Seekers of punchier lows often employ subharmonic generators to extend their bass lines well into the sub-frequency domain. Only there’s a problem with traditional subharmonic generators. In developer Leapwing’s words, they are prone to phase shifting, which results in a sense of detachment from the original sound. Thus, Leapwing tried a different approach and implemented it in RootOne, its latest (and fourth) plug-in.
RootOne – subharmonic generator, compressor, saturator and volume shaper
RootOne delivers three low frequency bands with variable crossovers. A bespoke algorithm does amplitude and phase analysis behind the scenes, then each band has a clean subharmonic note generated within it. Thereafter, each band can be sent over to the saturation, dynamics, and decay sections. An additional 4th harmonics band lets you apply saturation to the lower mid-frequencies. This makes the sounds below appear more present in the mix and slice through better on smaller speakers.
The user interface is very easy to understand and looks quite modern. It really gets sugary visuals and the plug-in’s inner workings out of the way, letting your ears be the ultimate judge and guide towards shaping the lowest frequencies in your mix. The same concept applies throughout the rest of Leapwing’s plug-ins, making for a consistent look across the product range.
Of note is that RootOne doesn’t merely pitch-shift the signal, but generates subharmonics that are phase-aligned with the source. The developer takes pride in its proprietary technology, but innovation does come at a cost.
Price and availability
RootOne costs a pricy EUR 199 / USD 199 / GBP 179. A free 30-day trial version is available, though. The plug-in runs in AAX, VST, VST3, and AU formats on Windows and macOS computers (64-bit only).