TL;DW: Electrifying fixed-frequency treble boosts.


Some of you are probably already freaking out just seeing the name of this ;)

In the continuing series of ‘weird algorithms other people can’t give you’, here’s Energy. What’s the matter with Energy that only Airwindows can/will do it? Pretty simple. It’s a bizarre algorithm which acts like half a super-high-Q boost and can’t be tuned in the normal way. It can only work on integer multiples of the sample rate. So the labels only relate to 44.1K, they’re colorfully named rather than specifying frequencies, and at different sample rates any frequency labels would be lies anyhow… and they can’t be tuned, and the Q can’t be altered. Literally all it does is slam huge amounts of super-aggressive treble on.

But what a treble it is! Energy accentuates the attack transient like no other high frequency EQ (especially linear phase, and ‘DSP cookbook’ biquad EQs). The principle of operation is totally different. It didn’t catch on because it’s a weird idea to start with, and it’s completely not adaptable to anything. It’s not even that great at cuts, though you can try it for cuts if you like. It’s really just about slamming a bunch of punchy brightness on at 22K, 15K, 11K, 9K and so on: or, Hiss Glitter Rat Fizz Scrape Chug Yowr Snarl, as the labelling goes.

The lower ones extend down into high-mids as you’d imagine (at high sample rates they’d work as high-boosts) but that’s another reason I can’t simply label them as frequency controls. These are nasty. They won’t give you clean tidy boosts, not even ‘analog style’ clean tidy boosts. They’re interacting with the sample rate in a nasty way and produce a bunch of extra overtones and skronk so it’s better to leave them as adjectives to avoid even the suggestion that they would give you polite EQ shaping.

But if you are looking for brutal, raw electrifying ENERGY I think it’s hard to do better than Energy. The only thing that’s new on this old school super secret weapon, besides denormalization and the noise shaping to the floating point buss and higher resolution internal processing, is the InvDryWet control, which was an obvious call. Since the different sliders can get into strange interactions, since you can play them off against each other, that means you could try to isolate high frequency stuff you don’t want and accentuate it as much as possible… and then, return to dry, and give it just a bit of inverted effect. That’s one way to tame nasty highs (such as from a bad condenser mic). I accept no responsibility if the bad mic, combined with Energy boosts, kills you with treble. That’s kind of Energy’s job :)

I’m doing all this because my Patreon has grown, and I can do more and more the better it gets. This plugin is here for you NOW specifically because I hit a threshold where I started doing them twice as fast, and barring breakdowns or getting hit by a truck, I’ll have the list all released by the end of this year. Then I can turn to new work, but I also have a bit of an announcement: for those who’ve been following that story, I have got VCV Rack to compile! That means once I’m clear of the double-intense VST-making, I can start working on bringing my plugins to Rack, the open source virtual modular synthesizer. I think great things can happen there. It’s also a good test of computer power, because near as I can tell Rack doesn’t use buffers at all: everything’s recalculated every sample, so it’s a CPU-hungry program to run, but that’s how you’d get true modular interactivity to happen. All that talk about wanting crosstalk in DAWs? It’d be trivial in this, just patch it up. I’m hot to compile some Console-based summing mixers for Rack, slew, Spiral, you name it. I’ll definitely have stuff still to do once 2019 comes around.

So please help, if you can, because we’re going to do great things, and all open source so all the audio flowers can bloom.

Oh, also, I’m looking to get back into my techno jams (follow YouTube or Twitch, because those are not announced here or on the Patreon), and since it’s so important to constantly stream on these services, I’ve decided I’ll unwind sometimes with Minecraft streaming. It’s a server where I wrote code for the custom dungeon generation mod, and you could join me, but more importantly I can watch the chats while doing it (not true for music jamming, different kind of focus). So I can answer questions and talk about audio on these occasions, feel free to treat it as Airwindows chat streams. I’ll try to get this going regularly: Youtube, Twitch, Twitter and the Facebook Airwindows page will get auto-announcements when I do.

Thank you, and talk to you later! Next week is SingleEndedTriode :)