Boost the Power of your Mixes
Are you always looking for new ways to improve your mixes? I know I do, as production quality is super important to stand out in the competition.
Tighter low end, well balanced low-mids, focused and crystal clear mids, and shimmering and wide highs. Some things you want more centered, others with more stereo depth. Some sounds you want super fat and gritty, others you want to remain clean.
Check out the VST Plugin: Spectre from Wavesfactory – A mixing/mastering plugin with a lot of power and versatility.
Wavesfactory – Spectre
I like plugins that have lots of power in one place, and Spectre is one of them. None of its individual features are unique on their own, but the collection and way you use them together is truly where it stands out.
Spectre is a multiband harmonic exciter, with adjustable parametric bands, individual settings for saturation types per band, and even individual settings for mid/side per band. That last one is the big game changer for mer personally. Literally the reason for why I instantly put this plugin on every single group bus in my mixing template.
One Plugin – Lots of Control
The amount of control this single plugin gives me goes way beyond a chain of compressors, EQs, filters and even multiband compressors. For example: on the bass group bus I set the lowest band to mid, and booster a couple of dB.
Then I added another exciter band in the mids around 500hz and boosted the sides. My mission was to focus the lowest bass frequencies in the centre, and add more space to the attack/body of the bass. I then set the bands to use tape and warm saturation types.
Another example: On the front group bus where I have all my lead instruments, I put the highest band to 5k and above, and added tape harmonic saturation, then set the band to sides.
Because those airy frequencies with lots of width makes the lead instruments bus come alive and be pushed forward in the mix. These are just examples on what I did when trying out the plugin, but you can see the potential.
My Favorite things about Spectre
Saturation Type per band
You can choose from several different saturation types, and select this “per band”, which is incredibly powerful and gives you so much control over what how you shape the harmonics of your sounds.
You get the classics like: Tube and Tape, but also Diode, Rectify and even bitcrusher. There is even a “clean” setting which means that band is basically just an EQ booster.
Mid/Side setting per band
This is probably my absolute favorite “game changer” feature. I am a huge fan of mid/side processing, but this takes it to another level, as you can choose the setting “per band”. So you add a low-end boost in the middle (mono), while adding shimmering excitation in the high end sides to add depth.
Think about it just for a moment, and you quickly realize how big this seemingly little feature really is. Mid/Side…per band!
Dry/Wet Mix knob
Parallel processing is something I use often, as I’m sure you do too. Not only can you dial in the overall blend of the harmonic excitation you get from all the saturation, but imagine how powerful this can be for automation too!
Great Preset Bank
Most software instruments and synths come with good preset banks. But for some reason most effect plugins do not.
Well, I’m happy to say that Wavesfactory supplied a very nice and neatly organized preset bank for you to start out with.
Again, this might seem like a small feature. But I am so annoyed with most developers that neglect us users that use ultra high resolution screens. Thank you Wavesfactory for making it possible to resize the GUI!
My Constructive Feedback
I did not find first a way to change the Q setting on the band on the actual visual EQ without using the numbers below. Apparently you can, but you need to use the mouse scroll wheel when hovering over the white dot of the band. Not the most intuitive approach as it is not “standard”, but I guess it’s my own mistake from not reading the manual.
My Overall Impression of Spectre
This is an amazing mixing tool, all packed into one single plugin. Multiband harmonic exciter with multiple saturation types per band, mid/side settings per band, and parallel processing with balance knob. I put this plugin on every single group bus, and on the master, and I will even experiment with automating the wet balance knob to for example add more harmonics in the chorus sections.
I would highly recommend this plugin both for mixing and mastering, 2 thumbs up from me.
Learn More about Wavesfactory – Spectre VST Plugin
Click here to check out Spectre, learn more details, and decide if this might be something you want to add to your composer/producer toolkit.
My name is Mikael “Mike” Baggström, and I am a composer, sound designer, artist, video creator, coffee lover, and true nerd…
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