Righteous

RighteousDemo is a universal binary AU plugin and the ultimate high-resolution mix buss. It was made to produce mixes for Neil Young’s PONO music player. That means some very specific things about how it is to be used.

It goes last on the 2-buss (you can run buss compression, but not limiting or clipping), and provides deep-bass bloom and digital de-glare, adapting itself to whatever type of high resolution output you’re using. If you’re going for the deepest midrange and the warmest tones, it will handle anything you throw at a 44.1K mix and stop it from glaring. If you’re pushing the treble frequencies with a high sample-rate mix, it will adapt its highs to that context and the de-glare shifts up to accomodate the increased capacity for ‘air’.

It expands deep bass and makes it bloom and resonate the way it does on analog gear, through use of harmonics to fill in energy that was lost to tube-style saturation. This causes the soundstage to be both deep, and warm as hell.

You have to use 24-bit output, because it uses the Airwindows ‘Naturalize’ dither to open up 24-bit mixes. There is no provision for 16 bit or lossy compression at all. It’s for mixing to Pono final output, not as an intermediate stage—though 24 bit dither is also optimal as such a stage. If you must generate lower quality audio, just act like you’re remastering from that point and go from there.

You have to keep the body of the mix under -18dbFS or so. It is not any form of peak limiter or safety clipper. It does provide an extremely gentle tubelike transfer function but this does not stop you clipping and you shouldn’t come anywhere near clipping, or the body of the music will get overly tubby and the bass will get overblown. Righteous will only work if you don’t ‘slam the buss’. You can balance mixes so the final output is what comes off your DAW, and even get peaks near to full scale, but Righteous will force you to work in classic album dynamic terms and make it sound desirable in the way a regular DAW mix cannot ever be.

It’s $50.