Transient shaping: What, how and why?
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Old 24-07-2016, 06:13 PM   #1
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Transient shaping: What, how and why?

Since I didn't find a dedicated thread, this is all about transient shapers. I use this type of plugin mostly on beats, single drum hits or group tracks, sometimes on basslines or leads or effect sounds to somewhat strengthen or soften attack/decay of sounds.

I started out with one-band transient shapers (there are some good ones, but often you only want to strengthen or soften the transients in certain frequencies), then started using custom multiband Ableton racks (which got somewhat CPU-intensive with multiple plugins applied for every frequency band) and recently switched to multiband transient shapers. Here are the transient shapers I know a bit (currently I am mostly using Transify, sometimes Alloy, and sometimes the one by G-Sonique, mainly for additional saturation):

Single-band:
- Transient by Sleepy-Time Records: very good free single-band plugin with a lot of parameters.
- Transient Shaping System by G-Sonique: includes saturation options. Sometimes very nice for beats, but often introduces unwanted changes in certain frequencies.
- Transilate by Crysonic: it is singleband, but you can select the affected frequency. Somewhat buggy in my experience (the selected frequency switches back when minimizing the plugin and other stuff).

Multiband:
- Alloy 2 by iZotope: includes 3-band transient shaper with ok sound and options. maybe somewhat expensive and/or CPU-heavy if you only want a transient shaper.
- Transify by Joey Sturgis Tones: I really like that is has 4 frequency bands. Also, good sound.

What are your opinions about transient shaping? Do you use it regularly in your productions? If so, how do you do it and which plugins do you recommend and why?

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Old 24-07-2016, 06:37 PM   #2
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

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yea i use this with a dab of compression best transient shaper going imo very light on cpu infact uses no cpu what so ever on my pc and has a great drive to.
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Old 24-07-2016, 09:05 PM   #3
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

IMHO, the result of any of those things can usually be taken care of with compressors, multiband compressors, dynamic EQ's, or just simple volume automations

Typically though, I just automate the volume curve if I need a direct transient shaper. There's no real need for one, unless you're doing some really experimental shit and trying to make beats from you spilling a bowl of cheerios or something

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Old 24-07-2016, 09:36 PM   #4
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

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Originally Posted by 666 View Post
Typically though, I just automate the volume curve if I need a direct transient shaper.
That's interesting! Do you do that by drawing in volume automation on single tracks or by using something like volume shaper on tracks or drum group channels? I use volume automation, too, but usually for different purposes than transient shapers.


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: that sounds good, too. Do you use it as is as a single-band plugin or do you split it up over multiple frequency bands in an effect rack?

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Old 24-07-2016, 10:03 PM   #5
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

I absolutely use it on snare and kick drums. Attack up to taste on snare, sustain up on kicks for splatty goodness. I use that one you listed first ftmp part unless I'm using Addictive Drums for any layers, then I use the one in their plugin which works half decently. It's good to use AFTER compression to undo the blanket effect they cause.

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Old 25-07-2016, 01:11 AM   #6
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

I find myself using the one in Alloy sometimes for drums. I use drumaxx, and occasionally I really struggle to find the balance between attack/decay for the sounds it puts out, so I adjust that with Alloy. Honestly, I could probably get by if I did enough tweaking with the parameters inside of drumaxx, but that gets weird fast, so I try not to touch too much in there.
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Old 26-07-2016, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

When I was in recording engineering college, the teachers covered just about everything EXCEPT transient shapers. So I often forget they exist, even though I have downloaded a few and use them here and there. Really, they are great. Some times they are the only thing that works instead of manually dropping the volume of a peak or intentional clipping or whatnot.

Usually, I don't need a transient shaper, because my stereo bus limiting works pretty well. But I think I could probably get a slightly better sound if I used them mildly on individual drum tracks. It's the transients that eat up a lot of the dynamic range and kick the limiter into gear.

Flux Bittersweet is alright and there's another one I have too that's also freeware but I forget the name.

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Old 26-07-2016, 09:44 PM   #8
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaside View Post
That's interesting! Do you do that by drawing in volume automation on single tracks or by using something like volume shaper on tracks or drum group channels? I use volume automation, too, but usually for different purposes than transient shapers.
All of the above, but I resample a lot. I just draw in my own curves in the DAW, nothing fancy

Live's sampler works well, even on drums

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Old 19-09-2017, 03:31 PM   #9
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

I might be wrong, but Transient Shaper is a small version of the compressor, created to work with the timing parameters of the signal (Attack and Release). A typical transient shaper allows you to change the amplitude and increase the level of attack, and restore the signal, according to the chosen curve.
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Old 21-09-2017, 03:02 PM   #10
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Re: Transient shaping: What, how and why?

Flux BitterSweet II still gets the job done. [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

But I haven't had to use it in months anyhow.
Christian Budde's(?) LookAhead Limiter is pretty much transparent. Freeware, and awesome, of course.

Last edited by Daggit; 21-09-2017 at 03:08 PM..

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