With saturation and harmonic processing being one of the most common tools in this plug-in age, what’s different about Ploytec’s and Intelligent Sounds & Music’s offering? With processing names like ‘Salt, Pepper, Sugar and Chili’ inside “Aroma”, they’re certainly trying to be creative.
“Aroma” Harmonic Processor
Essentially, Aroma is a harmonic processor available in most common plug-in formats. There are so many of these types of plug-ins available that it can often be hard where to draw the line. How do you know when you’ve got enough? My view is that these are part of the fun and creative side of our sometimes very technical role, so if they offer something different, why not treat yourself!
Thankfully, it appears Aroma does offer some fairly unique sounds and includes four different flavours from one plug-in. Although not always for me, the mid-side processing that’s available will also be an attraction for many. I like how subtle the plug-in can sound as shown in the video demo below, and it clearly suits a mastering application well. Obviously you could use this plug-in on any track in a mx too.
It’s great to see creative names for each of the processes available with a plug-in like this. There’s a time and a place for frequency read-outs etc, but for harmonic enhancement you should just use your ears and go with what sounds right. Just don’t over-cook things please! Copied from Intelligent Sounds & Music’s website, here are the explanations for each process, should you wish to know:
- Salt and Pepper have a valve like effect. While Pepper is focused on odd harmonics, Salt also adds even ones.
- Sugar brings the sweet and fat sound of an analogue tape machine.
- Chili enhances the odd harmonics in a simple and sophisticated way that reminds of analogue harmonic effects.
Both Ploytec and Intelligent Sounds & Music have the plugin available on their web sites with more information available. The plug-in costs 89 EUR on both developer web sites and a demo is available. These are obviously young companies with Aroma being a major release for them. I believe Aroma is a sign of great things to come.
Here is a demonstration video for Aroma by Andreas Balaskas from Masterlab, Berlin. While I’m sure this is a neat little plug-in and I have much respect for Andreas Balaskas, this isn’t the best quality video that a pro audio company should be capable of producing. The sound quality is poor with Andreas’ voice clearly being captured by the camera mic with little to no processing. Not to mention the choice of demo including the line, ‘I want to see your body parts‘!