Yep, another 10. Ok, so quality of life is going down the pan, and human life seems cheaper than ever in these days of corporate greed and endless repeats on Dave... But at least we have good plugins! ;) So is it that hard to believe that there are a whole slew of great freeware plugins out there worth 10 points? Really, what is the appropriate response to being given a tool that does what it says flawlessly for free? Um and ahh and dock a few points because we don't like the colour scheme, or it didn't come with an application to actually run the FREE program FOR YOU, READ YOUR MIND and then automatically set the program up EXACTLY how you want it without you lifting a FINGER!?
All of Anarchy Software's freeware products are boss, and do everything you'd expect from their titles pretty much flawlessly. Take Spectral Autopan (which, remember, is what I'm *supposed* to be writing about). Spectral Autopan (SA from now on) is a multiband panner with five bands, each with their own choice of waveshape, start and end location in the spectrum, LFO rate and range, LFO start phase, AND a separate LFO with ditto all of the above, to modulate it's crossover point in spectral space!
Asif that wasn't insane enough, each band is interpolated between by a function of your choice - these functions are square, triangle and sine. Sine creates a curve between the two bands, triangle is linear, and square creates hard edges in the transitions, functioning to create distinct bands. You might think the difference between these interpolation options would be subtle, but each is downright trippy in it's own way, and suitable for creating a certain effect.
All of this is visualized the most elegant way, with a vertical line representing your audio. Bass frequencies are at the bottom, treble is at the top, and a part of the line moving left or right indicates panning in that frequency range. Given this exacting visualization there are countless ways to make the line "dance" and hence push the sound around, a few of which are shown in the presets (which are low in number, perhaps my only gripe, but setting up presets is a joy anyway!).
Because of the interpolation options, the five bands can create very complex effects where each frequency is in a slightly different position and moving at a slightly different rate. The end result isn't something you'd want to use in every mix, but when you want this kind of effect (and you know when that is), this is just PERFECT as a tool for getting there very quickly.