BitterSweet Pro v3 is built upon the success of the original freeware plugin by Flux::. Apparently this new version has an extended algorithm, and the more advanced user interface offers frequency-dependant selection settings and mid-side processing. However, haven’t we seen this already this year in Sonnox’s Envolution plugin? Envolution is an awesome plugin as you would expect from Sonnox, so this needs to be very good or offer something different.
Like many mixing and mastering engineers, I’m a huge fan of transient designers. All the transient designers I’ve used, including the original freeware BitterSweet plugin, process the transients very differently. Personally I’m a fan of iZotope’s Alloy 2 plugin, which has a multi-band transient designer module that is over-looked by many. Envolution by Sonnox, released earlier this year, is excellent too, offering creative ways to work with transients whilst sounding as good as anything else Sonnox have developed.
BitterSweet Pro v3 offers a frequency band selector before it’s transient processing, which is split into ‘Dynamics’ and ‘Static Gain’ controls with a ‘speed’ setting for changing the shape of transients. It also offers a few ‘clipping’ controls for some saturation of the transients which builds upon Envolution’s ‘warm’ setting. BitterSweet Pro v3 also supports mid-side processing as well as stereo or mono, which should prove this plugin popular with mastering engineers. Whilst this seems like a lot of control, this looks like a fairly simple plugin to use.
As I already mentioned, each transient designer I’ve used have a different sound. I haven’t used this new ‘pro’ version, but I expect the processing on offer here will be softer and more subtle than that of the competitors. I don’t think this is a bad thing either, in fact they need to offer a different sound to suit different tastes otherwise we might as well all buy into Sonnox. I also predict that this plugin will suit mastering applications well, as it’s probably not as ‘spiky’.
One area where Flux:: have already scored a point is pricing. As an introductory offer, BitterSweet Pro v3 is available for 89 EUR, and will retail at the end of the month for 179 EUR. For owners of the Flux:: Full Pack (version 2.2), this is a free update. As with all Flux:: plugins, this is available for Mac and Windows, on both 32bit and 64bit systems as AAX, AU and VST formats. Flux:: also include Waves WPAPI and Merging VS3 formats.
More Information: http://www.fluxhome.com/products/plug_ins/bittersweetpro-v3