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Chris

Airwindows is one guy: me! I am an audio hacker and computer programmer from way back. I seek only to continue my life up here in Vermont, inventing things and putting them onto the internet, sometimes for free and sometimes for pay. My hope is that people richer than me (i.e. most people) don't rob me. My other hope is for another cup of Aeropress. One out of two ain't bad!

Desk

TL:DW; Classic Airwindows subtle analog modeling.

Desk

Now that we’re done for now with dithers (though the contest to name my best wordlength reducer ever is still going, and will run until February 1 when that one’s made public) it’s time to get into something more interesting.

Namely, the canonical version of Airwindows Desk, brought up to current standards and ported to Windows VST!

This has never been available in this form, or for free. But it’s 2017 and time to include some of the plugins that gave Airwindows a decade of active business even when selling only generic, GUI-less Audio Unit plugs for Mac only. These were secret weapons most people couldn’t get, and they were $50 each. Now Airwindows is supported by Patreon and growing month by month (it’s about time to get some reporting on this story, attn. anyone who’s looking for an amazing tale to recount) and while the for-pay plugins are still waiting to begin their release, I can start rolling out new versions of some of the greatest hits.

Desk is a little bit like a precursor to ‘PurestDrive’. It’s entirely an analog modeler, with a behavior that’s far from a plugin stomp-box distortion. It glues and thickens the sound, with a headroom of about 30 dB, much like a true analog console (those don’t turn into distorto-pedals the instant you hit 0 dB). Desk is the canonical version of this type of sound processing.

Note that it’s not tricky to use like Console4. It’s not calibrated to work as a ConsoleChannel replacement (that’s the most recent Desk3, which is one of the Kagi plugins to be released later). It doesn’t have elaborate tone colors added like BussColors3 (also a Kagi plugin). It’s not obvious in normal use, not adjustable like some of these plugins. In normal operation you’re miles from clipping it anyway, and get only a subtle glue and tone shaping.

But what it IS… is classic Airwindows tone coloring brought up to 2017 standards. You can stick Desk on any channel, any submix or buss, the 2-buss, or all of the above. The more places you put it, the more obvious the analogifying becomes. And since it’s Airwindows tone and transparency, you can put it up against any ‘analog modeler’ by anybody, at any price or subscription fee, and it should beat everything and give a bigger, punchier sound. If it’s ‘analog warming’ and tone you want, and you require the sound not to turn into digital sludge and glitter, this is the one.

Desk’s kindred plugins TransDesk and TubeDesk are coming, and I’m working on some cool things besides that. And TransDesk and TubeDesk are cool in their own right, more obvious, with more distinctive tone colors. But this plugin, Desk in its canonical form, is more important, because it’s a building block with the widest possible usefulness. And it’s dead easy to use anywhere you like.

Please support my Patreon. I’ve got lots more to do, and the more resources I have, the more I CAN do, and will do.

PowerSag

TL:DW; Emulates power supply limitations for analog modeling.

PowerSag

We’re going to explore the early Desk plugins (as free VSTs), so here we’ll start off with one of the underlying principles! PowerSag models the problem of analog power supplies that can’t source enough current to drive the output of the circuit. The circuit doesn’t directly distort, but the more output it’s been making, the less is in reserve. This is part of the Desk line of plugins, but now it’s a distinct component to play with.

You get a Depth and Speed control. Dial in the effect by exaggerating Depth and then exploring with Speed: it’ll create a variety of compressey or distortey effects, but since they’re sucking energy out of the body of the sound, it’s a completely different type of distortion from saturation or clipping. Then, return Depth to zero and sneak small amounts of it back in, until the desired effect is reached. You’ll get a more tubey effect with extremely slow Speed, a big-console transistory effect with very quick Speed.

