The new plug-in company PROCESS.AUDIO has released Sugar, a tool designed to add that certain something to your mixes. Haven’t we all at some point wished for a plug-in that makes everything sound great with a few quick tweaks? PROCESS.AUDIO boldly claims that their first product is just that: A “secret weapon to hit the sweet spot on every mix”. Here’s the lowdown.
Sugar has been designed to offer several harmonic enhancement techniques in one plug-in. The idea is that you don’t have to fiddle with multiple processors to solve different problems in your mix. Instead, it claims to be an all-in-one solution that puts icing on the whole cake and not just individual slices. That said, Sugar can of course be used on individual signals as well as the mix bus. The interface seems to be straight-forward and fairly easy to use, which is good news for a tool that tackles such a complex task.
Four bands of harmonic processing
The main element of Sugar is a harmonic enhancer with four bands: Low, Mid, High, and Air. Each band offers a selection of two colors. For the bass, you can choose between “thick” and “punch”, the mid band has “warm” and “broad”, the high band offers “shine” and “excite”, and for the Air band you can pick “yin” or “yang”, whatever that’s supposed to mean in this context. The intensity of the processing can be adjusted for each band individually.
Linear phase filters and saturation
In the center of the GUI, a circular dial labeled “Wet Inject” (yes, really) lets you blend the processed signal in with the dry signal. There is an option to switch between L/R or M/S processing, and a button for listening to the FX signal only. Sugar also has linear phase high pass and low pass filters for fine tuning. Finally, a saturation stage with three flavors (Drive, Distort, and Destroy) adds saturation or heavier distortion to the signal, if you wish.
Could this really be the universal problem-solver for dull mixes that we’ve all been waiting for? I’m not sure. In the end, you’ll still need to get the sound right during tracking and mixing. But the concept is convincing and the demo clips at PROCESS.AUDIO’s website sound very nice. Sugar looks like a promising alternative to other enhancers like Wavesfactory Spectre or Beatskillz Slam Pro.
Sugar is available in VST2.4, VST3, AU and AAX versions and runs on Windows 7 or higher (64bit) and Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. It uses the iLok copy protection system. Sugar can be downloaded for 149 USD at the company’s website. There is also a free 14-day trial version.