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PSP MixTreble

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Here's a little review of the PSP Audioware MixTreble plug-in. .

As the name implies, this plug-in is geared towards high-mid and high frequencies treatment. VST 2 compatible, it's made of a number of modules. It allows for a large spectrum of adjustments, which can improve sound definition of, to name a few, acoustic instruments, percussions, master mixes, even brighten old recordings flattened by time ;-)

UI is simple but efficient. No overload, only the minimum needed to drive the different parameters.

5 modules are contained there-in.

  1. "Hiss remover" : The name sums it all. This module attenuates high-frequencies related noise. Parameters are: high frequency of low-pass filter, attack time, attenuation level, and a noise floor that lets you choose at which input level the treatment is activated. The hiss remover can be bypassed with a "process" button.
  2. "Transients" : This module accentuates transient frequencies, without adding any noise, and is worth the price of the complete plug-in all by itself. It's got a remarkable efficiency, all instruments gain what could be described as an added vitality. I've tried and heard the results on voice, acoustic guitar, snare drum, "soundfont" piano, and on a whole mix. Let me tell you, you have to hear it to believe it ;-) I won't go into the details of the different parameters (ratio, filter slope, hi damp, adjust and process), since you just can not describe that effect in mere simple words ;-)
  3. "Enhancer" : The enhancer module works only with stereo files. In a way, it reassignes high-frequencies. That widens the stereophonic field, there-by improving the aural "sensation" of stereo. Parameters are: filter slope, over enhanced, enhance and process.
  4. "Harmonics" : Adding harmonic content is the task of this module, and this plays a role in the definition and presence of high-frequencies. The frequency parameter controls the central frequency of the filter, while a Q helps with fine-tuning. The drive parameter alters generated harmonics. "First out" can remove a part, or the whole of the input signal, to output only harmonics if you wish, and "adjust" determines the amount of harmonics sent to the final output. The module can be bypassed with the "process" button.
  5. "Output" : Mono or stereo output can be chosen in this module, as is the final gain level. Another function is a soft clipping algorithm, activated with the "sat" button. Finally, "process" enables or disables the whole plug-in.

I'd rank PSP MixTreble among the essentials for home-studio productions. Unless you have at your disposal an array of high-end (and high-priced) equipment, your sound takes will only lose definition at each treatment step. How many times have you noticed that a correct take finally sounded flat in the end, and then boosted the high frequencies to regain what the original sounded like? PSP MixTreble can, up to a point, restore the original quality and sound definition of your recordings. I sincerely think it can address a lot of problems encountered by home-studio amateurs and semi-pros. Because, of course, professionnals already know they have to take care of their high-frequencies and transients.

Gilles BLAIS, on the 21-02-2001

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