The upcoming NastyVCS virtual console strip VST plug-in will feature three pristine and complementary tools to shape the audio dynamics. This allows a vast variety of different dynamic treatments and here is a very first and brief overview:
NastyVCS will offer a dedicated input stage which allows simple input gain control but features crunchy “pre-amp” saturation as well. The amount can be dialed in to taste and allows very first peak treatments ranging from subtle to nasty (sic!). Combining the saturation option with the inbuilt phase alignment tool opens up yet another dimension regarding audio signal coloring (but I will cover that somewhere else in detail).
The input saturation is a good alternative or complement when limiting is not enough or the right thing. For example on difficult to handle bass tracks the input stage can do wonders the limiter can’t. Finally, the combo of both can be a real killer in some mixing situations.
finest compression, opto style
The heart of NastyVCS is the entirely new build opto-electric style compression unit. As already written in the article “the beauty of opto-electrical compression“ this type of circuit designs do have a significant and highly program dependent behaviour and this is mainly due to adaptive release time characteristics, the typical compression transfer curves and the overall frequency dependency and non-linearities. Result: smoothness even on difficult to handle audio material.
Of course, the NastyVCS compressor features external sidechain and two dedicated filters can be used in either the audio path or in the compressors sidechain (whether being internal or external). Routing wise, the compressor can be switched upfront or behind the equalizer section.
Major efforts has been spent on designing the specific attack and release time characteristics which are available as fixed programs: three programs for setting the attack and five for release time behaviour. Those programs cover a really useful range from faster to slower timings but since everything acts program dependent no precise timing is specified.
This compressor maintains punch in almost every situation and you can’t do that much wrong with it – it’s simply a stellar but easy to use mixing comp.
to limit or not to limit …
… or in between – this is your choice with NastyVCS. Placed right to the end of the signal path, the limiter gives the final transient control and can smoothly dialed in from zero to 100%. Set to 100% it works as a true and accurate brickwall safety limiter to prevent peaks to go further above 0dBfs.
As with each and every other NastyVCS option, the limiter does not need any lookahead information as well and so even limiting is available for hassle free tracking and mixing and without any additional latencies. Two timing options can be selected and altogether this makes it an ideal complement to the compressor to finally manage some audio transient information.
combinación, por favor
NastyVCS really shines when all the three dynamic tools are properly combined. Condense the dynamics in some small amounts right in the input stage, apply some smooth compression without affecting the punch/transients and then let the limiter eat some peaks at the output. Voilà, dynamics management mission accomplished!
NastyVCS offers almost everything you need to shape your channels dynamics and I’m really proud to bring the beloved “nasty” signal coloration series onto the next level with this (upcoming) release.