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Flux Alchemist | Media

Multi-band Dynamics Plug-in
Published September 2011

Here is a selection of sound clips rendered with Alchemist.

To read the review, go to /sos/sep11/articles/alchemist.htm.


I'm using a neutrally mixed drum recording.


Here are some examples of what Alchemist can do with it in single-band mode.

Adding some transients using Bitter/Sweet set to 40%, period 35ms, release 5ms and automatic gain compensation.


Classic Feedback Slow detection mode, Ratio 4:1, 6dB knee


Classic Feedback Slow detection mode, Ratio 4:1, 1dB knee, more compression


Both sounds a bit warmer and thicker compared to the original showing how well Alchemist works as a single-band compressor.

Setting the detection mode to Feedback Fast shortens the RMS integration time which makes the compression a little faster but still lets some transients pass unprocessed.


Adjusting the Hysteresis to 50% makes the compression less jumpy and more even, especially when the floor tom kicks in.


De-compression adds dynamic range by increasing signals above the Threshold, using the Hysteresis setting makes the process less level dependent and more sensitive to the dynamic content. In this case creating a slight jumpiness which might not amuse the drummer, but never the less creates an interesting dynamic envelope.


The clipper on the outputs effectively shaves of any overshooting transients with great success. In the following example there's almost 7dB of clipping occurring but without destroying the impact of the drums.


In multiband mode Alchemist reshapes the drums in any way possible. By adding 4-band de-compression the emphasize is in this case put on the kick pumping the rest of the kit back and forth making the drums stressed.


Going full Monty with processing here's how it sounds with 5-band compression, de-compression, de-expansion and transient shaping. A lot more aggressive compared to the original drums.


Game Title

This is a rather dense mix of an orchestral piece aimed for a computer game.


Using both compression and de-expansion in Alchemist I able to raise the intensity but at the same time make the mix smoother. The de-expansion is audible in the intro and outro making them more intense.


Alchemist versus TC Electronic MD3

Just for the fun of it I processed the mix with MD3 set to a ratio of 2:1 and the tried to match it with Alchemist using the same filter, ratio, attack and release settings. MD3 cannot do de-compression so only multiband compression was used in Alchemist.



With fixed release times and Solera feed-forward mode Alchemist sounds a bit flat compared to MD3.

But with automatic release time, some hysteresis and Classic Feedback Fast mode the result is much better.


Due to the fact that MD3 has more gentle filters it's not possible to make a perfect match but I think it shows how well Alchemist performs multiband compression.

Alchemist versus Sonnox SuprEsser

Out of curiosity I wanted to hear how well Alchemist performs as a dynamic filter and the main opponent for this job is the SuprEsser plug-in.

Harsh vocals

Here's a very harsh nuked rock vocal that needs some taming in the 2200-4000Hz region.


Sonnox SuprEsser can easily be to set up for de-honking and produces a smooth and musical result.


Alchemist takes some time to set up but does a good job when some Hysteresis and Angel's Share is used making the compression less level dependent.