Overall: 837 664 818
30-Day: 916; 7-Day: 932; Yesterday: 559
Bitter Sweet is a free dynamics processor to manage audio transients. Turning the central button on the sweet side, decreases the transients amplitude. On the bitter side, the transients amplitude is magnified. Bitter Sweet also features a control for the signal to be processed. When the main position is engaged, the process affects the stereo signal. If Center is engaged, only the M signal of the internal MS matrix is processed. If stereo is selected, only the S signal from the MS matrix is processed.
Good and free M/S transient shaper. I like that you can chose between the mid and sides (or both) to be processed. That is a unique feature that other transient shaper I know doesn't offer.
Now some disadvantages:
There's a lot of different transient shaper plugs out there, but there are two fairly common models that seem to dominate the scene. The two knobs model (adjust the volume of the attack and sustain) or b) the one knob model (it does fat and thin). Clearly Bittersweet falls into the latter category. Sure you can alter the speed and the length of the effect. But generally I find the default does a pretty good job, and you're only likely to gently tweak the settings, if at all. Bittersweet sounds as good or better than other transient shapers I've tried. Those other ones cost money. So the choice seems pretty easy.
Occasionally I've seen this crash my daw for no good reason, otherwise I would have rated it higher.Read Review
Lets tallk about this little gem!
Again, while finding low cost good sounding solution to my mixing problems, I found that huge amount of people recomends (sorry for comparison again, but I think this one is needed) SPL transient designer. I dont know how you guys, but 200 bucks is huge amount of money for me and I'm always feeling wierd about plugs with two buttons and such a gigantic price tag. So I went comparing.
I took little saw note with no dynamics at all and tried to watch on osciloscope whats happening when processed by Bitter Sweet and demo of SPL. I was interested mainly in steepness of reaction and overall shape of attack effect. I found that both used curved shape of attack, not just linear ramp. Good. I didn't meature precisely by any means, but as far as the attack steepnes went, they both didn't "click" right to highest volumes. They "climbed" there. At the first SPL seemed about 0,3ms quicker, but after some repeating both designers ended up in "1-2 ms" range.
Now if you look closer, right under Bitter Sweet big button is time adjustment slider. By listen I wasn't sure what it affected and yeah, it was length of the decline. This is feature SPL doesn't have. On the other halnd SPL has a sustain phase adjustment that kind of raise level back again. This is something Bitter Sweet could use in next version, yes. :)
Any other differences? Well if you send more notes in (= signal that just "bubbles" volumewise), they behave pretty much the same. Wait until it drops down doing nothing and then waiting for another attack. Both can do ridiculous spike heights, but in that area, SPL can do a bit more ridiculous ones. But I think nobody will use this feature anyhow.
Only serious character difference I found was by getting them overdriven. (= attack clipping) SPL shows that it really has some analog code inside and it slowly saturate the signal in kind of pleasant way. Bitter Sweet limits it self by some soft limiting if at all and tries to remain original character of the sound, which could be good thing too. When you have already saturated material, you don't want another coloration.
So, it can stand up to it's 200$% more expansive oponent. It miss sustain feature, but attack phase is adjustable by even more flexible way with similar results soundwise, sometimes even cleaner.
Now I know what you're thinking. Try Dominion, it can do it all. You know..., as far as I love Digital Fisphones, Dominion didn't do as well. It is much more featured than these two, but attack is slower, decline not so elegant and main problem is that it saturates really quickly and not so pleasantly. It brings up even some DC offset into the signal. So Bitter Sweet is actually better choice to mimic the SPL attack behaviour.
For all "I need some transients and don't have bloody 200 bucks!" guys like me definitely a musthave! :)