The Transient Designer shapes a signal by increasing or decreasing transients and their sustain rather than by their overall level. They present a very different approach to compression that we find to be more musical and quite often the silver bullet to pesky kick drums, bass guitars and anything that isn't behaving well. We have eight channels of Transient Designer in our studio, and we'll probably get another four as soon as budget allows…
spl transient designer features
The Transient Designer allows you to emphasize or smooth the attack and extend or shorten the sustain. With no effort you can shorten or lengthen the attack of all kinds of percussive signals, such as the bass drum, snares, toms, congas etc. to give them more kick, or to flatten the signals. It’s almost like being able to change the amount of drum damping after the recording. The same applies to virtually any other signal; Amplify or reduce the picking sound of an acoustic guitar, hold the sound of the strings longer, reduce the reverb time of a choir, compress solo vocals, increase intelligibility, actuate the piano pedal “electronically”, turn down the slap bass a notch or give it even more attack, etc.
The Transient Designer is very different from conventional Dynamic Processors or Compressors. You don't need to know how the Transient Designer works in order to be able to use it effectively.
Differential Envelope Technology (DET)
Differential Envelope Technology (DET) maintains identical envelope processing from quiet to loud signals (from pianissimo to fortissimo) without the need for the user to adjust any external parameters. In a conventional system, low-level signals would be excluded from processing. Both parameters (Attack and sustain) work in parallel and do not influence each other.
The Attack control circuitry
The Attack control circuitry uses two envelope generators. The first follows the shape of the original curve rendering conventional Attack and Release controls superfluous, while the second generator produces the envelope Env 2 with a slower Attack. The hatched area shows the difference between Env 1 and Env 2, and the VCA control voltage is derived from this difference. Positive Attack values emphasize Attack events, negative Attack values smooth out the Attack envelopes of events.
The Sustain control circuitry
The Sustain control circuitry includes two further envelope generators. The envelope follower Env 3 again follows the shape of the original curve rendering conventional Attack and Release controls superfluous. For a longer period the envelope generator Env 4 holds the sustain level according to the peak level and the VCA control voltage is generated by the difference between Env 3 and Env 4. The sustain is extended at positive settings and shortened at negative settings.
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