It’s time to write about a long-standing love of mine. New plugins are popping up all the time and we will totally cover the good ones, but we also need to ensure we don’t forget those that have been around a bit longer, and stuck around. Today we’re making damned sure you all know about Transgressor, my go-to transient designer.
Deal: Transgressor 2 by Boz Digital Labs 70% off Noizefield 26. March 2020 Deals Leave a Comment “Transgressor 2” sets a new standard for transient design by combining transient shaping with two 4-band equalizers, giving you the unprecedented power to EQ attack and sustain individually. Transgressor’s powerful EQ and transient- and resonance-shaping capabilities can transform the sound of any drum to suit the song and your taste. Not just for drums, Transgressor can also bring out the snap and pop of a funk bass without turning it into a baritone guitar. Boz Digital Labs has announced the release of Transgressor 2, an updated and improved version of the Transgressor transient designer plugin. Transgressor increases or decreases attack and sustain and enables you tonally shape them separately. Transgressor is slightly different, in that it doesn’t directly effect the dynamics of the transient and sustain of a hit, but allows you to EQ each part separately. The video below demonstrates this well and gives plenty of audio examples. What I appreciate the most about this new tool is the algorithms that Boz Digital have come up with.
Boz has a reputation for bringing out plugins that seem to do something we think we’ve seen before but always have a twist that makes them unique, powerful and ultimately indispensable. Other devs must be left kicking themselves when a new Boz release comes out…
Transgressor – Born to Lead
Transgressor isn’t only an incredible album by Tunde Olaniran. Transgressor is also a transient controller. It has all the usual transient controller stuff going on… the twist is that you can EQ the transient and the sustain separately. It’s a simple idea but it’s so so so so so useful.
Right out of the box, Transgressor has all the controls you need to separate the transient an sustain with the accuracy you require for all kinds of sources. Even without the EQ controls this is a mighty fine designer.
The detector controls help you define what is and isn’t considered a transient with threshold and retrigger dials, as well as a hard/soft switch. In hard mode, only transients above the threshold will trigger. In soft mode, transient blow the threshold will trigger, but to a lesser amount. Hard is best for avoiding misfires, but try both to see what fits the material. Finally, you can control the envelope sustain and decay.
You will also find one of Transgressors extra useful features; the sidechain EQ. This allows you to EQ the signal that’s the transient detector is receiving without EQing the output. Either a bandpass with frequency and Q settings or a hi/lo pass filter can be selected.
Yet another game-changing feature, possibly given away by the use of the term ‘sidechain’, is that you don’t have to use the actual audio being affected to trigger the transient detector. You can sidechain in any source. This allows for some really creative variations on your usual transient design flow.
A functional example is given in the manual:
“…you may want to put this plugin on your drum room mics, but only increase the transients on the snare drum hits. In that case you can put this plugin on your room mics, and route the snare drum to the sidechain. Then the transients will only trigger when the snare drum is hit, but it will affect the sound on the room mics. This is highly effective for getting big drum sounds without washing them out in reverb.”
The Meat and the Potatoes
This all brings us to the main feature of Transgressor.
It’s such a bloody simple concept but it’s so useful and so perfectly executed. There’s really not much explaining to do.. you can EQ the transient and you can EQ the sustain. Separately. Simple as that.
Why didn’t anyone think of this before?
The EQ controls include three bands, the first can be a high-pass, low-shelf or bell type filter, the second can be a bell a band-pass or a tilt type filter, and the third can be low-pass, high-shelf or bell. Each with separate control over the gain, frequency and bandwidth. You can also simply adjust the gain of the transient or sustain and just switch either of them off completely.
And that’s it. Simple but somehow magical. Transgressor makes it so easy to add punch, thud or snap to any percussive instrument in exactly the right places whilst controlling unwanted resonances or muddiness in the sustain. There are presets but it’s so intuitive to dial in that I’ve never actually used them! Just find the sweet spot with the EQs, carve away the nasty bits and Bob’s yer uncle. Job done.
- Sound quality
- Ease of use
- Value for money
I think I pretty much made my point… I grab Transgressor first whenever I’ve got transient work to do. Give it a trial and see if it works for you too.
