups or the master. In general, I think it's best to position this plugin at the end of the chain to avoid clipping, unwanted overtones, etc.
Attractive, user-friendly interface.
Simple, yet powerful.
No compression pumping.
Nice price considering the pro quality.
Innovative, responsive developers.
I can see why many professionals call Inflator their "secret weapon.".
Less is more. In my summary below, I use a salt analogy. A little makes things tasty and too much causes sickness and death. Well, the only thing you could kill here is your audio track by making it sound a bit harsh, but there is no need. Just the right amount of inflator will breathe life into whatever audio you run through it.
Dongle (PACE iLok), but well worth the USB port IMO.
Inflator is a rare plugin. Once you use it — you can't live without it. It simply makes everything sound better. It's a touch of salt on potatoes. There are many plugins available that make music louder, compressed, excited, colored, etc., but Inflator does something unique by increasing the overall sound character and quality without beating down or adding unwanted stuff. To quote another reviewer, "The Inflator is more about "density. The best uses for the Inflator are fairly subtle enhancement of audio sources." Inflator is easy to use, powerful, sounds great, and is a great $ value. What more could I ask for? I'm very happy and proud to be a registered user. I highly recommend Inflator to any eMusician, producer, film or game scorer, DJ, etc. for any kind of music. Tommy Zai gives Inflator two LOUD, punchy thumbs up. Thank you, Sonnox, for creating such an indispensable plugin.