I’ve reviewed a number of apps by developer Bram Bos over the last couple of years. These have included the absolutely brilliant Troublemaker and Ripplemaker synths and, more recently, a line of iOS effects processors including Kosmonaut and Perforator. All of these use the AU plug‑in format, making it easy to integrate them into your workflow when using a DAW/sequencer host such as Cubasis, AUM or Auria Pro.
Bram’s latest release is another iOS (AUv3) effects app called Woott. Suitable for iPhone or iPad running iOS 11 or later, Woott is described as a ‘dynamic hype enhancer’ and, as you might guess, this suggests we are in for a bit of not‑so‑subtle compression. Indeed, Woott’s name is derived from OTT, which itself started life as a preset in Ableton Live’s Multiband Dynamics effect before being released in a dedicated free plug‑in by Xfer. The Ableton preset became a bit of a thing for electronic music producers, particularly in terms of the way it was used on the low‑end elements of lots of dubstep mixes.
So, what is it that OTT actually does, and Woott attempts to emulate? Across three frequency bands, it combines both conventional downwards compression of your signal peaks (loud signals are reduced in volume) with upwards compression of the quieter sections of the signal (low level signals are made louder). If both processes are pushed to extremes, you can significantly reduce the overall dynamic range of your signal for a full‑on, in‑your‑face result.
If your iOS music‑making focuses on electronic music styles then, at this pocket‑money price, Woott is another Bram Bos no‑brainer.
Bram’s take on the OTT concept is beautifully presented in Woott. I tried the plug‑in in both Cubasis and AUM, and it worked very smoothly in both. On the left of the UI is a set of dials for adjusting the up/down compression ratios, compression time response and the output gain for each of the three bands. The central graphical portion allows you to adjust the up/down compression thresholds for each band. These are linked to the Squash control on the right, which dictates just how much breathing space (the Woott manual refers to this as the ‘black hole’) your dynamics will have before they’re compressed in one direction or the other. You also get an overall limiter, make‑up gain control and an Amount (wet/dry) knob. On the far right, you can access the bundled presets, and a Save button lets you create your own.
It takes a little time to get your head around exactly what Woott is doing, just as it does with OTT. That’s not because you can’t hear what it’s doing — it’s designed to be the polar opposite of ‘transparent’! — but more in terms of getting a feel for how the various controls interact, and how the compression is changing both the dynamics and tonal character of your audio source. If you want your EDM to slam though, Woott is a powerful tool. It can bring out subtle details in sounds, level unruly sounds, and make things monstrously loud. And anything can be a target, whether bass, drums, synths or a full mix. Woott is designed to be abused.
If your iOS music‑making focuses on electronic music styles then, at this pocket‑money price, Woott is another Bram Bos no‑brainer. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, and it’s certainly not intended as a conventional compressor, but if you like to make elements of your mix or, indeed, the whole mix sound loud and proud, Woott does ‘over the top’ with some considerable style.