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  • #16
    The Dual Filter is continuously variable from lowpass to highpass. In other words, it starts off as a lowpass filter, then the cutoff frequency gets higher until you hear the unfiltered sound; continuing to move the Position control clockwise then brings a highpass filter into play. Rather than spend a lot of words explaining what it sounds like, it seemed a lot easier to create a quick video so you can hear how changing the Position control changes the sound, and what the response looks like in the plug-in.

    Note there's also a resonance control that adds a peak at the cutoff frequency. In this example, there's a moderate amount of resonance.

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    • #17
      This is a very effective transient shaper that's particularly useful for drums.

      Referring to the [COLOR="blue"]first attached image, this plug-on offers variable Attack level, Length (think of it as similar to the Hold parameter on ADHSR envelopes), Release, which resembles the decay on a noise gate, and overall output.

      The easiest way to get this across is with, not surprisingly, some audio examples. The [COLOR="blue"]first audio example is a drum loop (again, from the Discrete Drums library) without any processing.

      The [COLOR="blue"]second audio example tightens up the drum sound by emphasizing the attack, shortening the length, and setting release to minimum. This not only tightens up the sound, but pretty much removes any evidence of room ambience.

      The [COLOR="blue"]third audio example is an interesting case, as this softens the attack and lets some of the release back in. Unlike the "tightening" example, which makes the drums seem closer, this "loosens" the drum sound and makes it seem further away. Yes, this is an effect that create pseudo-time changes solely through envelope changes...interesting. Also with this third example, because the attack was reduced, I could bring the average level up somewhat without clipping.

      Overall, these are some pretty dramatic changes.
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      There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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      • #18
        This is another unusual effect; you might think it's an octave divider as used with guitars, but it's something else. The sound it gives is more like adding on more "bottom," with a less distinct sound than a traditional octave divider; however, you don't get the kind of glitching and octave-jumping you get with traditional octave dividers.

        The effect itself is fairly minimal - see the [COLOR="blue"]first attached image. You have output controls for the direct sound, and two different octave sounds. Let's do some audio examples so you can hear what the effect does.

        The [COLOR="blue"]first audio example is a drum loop with no processing. The [COLOR="blue"]second audio example is the same loop, but with the octaver effect added (both Octave 1 and Octave 2 are present).

        The [COLOR="blue"]third audio example is a synth bass loop. The [COLOR="blue"]fourth audio example applies only the Octave 1 effect to this loo, but also includes the direct sound.

        The more complex the program, the less-defined the octave divided sound - it becomes more of a low-end blob of sound. This effect is best with mono signal sources, especially because it tends to "monoize" stereo sounds...but not always, as it seems to exaggerate the stereo a tiny bit with the drum loop example Bottom line: This is unlike effects you've used before, so experiment.
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        There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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        • #19
          This is a multiple peak/multiple notch filter that also includes high pass and low pass filters. As with the Dual Filter, a video will get the point across much faster than me trying to describe it with text, so here we go...



          The video starts out with a single peak that sweeps up and down, like a bandpass filter. But then it gets interesting around 24 seconds by choosing 8 peaks. This produces a sound almost like positive flanging.

          Around 45 seconds, the response gets inverted to create notches. You don't hear much of an effect until around 50 seconds, when the notches are made deeper. This creates a sound somewhat like old phase shifter pedals.

          Then around 1 minute, the Q gets kicked way up to make very sharp peaks, which sweep up and down. This creates more of a resonator sound.

          Also note there are highpass and lowpass filters, with 12, 24, 36, and 48dB/octave slopes. The following picture shows the 48dB response in both filter sections, with the peaks around the middle of the frequency range.



          Interesting, eh?
          _____________________________________________
          There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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          • #20
            There are actually two reverbs in Wavelab 7, Roomworks and Roomworks SE. The SE version is basically a little brother to Roomworks. We'll start off with a picture of them, as the plug-in GUI is rather big, so the lettering is kind of fuzzy in the video and it's difficult to see the details (if for some reason you can't see this picture, it's also attached).



            The controls are fairly conventional. There are high and low tone controls for the input and output. EQing to cut bass on the way in and treble on the way out can help realism tremendously. For the reverb itself, you'll find Pre-Delay, Reverb Time, Room Size, Diffusion, and Width. There's also an envelope, mix control, and "efficiency" control but with today's fast computers, you can pretty much max this out with now worries and enjoy the better sound quality.

            As with the previous effects, an audio/video seemed like the best way to go so you can hear how the sound changes when I fiddle with the controls.



            The video starts off with the sound bypassed, and then more reverb mixed in. Next comes an increase in reverb time and when set to max, I hit hold for a bit so you could hear it freeze the tail - cool feature.

            Next up is an increase in width, then playing with the filters to tailor the highs and lows. Also, check out the envelope, which allows altering attack and decay based on the input signal. After that, it's time to go back to the dry sound.

            All in all, this is an effective, useful reverb that sounds good. It may not replace your favorite plug-in, but it can definitely supplement what you have with another set of colors - and possibly some functions your main reverb might not have.
            _____________________________________________
            There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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            • #21
              We've already pointed out several little "nice touches" in the program, but the more you work with it, the more you find. For example, there's an Analysis menu with all kinds of ways to analyze a signal:

              Global Analysis can find peaks, analyze loudness, find average pitch in pitched audio, give info on DC offset, and look for clipped samples and glitches.

