Audiothing Outer Space REVIEW
As a mixer myself I truly love having a collection of plugins and analog gears at my disposal. They are like colorful paint palettes to my work. Sometimes I will run out of mixing ideas and will blindly try out different tools looking for inspiration. Audiothing Outer Space is definitely one of those tools that will inspire you with ideas in your creative process. Outer Space looks like a Roland RE-201 when you first opens it, the interface is very user friendly and clear. I personally have never used a real Roland RE-201 before, and I don’t think it is reasonable to compare it to the hardware because each hardware has a different tone. Let’s approach it like a brand new plugin that do stuff. First off, it has very simple parameters but they can all be used at the same time! It generates infinite possibilities on how you can approach it. It consists of a saturation box, spring reverb and tape echoes. It sounds warm, colorful, lo-fi and lush. Exactly what you looking for from a tape echo and spring reverb. It has a great old-school vibe straight out of the box. Wait...forgot to tell you it costs only $49 and you don’t need an ilok for it, it is a bang for the buck! Usually when I approach a brand new plugins I will try their presets first and see what it does. Not too many presets are included but they are all highlights of this unit, nothing too complicated that beyond useful.
I love the instant mono and stereo switching (add 15ms different between left and right signal) on the Outer space, it really speed up the process by flipping a switch, but I wish they have a ping pong function!!
Here is a tip to use it in a cool/weird way. Put the delay in sync mode, long intensity (feedback) and automate the repeat rate to get some kind of DJ scratching/pitching shifting effects, it could be cool in production or mixing.
They should add Undo and Redo function that prevents pressing the randomize function by accident. The on/off button on the upper right corner is reductant when I have the bypass plugin function in Pro tools, it sometimes confused me on whether the plugin is activated. Lastly I couldn’t find the Pre-Emphasis function on the interface while it appears on the manual.
LEVELS plugin REview
Recently just received a copy of the LEVELS plugin made by Mastering the Mix. As a mixing engineer, I like all my tools to be simple and intuitive, so I can stay focused on the music. The first impression of LEVELS was the user interface is very user friendly and looks really good. It looks like a cool IOS app, very simple to use and self explanatory.
In the “Headroom”, I particularly like the fact this plugin is well designed from an user standpoint. It incorporates a few essential loudness units like LUFS, dBTP & dB. They are all 1 click away from each other, which makes it very easy to make sure your mixes or masters are following the loudness protocol.
“Stereo Field” is always essential to me in mixing, I used the “Mono”, “Left” or “Right” a lot to check how my mixes translate in a mono situation. The vector scope is really responsive which I like. It helps me to check if my mix or any of the tracks are out of phase and the width of it. The low pass function comes in handy to check my low end elements, e.g. kick and bass or synth, are focused in the center.
“Dynamic Range” is a very new concept to me and I don’t think I have come across any plugins that has this in it. I think it’s a great idea and it’s a highlight of this plugin.
LEVELS comes with a few well designed mastering and mixing presets to be used it different situations.
All in all, LEVELS is a great handy tool that includes all the basic metering you will need. Visually, it looks cooler than any metering plugins I have, and I can double check all the parameters almost instantly. It is going to be on my master bus as a safety net before I send my mix out. Clients in the session with me are going to like this plugin because they can finally read it, it is that simple!