Platform: PC, Linux
Transient designers are one of the secret weapons used by producers and engineers to shape drum sounds - usually to make them explode with life and power. But transient designers can do quite the opposite as well by smoothing harsh transients over. They have saved many a drum mix, but they have enhanced even more.
The nearly ubiquitous transient designer in the world of hardware processors is the not-so-creatively named Transient Designer by Sound Performance Lab, or SPL as they're better known. This unassuming little box goes for about $15oo, but they've recently licensed their technology to Universal Audio, who promptly released a software plug-in version with the same predictable name. The good news is that their version sounds great! The bad news is that you not only have to buy the plug-in for $200, you also have to purchase their proprietary hardware accelerator to power the thing! Those can set you back anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the model and configuration.
So what the heck does all this have to do with digitalfishphones Dominion, you say? Well as you have probably already guessed, Dominion is a transient designer like the SPL, but it is available for absolutely nothing. As great as that is, it actually gets better. Dominion is an entire envelope processor on steroids! Check out this blurb taken directly from their site:
"Adjust attack & sustain independently, regardless of input level. Plus, you have control over the envelopes' time constants. Imagine pulling a drummer up front or pushing him to the background by dragging just a single slider! Feel like moving the walls around him? Again, a single push enhances the room information or can make the sound really dry." If you've worked with mixing drum tracks much you can imagine what kind of sonic creativity this tool will inspire.
As if this wasn't enough to offer as a free tool, digitalfishphones also added 3 additional features to Dominion: a saturation circuit, which adds analog-style warmth to the processed tracks, an exciter circuit, which adds extra high-frequency harmonics which add a sense of air and fullness, and a brickwall limiter. Each one of those tools are available for sale in music stores individually, but with the free Dominion you get it all!
So grab Dominion below and pull up a drum mix or some multi-track drum samples to put it on, then let Dominion do it's magic. You'll be impressed with all the ways you can creatively shape your sounds. And for really wacky stuff, try it on other kinds of tracks as well. Want to remove the transients from a vocal track or soften an already recorded keyboard track? Now you can.
Endorphin is free software
But these are not!