The neat thing about PowerSag is that, if you like grunge and distortion, it’s capable of adding some grind to the sound while pulling the channel back in the mix, where traditional distortion and saturation pushes sounds forward. When you balance that with normal overdrive, you can get a lot of energy and character happening without everything becoming too fatiguing and up-front. Balance is good, being able to trim the body of a sound is good: if you like sculpting mixes with distortion and saturation, this might be right up your alley :)

Crush All Boxes for Patrons

TL;DW: all patrons get to use my lifetime in music royalty-free!

Crush All Boxes: Royalty-Free Music
(Bandcamp page will contain hi-res versions for $1)

Many times, listeners to my plugin videos have said, “This is terrible music, and you shouldn’t do it!” :D

Other times, people have said, “I like that, where can I get this?” and for a long time, there was no answer.

Now there is!

At www.crushallboxes.com you can listen to basically everything I’ve ever recorded in my life… almost four gigs of mp3s at 320K, dramatically better than what you might hear on youtube or whatever. It’s all there, including some collaborations and things that I can’t include in the larger project.

What project is this?

From now on, all my music is available to patrons for any and all use, royalty-free. Use it for movies, soundtracks, remix it, rap over it, sample it, whatever! Though I am very busy I will also make hi-res versions available on Bandcamp. Those will cost $1 a download or track, because Bandcamp ought to get paid for hosting nearly thirty gigs of files for me. If you need something to be there and I haven’t got it uploaded yet, bug me and I’ll get right on it. The mp3s from the main website can be looted off the page by Viewing Source and rightclicking the correct mp3: I’m making no effort either to obstruct or enable that, if you want the music for nothing you can go to the trouble of finding the files on the website. The player I’m using doesn’t have download links I like :)

Then you can listen to, remix, use as background music for your movie… whatever, on a non-exclusive basis. Think of it as a variation on the Kevin McLeod thing.

There’s only one condition: while you are selling what you’ve made, you must continue to be a patron (if only at $1 a month). That’s $12 a year for access to a lifetime of music (a continuing lifetime, mind you, for this won’t stop at 2016). And that’s creative access, license to include and remix and re-use. You may already be a patron: if so, enjoy! Lots of people are patrons simply to support my work developing plugins, not even thinking they’d also get a music library to use.

I’m not mandating credits, though I will be cross if people try to lay claim to the stuff in such a way that it takes it away from everyone else. Don’t go all ContentID on me.

Also, if you are not a human—that is, if you are a corporation or a team—I expect each human member of the entity using the music to be a patron for the entire time the derived work is being sold. This is not intended to give Pepsi a new jingle for twelve dollars a year. Have some common sense. Lastly, royalty-free means you don’t pay per unit, you just become a patron which is a fixed rate and very cheap compared to traditional music licensing… especially if you’re an indie or an individual human with ambition. I do insist on the patron thing, but my time is better spent not checking up on you or counting your sales. That’s your affair :)

Enjoy this music! It might even come in handy!

Fracture

TL:DW; Soft frequency-doubling-and-tripling waveshaper.

Fracture

Hi! Merry Xmas to Xmas-ers. Here’s a truly freaky little wave-shaper. It’s of interest to distortion fanciers, those who make wubs and things, and anybody who might like the digital equivalent of an insane boutique stompbox that doesn’t sound like anything else.

It’s not exactly the sort of thing you put on your 2-buss, but you might have fun with it anyway! :)

NaturalizeDither

TL;DW: Deterministic dither uses Benford Realness calculations for each sample.

NaturalizeDither

Last and definitely not least in the dither-fest: Naturalize! This dither is often considered best by listeners. It works on every genre, at every sample rate. It adds no tonal color to the audio, and the noise it produces is quiet… but more than quiet, the noise of Naturalize has a fugitive quality where it seems to ‘hide’ behind the reverb tails, and once you start listening to the music it’s difficult to hear there’s any noise present. The sense of reality produced by the music is compelling enough that it doesn’t draw attention to the noise floor at all.

