Techivation have quietly been building an impressive range of plug‑ins which tend to tackle everyday mixing techniques but put their own stamp on proceedings. This latest one is a harmonic enhancer, or Exciter to borrow Aphex’s term, and I love how easy it is to get good‑sounding results.
As all plug‑ins probably should have these days, it has a compact but scalable GUI, the options being 80, 100, 125 and 150 %, the largest size being easy to use but still leaving about four fifths of my 16‑inch MacBook Pro screen available for other things. The plug‑in is available for Mac and Windows in the usual formats, and seems to be compatible with Apple Silicon without the need for Rosetta. Authorisation is an online process — you log into your account once to activate it on a given computer and can then work offline.
While most of the controls look fairly conventional, with input/output level faders, a big Excitement knob (with a meter running around its circumference) and smaller Mix and stereo Width knobs, the frequency range that’s targeted is selected using four buttons: Shine, Air, Wet and Crisp, and all of those descriptions are apt. The well‑judged list of presets aside, that’s pretty much all there is to operating this thing: you select the frequency range you wish to enhance, dial in the amount of excitement to taste, and then refine the Mix and Excitement knobs until you get your sound sitting where you want it. There are also handy utilties onboard, such as for A/B settings comparison and undo/redo, and there’s 8x oversampling.
What really sets this exciter apart from the crowd for me is the sound.
I’m all for ‘conventional’ when it comes to operation (who wants to have to dig in to learn a new interface paradigm every time?) but what really sets this exciter apart from the crowd for me is the sound. Just as the strapline in the bottom right‑hand corner of the GUI claims, this exciter is capable of a particularly ‘smooth’ result. I confess that I don’t know quite how they achieve that under the hood, but it means that although you can push things to the brittle extremes which sometimes give exciters a bad name, it’s really quick and easy to dial in musically useful results. You can use an exciter on any source, of course, but I particularly liked using this one to emphasise the breath and air in female and higher‑range male vocals, as well as giving a lift to pad sounds and reverb tails. It all just sounds so... effortless. It’s free to try and not outrageously priced to buy, so this is a developer I’ll be watching with interest.