Shaping transients is an essential skill of modern music production. Starting with the good old SPL Transient Designer, we have seen many attempts at creating tools that can help sound engineers to fine-tune their transients. The latest one is Couture, a sleek-looking software plugin from Auburn Sounds.
How It Works Couture is a level-independent dynamics plugin (VST/AU/AAX) with swift visualization and six types of saturation.
The workflow starts with Couture’s Sharpen control – turn it up to emphasise every transient and increase the signal’s dynamic range; turn it down to smooth the signal and reclaim headroom. Make tweaks to the Speed of the transient shaping, and determine how the transients are emphasized or de-emphasized.
Couture has three detection types: Flat, Human (equal loudness) and Sybil, for different use cases. You can also boost the detector circuit’s sensitivity to bass, regardless of the detection type.
The Saturation section can be an alternative to transient shaping or a separate stage after it. Couture’s six distortion algorithms can add anything from subtle tape-style warmth to all-out digital destruction.
Boost the Drive to get started, sculpt the distortion with low- and high-pass filters, and get extra personalisation with more controls.
Couture’s transient shaping and distortion are fully level-independent, meaning that you can change the gain of a signal before it hits Couture, and it won’t make a difference to the transient-shaping or the distortion processing.
Sharpen or dull transients, and weight the effect by a factor of 1x, 2x or 3x
Visualize changes to the signal in the main display, and see Input and Output waveforms
Front/Back and Speed controls affect the transient response and timing intuitively
Set detection type: Flat frequency spectrum, Human speech, Sibilance reduction
Six dynamic waveshaping distortion flavours: Bitcrush, Rectify, Fuzz, Sin, Bass and Tube
VST2/AU/AAX plugin for PC/Mac, runs in all major DAWs
Balance a sound’s transient attack and body with the Sharpen control
By reducing the Sharpen control, you can use Couture like a compressor, bringing a volatile signal under more control & allowing for extra make-up gain using the Output control
De-ess and de-click overly harsh percussion: set a fast Speed control, process the Front and reduce Sharpen
Simulate gated drums with more extreme Sharpening
Reduce the Mood control by 25% and lower the cutoff to emulate a nostalgic tape-style sound
Make buses, groups or an entire mix punchier or smoother using a fast settings and a gentle change of the Sharpen parameter. Roll off the bass in the detector amount for better results
Price and Availability
Couture comes with an unusual freemium model. There are two versions: Couture Free has the saturation part disabled. Couture Full gets the whole deal, for $99.
For more information visit the Couture product page.
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