Test Drive: Power Suite 5 from WaveArts

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MultiDynamics5

MULTIDYNAMICS

MultiDynamics is a multiband dynamics processor featuring up to six bands of compression or expansion/gating. Like TrackPlug, it features both Clean and Vintage compression modes. Vintage works like a classic analogue compressor and can, at extreme settings, create low-end fattening and transient shaping, while Clean retains the transients and avoids distortion where you want less character and more transparency. I found the difference between the modes to be obvious on some material, and overall I like the sound of this plug.

Adjusting multiple bands of compression can be a pain in one’s hiney, especially since you’re adjusting both EQ and dynamics to get what you want. MultiDynamics display lets you see the results of your adjustments better than most multi-band compressors I’ve used. The display gives equal weight to showing what’s happening to the frequency response as it does to the gain reduction. The left pane shows the current frequency response (it’s a green line) and threshold (this is an orange line); the right side shows what’s happening with the dynamics.

You can set not only a particular frequency range for each band, but also determine how much gain will be applied when the signal is above the threshold, and how much when it’s below. This makes it easy to compress some bands while expanding others, but also makes it easier to see how compression will affect the frequency response. In this regard it’s a bit like Elemental Audio’s Neodynium frequency-dependent compressor, except you have up to six bands to play with.

In addition, the crossover between bands can be set to either 18 or 30 dB per octave, and the transitions sound seamless. Overall, this plug-in is a home run; run through the presets, and you’ll hear everything from hard sounds without harshness to gentle tone-shaping with a dynamics lift.

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