New Toys

Sonnox Oxford Transient Modulator

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Oxford Transient Modulator Sonnox is the new name for the Sony Oxford Plug-ins company. The plug-ins, which remain the same, include all the established favorites: Oxford EQ, Dynamics, Limiter, Inflator, Reverb and the Transient Modulator. Previously only for Pro Tools and TC Electronic's Powercore platforms, all of these plugs are now available in Native versions for both AU (Audio Units) and VST (Virtual Studio Technology) hosts such as Apple's Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, Nuendo and Pro Tools LE.

The Oxford Transient Modulator plug-in from Sonnox allows for the modification of the transients in a mixed audio program or on individual tracks. The transient portion of audio is the very first moment of sound--the short, usually louder leading edge of a percussive sonic event. The effect is to bring these transients forward, or push them back so as to boost or soften the attack of the instrument.

I've been using Trans Mod in record mixes I do in Pro Tools. A typical application is on a snare drum track where the attack--the moment the stick hits the drum is deficient causing a soft sound. Brightening the snare drum with an equalizer and compressing with a limiter/compressor sometimes helps but the overall sound (timbre) of the drum changes. Plus the compressor will bring up leakage and unwanted tonal components in the aftermath of the initial snare hit.

With Trans Mod I can automatically bring only the attack portion without affecting the rest of the snare drum's sound. I'm adding more "stick" to the snare's sound for a more aggressive drum sound. Trans Mod is just the ticket for drum loops that sound soft due to over compression or a bad recording. I process the same mono drum loop recorded on two identical tracks panned left and right. The loop on the left received a boost in transients from Trans Mod while the exact same loop on the right I reversed the action and softened the attacks. The result is a cool animated panning effect between these two loops--even though they both play the same beat.

Trans Mod can increases or reduce the effects of ambience or recorded reverb on track, harden up and give life to dull or flat-sounding recordings, provide variable harmonic enhancement for extra loudness, presence and 'punch'. If very short peaks are reduced, you can increase overall modulation for the loudest loud sound possible.

Trans Mod for Pro Tools HD is $495; the Native version is $207, and the Powercore-specific model is $396. There are discounts of up to 40% are available with custom bundle packages via .

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