How can this be? I kept the secret for eight years but now that Airwindows is supported by a Patreon, I’m free to communicate how I did it, because my compensation is basically ‘the number of people out there who think I ought to keep working in this field’, and the more of those the better. I don’t have to keep Naturalize just to myself anymore, because it helps the Patreon when I’m generous. So, go ahead and download and use it for free (it’s running at 24 bit, use BitShiftGain to get 16 bit out of it) and here’s how Naturalize works.

Benford’s Law is a statistical technique: basically, it says that in lists of natural data, if you get rid of all the leading zeroes, the first digit other than zero is most likely to be ‘one’. That’s no matter what scale the number is at: no matter how many zeroes you have to take away to get to the first number, it’s more likely to be ‘one’ than, say, ‘nine’.

In fact, it’s ‘one’ thirty percent of the time, and the other leading digits are progressively rarer. How much rarer? I’ll give you a piece of the Naturalize code and the numbers I’m using.

byn[0] = 1000;
byn[1] = 301;
byn[2] = 176;
byn[3] = 125;
byn[4] = 97;
byn[5] = 79;
byn[6] = 67;
byn[7] = 58;
byn[8] = 51;
byn[9] = 46;

This works on sample data that varies in logarithmic scale: fortunately, audio is already that way. Something like a reverb tail is perfect for Benford realness calculations! As the sound dies away, it SHOULD fall into just this sort of pattern: millions of sample numbers, scaling down to tiny near-zero values. It ought to be the perfect picture of Benford’s law.

Here’s what Naturalize is. Every sample can be truncated in two directions: up or down, to the nearest value. So we do both, and then we run the Benford’s Law calculation on each, and we see which choice will get us closer to that perfect ‘realness’ distribution.

Then we just choose that direction :) that’s it! Each sample, we always choose the direction that will bring us closer to Benford’s Law.

This works on a statistical basis, to produce a collection of sample values that hold to what you’d get if you directly sampled ‘reality’. It erodes unnatural qualities in the digital audio, and it’s pleasing to listen to. There’s no excess energy to worry about: it’s always within one least significant bit of the target audio. And I might be able to improve upon it (I initially remembered it as having no noise sources at all, but it’s using some noise to shake up the values a bit for better distributing) but as 2017 begins, doing this gives you the best sounding dither in the world. I’d be happy to see if I can make it even better: support my Patreon, after all I came up with this thing in the first place, stands to reason I can develop it even further. Maybe I’ll make it entirely deterministic, with no noise at all. I’m sure I tried that already, but sometimes persistence pays off.

Happy holidays, I’ll have a little present on Sunday for you, and I hope things are well :)

NodeDither

TL;DW: The testbed for the TPDF-based dithers. Flanger dither!

NodeDither

And just one more dither plugin before the eagerly anticipated Naturalize… (because who will care about these then?) …NodeDither, the testbed upon which PaulDither and TapeDither were developed!

I still think it’s good to have those as separate plugins (for simplicity and purity of concept) but since the concept is ‘TPDF made up of a sample of noise, and then a delayed version either normal or inverted’, how can I not give out the tool I used to find things like TapeDither? This was coded to do something that wasn’t possible: put a big delay in so there’s a ‘cancellation node’ at around 1.5K, making the noise quieter there.

Trouble was, all you get is comb filtering and no nice clear ‘quieter’ zone. That’s why I experimented and found that four samples delay (inverted) gives you TapeDither, a nice softer noise. One sample inverted gives you PaulDither (in other words, a very bright one-pole highpass). Two samples gives you a neat silky texture which is still very bright. Eight samples gives you a thing kinda like TapeDither but even darker and beginning to sound flangey… you might call it CassetteDither, or maybe ‘TapeDither for 96K’.

