Airwindows Ultrasonic Lite (and Medium): Mac/Windows/Linux AU/VST

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
KVRian
1122 posts since 7 Apr, 2007 from Bellows Falls, VT

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:36 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjcrNRdAUE0

TL;DW: Lighter variations on Ultrasonic

UltrasonicLite.zip(1M)

Hi! This is just what it says on the tin. Airwindows Ultrasonic is the stacked-up, five-biquad filter that rolls off everything above 20k, so in theory it has no sound of its own. It's there to work in high sample rate mixes, between plugins that have nonlinearities and don't have their own filtering (some of mine do, like Console7) and it will clean up the top-end of a digital mix.

But, the original Ultrasonic has SO many stages of filtering that it starts to become audible, softening the highs, and if you used lots of them you'd eat your CPU and would be over-processing.

So, enter Ultrasonic Lite (and Ultrasonic Medium).

These are the same sort of thing, except Ultrasonic Lite has only one stage of filtering, and Ultrasonic Medium has two. They also start a teeny bit higher, on the assumption that if you're reaching for a Lite version of the filter, you're looking to not hammer your highs too much. Ultrasonic Medium also subtly staggers the placement of its filters so it has a two-stage roll-off that is hopefully more natural sounding than just doubling up Ultrasonic Lite on its own.

Use these just like you would use Ultrasonic, if there are places in your digital mix where you think you'd benefit from suppressing ultrasonic frequencies. These are not brickwalls: the idea here is that you can sprinkle these throughout your mix, anywhere you like, both before and after things that are nonlinear and distorty. For the strongest possible effect, use the original Ultrasonic… but in places where you don't need that much help with the ultra-highs, try Medium or Lite and apply a cleaner, subtler filter that lets more of the air through.

If you've got something that's causing an aliasing that will give problems further down the mix chain, and you put Ultrasonic Lite in front of it and the aliasing that would've bounced back down to 40k is turned down before it even aliases, making that unwanted 40k quieter… and then there's another Ultrasonic Lite afterwards and that directly turns down the unwanted, aliasing 40k… then you've got a gentle, distributed aliasing suppression across your whole mix, that will really control the tendency of aliasing to just build up and go critical on ya :)

The demo is in a sort of DAW-synth-art thing that has just reached its 1.0 release, Bespoke. It's waaaaay too much fun. Hope ya like it, because I'll be doing music streams using it. The name of the streams will be the Airwindows Free Studio… because not only is it futuristic and amazing, but between me and my plugins, Bespoke, Surge, the Full Bucket synths, and OBS itself, now you can be on the cutting edge of modern music creation for FREE, absolutely no restriction, plus for most of those you can have the source code and make your own versions.

Some days the world is a very cool place :D

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KVRist
341 posts since 18 Jun, 2010

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:56 pm

When it comes to OMG freeware synths, Vital is absolutely worth a try:

https://vital.audio/

KVRist
187 posts since 31 May, 2017

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:54 pm

Thanks, the medium filter seems to be the sweet spot!

It would be nice to have some documentation about which of your plugins are filtered already. In a recent forum post you mentioned your "recent stuff is filtered" but there is no way to know what that actually means, and no place to read up on it.

If you could present a precise list of which plugins are already filtered, it would save people from double-filtering those plugins. Maybe put it in a separate link in your website?
And does it mean that they are filtered on the input? Or the output?
I know you talked about a creating a 96k starter kit thingy (and everything included in that would be, i assume, ultrasonic filtered), but in the meantime, having the knowledge to do the right thing is extremely important :D

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KVRAF
1699 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:01 pm

Thank you very much for this, was waiting for one !!
This post is supposed to be non-agressive. Now please give me a broad smile. :ud:

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KVRian
531 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:11 pm

Been waiting for this one, thank you, Chris.

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KVRAF
1562 posts since 30 May, 2003 from Milan, Italy

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:06 am

This is great! Any chance we could have a single Ultrasonic plugin with a single Heavy/Medium/Light control switch? Would make more sense to me.

KVRist
82 posts since 21 May, 2020

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:23 am

We need more crazy effects !

KVRian
1317 posts since 3 Mar, 2009 from Colorado Springs

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:05 am

I think I need this, thanks Chris.

KVRist
101 posts since 24 Sep, 2019

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:45 am

Hermetech Mastering wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:06 am
This is great! Any chance we could have a single Ultrasonic plugin with a single Heavy/Medium/Light control switch? Would make more sense to me.
+1 !

KVRian

Topic Starter

1122 posts since 7 Apr, 2007 from Bellows Falls, VT

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:22 pm

More than most this plugin needs to be light, light, light. So I need it to be separate plugins which are all just stripped down to the extreme and have nothing beyond the most direct case of the filtering. I need it to be in the three plugins which have no controls to them, instead of one with switching :)

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KVRian
1042 posts since 14 Apr, 2008 from /* whitenoise */

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:37 am

jinxtigr wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:36 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjcrNRdAUE0

TL;DW: Lighter variations on Ultrasonic

UltrasonicLite.zip(1M)

Hi! This is just what it says on the tin. Airwindows Ultrasonic is the stacked-up, five-biquad filter that rolls off everything above 20k, so in theory it has no sound of its own. It's there to work in high sample rate mixes, between plugins that have nonlinearities and don't have their own filtering (some of mine do, like Console7) and it will clean up the top-end of a digital mix.