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A Transient is a spike attack in your sound which occurs as a waveform build rapidly from silence to pick, an example is a percussion hit, you will often find this in a similar snappy instrument or samples. If you have too many transients in your sounds, you might want to even it out, and this is where a Transient Shaper plugin comes into play.
A Transient Shaper plugin helps in controlling the transient response and the envelope curve of an audio signal without affecting the overall level. At first, you might be pondering why you will ever need a transient shaper when you can use a compressor, it’s similar but works differently.
The practical usage of a Transient shaper is when you are trying to shape the character of a dynamic signal during their attack and release phase, it doesn’t rely on a threshold to do its job. On the other hand, a compressor allows you to control the dynamics of a sound to your input signal as it crosses a certain threshold.
The major difference between a compressor and a transient shaper is that a compressor relies on a threshold to kick in, while a transient shaper can affect all transients, both high and low in an audio signal without the need for a threshold. I hope you get their differences.
In this guide, I’ll recommend some of the best Transient Shaper plugins to shape some annoying transient, let get started with…
- 6.) Beatformer – accusonus
1.) TS-1 Transient Shaper – Audiority
The first Transient Shaper plugin on how the list is the TS-1 by Audiority, which is a multimode frequency-dependent Transient Shaper. It is built to manage the attack and sustain of an incoming audio signal.
TS-1 Transient Shaper features 2 separate detection algorithm for Attack and Sustain, which helps in filtering unwanted spikes for pristine audio quality. Although this would greatly depend on the audio material you are using it on, make sure you start with a good audio sample, this way, you won’t be aggressively using the plugin parameters for something totally bad already.
Additionally, it features two distinct modes names Type A and Type B. Type A retains the original TS-1 algorithm, and Type B features an inverse envelope curve on a negative gain value.
- Mac: OS X 10.7 or later
- Windows Vista SP2 or later
- VST2, AU, and AAX (64-bit host)
- Core Duo 2GHz
- 2GB RAM
- Screen resolution: 1024 × 768
2.) DS-10 Drum Shaper – XLN Audio
DS-10 is a simple and intuitive Transient Shaper by xlnaudio is designed specifically for percussions or drum. It can make your drums, beats, and loops sound huge or tight & punchy. With DS-10 you can dial in the attack knob for a more snappy shot, and also more gain in the sustain with the Sustain knob.
What I love about the DS-10 is how it treats different elements separately, for example, it has the Kick, Snare, and the Bus mode which can be individually tuned and optimized to give you the best sound for the source you want to enhance.
Lastly, with the MOJO knob, you can spice and color adjust your drums, It lets you shape the attack and punch in curated frequency bands while leaving others unaffected, opening a world of sonic awesomeness and sound design possibilities.
- Make your drums, beats, and loops sound huge or tight & punchy
- Shape the attack and sustain of your drums, beats, and loops
- Fast and easy workflow
- Intuitive and clean interface
- macOS 10.9 or later (32 & 64-bit)
- 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
- VST, AU, AAX (32 & 64-bit)
- Standalone Application
- Windows 7, 8, 10 (32 & 64-bit)
- 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
- VST, AAX (32 & 64-bit)
- Standalone Application
3.) Transgressor 2 – Boz Digital Labs
Unlike DS-10 that only allow you to control the attack and sustain an audio signal, Transgressor steps up the game by not only allowing you to control the attack and sustain but also lets you equalize the attack and sustain portions of the instrument’s envelope individually. On top of that, you can also dial in the specific low, mid, and high frequencies independently on each.
One feature I dig about the Transgressor is the way it gives you an option to shape the transient, it gives you 2 EQs, one for the attack and one for the sustain, this way, you can tweak, and adjust the way you want the attack and sustain to sound. You aren’t just given the EQ to tinker with, there are also three bands to each EQ section (low, mid, high) with variable frequency selection and gain for each band. As if that isn’t enough, individual bands also give you three selectable filter types that are particularly suited to each band.
If you want to take the transients’ control to another level, you can use the inbuilt detector with an external sidechain, this way, you can adjust the EQ and sustain of any instruments triggered by another, this can be powerful if you know what you are doing.