Call it what you like, because NodeDither lets you use all those and anything else, up to really extreme delays that give heavy, heavy comb filtering (flangeyness). You can reinforce lows rather than cancelling them through out-of-phase, and dial in dark moody dither noises that fit better with your project. You can tune the flangey note of the dither to your track. All manner of silly things can be yours with NodeDither :)

And yes, you can make your noisefloor a flanger. I’ve demonstrated in the video how to do this with automation. If people really REALLY need a flange dither, I can make one later, but Naturalize will not be delayed any longer and is due to come out this Wednesday. But hopefully the possibilities of NodeDither are worth having! Or, put it this way: if NodeDither is for you, you know who you are and you’ve probably already downloaded it and are playing with the controls and thinking of how it would affect your creations.

Because, bottom line: this is still technically correct TPDF dither. It’s just also an instrument, now. Have fun playing it :)

The concept of a standard TPDF dither that’s also an instrument was brought to you by my Patreon: if enough people get involved in this, I can live or even invest in further experiments. Airwindows Console4 only happened because I was able to study a real analog desk (an Allen & Heath) and drive it with a nice multichannel DAC (a MOTU 16A) and study the results. The more money I make, the grander the experiments can become… and of course there’s extra stuff on my YouTube channel, live streams that are only announced to my Patreon patrons. (I suppose you could just hover over the channel, or search it, but I’ll make a point of alerting the Patreon crowd when I do something like that.)

The most recent (okay, first) live stream was hacking a Xiaomi Yi action cam, and making the mic better, so there was some audio content! It also involved un-gluing the lens so it could be removed, and installing a deadcat wind sock for outdoor use. I’ll try to keep a steady flow of unusual things happening on the Airwindows youtube, though most of them cannot be announced in plugin forums. Next, hotrodding my already hotrodded Squier J-bass to add a Artec mudbucker pickup! This was inspired by Rick Laird of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Only then did I learn this was also the pickup complement favored by Cliff Burton… I’ll post to patrons when that livestream is ready, and you can see the radical things I’ve already done to the J, and hang out while I do the work :)

TapeDither

TL;DW: TPDF variant with noise like reel-to-reel tape.

TapeDither

I thought I had it all worked out. Put out a proper, well-coded TPDF dither, the highpassed variation on it I’ve called PaulDither, and move on to the fancy boutique stuff.

But there was this one experiment I had in mind. If you could do the highpass by delaying and then subtracting the random noise (and it gained you a bit of efficiency in the bargain), why not delay it more? It’d create comb filtering, a cancellation node. Why not keep delaying until the cancellation node dropped right down to around 1.5K?

Surely this would give me a nice cancellation notch right where the ear is most sensitive, and heightened clarity. What could go wrong?

Nope! I made a prototype, called it ‘NodeDither’, began experimenting, and immediately found that I’d made… a flanger! The long delay settings were useless. It made obvious overtones just out of the dither noise, a blatant tone color cast that wouldn’t produce the desired effect. It didn’t even produce an obvious notch in the response where I wanted it. The only thing it did do, was continue to function as a working TPDF dither no matter what the setting was (more on this later).

But, something else turned up in the experiments, and that’s what brought you TapeDither.

If you use one sample of delay and inverting the noise, you get PaulDither: simple one-pole highpass. If you use two samples of delay, you get another sort of texture: kind of silky, but still digitally bright and intrusive. Using lots of delay, such as ten samples, starts to sound like the flanger, undesirable.

But, there’s something interesting about powers-of-two delay times. One, two, four, eight and so on, these delay times are slightly less ‘colored’ in tone than the others. I think it has to do with interactions with the sample rate: they seem to line up more neatly, making it slightly more easy not to hear the pitch of the ‘flangey’ quality.

And four samples of delay (and then inverting the noise) produces something rather special: a noise profile that closely resembles what you hear off reel-to-reel tape.

I can’t specify particular brands because (a) I hate when people do that to brand names not their own and (b) it’s a technical discovery, not some complicated way of forcing digital audio to mimic a particular brand. It’s no specific tape stock or tape machine. But what it is, is a voicing for TPDF dither that rolls off in an obvious way, around where tape noise rolls off. There’s another little bump past that, which many people won’t be able to hear, and then it begins to roll off again as it reaches the Nyquist frequency beyond where digital audio can’t go. Compare that to any normal flat, TPDF, or highpassed dither. Those keep putting out noise energy right up to the frequency limit.

