Ciao, in this article, we're diving into the world of Spectral Plugins with a suite comprising Pancz, Spacer, and OCS-45.
These plugins are set to shake up your sound production process, so let's dig in!
Starting off with Pancz, a multi-band transient shaper, clipper, compressor, and limiter, I found this plugin filling the void for a multi-band clipper that I felt was missing in my toolbox. The interface is user-friendly and allows for control over three bands, each with its own adjustable threshold. Moreover, the availability of a soft clip or limit option, a parallel compression setting, and a dedicated presence control for each band give it tremendous flexibility. A brief test revealed its capabilities, helping shape the drum bus with precision and preserving the integrity of the low end.
Next in line is the OCS-45, a unique cassette simulator that adds depth and a touch of nostalgia to your music. The plugin features a range of settings, including wow and flutter controls for modulation, four different noise types, and an array of cassette types, all promising varied tonal possibilities. The Distortion module in OCS 45 allows for an intricate drive, tone, and dry/wet adjustments. The option to add 'dropout' effects gives you an authentic tape “failure” feel, making this plugin an exciting addition to your production toolkit.
While this plugin isn’t unique in its genre, it’s definitely one of the best and most comprehensive options on the market.
Finally, we have Spacer, a Swiss Army knife of reverbs, delays, and granular effects. At first glance, the interface reveals a comprehensive selection of settings, including delay, reverb, granular reverb, convolution reverb, and grain delay. Accompanying these are a suite of utility controls for further customization. Although the granular effects and grain delay may lean towards sound design more than conventional mixing, the added functionality enhances the plugin's versatility making Spacer more of a go-to tool for producing interesting, rhythmic, and even glitchy transitions. Furthermore, the convolution reverb offers a rich library of impulse responses for creating realistic reverberant spaces, thus enhancing the realism of your mixes.
Every module in Spacer comes equipped with a solo button and an integrated EQ for added control, making it easy to shape the effect to your liking. Although it may initially seem overwhelming, a range of presets is available to give you a starting point for exploring Spacer's capabilities.
In my personal ranking, Pancz holds the top position due to its distinctive capability to shape transients in a multi-band context. OCS-45 takes the second spot for its impressive ability to simulate the nostalgic sound of a cassette, complete with noise, wow/flutter, and dropout effects. Although Spacer came third, it’s by no means less important. It offers an array of reverb and delay effects that can be a boon for sound designers or those wanting to create transitional effects or space within their mixes.