- Hybrid transient designer with two 3-band equalizers with selectable slopes
- Gain controls let you boost or eliminate transients and sustain independently
- Mix knob lets you adjust wet/dry signal
- Adjustable transient detector lets you control sensitivity, eliminate false triggers from bleed
- Internal or external sidechain control of detector
- Sidechain EQ lets you dial in the frequencies that trigger the detector
- Three sidechain modes with “listen” feature to monitor sidechain signal
- Retrigger controls time between triggered events
- A/B bank comparison
- Factory presets to get you started
- VST, VST3, RTAS, AU, AAX Native (32 and 64 bit)
Transgressor Boz Scaggs
- VST, VST3, RTAS, AAX Native (32 and 64 bit)
4.) Transient Shaper Snapin – kiloHearts
While Compressor can control the level of your transient, it’s not ideal specifically for a transient spike, Transient Shaper Snapin works on the rate of change of the signal level rather than the signal level itself. This would result in indirect control over the character of both of the attack and the sustain level of the sound.
Transient Shaper Snapin features are:
- Attack: The amount of amplification or attenuation of the transient.
- Pump: The amount of attenuation directly after the transient, emphasizing the transient without increasing the level.
- Sustain: The amount of amplification or attenuation of the sustained sound.
- Speed: Higher values result in s snappier transient modification, and lower values result in smoother curves.
- Clip: When enabled, the output signal is clipped to 0dB.
- Sidechain: When enabled transients are detected based on a secondary input, but the effect is applied to the main input.
- Settings panel: Whenever you have your mouse cursor over a snapin, there is a small arrow at the top right corner (not visible in screenshot). It opens a settings panel where you handle presets.
- Enabled checkbox: The small checkbox to the left of the plugin name is a checkbox that bypasses the effect when disabled.
- CPU: 2 GHz or faster
- Memory: 1 GB or more
- Operating System: Windows (7 or newer) or Mac OS X (10.7 or newer)
Supported formats: AAX/AU/VST2/Snapin
5.) Transient Shaper – Softube
By now, you probably know that using Transient Shaper is a hidden gem if you care about taking your mixes to the next level.
The fact that you can control the attack and decay of a sound using plugins is great, an example of such plugin is the Transient Shaper by Softube, it is a dual-band processor that work on different bands individually, for example, you can adjust the sustain and punchiness of the treble or bass portion of a sound without affecting other portions.
The dual-band operation makes Transient Shaper useful for much more than drum and percussion sounds. Give a vocal track clarity and presence by adding some high-frequency transients—add Punch with its frequency slider set to Hi. Or create a darker and more rounded sound that oozes with vintage vibe by instead turning down the Punch knob. Use it on piano, bass, guitar, electronic drums—Transient Shaper works on a wide range of sound types.
- Dual-band transient processing tool
- Add or reduce punch and/or sustain from any sound
- Affect either the whole frequency spectrum, only the high frequencies or only the low frequencies
- User-selectable crossover frequency
- Clip section adds output distortion
- Mac OS X 10.9 or newer
- Windows 64-bit, versions 8 or 10
- Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or newer
- Screen resolution larger than 1280×800
- 1 GB RAM or more, and at least 6 GB hard disk space for installation (individual plug-ins take less space)
- Any VST, VST3, AU, or AAX (Pro Tools 10.3.7, 11.0.2 or higher) compatible host application
- Softube/Gobbler account
- Gobbler application to manage license activation and plug-in downloads
6.) Beatformer – accusonus
Beatformer is a really simple transient shaper plugin that lets you shape the sound of your percussion/drum loops with 4 intuitive controls, which are the Boom, Punch, Squash, and Air.
Transgressor Of The Law
- Glue your drum mix together
- Bring energy into over-processed loops
- Easily enhance your beat’s dynamics
- Add color and personal character to your beats
- Add substance to thin sounds
- Instantly transform the sound of your beats
- Mac OSX Versions 10.10 or later
- Windows Versions 7 (SP1) or later
- AU, VST, AAX Native (64-bit)
- RAM: 2GB (minimum)
- Hard Disk Space: 50MB (minimum)
- Screen Resolution: 800×600 (minimum)
- Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96kHz