TL;DW: Console5 processing with powerful acoustic distance effects.


I’m pleased with this one: it’s in the Console5 family (so its parts can be interchanged with any other Console5 plugins) but it represents a few different breakthroughs, and if they work out, I’ll be keeping them.

First, this is a multi-stage slew clipper. The effect’s a bit like PDConsole, a gluing and taming of bright digital highs: but, where PDConsole uses the algorithm of PurestDrive to get a more analog mixing-desk kind of sound, Atmosphere’s many stages of slew clipping (across fourteen samples, each with a different maximum slew) enforces the behavior of free air and acoustic distance. This has been a goal for quite a while, but I’ve never got results like these before (might be worth fitting a more exaggerated version into a ‘Distance 2’, if people like). It’s not calibrated to overwhelm, but the scale of your mix should be huge, and since it’s an extended-window slew clipping effect your quieter, subtler sounds don’t get muddied.

This type of processing steps on the annoying digital harshness with a heavy foot, but doesn’t directly EQ: the results you get will depend on what it would be like to have your sound blasting away through a perfect playback system at a distance of ten to thirty feet. If you need up-close, bright and loud sounds, you’ll need to use another system (such as PurestConsole), this one is for space and scale. It’ll probably work well for some electronic mixes if they’re meant to sound loud, it’ll give a real hugeness to rock or metal mixes (so long as the desired effect is more ‘live gig’ in scale) and it will really come into its own summing orchestral stuff from virtual instruments (or anything with similar scale/power needs).

There’s more. The denormalization code is subtly different. Normal Airwindows plugins take pains to not add denormalization noise (prevent CPU spikes) unless necessary. This noise is incredibly faint. Atmosphere keeps this noise going at all times, to sit the mix in a bed of ‘live air’, much fainter than any electronics noise but present. It should feel like an acoustic space is out there at all times, even though it’s at levels way too fine to perceive.

Lastly, the noise shaping to floating point is different too, in an opposite way: previously, Airwindows plugins noise shape to the floating point buss (correctly valued for whatever you’re using, so double-precision buss VST gets processed for a 64-bit output word length) and use an interleaved buffer similar to things I do in Capacitor etc. The one in Atmosphere is different. Instead of incorporating whatever error you’d get as this interleaved buffer that fades out as it goes, Atmosphere uses a single buffer, continuously and seamlessly extended… and fades out NONE of it. Instead, every time the DAW latency setting finishes a buffer, that’s when Atmosphere’s code scales back the buffer just a tiny bit. The idea there is to avoid the noise shaping getting carried away, since it’s way more intense than the previous version: but it’s a smoother, more low-frequency centric kind of noise shaping that would produce DC energy rather than the brightness of previous Airwindows floating-point noise shaping. The result should be a new frontier of Airwindows depth and hugeness in the mix, and if it works it can be applied to new plugins that would benefit from it.

New frontiers cost money, even if it’s just to buy time to work and a place to be, so that’s why I have a Patreon. I’ve been trying to edit that, because back in the days of late 2017 I had it set up to tell you amounts to pledge that would add up to $50, or $100 etc. a year, under the Patreon rules that had you paying some of my fees. But Patreon recanted and decided not to do that, so the numbers I had were wrong: if I said ‘pledge this to be charged this much at the end of the year’, surprise! You’re being charged less than I said you would, because Patreon decided to only charge you what you pledged. I approve of that a lot, and don’t feel you have to alter any pledges, but now they just say how much it’d take to amount to $50/$100/$150 etc. at the end of the year. Pledge what you like :)

Finally, by definition you’ve all seen Youtube Airwindows because that’s where all my videos are. If you’re subscribed, you also have seen things like hardware synth how-tos that aren’t plugins so they aren’t posted to forums. But now there’s something new: I’m pointing my livestreaming techno/house jams to Twitch but also to the primary Airwindows channel, because people were interested and it seemed crazy to just bury it on an obscure channel with 17 subs. So, if you’re following Airwindows on YouTube, and you see a live stream, it’s music of some sort. This is not so much plugins and DSP, instead it’s a fully analog and very sophisticated electronic music-streaming studio that I look forward to teaching people how to replicate. I gotta get inspiration from somewhere, so consider Airwindows streams to be Chris getting in touch with his roots, and expect the sounds to be everything that I try to approach with the plugins. Musically? Expect surprises, and some of you will like it, and it may never be the same twice.

There’s one up there right now, just before the Atmosphere video. It came out pretty good :)

oh, one more thing…

From now on, is organized by plugin TYPE, not just as a pile of plugin zip files. That was easy to put together, and it’s a bit more work for me now, though not much…

But now you can go to a folder, select all, and drop them in your plugins folder all at once.

That should help :)