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Thanks Neil for your suggestions.

Waterfall spectrum.  Voxengo style!

Hi Aleksey,

Is it hard to get one of your compressor plugins to shoot out an automation envelope from the detector?  In other words Sonar4 lets me record effect parameter automation - If I turn it on I can record the knob movements of Polysquasher 'Threshold' for example.  I'm wondering if you would allow me to record what the detector sees?

I am currently using a new product to do this called Blue Cat Digital Peak Meter Pro.  I like the product, it's implications, developer, support and company - so I am not wanting to impact their business of course.  I thought after an appropriate period that you might consider publishing your own version of a waveform peak automation generator.  As far as I know the Blue Cat model is the only product that does this - I don't like putting a one-of-a-kind product into production for obvious reasons, for my own protection and piece of mind.

Thanks for considering this!


Why would you need this envelope?  How can you use it?  I assume you need a sampled envelope that follows the signal at the same sample rate?

You can copy the automation data (envelope) and put it on other tracks/effects.  For example, you could copy the envelope from a drum track, and have it control the filter cutoff of a synth pad.

So this envelope should be exported as MIDI controller change events?

Hi Aleksey,

Here's one thing I'm doing now with an envelope generated by the peaks of a wave file.  I have a vocal track that has off-axis and proximity dynamics problems that has a few peaks that is simply too much (like over 12db) for a couple of serial compressors to handle transparently - I can squish the peaks but then I get dynamics artifacts where I can hear the oversquished peaks.  The way around this is to put a good transparent 'tight' compressor on the signal and when the extra loud parts come - turn the knee way up to about 30dB and drob the dry/mix knob down so [Polysquasher] compresses harder for the duration of the peak then back it off.

I can do that by recording automation moves using my mouse (yuck), or using a control surface where I grab a fader and record automation that way (maybe this is the right way to do it - like riding the faders).  Or I can record the envelope using a tool like the one Blue Cat has.

The tool doesn't write every sample but outputs automation nodes in Sonar every 100ms-200ms or thereabouts seemingly having something to do with the frame rate(?).

Anyway riding the compressor knee sounds a lot better to my ears than riding the fader gain in such extreme restoration cases.

Also - Brain had some good ideas for this too - a more common usage I think.  These aren't midi envelopes they're recorded audio effect parameter data.  In Sonar if you right click on an inserted effect in a track, this arms automation recording.  You can then record it, mover the effect param with your mouse or a control surface, and use the envelope however you like.  It could be reassigned to any other automatable effect or volume, pan or send level.

ED: I just wanted to add that taming a track with a fast large dynamic jump is probably better done with a fairly tightly generated automation envelope (that can respond within 50-200ms) and is probably not the right application for a control surface using a 'gain-riding' method.


OK, now I understood this concept.  My thoughts are this method is not convenient.  Also question is whether it is compatible between hosts or not?  For example, can you record this automation envelope and manipulate it freely in Cubase, Nuendo and other hosts beside Sonar?

OK - hold the fort!  I just got back from taking my wife to an eye appointment, while waiting in the lobby I could see what I've been doing, hehe...

No it's not very convenient doing things like that.  That's because I don't have a Parametric Compressor - unless you build one.

What I've done using the automation envelopes is to build a pretty unwieldly Compressor with parameterized Knee and Dry knobs.  All I've done is add PDC (Program dependent control) to Knee and Dry - now the knobs respond to the program more which is controlled by the attack and release (and threshold) of the automation envelope.

I am able to turn any knob on Polysquasher (or any of your other compressors) into a PDC sensitive knob that responds to variance in Threshold, Attack, and Release (might as well throw sustain in there too so we have a full ADSR...or Hold as it's known in dynamics processors).  But the method I'm using is not very convenient at all!

How would you like to implement the worlds first parametric compressor in which another dimension allows the normal compressor controls to be controlled by Threshold, Attack, Hold, Release !  OK - this is exciting to me anyway.  And it can really complicate a compressor.  You could hide the complications by creating an experience level usually found in games - Experience Level1 = normal compressor, Experience Level2 = parametric control of all controls.

Thanks for thinking about this!


Kyle, I think what you are talking about is the same as designing a different compressor.  Compressor itself is a program-dependent audio processor.  The result of adding 'PDC' you are talking about will be another compression sound, but not necessarily better than you have it in Polysquasher already.
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