Sound Radix DrumLeveler (Win)

Sound Radix DrumLeveler (Win)
  • Publisher: Sound Radix
  • Product: DrumLeveler
  • Version: 1.1.3
  • Format: AAX, RTAS, VST, VST3
  • Operating System: Windows 7 or higher

Sound Radix DrumLeveler is a beat detection compressor/expander VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugin for Windows. DrumLeveler runs as a VST plugin, a VST3 plugin, an RTAS, and an AAX plugin. DrumLeveler VST plugin can be used with all major digital audio workstations (DAW) including Live, Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools, and others.

Sound Radix DrumLeveler is a new beat detection-based downward and upward compressor/expander and circuit.

By selectively applying gain to single drum beats, Drum Leveler easily achieves the specified target level for every beat without affecting bleed noise or any beats that are out of the user-defined processing range.

Introduction to the Drum Leveler 1.1 by Dan Worrall

Sound Radix DrumLeveler Features

  • Transparent, beat detection-based simultaneous downward and upward compressor/expander
  • Applies gain to each beat individually to achieve a set target level
  • Gain reduction and expansion is transient-accurate to the drumbeat for artifacts-free transients reproduction
  • Dual threshold levels allow processing any level range to affect only specific beats within a track such as ghost notes or bleed without affecting other beats
  • Mono, Stereo, Dual Mono and Mid/Side operation modes
  • Easy to use and intuitive user interface


Sound Radix’s novel plug-in provides new ways of controlling the dynamics of drum recordings.

Dynamics processors inherit their own on drums, and particularly on kits recorded using multiple mics. Whether we’re compressing the kick drum to urge a good level, gating the toms to urge obviate spill, or employing a transient shaper to regulate the attack of the snare, there are roles for all of the established sorts of processing. However, these sometimes have their limitations. Once you begin applying quite a couple of dB of gain reduction, as an example, it becomes increasingly hard to take care of transparency. Hard compression or limiting doesn’t just bring the excessively loud hits down in level: it changes the way they sound, too.

Available for all major native formats on both Mac and PC, and authorized online, Sound Radix’s Drum Leveler takes a rather different approach. Perhaps acknowledging that the foremost effective thanks to achieving a subjectively even level without side-effects is by manually creating volume automation, it seems to be designed to behave a touch sort of a human hand on the fader. instead of responding simply to RMS or peak level, it identifies entire drum hits within the source audio and turns them up or down evenly for his or her full durations.

Level Up

The Drum Leveler interface maybe a little like the traditional Digidesign Sound Replacer plug-in, and of the Strip Silence windows found in some DAWs. It displays a mono representation of the input, scrolling from right to left, alongside three horizontal lines which will be dragged up and down. These are, respectively, ‘high’ and ‘low’ threshold controls, and a ‘target’ level marker.

Any peaks above the high threshold or below the low threshold are ignored, but people who fall under the window between them get turned up or down as necessary to urge them closer to the target level. If you would like to realize an impact like conventional compression, for instance, you’d set the thresholds in order that louder parts of the signal exceeded the low threshold, but nothing ever got as far because of the high threshold. That way, the foremost prominent hits would be adjusted in level, while quieter hits would be left alone. Alternatively, by bringing down the high threshold to the purpose where all the loud hits exceed it, you’ll found out Drum Leveler to focus its action only on ghost notes or spill.

You can fine-tune Drum Leveler’s detection algorithm by applying sharp filters, set either to attenuate or (which is usually more useful) to spice up the high and low extremes of the frequency range. There also are controls that roughly correspond to the ratio, attack, and release settings on a standard dynamics unit, but their function isn’t an equivalent by any means. The Hold and Recovery times determine the ‘shape’ of the processing applied to every hit. for instance, by setting the Hold time to the complete length of a hammer in the song tempo and therefore the Recovery to zero, you’d force Drum Leveler to leap to a replacement gain level at the beginning of every beat, which might be fixed until subsequent one came along. against this, a brief Hold and long Recovery means the gain is smoothly adjusted as each successive beat decays. In both situations, though, the key’s that the dynamic ’shape’ is essentially independent of the extent, so you don’t get that effect where loud hits are obviously compressed.

The Compression dial is like a ratio control but runs from -100 to +100 percent. Positive values mean that hits falling within the edge window are forced towards the target value, thus reducing the dynamic range only of these hits to the purpose where, at the +100 percent setting, all of them are made to hit the target precisely. Crucially, though, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re reducing the dynamic range of the signal as an entire. for instance, if you set the thresholds in order that only loud hits fall under the window, you’ll then raise the target value to make sure that each one these hits are lifted above the remainder of the signal. Alternatively, you’ll set the edge window to select up only ghost notes on the snare, and apply a really low target value to scale back these in level compared with the louder strikes.

Turning the Compression dial within the other direction makes it act as an expander: hits that are already above the target level are boosted further, while those below it are attenuated. Again, though, this is applicable only to hits that fall within the window between the 2 thresholds.

Apart from input and output gain sliders, the sole other control is Min Retrigger, which in effect allows you to specify a minimum duration for detected hits. When used on a stereo channel, you furthermore may get the choice of running in dual mono and Mid/Sides modes. Each of those gives you the choice to modify the most graphic interface to point out either of the halves of the signal rather than the default Sum; doing so superimposes the opposite half during a curious diagonal ‘ghost’ display to the left or right.

Big Bangs

The Drum Leveler interface is elegant and fairly simple, but going to grips with it’d involve ‘unlearning’ a number of your expectations about conventional dynamic processing — many of the tasks that might traditionally be undertaken with an expander OR circuit are better done here with positive Compression values. Once I’d figured this out, I found it a particularly useful plug-in, and capable of results that simply wouldn’t be possible with a standard dynamics unit. At the essential level, it can ‘even out’ unwanted dynamic variation during a more natural and controllable way than simple compression. With a careful setting of the time constants, it is often impressively transparent, preserving the sound even of drum hits that are being attenuated or boosted quite a lot; and, if you so desire, it can provide effective control over the extent of loud hits without mentioning the remainder of the kit. Used on a close-miked snare track, it can completely alter the balance between ghost notes and full hits, to the purpose where it’s possible to reverse the dynamics of the track altogether if you actually want to. And if unnatural chopping and gating effects are what you’re after, these can often be achieved by radical settings of the time constants.

Despite the name, moreover, I found Drum Leveler equally useful on other instruments. Percussive guitar playing benefited greatly from its ability to tame rogue peaks during a clean and colourless fashion, but perhaps my favorite application of all was on guitar. Whenever I attempt to use a standard compressor to flatten an uneven bass track, I find there’s only such a lot you’ll do before the sound itself becomes lifeless and dull. There are not any such problems with Drum Leveler, which simply makes it sound as if the player had better control!

Everything it does, Drum Leveler does pretty much, but there are a few things that may make it even more useful. For one thing, it doesn’t currently seem possible to use true hard gating — I wanted to gate the kick drum on one among my test tracks, and whereas this proved straightforward with a standard gate plug-in, Drum Leveler always appeared to let through a little amount of spill. for an additional, I can imagine that the addition of a side-chain input would enable many creative applications, like chopping up a pad sound in time with a kick drum. At the top of the day, though, these are more within the realm of suggestions for a future version than serious criticisms, and Drum Leveler may be a most useful plug-in even as it’s.

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