Artist Focus: DJ Swivel's top plugin picks
Jordan Young, AKA DJ Swivel, is a Toronto-born, Grammy-winning producer, mixer and songwriter. Under the mentorship of Ken Duro Ifill, producer and head of Desert Storm Records, Swivel began working with a wide variety of artists including Jay-Z, Diddy, Pharrell, Britney Spears, and Fabolous.
Swivel has since gone on to work with Beyoncé, recording and mixing her album '4', which won a Grammy in 2012 for Best Traditional R&B Performance for the song 'Love On Top', and worked on part of her follow up self titled album, Beyoncé. His work with The Chainsmokers, on their EP titled 'Collage' spawned the hits 'Don't Let Me Down' for which he won a Grammy for 2017's Best Dance Recording. With K-Pop superstars BTS, he helped write, produce, and mix songs on their 'Love Yourself' and 'Map Of The Soul' series of albums. These albums have gone on to breaks sales records around the globe, and have been the first group since The Beatles to have 3 number one albums on The Billboard 200 albums chart in a single year.
He is the founder of Headliner Magazine, a music-driven publication, and SKIO Music, a marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of music content enabling legal remixing at scale by simplifying the licensing process and making deals more transparent. He has also released a range of plugins and sample packs under his own 'DJ Swivel' brand.
I initially designed this as a all in one vocal chop plugin, but once built I quickly realized The Sauce was an incredibly powerful tool to bring unique character to almost any sound in a mix.DJ Swivel
The Sauce is DJ Swivel's first premier creative tool for dramatic vocal manipulation.
The Sauce brings you all the essential ingredients you need to creatively transform your vocals in one simple plugin. It sounds great on drums and instruments too.
- Flavor: Sculpt & shift the pitch and formant modulation of both mono and polyphonic audio in real time. These effects are commonly used to manipulate vocals, giving that "vocal chop" sound heard in countless Pop, Dance, and Hip-Hop hits. But if you're feeling adventurous try it on drums, you won't be disappointed.
- Sugar & Spice: Every sauce needs a little sugar and spice. Add your choice of harmonic saturation or overdrive distortion on the Spice knob, and chorus or flanger effects on the sugar knob.
- Squeeze: Use these two parallel compressor options to tame or aggressively squeeze your input signal. These two compressor options can also be fed by a sidechain input.
- Smoke: Add a little air with 3 different convolution reverb options, all modeled after some of DJ Swivel's favorites from both past and present. A small room, a medium plate, or a large hall. This knob is treated as a mix knob allowing a 100% wet signal, enabling The Sauce to be used as an FX return.
- Drip: Drip is a classic modern delay and echo modulation, with built in high and low pass filters, along with a ping pong option. Simple, yet effective.
- Multiband: The Sauce allows for all of the above effects to be processed both as a whole, or individually across three user definable multiband layers. This allows for endless possibilities of sounds and effects never heard before, and not currently available in a standalone plugin like this.
- Make your sounds wide with Spread, a natural sounding stereo imager.
- Hi and Low pass output filters with resonance switches for a more musical filter sound.
- Output / Mix toggle allowing the main output knob to be used as both a volume gain stage, and an FX mix.
- Save, store, and recall your own recipes (presets).
- A / B two different recipe options.
- GUI optimized for retina displays.
- Easy plugin authorization.
- Adjust the size of the plugin to fit your monitor.
I always wanted a distortion that wouldn't impact the dynamics of a sound. So I built BDE as all in one multipurpose distortion with the world's first dynamic preservation controls, with 6 distortion styles it's become my go-to for any sort of distortion or saturation.DJ Swivel
BDE is an earth shattering distortion plugin featuring several distortion styles, complimentary effects, M/S and Frequency control over the distortion effect, along with the worlds first user definable dynamic preservation control function, allowing you to maintain the dynamic range of any signal while still applying a distortion effect.
Highlights / Features:
BDE features 6 different distortion styles with each getting progressively more destructive. From Cherry Bomb to Nuke and everything in between, BDE offers all the distortion styles you could ever hope for, perfect for Hip Hop, Rock, Pop, and EDM music.
The worlds first dynamic preservation function in a distortion, allowing up to 96dB of dynamic control. Simply put, if you want your reverb tail to sound distorted without raising its volume and altering the dynamics, BDE is the right plugin for you.
Easy to use
BDE has an auto leveling function, allowing you to perfectly level out your signal in under 2 seconds. Simply click the detect button, press play on the desired sound, and click once again to lock in the perfect signal level for optimal use.
BDE features a band pass function allowing you to apply distortion to specific sections of frequency, while keeping the rest of your signal clean. In addition, there's an M/S function allowing you to apply distortion across any aspect of the stereo field. If you want your sides distorted, with the middle portion of your signal clean, BDE has got you covered.
Bit crushing, downsampling, compression, color, and filters, BDE has a number of supplementary effects to help you quickly dial in the exact sound you want.
My go to large reverb. Perfectly transparent while minimizing CPU usage.DJ Swivel
ValhallaVintageVerb is a postmodern reverb plug-in, inspired by the classic hardware digital reverbs of the 1970s and 1980s.
8 true stereo reverb algorithms:
- Concert Hall. Based on the hall algorithms of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Huge spatial image, echo density that can be adjusted from very sparse to very dense, and lush chorusing modulation.
- Bright Hall. Similar to the Concert Hall algorithm, but with a brighter initial sound, and deeper and lusher modulation.
- Plate. Inspired by early 1980s plate algorithms. Highly diffuse, bright initial sound, high echo density, lush chorused modulation.
- Room. Emulates the sound of early 1980s room algorithms. Medium diffusion/early echo density, somewhat darker sound, chorused modulation.
