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Oxford SuprEsser
Reviewed By tommyzai
July 29, 2014

INTRO

Oxford SuprEsser by Sonnox is an amazing tool that helps users identify and correct target specific problem areas of the audio spectrum. As the names suggests, it's particularly good at reducing or eliminating excessive fricatives and sibilant consonants, such as "ch", "s", "sh", "ess", "t", "th", "z", etc. It also excels with cleaning up and softening other sonic artifacts, like harsh cymbal overtones. However, SuprEsser can also be used for removing pops and clicks as well as general compressor duties. The interface makes identifying and eliminating unwanted stuff simple. There is excellent control over the target area and amount of processing — I had no trouble dialing in and getting the desired results.

FAVORITE FEATURES:

  • Scalable interface that is attractive and neatly organized.
  • Easy view simplifies use of basic features while Access view reveals the juicy stuff.
  • Graphics elements are excellent and illustrate exactly what's going on.
  • Auto Level Tracking eliminates the need to adjust the de-essing threshold as the track progresses in real-time.
  • Audio frequency range is selectable.
  • Ability to mix the amount of wet and dry signals being sent to the output.
  • Excellent presets to use as a start point.
  • Convenient preset manager.
  • Three different instances to choose from – regular, low latency and high resolution.
  • Natural sounding.
  • Innovative, responsive developers.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

  • Uses a bit of CPU, but not that much and well worth it.
  • Requires an iLok for authorization, but this is also well worth it.

SUMMARY

The best way to have a track free of excessive sibilant sounds is to perform and record cleanly; however, that's not always possible. That's where this fantastic plugin comes to the rescue. I use it to help speech challenged students hear their annunciation and pronunciation "corrected." It's a wonderful recording tool, and in my case — a wonderful teaching tool. I fully agree with another user who rightfully claims, "SuprEsser is a Swiss army knife of compression and a welcome addition to my plugin folder." I highly recommend SuprEsser to any eMusician, producer, film and game tracker, sound designer, etc., who is looking to reduce or remove unwanted lisping artifacts and other harsh audio without sacrificing wanted dynamics. With SuprEsser, the baby does not get thrown out with the dirty bathwater! Tracks sound as natural as natural can be. Tommy Zai gives SuprEsser two clean, crisp TH-umbs up! Thank you Sonnox, for creating such an amazing audio tool! Fantastic!!.

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Oxford Inflator
Reviewed By tommyzai
June 24, 2014

*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

INTRO

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.

FAVORITE FEATURES:

  • Attractive, user-friendly interface.
  • Simple, yet powerful.
  • Fantastic algorithms.
  • Real-time processing.
  • No compression pumping.
  • Nice price considering the pro quality.
  • Innovative, responsive developers.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

  • 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.

SUMMARY

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.

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