In modern pop music, drums have become more and more dominant over the years. This is due to the rise of hip hop into popular culture, and its overwhelming influence on other genres. Today’s sound engineers, therefore, are looking for modern, crisp, and clean drum sounds to pop out in the mix. An easy tool to achieve this is a transient designer. The Bittersweet v3 Plugin by Flux Audio presents itself as a nice alternative to expensive plugins when it comes to taming and enforcing transients in your tracks. Read the full Bittersweet review below.
Bittersweet can be downloaded for free via flux.audio
Introduction to transient shapers
What exactly are transients? Transients are the first ‘spike’ in the loudness of a sound. Meaning, the first click when a drummer hits the snare, or the first punch of the kick drum hitting your chest in the club. By controlling the transients, you essentially control the energy of your track. Quieter transients mean softer sounds and a lighter, calmer mood, and less energy. More emphasis on the transients results in more aggressive, tight drums and a higher energy level in your mix.
You can manage the transients of your sounds with dynamic controlling tools such as compressors and limiters, but these are often introducing other problems. They have unwanted effects on the rest of your sound and you have to really know what you’re doing or else a lot can go wrong. Here’s where transient designers come in: They are easy to control, often have simple one-knob interfaces, and produce quick results.
Features of Bittersweet v3
Now, let’s turn to the Bittersweet v3 Plugin by Flux Audio. The user interface is as simple as it gets: In the middle, you’ll find a one-knob control for the amount of transient shaping which is applied. As you turn it to the right, you will slowly start to hear it working, and the additional transients are introduced to the signal. If you pull the knob to the left, the plugin actually starts to remove transients and make your signal softer. This is great if you want to reduce the punchiness of your drum sounds for example. Both applications sound great. The transients added on top range from really gentle and delicate to powerful and punchy.
The Bittersweet v3 Plugin includes several other nicely packaged features to further modify the application of the effect. First of all, on the top left, you can choose between three distinct modes for the transient emphasis. These are labeled “slow”, “medium” and “fast”. As one can imagine, these settings affect the overall character of the transient designer. Right under the center knob, there is the “period”-control, which sets the time window for transient detection. On the bottom left, you have the ability to split the signal into mid and side parts and have the plugin only affect the center or the pure stereo signal. At last, on the bottom right, you’ll find the output gain. Since increasing transient volume can lead to clipping, Bittersweet v3 allows you to link the transient knob to the output gain, which automatically turns down when you turn up the transients.
As I mentioned before, transient designers are a quick and easy tool to add or remove punch in your mix. Since a lot of modern dynamic plugins come with a rather hefty price tag, producers on a budget need some good-sounding free alternatives. Bittersweet v3 by Flux Audio provides everything you need from a transient designer, for free. It sounds great, is easy to use, and delivers great results. This is a must-have for every aspiring sound engineer.