- Chamber. A transparent and dense algorithm. Highly diffuse, high echo density, less coloration than Plate/Room algorithms, chorused modulation.
- Random Space. This generates DEEP and WIDE reverbs, with a slow attack, and more diffusion than the late 1980s algorithms that inspired it. The modulation uses internal delay randomization, to reduce metallic artifacts without the pitch change that can occur in the algorithms with chorused modulation.
- Chorus Space. Same as Random Space, but with the delay randomization replaced with lush chorused modulation.
- Ambience. Combines time varying randomized early reflections with a full-featured reverb tail, with the balance between early and late reverb controlled by the Attack knob. Useful for adding "air" to drums, vocals, and any place where a reverb should be felt but not heard.
3 color modes for dialing in the tone color and sonic artifacts of a specific reverb era:
- 1970s. Replicates the reduced bandwidth of the earliest digital reverberators (10 kHz maximum output frequency). Downsampled internally, to reproduce the artifacts of running at a lower sampling rate. The modulation is dark and noisy, and can produce strange and random sidebands with sustained notes. This is intentional.
- 1980s. Full bandwidth / sampling rate, for a brighter sound than the 1970s. The modulation is still dark and noisy, but will produce different artifacts than the 1970s mode as it is running at the full sampling rate.
- NOW. Full bandwidth / sampling rate. The modulation is clean and colorless, versus the funky artifacts of the 1970s/1980s modes.
The interface has been designed to be instantly accessible and user friendly:
- Streamlined set of powerful parameters, organized into logical categories.
- All controls on one panel. No menu diving required.
- Tooltips at the bottom of the plugin window, that describe the currently selected reverb mode and color mode, as well as any parameters the user is adjusting. The goal is for the plugin to be self-documenting.
- A powerful cross-platform preset menu, with the ability to copy and paste presets in a text format. Share presets via emails, forum posts, etc.
- Continuously resizable – just click on the lower right corner and drag to the desired size.
- Modernist, minimalist 2D graphic design.
The copy protection is based on a simple keyfile, and the plug-in can be installed and used on multiple computers. No dongle required, no challenge/response.
A fantastic channel strip with tons of flexibility. I also happen to have the slate microphone pack which I often use as a tool within VMR even when not recorded through the Slate microphone.DJ Swivel
Virtual Mix Rack allows audio engineers to easily create the channel strips of their dreams using a library full of analog modeled plugins.
Choose from dozens of modules including vintage modeled EQs, compressors, enhancers, filters, preamps, mixing consoles, and more. But even beyond the sound you can get with VMR 2.0, you also get the added bonus of speed and efficiency from having your entire processing chain in one convenient window.
VMR 2.0 ships with the Mix Bundle One, which contains four Slate Digital processing modules: FG-401 Compressor, FG-S EQ, FG-116 FET Compressor and FG-N EQ.
My go to finisher. Every one of my mix passes through Ozone at some point.DJ Swivel
Building on a 17 year legacy in audio mastering, Ozone 9 brings balance to your music with never-before seen processing for low end, real-time instrument separation, and lightning-fast workflows powered by machine learning. Find the perfect vibe with an expanded Master Assistant that knows exactly what you're going for, whether it's warm analog character or transparent loudness for streaming. Talk to more iZotope plug-ins in your session with Tonal Balance Control and blur the lines between mixing and mastering. Work faster with improved plug-in performance, smoother metering, and resizable windows. No more wondering if your music is ready for primetime—with Ozone 9, the future of mastering is in your hands.
Ozone 9 Advanced
Master Rebalance gives you the final say in a mix, letting you correct and change the levels of instruments without needing the original tracks. Give your vocals a small boost to add presence without affecting the midrange, or eliminate muddy low end by slightly lowering the bass guitar. Correct weak-sounding drums with one small boost that can save you from hours of EQ surgery. A well-balanced mix makes any mastering engineer's job easier—with Master Rebalance, you can nudge your sound in the right direction.
Low End Focus
Low End Focus is your first line of defense against a muddy or blurry low end in a mix. Using new processing designed to enhance bass sounds, this feature brings clarity to your low end and gives you a well-defined foundation for your track. Tame unruly or clashing kick drums and boomy bass guitars without changing the overall impact of your music, or get that extra bit of bass "magic" to put your track over the finish line. Go in-depth with surgical controls that let you shape your tone and timbre, and bring out the best in your low end with minimal artifacts using this industry-first bass shaping tool. It's the fastest way to a punchy, hard-hitting final master.
Improved Tonal Balance Control
Tonal Balance Control puts decades of mastering expertise in your hands, letting you adjust your tracks to targets based on thousands of professional masters. In Ozone 9, we've updated Tonal Balance Control with faster performance, smooth metering, and more ways to communicate with other iZotope plug-ins across your session. Now you can call up any instance of Neutron, Nectar, or Relay to make per-track adjustments to EQ and gain, letting you instantly address balance issues as you see them without opening multiple plug-ins. Use Tonal Balance Control to work with confidence and accurately fine tune your mix in any listening environment or genre.
Advanced-specific feature highlights in version 9
Ozone 9 Advanced has everything included in Ozone Standard, plus:
- Master Rebalance: Now you can adjust the levels of vocals and other instruments in a stereo audio file, letting you solve balance issues without needing the original stems.
- Low End Focus: Quickly adjust the contrast and definition of your low frequencies and get a hard-hitting master every time, without needing a complex plug-in chain.
- Improved Tonal Balance Control: Smoother metering, resizability, new target curves, and inter-plugin communication with Relay for quick and easy gain control across the mixing and mastering stages.