TapeDither is every bit a TPDF dither, technically correct and flawless as far as dither goes. But it also is a highpassed dither with a softer tonal voicing that resembles good tape machines, and that doesn’t affect the dither performance at all. It doesn’t attenuate the audio content at all. Only the background dither noise is turned into what you’d get off a tape deck, all while the audio is protected from truncation and digital artifacts.

I would use this anywhere I was sending processed stems or tracks outboard to a multichannel DAC, for mixing in the analog domain or summing with an outboard summing box. Without hesitation. I’d use fancier boutique dithers on the 2-buss, though this will work there too… but if I was doing an analog mix from a multichannel converter, there is nothing I’d rather use than TapeDither. (maybe Naturalize. Maybe.)

That’s because it’s one thing to apply an interesting dither (like Spatialize, for instance, or some noise shaper) on the 2-buss and get a unique texture or presentation on the audio. But if you’re stacking up lots of tracks and all of them get the same treatment, it’s vital to use something that won’t develop an exaggerated tone signature when multiplied that way. For dither, TPDF gives you that behavior, and TapeDither is the TPDF that most closely mimics the reality of analog mixing back in the days of big reel-to-reel machines. The tone of its noise floor is already more pillowy, mellow and relaxing than most TPDF or highpassed TPDF, and then when you stack up lots of tracks of it, the texture’s better still.

I’m still excited to bring out Naturalize, but I’m just as excited about what TapeDither means. It makes me want to build analog consoles and mix into them, just so I can put TapeDither on any output that’s not playing raw 24 bit data exactly as captured. Anything with processing or gain on it would get a dithered output, and it would be a matter of—faders up—hello, Seventies :)

Well, I like audio from the Seventies. I suppose I’d better work out how to do some of the sonic quirks of Doubly while I’m at it! Not that a rock band would use Doubly…

These experiments are paid for by Patreon, and if enough people get involved I can keep doing them indefinitely without any one person having to pay that much. So tell people about the Airwindows Patreon, maybe I can go viral if I keep on thinking up new stuff. I don’t believe anyone’s done TapeDither because dither designers don’t naturally gravitate to comb filtering and peculiar artifacts, so if you like this sort of thing it’s probably easiest to keep getting it from me :)

SpatializeDither

TL;DW: Spatial positioning and clarity dither.

SpatializeDither

Spatialize is one of my high-performance boutique dithers. Though I think my Naturalize beats it, that’s a preference: I like digital sound to sound organic and real, and I like ambience and foggy distance and other things Naturalize is great at emphasizing.

Spatialize is also good at reverb depths and softness, but what it excels at is focus.

This modified dither algorithm has opinions about what ought to be randomized. Any normal dither (especially a technically correct TPDF-based one, such as PaulDither, TapeDither or NodeDither that can encompass either) has no preferences about what samples it gets. It will apply noise regardless, with perfect impartiality.

Spatialize (which I’ve also termed Contingent Dither, early in its development) isn’t like that. It says, ‘hey, this sample is exactly on a quantization value. No way am I going to mess that up, it’s staying right where it is!’. Or, it says ‘this sample is exactly between two quantization values. If I rapidly flip between adjacent values I can try to get the DAC to produce output between them. What could go wrong?’. Or, it says ‘this sample is none of the above, let’s bring in some randomness and apply dither like some normal plugin that isn’t crazy, would do’.

Or all of the above, blended…

That’s how Spatialize works. These are pretty bold things to try to do, especially the attempt to balance between two quantization values: that’s not really a reasonable thing to try, even when blended with random noise. And it pays something of a price: while Spatialize is quiet in its noise generation even without resorting to noise shaping, its behavior down around the noise floor isn’t perfectly well-behaved.

