Audified has announced the availability of ToneSpot Drum Pro — the third entry into its growing family of one-shot channel strip-style processing plug-ins. They say that it is aimed at improving the tone of any acoustic or electronic drums and percussion. Here’s their press release with the full story…
Hunting down perfect-sounding percussion to propel a particular track in the right musical direction can prove particularly frustrating for aspiring artists, engineers, and producers in a technology-driven production world increasingly beset by creativity-stifling choice. Copying or being inspired by a distinctive drum tone that anchors a respected recording can clearly be an attractive proposition, yet — more often than not — even that is easier said than done. Drum kits can be notoriously difficult to record well, whether falling into top-tier territory or otherwise, even if the recordist is fortunate enough to have access to a classy collection of outboard processing and microphones with which to capture them. Investing in high-quality drum triggers and amazing-sounding samples, of course, can prove to be an alternative for those taking the tricky performance route, but it is still perfectly possible to drastically change the resultant sound. Similarly, it is also perfectly possible to drastically change the sound of drum machines, regardless of how well they have been programmed.
Whatever way those aspiring artists, engineers, and producers choose to create their percussion tracks, it is more than likely that they will be working with DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) which — while convenient — can confront them with a dizzying array of plug-ins purporting to do this and that. This can consequently lead to tweaking repeatedly when that dream drum tone resolutely refuses to sit well when mixed with the rest of the musical arrangement, adding to the frustration. Fortunately for all, Audified’s ToneSpot Drum Pro one-shot channel strip-style processing plug-in is aimed at improving the tone of any acoustic or electronic drums and percussion as another aptly-named Swiss Army knife-style solution, so speedy arrivals at appropriate, professional-sounding results are always assured.
Anyone already familiar with Audified’s acclaimed ToneSpot Bass Pro and ToneSpot Acoustic Pro plug-ins with which ToneSpot Drum Pro shares its concept and operational arrangement — albeit as a time-saving means of effective entry to tips and tricks for best drum processing practice via settings based on analysis of thousands of renowned recordings — should immediately feel at home. However, the straightforward signal flow is equally suited to quickly getting newcomers to where they want to take their sound, starting with the Channel button; there users can select whether they want both sides of the signal to be processed, or only the left (L) or right (R) sides. The Input knob allows the input signal strength to be set accordingly; alternatively, pressing the AGC (Automatic Gain Control) button sets the signal strength automatically, based on the calibration settings. Simply select Drum Type — Kick, Snare, Toms, OH (overheads), Room, and Bus — and ToneSpot Drum Pro’s processing prowess is already heading in the right direction from the outset. Onwards towards the desired result, the Character section allows users to change the tone of their drums via three Type — Natural, Modern, and Vintage — settings; there they can also add additional, self-explanatory — Bright, Scoop, or Lo-Fi — Character features, or any combination of all of those settings. The SBG (Sub Bass Generator) section lets users adjust the Cut-Off frequency and also the Intensity of the generator itself to give the tone what it needs. That tone also benefits from the Gate section, attenuating any audio signals that register below its Threshold setting.
Several self-explanatory sections do exactly what is said on the tin — or, better said, the GUI (Graphical User Interface) itself: add Saturation to the tone to give it some grit and fullness; Shaping the tone comes quickly and easily, thanks to the eight-band, musically-labelled (Low-cut, Weight, Thump, Body, Wood, Steel, Sparkle, High-cut) EQ settings to perfectly match anyone’s drum tone-shaping needs with better flexibility; the Punch section says it all — add some slamming punch to the tone, while, for better flexibility, there is also a compression release switch; sometimes it is necessary to go really deep with some surgical EQ — all is there for the taking in the Surgery section; anyone needing to have their tone more dynamically controlled but not completely dead need not look any further than the Smash section; then the Effects section is where the fun really starts, so why not add some (Room, Plate, or Hall) Reverb? The aptly-named Finalizer section is where ToneSpot Drum Pro users can turn to add some finishing touches to their dream drum tone — fatness, tightness, and smoothness are all but a touch of a dedicated (Fat, Tight, Smooth) button away in this mastering-friendly final destination!
Anyone with an appreciation of what is involved in modern-day drum processing will assuredly appreciate what it is that ToneSpot Drum Pro speedily does so well. Why? Well, these days it can take a lot of processing to get drums sounding just right — all the more so since they are clearly crucial to so many music genres. In an age of rising track counts as more CPU (Central Processing Unit) power becomes available to DAWs, drums frequently find themselves fighting against busy arrangements, where several layers of instruments can clash with one another. Also, recordings can sometimes sound too thin, harsh, or sterile. So a tone that can clearly cut through the mix is the order of the day. That tone needs to be both harmonically rich and fat- sounding, yet retain clarity and tightness. That said, sometimes those heavily processed drums still need to sound natural.
Needless to say, products tailored to post-processing of any acoustic or electronic drums and percussion have hitherto been few and far between, rather remaining reliant on studio-savvy engineers’ established workflow, which can involve some seriously convoluted heavy lifting — brilliantly blending drum samples with extensive equalisation, filtering, compression, saturation, or even some multi-band processing — in pursuit of achieving awesome-sounding tones that today’s listeners are accustomed to hearing... until today’s timely arrival of ToneSpot Drum Pro, that is! Indeed, artists, engineers, and producers no longer need waste so much time and energy using a ton of CPU power-draining plug-ins when hunting down perfect-sounding percussion to propel a particular track in the right musical direction when ToneSpot Drum Pro has what it takes to get them to their final destination... directly.
Pricing and Availability:
ToneSpot Drum Pro is available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of $49.00 USD until July 11, 2019 — rising thereafter to $99.00 USD
ToneSpot Drum Pro can be directly downloaded as an AAX, AU, VST2, VST3, 32- and 64-bit native plug-in for MacOS (10.9 and above) and Windows (7, 8, and 10) — alongside a fully-functional, 30-day demo version — from Audified here. (Note that all Audified’s ToneSpot series plug-ins are serial number-protected, so no iLok is required.)
ToneSpot Drum Express — featuring the same processing power as its bigger brother, but with a reduced control count — will soon be available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of $19.00 USD — rising thereafter to $49.00 USD — from Audified’s online shop.