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Flux Alchemist | Media

Multi-band Dynamics Plug-in

Here is a selection of sound clips rendered with Alchemist.

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

DRUMS

I'm using a neutrally mixed drum recording.

01_Drums_original.wav

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.

02_Drums_single_band_bittersweet.wav

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

03_Drums_single_band_ratio_4_CF_Slow_knee_6.wav

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

04_Drums_single_band_ratio_4_CF_Slow_knee_1_more_compression.wav

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.

05_Drums_single_band_ratio_10_CF_Fast_heavy_compression.wav

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

06_Drums_single_band_ratio_10_CF_Fast_hysteresis_50_heavy_compression.wav

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.

07_Drums_single_band_de-compression_ratio_3_CF_Fast_knee_2_hysteresis_50.wav

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.

08_Drum_clipper_7dB.wav

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.

09_Drums_4-band_de-compression.wav

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.

10_Drums_5-band_comp_de-comp_de-exp_bittersweet.wav

Game Title

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

11_Game_Title_original.wav

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.

12_Game_Title_Flux.wav

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.

13_Game_Title_MD3_ratio_2.wav

14_Game_Title_Flux_ratio_2_fixed_release.wav

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.

15_Game_Title_Flux_ratio_2_CF_Fast_advanded_release.wav

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.

16_Harsh_Vocals.wav

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

17_Harsh_Vocals_SuprEsser_2200-4500Hz_reduction.wav

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.

18_Harsh_Vocals_Alchemist_2200-4500Hz_reduction.wav

Published September 2011