But that’s a trade-off, because by sacrificing this good behavior, Spatialize gets to be very sure that when samples hit perfectly on quantization boundaries, they’ll be accurately represented. And the bit-flippiness of the exactly-between behavior gives rise to a really strong highpassy effect that heightens treble energy. The result is a dither with a holographic, intense sonic reality to it: and it IS reality, because it comes out of this determination to honor the true values of the samples wherever possible. Spatialize is always prepared to abandon ‘appropriate’ noise floor behavior if it can nail down the sonic envelope with more ruthless accuracy.

So, if you’re into the hyper-real, high-definition sound of extreme clarity and accuracy, Spatialize might be your preferred Airwindows boutique dither. And, since it does it all with no noise shaping, there’s still an ease and naturalness to the resulting sound. It’s probably my own favorite apart from Naturalize, and for some things I prefer it. And, it’s free, AU and VST. :)

If I continue to be alive and living in a house that’s turned into a combined mad scientist lab and recording studio, I need support from people on Patreon. Most likely if enough people know about what I’m doing, I can keep doing this from now on, even if it only costs individual people a dollar a month. I’ve been putting out more than one plugin a week, so that one dollar could end up as a library of more than a hundred plugins in a year, for $12. And you get to keep them, and the internet will be the backup server with my blessing: I suggest that this is a pretty good deal, and please join in :)

VinylDither

TL;DW: Retro ‘groove crackle’ dither with fuller sound.

VinylDither

To explain this dither, I’ve got to talk about SACD (DSD) a little.

There’s a super-hi-fi digital format known as DSD (direct stream digital). It uses a sample rate in the megahertz, but not as many bits (as few as one, even!) and is tricky to work with. It’s a bit like having Class D amplifiers: those also use an incredibly high frequency switching system, and produce a clear, fluid sound that totally lacks some audio flaws.

DSD is like that. There are some things it does incredibly well, and other things it gets wrong. Notably, it’s incredibly good at delivering accuracy on deep bass notes, but it’s all over the place on supersonic frequencies and can produce a ‘splat’ of high-frequency overreaction if you drive it too hard there. The performance of DSD increases as frequency lowers. All its ugly is reserved for the super-highs, but nothing comes close in the midrange, low mids, bass and so on. That’s fundamental to how the format works: accuracy becomes a statistical pitch-related thing and the deeper you go, the more of a lock DSD has on the sonic truth.

What if it was possible to emulate this behavior in a dither? First, you’d need to use a really intense noise shaper, not just dither noise. Then, you’d have to make it have the same frequency-related thing where lows get increased accuracy. And lastly, you’d pay the same price: it’d drive the error of the system into the highs and do a lot of unpredictable, ugly things there.

Meet VinylDither! It’s the extension of an old dither I had called Ten Nines, which does exactly this. With Ten Nines I was able to get a noise floor under -200db on 16 bit audio (if I remember correctly)… but only at frequencies ten hertz and below! It also spit out loudish crackling noises at high frequencies. The experiment worked, but not everybody loved it.

However, if you weren’t paying close attention, the noise behavior was kind of like record surface noise, and that gave me ideas.

VinylDither is the result of pursuing those ideas. It’s a dither/noise shaper which completely removes the ‘steady white noise’ noise floor of normal dithered digital, and replaces it with a more crackly, surface-noise kind of sound. That’s produced from storing up error energy that would mess up your midrange and bass, and releasing it in bursts and sparks. VinylDither is the first of three dithers I’m releasing that are professional quality, boutique dithers and sonically better than TPDF. If it’s really important to you for your noise floor to be featureless and sound like white noise down there, you won’t want this. However, if you’re an analogophile and like vinyl records, you’ll instantly recognize the ‘vibe’ of this one. It does an incredibly good job at giving ‘vinyl’ clues down at the threshold of hearing (especially at its 24 bit default: use BitShiftGain to get 16 bit performance out of it, or buy the Audio Unit Ditherbox which includes VinylDither at 16 bit) but this is not a ‘sound effect’ being added, it’s the natural digital error being rearranged to get that effect.

