Imagine mastering your mixes without causing the lifeless, squashed, and over compressed sound that has become so common in modern music. We have all been at the mercy of the loudness wars for over ten years now. Masters have become louder and louder, at the expense of the music becoming harsh and lacking punch and dynamics.
One of the main causes of this epidemic is the use of the Peak Limiter to achieve increased levels in the mastering stage. Peak limiters attenuate transients and often reduce punch, stereo imaging, can greatly alter mix balances, and cause a fatiguing result to the ears.
Slate Digital FGX Virtual Mastering Software Features
- World class mastering compressor with transparent and articulate sound
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- Controls for low and high punch
- Ultra precise mastering quality metering
- Mac/Windows VST, RTAS, AU compatible
- All Slate plugins require an iLok dongle
Some of the top mastering engineers have found ways to combat this sonic degradation by using techniques other then Peak Limiting. One of the more popular techniques is the use of saturation in both the analog and digital domain. Another popular method is clipping the front end of expensive A/D converters.
However, both of these methods, while better then peak limiting, have their downfalls. Static saturation curves are not universal in their ability to sound good on all transients. Clipping greatly reduces low end punch and is very poor at retaining sub bass. Both static saturation and clipping have a small window of gain maximizing before audible distortion.
Advanced Algorithms were created to execute the extremely complex communication system that would be needed to properly perform the new dynamic operations. A new algorithm was formed, and the process was named "Intelligent Transient Preservation", or ITP.
FGX Dynamics Rack
Two years ago Steven Slate and expert algorithm engineer Fabrice Gabriel started working out the concept for a digital audio process that could increase the level of a mix without altering the punch and dynamic feel, or make the mix sound squashed and lifeless. They started by researching saturation curves and their effect on various types of transient material. After several months of study and hundreds of listening tests, they made some fascinating discoveries. What they found, was that in order to transparently add level to a mix, a dynamic and intelligent transient saturation system would have to be developed.