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Transient Shaper

Reviewed By bduffy [all]
February 23rd, 2008
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows

So just when you thought you had enough transient designers, along comes this sensibly-named plug-in. Boasting perhaps the most easily understood interface for a transient designer, there is little to explain here. The first version had two dials: Attack and Release; but after a request (OK, it was my request!), they added an output gain dial, which makes it useful for matching the gain and hearing what the plug-in is doing to your signal. The 1.0 version had quite a gain-boost to it, so this is very welcome, and doesn't ruin the simplicity of the plug-in.

The GUI is pleasing, remeniscent of hardware, and I particularly love the VU meters; useful for guaging before and after levels, and again, keeps the "hardware" aesthetic going. The VU meters can be switched off also, making the GUI only a few hundred pixels wide, for those who can't be bothered with metering.

I was a little wary of the price at first, as there are several top-notch transient designer-type programs already available for free or little money. But I found that not only was this the easiest to use of all of them, with no distracting parameters, it delivered probably the most pleasing transient response as well. Drum busses instantly perked up and spanked their way out of the mix, and I could even place this on an entire mix if needed. The release does a great job of smoothing out or shrinking the length of the transients, and you can get a really neat gate-like sound from this, if you're looking for more of a special effect.

Some people may be looking for more detailed control over their transient shaping, but for guys like me who just want to get that over-processed drum kit back into the mix with minimum fuss, or pine for the one-knob magic of hardware units, this is definitely one for the books. I will be picking this up shortly, and look forward to more from this company!
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