Independent software developers FireSonic, JMG Music, and SounDevice Digital have teamed up to create a new plugin collective – United Plugins – and have released their first three plugins for MacOS and Windows: FireCobra, an intelligent mix enhancer; HyperSpace, an algorithmic reverb; and Royal Compressor, a vintage vari-mu compressor.
FireSonic’s FireCobra aims to combine the accuracy of the digital world with the live randomness of analogue as it analyses an audio signal in an effort to make it punchier, more powerful, and generally better sounding. Users apply the plugin to a DAW track and tweak three algorithms accordingly via their associated controls on the 3D GUI: Intensify, which analyses the audio input and makes the output sound tighter and fuller); Smack, which creates harmonic distortion inspired by rare analogue devices to make the treated audio sound more authentic and audible in the mix; and Analogize, which adds an analogue warm valve feel based on classic analogue saturation simulation. A Dry / Wet knob effects the level of enhancement. The 64-bit processing FireCobra can be applied to multiple tracks to best bring out difficult-to-perceive elements of a mix while attenuating those that tend to drown out others.
Fellow founding developer JMG Music has unveiled HyperSpace, an algorithmic reverb plugin. Users can choose between Vintage, Classic, Retro, Modern, Sci-Fi, and Cosmic modes, combining various algorithms, from vintage plates or classic hardware to realistic spaces or ethereal textures. Its algorithms comprise complex structures with hundreds of processors running in parallel with feedback networks while each processor possesses value settings that make up the character of the resultant reverb sound. Since each value for each processor has an effect on the others, there is an almost infinite number of value sets available due to such complex structures – so machine learning was used to qualify over 20 million value sets, selecting only the best combinations for use in this 64- bit, 192 kHz (or higher) high sampling rate plugin.
SounDevice Digital has released Royal Compressor, inspired by modelling three examples of a British vintage vari-mu compressor classic that dates back to the Sixties. Its GUI features few controls: A Model knob allows users to instantly switch between the three different models of circuitry (A, B, and C), each with a different value for fixed attack. Autogain keeps the output signal at the same level, regardless of how high the Input Control is set, and Royal Compressor features an adjustable Saturation control based on a random saturation algorithm which creates the effect that valve hardware has when brought into play.
All three plugins are currently available on United Plugins’ website at an introductory price through to the end of June, and 15-day trial versions can also be downloaded for free there as well.