A free gate plug-in with envelopes and an optional step sequencer? A most welcome proposition, indeed! That’s on offer from developer Auburn Sounds, which released the Renegate plug-in. Available in free and paid (USD 29) versions, Renegate is one bad boy of a gate plug-in!
Auburn Sounds Renegate
Renegate is a full-band gate with claims towards a “smooth, natural sound”. Beneath the machine-style GUI which is fairly simple to get around (if you have a bit of production know-how) lies a program-dependent hysteresis engine, a built-in look-ahead delay, program-dependent auto release and a 43-bands psychoacoustic model for envelope detection.
The free plug-in delivers all that. The paid Full Edition packs optional low or hi-pass filter VCA gain reduction, oversampling, the aforementioned TR-style sequencer, and a Raw knob to de-smooth the sound. Those filters are interesting, for they serve different purposes – LP is useful for de-breathing while HP cleans up bass frequencies and gives transients additional presence.
In terms of control, the obligatory Threshold, Attack, Hold, and Release knobs are presented. However, where you’d expect a Ratio control, there’s a Mix knob instead. It lets you adjust the maximum amount of gain reduction. A gain map display is provided, letting you monitor the ratio effectively applied by the gate depending on its Release setting. This way, Renegate can also work as an expander – adjust the ratio from the Release knob.
The TR-style sequencer is where Renegate starts to party. With it, you can replace sidechaining with step triggerring, turn sounds into rhythms, sequence reverb tails, shape volume, and do other types of creative processing.
Renegate works as a VST 2.4, VST3, AU, AAX, and LV2 plug-in under macOS, Linux and Windows. The free version is available for download immediately, while the paid version is on sale for USD 29 (down from USD 39) and also up for download. Renegate Free goes much beyond a free demo, perhaps in order to showcase the developer’s ambitious psychoacoustic model more thoroughly. Whatever the reason, this kind of business model is awesome and more developers should get into it!