Dynamic Grading – Beyond The Classic Audio Compression Concept

Playfair Audio is the brainchild of Christian Luther, a seasoned audio developer and DSP expert with previous collaborations with renowned brands such as Kemper GmbH and Sennheiser.
A few weeks ago this new German company released Dynamic Grading, a sound design and shaping plug-in with a completely new approach to handling and designing the dynamic behavior of audio signals. According to Playfair Audio, Dynamic Grading puts all these „best practices using compressors“-concepts into the „things from the past“-vault and opens a whole new world of creative workflows.

What it does
Dynamic Grading is a dynamic processing plugin for handling the dynamics of audio recordings. The typical tools of the trade to shape and fatten up sounds for final mixes are Compressors, Expanders, Gates, and related techniques such as parallel compression. It usually takes a lot of experience and technical knowledge to master and create the often complex combinations and chains of compressors, parallel paths, busses, etc. 

Playfair Audio now lets musicians forget about those clumsy compressors, expanders, and gates. Dynamic Grading makes audio dynamics visible and tangible. Now, getting the most diverse tracks under perfect control with this unique and versatile dynamic processing plugin is easy: Beginners and seasoned engineers alike deliver better results, faster.

Dynamic Grading is an entirely novel approach to dynamic processing of audio. Unlike traditional dynamic processors like compressors or expanders, which are notoriously hard to adjust, Dynamic Grading lets you mix with more confidence than ever before. It does so by displaying an easily comprehensible histogram of audio dynamics, providing intuitive and easy-to-use means for manipulating the audio’s dynamic „gestalt“ graphically and using sophisticated and musical dynamic processing algorithms.

The Dynamic Grading method is inspired by digital image processing tools, where the use of histograms and grading curves is well-known and established to adjust the dynamics of brightness in images. With Dynamic Grading, these concepts have been adapted and tailored to practical use in music production and audio engineering for the first time.

The plugin is designed to make mixing a song, adjusting movie dialogue or podcasts, and mastering albums an intuitive, fast, and enjoyable experience, as easy as drawing a stick man.

Let’s watch a few examples of Dynamic Grading in use with different instruments.

Here on the drums and percussion bus:

Here on acoustic guitar:

And here on synth bass:

Pricing and availability
Dynamic Grading is available from www.playfair-audio.com for Euro 149,- / USD 169,-

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