TL;DW: Monitoring is your one-stop shop for final 2-buss work!
…and then sometimes it’s a Big Deal. :)
Boom! Here’s your final plugin on the buss. This is one of those weeks where a lot of work comes together into a final shape. In a single plugin, you’ve got a pile of usefulness that you won’t have seen in one place before.
You’ve got Not Just Another Dither (24 AND 16 bit). The 24 bit is also used to make your DAC sound better on the other monitoring options (even if you have 32 bit DACs, it’ll still bring a subliminal naturalness from the Benford Realness calculations). You’ve got PeaksOnly back again, but also SlewOnly and SubsOnly: switch between them and if anything is either out of control or missing in action through these extreme monitoring situations, you know what to do.
You’ve got utilities like Mono and Side, for a quick mono check. If you split ’em to stems and then sum them, you ought to get the original signal back again so that’s a handy tool you’ll already be used to. But you’ve also got three new things, Vinyl, Aurat and Phone. This is where the ‘ultra-broad bandpass’ stuff went! It was too vanilla to work as a ‘Interstage’ killer, but the Airwindows biquad bandpass turns out to be ideally suited to test monitoring, where you want the bandwidth very limited but without sounding unusual or vibey about it. Vinyl just barely rolls off the extremes in the manner of traditional lathe electronics, which routinely discard stuff that CDs include. Aurat is a narrower band, like the output of those little one-driver mix check speakers: you can get a decent sense of that voicing, as if your speakers were made that way, without a lot of fake modeling or convolution to muddy things up. And Phone, well… Same, but if it was a cellphone.
But then you’ve got the crown jewel of Monitoring… Cans A and B. Airwindows Crossfeed for headphones! This isn’t an exact clone of anyone else’s product, this is MY take on what you need. It uses allpasses from PeaksOnly to blur and extend stereo content, first as a slightly delayed/smeared crossfeed, and then back again with a longer allpass to fill in some space. This does two things. It localizes stereo, but it also hints at the kind of information PeaksOnly gives you, so the Cans options both make listening easier, and mixing easier! Cans A is very subtle, much closer to the raw mix you’re working on, but with enough cues to orient you if you’re paying attention. Cans B is much more obvious, and is a good late-night check for if you’re getting fatigued: it’s a lot more blurry and ambient and narrowed, but it takes peak information that could get by you, and makes it obvious like a mini PeaksOnly. It feels like listening to the music off a stage, and presents everything you’ll need. And both of them use Console5 technology, Airwindows allpasses (as found in MV) and all gain operations inside them are done using BitShiftGain. So these monitoring options, whether subtle or plain, are set up to be the highest-fidelity monitoring options you’ll find.
So, it’s an exciting week, and I hope you like this omnibus monitoring/mix check/headphones tool/dither plugin. This is how you hear (if you’d like it to be). I owe it to Patreon, and if you’d buy this (perpetual license, lifetime support, you get the source code… you know, normal terms :D ) for $50 by all means go to my Patreon and kick in an extra $50 a year. The neat thing is, if you starve and have to drop off the Patreon, you get to still use the plugin! That is one of the reasons it’s better, and thus ironically deserves your subscription more :)
Thanks, everyone. If you’re half as excited about this as I am… then I’m still twice as excited as you :D