TL;DW: Focus brings out clarity by distorting. Aggressive, subtle, flexible.

Here’s a real ‘modern day Airwindows’ plugin for you!

Focus might not be the only plugin like this I make. I’d planned to make a ‘multi-distortion kit’ based on how Density and Drive do things, and I can still do that. BUT, check this out.

What if you took UnBox, with its aliasing-resistant distortion, and revised it around a band pass? Not so much an EQ thing, more a ‘Fletcher Munson Loudness Curve’ thing, where you could zero in on just that most sensitive area, and add distortion to just that? And use the UnBox tech so you’d still have undistorted clear super-lows and highs, as much as you wanted? And set an output level so that if you DID end up driving the mids real hard, you could dial it back so that you got your focussing effect but without apparent mids boost? Or mids boost if you like, whichever. And a dry/wet on the end for added subtlety and flexibility. And then, how about if you could pick between Density, Drive, Spiral, Mojo and Dyno distortion algorithms?

Here’s Focus. If you keep the Focus control real low, it’ll act like a broad-based overdrive, five different ways. Kill the Output level control, and you’ll hear what’s left over from the UnBox tech. Start to bring up Focus to about halfway, and you will rapidly start narrowing the distortion band and letting through lots more lows and highs, while also (if you turn Output back up) tightening and purifying what you distort in the mids. Focus even more, and you’ll get to where it’s an ultra-focussed mid laser that you can distort, that’ll cut through anything. if you want to start tuning it, dial Focus back: this is not about that, it’s exactly targetting the Fletcher-Munson loudness curves, think of it in terms of focussing the midrange and making it more intense. At low Focus settings, tuning it would be almost meaningless.

This is ‘dial an ultimate distortion, ITB’. Even more than the ‘swiss army knife’ one I’ll likely still make later. This becomes the recommended one. It replaces Density, Drive, all versions of Spiral, etc… because its principle of operation gives you essential Airwindows distortions, using UnBox tech to resist aliasing and allow for clean bass, and because the way it’s set up you can immediately go to whatever you’re trying to achieve. Big roaring fuzzy? Density with very low Focus, or possibly Mojo. Gritty? Drive. Cleaner overdrive? Spiral. Need to clean things up but still have that pungent, fierce energy from an amazing distortion? Start increasing Focus, carefully. Trying to do an insanely focussed searing-hot distortion with high Focus but things are too saturated? Reach for Dyno and its distinctive overtones. Pretty much anything you want, in one plugin, but with very approachable controls plus you can do things like kill Output Level to quickly check how much clean audio is getting through in the highs and lows.

Don’t think of it like an EQ, think of it like an extension of your ears. Whether it’s on tracks, submixes, or the 2-buss, Focus can locate anything accurately in your listeners’ attention, because we all have the same sensitivities and loudness curves to our hearing (most likely). Use with caution (unless you don’t want to!) and enjoy a real power tool for mix clarity, with Focus.

This was a good work day. If you’d like to see me have lots more you can jump on my Patreon. From now on (and especially going into 2020), you get an hour of livestreaming for each $1000 of the total Patreon… which means effective immediately I’m going to stream an hour and 35 minutes. Every week I’ll check, so the Q&A will get longer, the music stream too, and I’m transitioning from the patrons-only Evergreens podcast to an Evergreens podcast ABOUT patrons’ music where I’ll do the same thing, but I’ll be analyzing and talking about YOUR music… for an hour and 35 minutes. Or more, if the Patreon grows. ‘Cos I got my camera power supply, so now I can do this without running out of batteries :)