Eiosis' innovative plug–in processor allows you to completely isolate transients so that they can be processed independently of the rest of the audio.
A few months back I lavished praise on Eiosis' E2 De–esser, which features both the most accurate detection of sibilants I've yet heard, and the unique ability to completely remove them from the rest of the audio path. You could think of it as functioning like a gate that separates sibilants from other sounds, ensuring that the rest of your vocal remains completely untouched, no matter what you do to the 'esses' and 'tees'.
The latest product in the E2 series is a transient processor that works along similar lines. In other words, input audio first passes through a detection circuit, which decides whether what it's hearing is a transient or not. Transients and non–transients are then processed completely independently, before being combined at the output stage; and, as with the de–esser, it's possible to solo either half of the signal. This is useful for audibly checking the settings of the transient–detection algorithm, but also makes it possible to achieve much more radical processing: you can use two instances of the processor on two copies of the same source material to create separate transient and non–transient signals that can be routed to other plug–ins.
Like other Eiosis plug–ins, E2 Transienter is available in TDM and all common native formats on Mac and PC, and can be authorised either to an iLok or a Syncrosoft key. The transient detection works very well, and the option to filter the side–chain signal is really useful for those moments when you need to stop rogue hi–hat hits from triggering it on a snare track. The Time Sensitivity control, which can be used to optimise the detection to the 'expected' spacing between transients, is also a neat innovation that really helps with rhythmic parts. There are also numerous options designed for working with stereo source material, such as a full mix or submix. You can choose whether the detector should 'look' in the centre or to one side, and switch the side–chain to M/S mode, which can allow you to process the transients in the Mid signal while leaving ambience untouched.
Once your transients have been detected, you can apply positive or negative gain to them, and there's a single–band equaliser that can operate in a variety of configurations. The most mysterious of these is Loud, which "lets you quickly increase or decrease the loudness contour of the attacks". I don't know how it works, I just know that it does! Options for processing the non–transient signal are confined to a single 'mirror' button, which applies the opposite of what you're doing to the transients; so, for instance, a high shelving boost on the transients will be mirrored by a corresponding cut to the rest of the signal.
With all these options available, Eiosis cite a number of unconventional uses for E2 Transienter, from mastering to de–noising, but it's how well it performs in more orthodox situations that will be of most concern to potential buyers: and said performance is excellent. Once you get the hang of the controls, it's straightforward to set it up so that it reliably catches the transients you want it to catch, and the ability to separate these completely from the rest of the audio opens up lots of possibilities for processing. Soloing the Transient section allows you to use it as a very effective gate on kick or snare tracks; conversely, you can duck or mute the transients in order to create a smoother signal to feed a delay or reverb. A few more options for processing the non–transient part of the signal would be nice, but you can always create your own processing chain if you want to, say, filter the 'ring' of a snare while leaving the 'crack' intact.
Because it provides more options than most other transient processors, E2 Transienter is perhaps not as immediate, but once you've spent 10 minutes playing around with the different options for transient detection, routing and processing, it soon becomes very easy to use. There are a lot of good transient-shaping plug–ins around already, so it perhaps doesn't represent quite the quantum leap forward that E2 De–esser did, but nevertheless, it offers features that are not available elsewhere — and it offers them on top of basic functionality that's easily the equal of any rival. Highly recommended.
There are plenty of transient-processing plug–ins around, including some good freeware and shareware offerings. Personal favourites include Waves' TransX, which has a unique three–band version, and Magix' AMPulse, which incorporates a nice saturation algorithm, though neither is quite as flexible as E2 Transienter. Another option worth exploring would be Sonnox's Oxford Transmod.
- Good basic transient detection.
- Unique filtering and stereo processing features.
- Transients can be completely separated from the remaining audio for independent processing.
- More options for processing the non–transient path would be useful.
Eiosis have applied their fresh thinking to the world of transient processing, and the results are excellent.