Waves has released a brand-new transient shaper plug-in – Smack Attack. Labelled a “secret weapon for mixing drums”, Waves’ new tool supposedly lets you smack those drums around like Bonzo in his prime. It should also help with adding extra bite to aggressive sounds, such as synth, acoustic, or percussive plucks and hits.
The plug-in gives you the opportunity to adjust the level, shape, and duration of transients’ attack and sustain properties. This makes both precise tweaks and larger-than-life effects possible, depending on how far you’re willing to go. Of course, a plug-in like this can be used on any type of material, so feel free to play with the transients of any track, like a vocal performance or the entire mixdown if you wish. You may come up with unexpected results!
In addition to elaborate control over transients’ attack and sustain properties, Smack Attack lets you control their exact shape and duration as well. This way, you can make a kick feel ‘tighter’, or bring out more ‘crack’ from a snare. There’s also sensitivity control to be more selective about your transient shaping. With it, you can process all your transients or only the loudest ones.
The plugin is quite the looker, with a slick and colorful user interface – nothing to do with Waves’ older plugins that look like relics from the 90s. The interface features controls for transient attack & sustain, fine-tuning (level, shape, and duration), a real-time graphic display, a built-in limiter/clipper, sensitivity controls for selective shaping, and a Wet/Dry mix knob. All the controls are MIDI-assignable as well.
Smack Attack is sold at an introductory price of $49, and is also included in Waves’ various thousand-dollar bundles. The price seems very fair for a polished and powerful transient shaper like this. More information is available on Waves’ web page.