The latest in UJAM’s Finisher series aims to give your risers, impacts and transitions a boost.
UJAM have a design ethos that spans their whole product line: to give the user high‑quality sound with a minimum of fuss. This is certainly true of Boost, the most recent addition to their Finisher line of creative multi‑effects plug‑ins. I have reviewed both Retro and Dynamo (SOS August 2021 and April 2022, respectively) and you can get a refresher on the overall concept from those reviews but, in summary, each Finisher provides different styles of effects aimed at a specific application. Each Finisher plug‑in, therefore, supplies a customised collection of effects‑chain presets, which can be tweaked using a compact set of macro‑style controls. The concept may not appeal to the control freaks amongst us, but if you just want great results without interrupting your musical workflow, it’s a winning combination.
Boost’s application is the creation of tempo‑sync’ed risers, impacts and transitions (the last is essentially a riser and an impact combined) of the sonic ear‑candy kind that’s integral to modern music production. Once you’ve chosen an effects‑chain preset, it can be applied to any source in your project to create a riser, impact or transition from that audio. The engine rather cleverly handles all the tempo‑sync’ing automatically, so while you can control the length of the effect, you never have to worry about the precise timing. Amongst other things, the large Finisher knob controls the blend between the unprocessed and processed signals, so offers an easy way to control the intensity of the effect. And probably because the riser/impact/transition is derived from audio that’s already part of your project, rather than a separate imported riser or impact sample, the effects seem to sit in an overall mix in a very natural fashion.
There are 60 effects chains in total, divided into four categories: Track, Drums, Instrument and Vocals. These labels already suggest the most likely targets for each effect, but they’ll often do interesting things to other sources and UJAM also encourage you to experiment. You also get an impressive array of global presets that combine one of these effects chains with pre‑configured settings for the various macro controls. These are also organised into useful categories, including risers/upsweeps, impacts/downsweeps and transitions, as well as some more off‑the‑wall special effects.
Each of the effects chains (and the associated presets) can be fine‑tuned via the four macro‑style Vari controls. Controls 1 and 4 let you adjust the length and timing of the effects, and Vari 1 also offers a fully manual mode for the effect length, for those that want it. Vari 3 and 4 control different elements that are specific to each effects chain. Labels such as Sweep, Stutter, Filter and Noise hint at what’s going on, but others such as Absurdity, Shock and Vacuum just require you to experiment. Either way, despite the minimal control set, there’s plenty of sonic scope here.
Boost is fast, fun and very effective.
In use, Boost is fast, fun and very effective. I’ve tried lots of riser, impact and transition tools over the years, and in terms of getting the effects to hit their bar/beat target this is undoubtedly the slickest workflow I’ve encountered yet. Applied to the obvious sources (drums, synths, guitars, vocals or a full mix), the effects themselves can be as subtle or as OTT as you prefer. You can also automate many of the parameters and, of course, toggle the plug‑in’s bypass state, so a single instance of Boost on a track can easily be made to produce very different effects, and it’s super easy to control exactly where it is used. For sprinkling transition ear candy into your electronic music productions, Boost is as easy as it gets too. There’s a free trial of Boost, available on UJAM’s website, and as long as you’re not a complete control freak when it comes to customising your multi‑effects settings, it has to be well worth taking for a spin.
An excellent addition to UJAM’s Finisher line, Boost makes adding tempo‑sync’ed riser, impact and transition effects incredibly easy.