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Cubase Distroyer Plug-in: Audio Examples

Hear For Yourself
By John Walden

These audio examples accompany our Cubase workshop about Distroyer, the new distortion plug-in introduced in Cubase 10.

See SOS December 2019: www.soundonsound.com/cubase-distroyer-plugin

Audio Example 01

Pre-mixed drum loop example. A single instance of Distroyer has been used as a send-based effect. The audio example is split into five sections as follows: (1) the full drum loop is played for context without any additional processing; (2) the send level to Distroyer is increased to around 50 percent while the plug-in itself has settings based upon the second screenshot in the main article, adding some extra weight to the kick drum; (3) as for the previous case but with the send level increased to about 80% to exaggerate the kick drum enhancement; (4) with the send level back to 50%, the Boost control is gradually increased to change the character of the distortion effect (the kick drum ‘ring’ becomes very noticeable as this is done; an instance of the EnvelopeShaper plug-in could be used to tame this if desired); (5) with the Boost set at about 5, the Offset value is varied to change the character of the distortion but, in this case, the effect is very subtle as this control seems to have greater effect in mid/high frequencies and the Tone and Lo/Hi Filter settings applied in this example reduce its impact.

Audio Example 02

Distroyer used to process an individual kick drum track. Two instances of Distroyer have been applied as send-based effects. The audio example is split into five sections as follows: (1) the full drum track can be heard for context without any processing; (2) the kick drum is solo’ed with some low-end enhancement (as in audio example 01) while gradually increasing the send level; (3) processing from the second instance of Distroyer, targeted at the kick drum’s ‘click’, is added while gradually increasing the Mix control on Distroyer to increase the effect; (4) as for the previous section but with the Boost control gradually increase to further enhance the click; (5) the full drum loop again but with the kick drum processing applied. The kick has greater low-end and a more obvious attack and both elements can, of course, be adjusted to taste.

Audio Example 03

Distroyer used to process a sample-based electric bass track. Two instances of Distroyer have been applied as send-based effects. The audio example is split into four sections as follows: (1) unprocessed bass sound for context; (2) low-end enhancement of the bass sound using Distroyer settings as show in the left side of screenshot 4 in the main article and focused on just the sub-200Hz range to add solidity, and with the send level to the plug-in being gradually increased to increase the effect: (3) as for the previous example but with the second Distroyer send effect also enhancing the 200-5000Hz range with settings as shown in the right side of screenshot 4 in the main article, and with the send level to the plug-in gradually increased to increase the effect; (4) as for the previous section but with both the Offset and Boost controls of the second Distroyer effect being gradually increased to change the character of the mid-frequency processing. It’s worth noting that the processing applied through these different sections increases the overall volume of the part as well as changing its timbre.

Audio Example 04

Vocals can often benefit from some subtle use of distortion/saturation and this audio clip provides an example of what Distroyer might offer in this context. The example is split into three section as follows: (1) the unprocessed solo vocal (with just a touch of reverb); (2) the same vocal clip but with a an instance of Distroyer applied via a send effect and set to provide a modest amount of distortion focussed in the 2-7kHz range and that adds a crispness and character to the vocal that was not present before that may help it cut through a busy mix; (3) the same as the previous section but with higher amounts of Boost and focussed on the 3-15kHz range which exaggerates the high-frequency enhancement even further. Care is needed here not to go too far (unless you are aiming for a deliberately processed sound) as this may exaggerate any sibilance in the original recording.

Audio Example 05

Saturation can also play a role on a full mix (for example, as part of your final mix bus processing and is often used to simulate distortion added by classic analogue hardware. This example illustrates how Distroyer might be used in that context and is split into three sections as follows: (1) a short clip of a full mix without any processing through Distroyer; (2) the same clip but with Distroyer used as a send effect, and configured with low Boost and low Drive levels but operating over a broad range of frequencies (50Hz-20kHz) and a low send level. This adds a subtle (but deliberately noticeable for the purposes of example) warming in the lower frequencies and edge to the mid/upper frequencies; (3) as for the previous section but with the send level gradually increased to make the distortion more noticeable. Eventually, the distortion produces a clear degradation of the sound; less is generally more when using any form of saturation to simulate the often-sought-after distortion created by analogue hardware.

Published December 2019