August 20, 2007

Audio Damage Liquid Preview...

by Chris Randall

We're pretty much done with major coding on Liquid (click the image for the full-sized UI), and are going to address porting tomorrow. The Windows version is essentially done, for all intents and purposes. So what is it? A through-zero flanger, that's what. If you know what a through-zero flanger is, skip the next paragraph; otherwise, read and learn.

A normal flanger like you'd find in a guitar pedal (and most software versions) mixes a dry signal with a signal that has been delayed a tiny bit. You can recreate this with almost any delay that has very short times. The more feedback you add, the more your signal sounds like a Cylon. Pretty simple, right? A through-zero flanger is a totally different animal. With through-zero flanging, the "flanged" signal can go just as far _before_ the dry signal as it can _after_. This is the effect that Phil Spector and George Martin are talking about when they describe using two tape decks to create artificial double-tracking (ADT) effects for vocals. They're not talking about the jet-plane whoosh of Eddie's guitar on "And The Cradle Will Rock." The two effects actually have not a whole lot to do with each other.

So what does it sound like? In a word, Liquid. Here is a short MP3 of Liquid in action. The first sound is a dry pad from my MKS80, then the same pad through Liquid, with big depth and slow rate. The second is some dumb drum break from the latest CM cover DVD, then the same drum break with Liquid on slightly faster mod settings and higher feedback.

So, as you can immediately tell, it is a subtle effect, not immediately obvious as to what's happening. All you can tell is that the Good Button was pushed, especially for pads and electric pianos. The "OFFSET" knob is especially useful for stereo-izing mono signals; it offsets the left and right signals from each other slightly, resulting in a nice wide stereo field.

Liquid is going to be US$29.00, and will be available in the Audio Damage store quite soon; if all goes well with the OS X stuff (hardy har har...) we'll probably be in beta this weekend.



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Aug.21.2007 @ 9:47 AM
Ahh this is nice. Sounds a bit like a Marshall Time Modulator. I was waiting for someone to make a plug-in like this.

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Thank you. I'll be picking this one up.


Aug.21.2007 @ 9:47 AM
Chris Randall
It has 5ms of look-ahead; obviously, this will be treated as such in hosts that understand such things. If your host doesn't have PDC, it'll show up as latency. That's the nature of this particular beast.

However, 5ms is so low that it is inside the natural drift of any but the most ludicrously tight players. It's _well_ within the drift of MIDI. So even if your host doesn't have PDC, you won't really notice it. I have incredibly good timing, and I can't feel it playing live; I would say so if I could.

It's worth mentioning at this juncture, since someone will undoubtedly bring it up, that the free MDC plug, as far as I can tell, is _not_ a through-zero flanger. I tested it extensively last night, using 1-sample square waves, and as far as I can tell, it's a normal flanger and the controls are so fucking oblique that you think it's doing through-zero.

The "Real Tape" plugin _does_ do true through-zero flanging. But as you say it's only PT7 and $495 so who gives a flying fuck? Not us, that's for sure. A $495 single-platform plugin doesn't fit in to our ethos at all, even if it made a shitty mix sound like Bruce Swedien was at the knobs.



Aug.21.2007 @ 10:24 AM
Artemiy Pavlov
Guys, I am yours ;-)

Aug.21.2007 @ 10:49 AM
D' MacKinnon
That was fast!

Aug.21.2007 @ 12:27 PM
Gimme a J
Waves also makes a through-zero flanger plug-in, so (as has been pointed out) the idea itself isn't new.

The idea of an inexpensive ($29!) TZ flanger is *very* new, AFAIK. :)

Sounds good, too. Nice work.


Aug.21.2007 @ 1:39 PM
Adam Schabtach
It's nice to see someone else express appreciation for the MXR. I have two of them (the rackmount variety).



Aug.21.2007 @ 4:37 PM
CR - "It's worth mentioning at this juncture, since someone will undoubtedly bring it up, that the free MDC"

Do you mean the MDA plug-in? googling MDC leads to the Milk Development Council

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Safe as **** to say it'd beCap'n Beefheart's plug-in of choice I'm abysmal attempt at humour aside, your sample sounds sweet, count me in!



Aug.21.2007 @ 4:52 PM
Chris Randall
Yes, I meant MDA. Sorry.



Aug.22.2007 @ 12:41 PM
Wow - that demo clip sounds superb - sounds like it would be a deal at several times the asking price. I'll be patiently waiting for the AU port to be released (using Logic 7.2/OSX here).

Aug.22.2007 @ 4:41 PM
Adam Schabtach
AU will come out at the same time as VST, as usual. It just so happens that I'm starting the AU now.



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