|Type / Tags||Dynamics (Compressor / Limiter)Mastering|
Spectra'phy is a "mastering grade" look-ahead brickwall limiter that utilizes the principals of mechanical physics for audio processing. The method employed allows the mastering engineer to achieve maximum perceived "loudness" transparently without ever getting overshoots (Digital-overs) with minimum audible distortion. The characteristics of the final audio can quickly be adjusted to taste with only two rotary-dials. The drive / color dial component also allows the addition of analog saturation when "running hot", this can be disabled if not required.
Crysonic claims that what makes Spectra'phy's process unique is the "novel" approach used for its dynamic signal analysis. Internally Spectra'phy utilizes a special physics engine to accurately simulate multiple response signals to maximize the perceived signal volume and to also "brick wall" upper limit to peak set levels. Final response curve is computed on the analysis of multiple simulations each having different characteristics that are driven mainly by incoming transient signals concurrently. This approach apparently tends to produce a more natural sound, almost completely eliminating the risk of introducing audible nonlinear distortion.
- Physics based Peak Limiting.
- Maximum transparent loudness.
- Look-ahead Brickwall limiting with no overshoots (Digital-overs).
- Variable Limiter mode (Analog / Physical - Digital / Current).
- Elasticity - Limiter Transient (Peak) response strength / Speed.
- Saturation / Drive Dial.
- VST Automation for all parameters.
- Gain reduction and RMS meters.
- 64-bit internal precision.
- 24bit/96Khz audio support.
- Optimized custom DSP code.
- Transparent Multi-Band Auto summing processor.
- Individual Gain Threshold adjustment of L/R channels for all Bands.
- Kalman Filter Based smoothing of peak transients.
- Linear or Exponential modes for imparting analog warmth.
- Cross-Over filter frequency selection component.
- Look-ahead Brickwall limiting Algorithm with no overshoots.
Reviewed By bugaj
February 15, 2014
The version I have (the first release build of v3) imparts a too bright color to the sound, and is buggy (it crashes Ableton 9 often) and overhyped (I had read about the physical modeling being uniquely good -- they must've written the article themselves, because it sounds like any other cheap limiter). I can't attest to the newer version because I paid for it, but never received my activation codes. You're better off with nearly any other paid limiter, or even free ones like vladg Limiter No6 or VOS ThrillseekerVBL.Read more
Reviewed By xsys
July 15, 2009
Since I originally posted such a scathing review, I thought I would re-investigate this product, and try to find something positive to write about it. It does have a simple interface, and it takes a minimum amount of tweaking to get it to work. In fact, just slap it on a bus and its already limiting. It does consistently handle your peaks, and that can be useful.
The ease of use is definitely a positive aspect of this product, and I can add that the addition of the tube distortion emulation with coloring is also interesting. It did seem to do something, and there were moments in the material when the coloring did sound slightly better than the un-colored material, but I don’t know if I would tie the sound to tube emulation exactly. The other unique features (like “physics” algorithms) are new to any software of this nature, and it is difficult to tell what it is doing. The “Virtual Spring” effect evidently refers to (just guessing here) string theory (i.e. the most basic element is a springy string), but does this give the author leeway for making a “physics” connection? I don’t really know, but it is certainly welcome if it does something (or develops into something). I did see some alteration of the resulting waveform when adjusting these parameters, so it may be doing what it says.
The documentation is very sparse, but you don’t need any to start using it. However, it would be nice to have some detailed explanation regarding the physics and how we are supposed to optimize the use of this new feature. There are no presets, but again, it is very simple to use. The support response was a little slow, but they did respond within 24 hours (they are in Australia). That is fine in my book. During my testing, I did experience a computer hard freeze while I was adjusting one of the knobs, but this may have been unrelated (and did not repeat). Otherwise, it appeared to be stable, and it provided functionality that had some use…even if it was for the sole purpose of brick-walling audio peaks. I question whether this product is really doing proper peak reduction that can be trusted as a “Master” limiter in a professional setting. I am not a professional audio engineer, but it seems like it can be trusted to use as a simple brick-wall limiter at the end of the plugin chain.
Is that worth money? It is difficult to say that this is worth the asking price…there are a lot of free plugins that do brickwall limiting. It would also be unfair to say it is worthless. I would like to see a few more controls (simple input and output gain controls would be nice), and a detailed explanation of what the “physics” means to me in terms of mastering my audio. Maybe a few before-and-after audio files on the website would be helpful, demonstrating exactly what is unique about this product that justifies the price.Read more