              Audio File Comparator supposedly compares two files and generate a difference file. However, I tried the example given of comparing a file with the same file through equalization, and I kept getting an error message that said "The two files are different!" Well, I already knew that...this is something where I need some Steinbergian guidance. Is anyone out there?

              3D Frequency Analysis has been in Wavelab for a long time, but it's still fun to see that 3D mountain range in living color. Here's an example:



              Loudness Distribution
              is a graph that displays how often a particular level appears in a file, relative to other peaks. For example, if -6 appears 80% of the time, you know you have a pretty "maximized" file.

              For a quick analysis, there's an Analysis button on the toolbar that shows markers, VU meter (maximum peaks, RMS average, and Pan) and a Spectrometer. This is one of my favorite features, as it gives quick, useful visual feedback. For example here's the VU meter analysis for a tune I mastered recently:



              You can see the peaks hit -0.07dB (I don't like peaks to hit 0, in case a CD duplication facility interprets these as clips and rejects the master), with an RMS reading of about -12dB. The upper Pan meter shows the peak difference between channels - they're pretty well matched, especially when you look at the average pan difference in the lower pan meter, which indicates that there's a very, very slight tilt toward the right - about 1/4dB - 1/3dB or so.

              Now let's look at the Spectrometer analysis.



              There's a gentle slope from low to high, which is typical of most pop music. But I should note that these analysis tools have multiple options, some more cosmetic (e.g., bar graph for the spectrometer instead of a curve, and others more fundamental - like setting resolution. There's also a refresh button on the toolbar, so you can isolate particular sections of the file, and do a quick check of what they look like.

              Again, there's almost an overload of possibilities in something so simple as looking at spectral response and average levels...in fact, I still haven't figured out how to store different presets and switch between them, despite my best attempts with the Help menu!

              Now, if you're frustrated you can't see the VU Meters and Spectrometer at the same time, don't be: You can float one of the windows, and place it side-by-side with the other. But there's also a multi-docking system for the "workspace" where you can basically dock as many analysis windows as you want, because you're not limited to the defaults I've shown here...you can dock the Spectroscope, VU Meters, Spectrometer, Wavescope (shows a real-time drawing of the waveform when recording or rendering if you're monitoring the file rendering), Bitmeter to show how many bits of resolution the signal is using, and more.

              Get the picture? If you want to know everything about a file from an audio perspective, you're covered.
              _____________________________________________
              There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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              • #22
                UPDATE: I apologize for the delay in continuing this pro review, but to make a long and frustrating story short, I had to re-install my system and programs after returning from Frankfurt - a hardware problem with the motherboard scrambled my system drive upon either startup or shutdown (or both, I don't know). The motherboard is fixed, I have a new hard drive, and I've been re-creating my system - I'd only switched over to Windows 7 full-time about six weeks prior to the mobo problem, so didn't consider the system finished enough to image for a restore.

                I have most of the system back to normal, and will be re-installing Wavelab in the next couple of days. Again, apologies for the delay.
                _____________________________________________
                There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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                • #23
                  Well well well...seems my timing is good to resume the review. I just found out that the Wavelab 7.1 update has been released, and it's a significant one: It's not just bug fixes and such, but also has a bunch of new features. There's a complete description at ftp://ftp.steinberg.net/Download/WaveLab_7/7.1.0.543/WaveLab_7.1.0_NewFeatures.pdf

                  I'm downloading it now...
                  _____________________________________________
                  There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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                  • #24
                    Finally...

                    Some advice: It's probably not a good idea to update to a different operating system (Windows 7), while going from 32-bit to 64-bit, then having your motherboard go insane so it kills the C: drive on bootup where you had just reinstalled almost all your programs (and which you didn't image because you hadn't finished installing all the programs yet), so you have to start all over again with reconstructing your system

                    I will say I appreciate copy protection dongles more than I did before.

                    Anyway, enough of my system is happening that I can get back to where I was before I was so rudely interrupted...which was Smart Bypass. I was having problems with it, and tried to get some help from Steinberg but this was before the update came out, so maybe they were just waiting for 7.1 to happen and that would fix it...if indeed the problem was Smart Bypass and not pilot error...parts of it seemed to work, but now, it all checks out 100%.

                    Anyway, I mastered a song tonight and this was the first time I got to really use Smart Bypass in depth. What it does is compensate for level differences between having plug-ins inserted compared to having them bypassed. It sounds simple, but wow, what a tremendously useful feature. Here's what the dialog box looks like.



                    The reason why this is so cool is suppose you get a cut for mastering that has no dynamics processing (as it should). If you add dynamics processing, it's always going to "pop" more and sound artificially better because you don't have a level match. With Smart Bypass, you can match RMS or peak levels (I prefer RMS generally) so you get a realistic idea of what the processing is really doing.

                    As another example of why this is cool, the version with the dynamics will sound like the treble and bass are louder because they're hitting the part of the Fletcher-Munson curve that's more "friendly" to those frequencies. So not only does Smart Bypass provide a useful function with dynamics control, but with EQ as well.

                    And finally, I've always felt it was important to do "minimally invasive mastering " - my goal is to make the client's music sound way better, not way different. Yet when bypassing the processing, it was hard to tell whether I was being as minimally invasive as I thought I was being. With Smart Bypass, there's no doubt - it lets you do real A/B comparisons, not a/B comparisons. This is a great feature.
                    _____________________________________________
                    There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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