Utensils - precious sound design tools I use constantly!

So yes, I finally got myself an ER-301 and I’m super mega excited to create with it.
Yesterday, I spent many hours creating the first tools I like to have on hand for my sound design purposes. These were tested on stereo signals so might have issues with mono.

First of the custom units is Splitt!
Splitt is a low-mid-hi bandsplitter using 3 Band and the basic Ladder filters as they shift phase a little less than other filter choices. The result is a rather clean bandsplit exemplified by this scope image:

Before bandsplit:
After bandsplit:

You can then sound-design to your liking within each band chain (as long as you maintain that whatever units you use are put in after the splitting units). I also added band cutoff parameters for the low and hi bands (which change the mid band obviously). The default values for these would be 150 for Low and 2500 for High. Future plans would be to add gainboost/cut per band using the VCA’s but I felt for the initial release that it would clutter the unit’s UI which should be rather simple.

The second unit is Hiverb!
Hiverb is just a quick solution to split your signal into one dry version and one additional layer which gets highpassed and sent to a reverb. Generally speaking, for a clean mix in a percussive section, you would not want to put reverb on your bass instruments. However, reverb on bass instruments contributes a ton to timbre & complexity. To clean up the mix and still use reverbs to stereoize bass instruments and give them space, Hiverb takes only the high frequency band and sends it into Freeverb. Freeverb parameters as well as bandsplit cutoff are accessible from the front of the unit, as well as Amount which is for gain on the reverb layer. The original signal level is preserved so you could call this unit additive. Watch your gain levels to avoid clipping, even though there is much more headroom in the high frequencies.

The third unit is Compand, which is a negative ratio upwards compressor, or a downwards expander, depending on the ratio setting. The Threshold parameter is not tuned at the moment, so the dB does not appropriately represent the threshold. For now, just use it by ear. When the ratio is negative, you get something similar to upwards compression, where the signal is boosted if it goes below the threshold. A positive ratio converts the compressor into an expander, where if the signal goes below the threshold, it is cut. A ratio of 0 leaves the signal unaffected.
Future plans with this one are to add post-gain, which I was too lazy to add at the time, since it was late.


Utensils.pkg (5.3 KB)


I forgot to add! Compand and Splitt are very awesome when combined. Try it! Multiband dynamics control is beyond essential for sound design.


Just downloaded, thanks for the package. Furthermore, thankyou for the insight into sound design, particularly the idea behind Hiverb. Whilst I never considered this technique your explanation makes simple sense and I can’t wait to explore this new approach.

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Thanks! Another addition about Compand is that the Time parameter controls how fast the signal is affected (which in this case is the atk and rel parameters of the envelope follower controlling the VCA). Higher values smooth out the response for a looser modulation, creating a clean compression feel with a bit of snap, while lower values can get as fast as to influence inbetween the waveform’s peaks and troughs, lowering them eventually makes them as fast as to turn Compand into a loose type of softclipping distortion.

Ahhh so many good releases lately; this might be the one that pushes me over the edge onto updating to v6 fw!

Minor naming quibble: “compand” is already a verb in the audio world. Companding is where you compress before a noisy processing then expand afterwards, hopefully to achieve better SNR than running audio straight through the noisy process. I think two of your units together could be used just like that, but if I was naively loading a compander unit I’d maybe expect to see an effect insert.

Yes @Worldwave I love this bass dynamic business. One of @odevices sine waves into @tomf lpg then through Hiverb. I didn’t change much inside the header although there is plenty to play with. But what I did do was use @Joe compare to live up top where the tails are and occasionally go down to bass. Outstanding stuff, outstanding.


And it’s available on the hub as well https://er301-hub.netlify.app/projects/utensils (Hope you don’t mind my adding it to the list)


Good news. I would like to see a permanent link to this from the main dropdown menu. It’s no bother blasting over to GitHub @Bparticle but I see your pool becoming more and more useful as creativity accelerates amongst this wonderfully gifted community

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Yeah, the whole point of the hub is to keep all the downloads and updates in one single place instead of scattered around many repositories, so I get your drift. Main dropdown, you mean here on the forum? I’m not sure if that can be done, and it would of course not be up to me. I’m linking back here from the hub’s navigation in any case so that would be a round trip :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the info! I learn something new every day. I’ll make up a better name in the next version. I’ll make a full package with all the stuff I made so far, in the near future.

Super glad to see y’all are enjoying this! Nice patch @joncharliefeathers


I am in the process of updating Compand to be actually useful, I’ll make a new thread once all my tools are ready to go :slight_smile:


Compand will be ditched seeing that @tomf went to a higher dimension with a bespoke compressor unit, and that custom unit implementations of compressors arent very good at all. Check his thread for Strike units! Epic stuff.