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What a song looks like when the 'calm before' is in full effect. This is a visual representation of the example usage settings described below.
Calm Before by Big DAW Audio is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as an Audio Units Plugin and a VST 3 Plugin.
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Introducing: Calm Before
A one-knob style utility that helps give your choruses and drops extra impact, and saves you time

What is the Calm Before?

In every modern song, there is a moment of calm before the chorus or drop. A short period of time when energy levels are reduced, in anticipation of what is to come. Why? This creates contrast, so that when the chorus or drop comes, it will sound louder, wider, and more impactful by comparison.

The Calm Before plugin was designed specially to create these moments of 'calm before' all with one simple control. This ensures the most important moments in your song truly stand out, while also saving you a ton of time.

How it works:

The plugin creates a moment of 'calm before' by automating a number of parameters, including:

  1. Low end - cutting out frequencies (optional: add resonance).
  2. High end - cutting out frequencies (optional: add resonance).
  3. Volume reduction.
  4. Width - narrow the stereo image.
  5. Washout (choose between reverb or delay focused washout).

Setting up all this automation is normally a daunting task for beginners and experts alike, as it requires a number of plugins and can be very tedious and time consuming (especially for audio engineers working on multiple projects a day). The Calm Before plugin automates all of these parameters (and more) so you can create your own moment of 'calm before' in just a matter of seconds.

How? All parameters are linked to one simple handle. Once you've set your targets, or chosen a preset, all you have to do is automate this handle and the plugin takes care of the rest for you.

You have complete control over each parameter, so you can create precise and complex custom automations.

Example of Suggested Usage:

  • Low Cut Target: 150hz.
  • High Cut Target: 10000hz with medium resonance.
  • Volume Target: -1dB.
  • Width Target: 82.5%.
  • Washout Target: 7.1%.

When the song starts to buildup to the chorus or drop (usually 8 or 16 bars before), start to automate the handle (the big one at the bottom of the plugin) so that it reaches the bottom just before the chorus or drop.

As the handle descends, the plugin will apply the above automations, reaching the desired targets when the handle touches the bottom. At that point, your song will have less bass, less highs, be quieter, be narrower, and have less clarity due to the washout effect. At the chorus or drop, you automate the handle all the way back up, and the full song comes back in.

For a visual of what this looks like, click on the product image above.


BONUS Features:

The plugin is packed with features so you can create the perfect moment of 'calm before'. Plus, there are some bonus mixing and mastering utilities built in so you don't need to reach for another plugin:

  • Linear Phase Mode: Prevents phase issues when filtering.
  • Bass Mono Slider: Choose how much low end is in mono.
  • Separate HPF and LPF: Roll off the extreme low and high frequencies of the song to build headroom. These are separate filters that remain in place at all times, regardless of the position of the handle.
  • Slope and Q control: Control how steep your filters are, and whether they will add resonance.
  • Width Unlink: Unlink the width parameter from the main handle, allowing you to increase (up to 200%) or reduce the width of the song by a fixed amount, regardless of the position of the handle.
  • Washout Customization: Choose R or D to make your washout more reverb or delay-based. Control rate and size too.
  • Slow Mode: Instead of the cuts and effects applying linearly (in line with the position of the handle), they will apply exponentially: starting off slowly and then speeding up near the end.

Product Demo: {See video at top of page}

OTHER USES:

  • Individual channels - Sometimes individual sounds need their own special treatment. Get creative. For example, you can add extra washout to your snare or claps during a buildup. Or cut out the subs from your kick every 8 bars using the separate low cut filter in linear phase mode.
  • Busses or Groups - Problem solve in the mix using the high-quality filters. For example, make a group containing everything except for the Kick and Bass and cut out the low end frequencies from this group somewhere around 100-200hz, clearing out the low end for the Kick and Bass to shine through.
  • Live DJ sets - Create next-level transitions and manage energy levels on the fly, with one simple control. To adjust all these parameters manually as a DJ, you would probably need six or seven hands.

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