WERKFLEAUX 2: Electric Delta Listen Mode
Updated: May 2
(This is a continuation of the blog post WERKFLEAUX, all Newfangled Audio plug-ins now contain those changes, so please read it for detailed information on those updates.)
We’ve been on a workflow kick here at Newfangled Audio. In February Invigorate got a new preset librarian, multi level undo, and true A/B comparison. Today we’ve brought those features to the whole stable of plug-ins, and also added Delta Listen Mode to the mastering plug-ins.
A Little Background...
True A/B and Undo/Redo have been major requests for Elevate and the other mastering plug-ins almost since day one. Similarly, preset tagging, categories, search, and favorites have been major requests for Generate and Pendulate. Unfortunately, implementing either would mean rewriting our entire preset system.
We decided to tackle this while we were working on Invigorate and we’ve spent the last 6 months updating and improving that core code for all the products, then implementing these requested features. We’re really happy with how everything turned out and we’re confident that they’ll make the plug-ins more usable, while giving us a strong foundation going forward.
The great news is that we’ve been able to make all this a free update which will maintain session compatibility with the previous versions. So just go download and install the latest versions and experience the improved WERKFLEAUX!
Dealing With Change
While we were doing this we decided to tackle another common request: DELTA LISTEN MODE.
Delta Who What?
Mastering processors are often about creating subtle differences in your audio. Sometimes it can be easier to tell what the plug-in is doing not by listening to the output, but by listening to the difference between the input and the output.
Mathematicians like to call this difference the Delta, and we like mathematicians, so we thought this was a fine name for this feature (also, it’s becoming fairly common terminology).
The Delta Listen Mode literally subtracts the output of the plug-in from the input so you can hear only what the processing is doing. In the case of Saturate you’ll hear just the transients that are being clipped. In Elevate you’ll hear the peaks that are being removed by the limiter. Note: This output is not always going to sound “good”, this listener is not supposed to hear this output, they’re supposed to “not” hear it. But as a mixing or mastering engineer you can hear it to get a sense of what the processor is doing and how hard it’s working.
For instance, if you put Saturate on your master bus and you’re hearing just the tops of transients coming through the Delta Listen Mode, then you know that you’re just clipping the transients, and that’s probably what you want. However, if you hear a fair amount of song coming through that means you’re adding some gentle harmonic distortion to your song, AND THAT MIGHT ALSO BE WHAT YOU WANT, but maybe not, it’s up to you. But it will help you direct your focus when you listen to the output, and hopefully this will help you make better decisions.
This is particularly interesting with Elevate. If you recall, Elevate is a mastering limiter designed to make your audio louder while hiding the artifacts of limiting in places that your brain doesn’t hear because of the way the human auditory system works. Delta Listen Mode reverses this process, removing all the masking audio, and showing just the artifacts. The output of Delta Listen Mode in Elevate can sound surprising. However, that’s just what it’s for. Toggle Delta Listen Mode on to hear the artifacts and toggle it back off to see if you can hear those artifacts. If you can, maybe you’re limiting a little to hard? At the end of the day, what you care about is the output sounds great. Delta Listen Mode can be a useful tool to direct your focus, but don’t let it scare you, in a very real way it’s showing you what’s being removed from your audio.
These are all free updates to anyone who owns any of our plug-ins (even free ones). Use them in good health. All plug-ins are also 50% off until the end of May.