So, if you want ‘vinyl’ effects added to your mix so it sounds like a retro vinyl record coming off the computer, this is the single subtlest way you can do that, plus you could combine it with other things (like the Audio Unit ‘ToVinyl’ which does elliptical EQ and has an amazing groove wear emulation built in) and get a completely different vibe. Wrecking your sounds with heavy overprocessing isn’t necessary! You can just pick specific things to give a more subtle vinyl feel, and VinylDither is the perfect dither choice for it. Yes, it’s got more depth and warmth and vibe than plain old TPDF (or truncation), but I think the interesting part is examining the faults of VinylDither (crackling noises, not smooth noise) and understanding how they can be turned into advantages (crackling noises OK, do not correct! As it says on my vinyl copy of Live At Leeds cooge )

If you want me to be around doing this kind of thing, please support my Patreon. If it gets to $800 a month (to live on! Airwindows is my only job and has been for a decade!) I start releasing the for-pay plugins this way, as free VST and AU. This includes Ditherbox, and ToVinyl. So that’s an exciting goal to reach for. Also, I’m considering an intermediate goal: $600, and I port everything VST to Linux VST, both what’s out already and what’s to come. Links to how one makes Linux VSTs, welcomed (I’ve already installed Linux and am setting it up to do this, but it’ll be a lot of work to do the porting, there are already dozens of Airwindows VST plugins and more are coming).

HighGlossDither

TL;DW: If you like truncation and artificial vibe, try this!

HighGlossDither

Here’s an Airwindows science experiment!

The idea here was to identify things about truncation that some people (maybe crazy people, but people nonetheless) like, and build them into a dedicated dither. This video includes extensive exploration of truncation, TPDF and flat dithers besides HighGlossDither, so there’s an educational value as well. As for audio value, the important thing to remember is that this one is designed to act like truncation in important ways… so it’s ‘broken’ and you shouldn’t use it for naturalistic things, and you probably shouldn’t use it unless you’ve ever chosen truncation instead of dither, on purpose, because you wanted the edgier, crunchier, different-textured sound of truncation for what you were doing.

If that’s ever you, this is an alternate way to get your sounds.

The deal with truncation is that it turns the fine details of your mix into a roaring, grunging mess of unnatural noise. The secret of it is, that stuff can act like some horrible sort of parallel compression. It’ll hang onto the tails of notes way longer than it should, and it’ll add intense bit-crusher-like effects to quiet sounds.

HighGlossDither uses a special, more uniform-sounding quadratic residue sequence instead of real randomness to sorta ‘diffract’ sounds into crunchier versions of themselves, and applies it at a quieter level than true dither. The result is a hybrid between dither and truncation: rather than dropping quietly into a sea of noise, quiet sounds get hyped and distorted, but they still behave a lot more normally than truncated sounds do. You get the crazy tonal hype, but a better approximation of the proper relative volume levels of the sounds. And you get a sort of noise but it’s quieter than TPDF is, and also serves a purpose of interacting with the sounds.

Most people shouldn’t like this. I’m introducing it first to get it out of the way… but who knows? Maybe you’re looking to bring out the next generation of Finnish forest psy trance, and the last thing you want is for the molecular structure of your music to sound natural. Well, HighGlossDither might be right up your alley! You don’t have to resort to truncation to have the finest details of your audio sounding weird and unreal. Take it up another level, with my blessing.

Or maybe you’d prefer your audio sounding, you know, good. If so, stay tuned :)

To support these kinds of researches, and protect my ability to be honest about this stuff (no sense trying to put this out as if it was normal!) please support my Patreon. As you can see, I’m able to try things outside the boundaries of normal commercial behavior, and because I’m not selling the plugins I don’t have to pretend they’re more generally useful than they are: if I’m trying something really strange I’ll say so. HighGlossDither is strange. Enjoy playing with it, and there’s more relevant stuff coming soon. :)

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