But, the original Ultrasonic has SO many stages of filtering that it starts to become audible, softening the highs, and if you used lots of them you'd eat your CPU and would be over-processing.

So, enter Ultrasonic Lite (and Ultrasonic Medium).

These are the same sort of thing, except Ultrasonic Lite has only one stage of filtering, and Ultrasonic Medium has two. They also start a teeny bit higher, on the assumption that if you're reaching for a Lite version of the filter, you're looking to not hammer your highs too much. Ultrasonic Medium also subtly staggers the placement of its filters so it has a two-stage roll-off that is hopefully more natural sounding than just doubling up Ultrasonic Lite on its own.

Use these just like you would use Ultrasonic, if there are places in your digital mix where you think you'd benefit from suppressing ultrasonic frequencies. These are not brickwalls: the idea here is that you can sprinkle these throughout your mix, anywhere you like, both before and after things that are nonlinear and distorty. For the strongest possible effect, use the original Ultrasonic… but in places where you don't need that much help with the ultra-highs, try Medium or Lite and apply a cleaner, subtler filter that lets more of the air through.

If you've got something that's causing an aliasing that will give problems further down the mix chain, and you put Ultrasonic Lite in front of it and the aliasing that would've bounced back down to 40k is turned down before it even aliases, making that unwanted 40k quieter… and then there's another Ultrasonic Lite afterwards and that directly turns down the unwanted, aliasing 40k… then you've got a gentle, distributed aliasing suppression across your whole mix, that will really control the tendency of aliasing to just build up and go critical on ya :)
Hey. I get what the plugin is doing but I'm not sure when and where to use it. I work at 48kHz and I learned that the one of the worst things you can do to a signal is constantly up- and downsample it. So I'm really strategic when it come to when and where to switch on oversampling. I mostly use oversampling for processes like compressing or waveshaping and avoid it for example on EQs before reverb, delay, etc. What's your view on that an should one use Ultrasonic instead of oversampling or in conjunction? Or only when I get bothered by artifacts like aliasing?
/* whitenoise */ /* abandon */ /* reincarnated */

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KVRAF
1562 posts since 30 May, 2003 from Milan, Italy

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:41 am

jinxtigr wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:22 pm
More than most this plugin needs to be light, light, light. So I need it to be separate plugins which are all just stripped down to the extreme and have nothing beyond the most direct case of the filtering. I need it to be in the three plugins which have no controls to them, instead of one with switching :)
No probs, I'll just stick with one instance of the OG!

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KVRian
1042 posts since 14 Apr, 2008 from /* whitenoise */

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:45 am

Hermetech Mastering wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:41 am
jinxtigr wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:22 pm
More than most this plugin needs to be light, light, light. So I need it to be separate plugins which are all just stripped down to the extreme and have nothing beyond the most direct case of the filtering. I need it to be in the three plugins which have no controls to them, instead of one with switching :)
No probs, I'll just stick with one instance of the OG!
May I ask when and at which point of your signal do you use Ultrasonic?
/* whitenoise */ /* abandon */ /* reincarnated */

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KVRian
531 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:04 am

noiseresearch wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:45 am
May I ask when and at which point of your signal do you use Ultrasonic?
Whenever you use non-linear processing and are likely to introduce harmonics, so before every non-linear sound processor. Chris has introduced these new, more subtle filters so as to be able to use more of these across the signal chain instead of just the end of the signal chain like in the case of the original Ultrasonic, which is meant to run at 96k. Its anti-aliasing benefits are more prominent on higher sample rates because more aliasing is likely to land in the ultrasonic region then.

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KVRAF
1562 posts since 30 May, 2003 from Milan, Italy

Post Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:57 am

noiseresearch wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:45 am
Hermetech Mastering wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:41 am
jinxtigr wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:22 pm
More than most this plugin needs to be light, light, light. So I need it to be separate plugins which are all just stripped down to the extreme and have nothing beyond the most direct case of the filtering. I need it to be in the three plugins which have no controls to them, instead of one with switching :)
No probs, I'll just stick with one instance of the OG!
May I ask when and at which point of your signal do you use Ultrasonic?
Of course, always happy to share info. I was using the TDR Ultrasonic Filter before, but since it came out I've switched to OG AW Ultrasonic, seems to work and sound better and be less CPU hungry. I place it:

Client's Track - SRC 96 - Digital EQ - Ultrasonic - NJAD - Transfer DAC - Analogue Chain (Compression & EQ) - Capture ADC - Clip - Stereo Width Processing - Digital EQ - Limit - NJAD - 24/96 Output File

It's totally track dependent, not all tracks need all stages, but that's my default. This location seems best for Ultrasonic, as Chris has stated numerous times the OG is best used sparingly, so I just use one instance right before the first non-linear process (the Chandler Germanium Compressors in the analogue chain), and hope it "carries through" to all the others (clipping and limiting). It definitely seems to result in "cleaner" sound. I've been upsampling all client files to 96k for about seven years now.

I'm not convinced by Dark, I think it sounds strange and so do some clients, a couple have mentioned "What did you do? Sounds all weird in the upper mids and highs etc." when the only difference was swapping NJAD for Dark for a week, too coloured for me.

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