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Real-World Review: Universal Audio Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser DS

While it’s a great linear-phase de-esser, reviewer Rich Tozzoli uses the Oxford SuprEsser DS plug-in as a bass enhancement tool.

Another part of the Universal Audio v9.11 update is the Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser DS, which is labeled as having “transparent, precise linear-phase de-essing with near zero-latency when tracking in real time.” While I have found that to be true (especially on harsh cymbals), I wanted to share a slightly different way I use the SuprEsser. What you might not know about this plug-in is that it’s a great bass enhancement tool, which I apply to strings, acoustic guitars and even mandolins and banjos.

Using the FFT spectral display, the floating threshold control, Inside Listen mode and Make Up gain, you can selectively boost the bottom of any track in a way that’s different than a typical EQ. For example, to add some extra bottom to a thin guitar, first solo the Inside button, which allows you to hear only what’s inside the two bands. Slide the bands while viewing the FFT display and the actual frequency displays in yellow and boost Make-Up Gain (up to +24 dB). Then put the Listen mode back to Mix and adjust the Threshold, Make Up Gain, Wet/Dry amount and Trim if you are clipping. It’s that easy to get a selectable amount of low end boost on a track.

Soundcloud link: UAD Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser DS Sound Examples

With just a few careful adjustments, it’s helped turn a viola into a high cello, brought “beef” to a banjo, and transformed thin orchestra and taiko drum samples into something much bigger. In the more traditional sense, I also use it quite a bit to take the sizzle out of compressed drums without losing the clarity. The SuprEsser is definitely a useful sonic tool with a few extra tricks up its sleeve.

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