Having plug-ins endorsed by famous producers is one thing, and an industry norm at this point. But having the producers themselves develop bespoke software is another thing altogether, and it’s rather exciting – it’s a different form of musical expression that feels incredibly powerful. It’s like – here’s this tool I use to make my music sound the way it does, go do what you want with it! All right…
While we probably aren’t getting a Trent Reznor multi-effects plug-in anytime soon (can you picture that???), we’re still happy to have Dutch producer & DJ duo Sick Individuals roll out what looks like a polished, capable effects plug-in built exactly for artists like them. It’s called Focus One and it was first introduced at the Amsterdam Dance Event 2017 – how appropriate!
In case you aren’t up to speed with Sick Individuals’ career, well, these guys are pretty big. A bunch of hit singles aside, they remixed big-shots like Madonna, Moby, Avicii, Rihanna, Tiesto, Guetta and had their work published on Warner, Interscope, Def Jam, and Capital. Racking up that mainstream success, it’s no wonder Sick Individuals have the resources to spend on developing a legitimate plug-in – not a hastily thrown together prototype for internal use, but something that looks good, sounds interesting, and is made to sell. It’s a creative and business venture that feels quite right and we commend the dudes for getting to it amidst an obviously busy musical career.
So, about Focus One! Developed in partnership with Prolody and Moditone for over two years, the plug-in aims to simplify the detailed processing work involved in making a mix sound, well, special. Focus One features five effects, each operated with a single fader. These are:
FOCUS – advanced compression that slams your sound in a unique way.
BOOST – a specialized EQ to boost your leads.
DRIVE – high resolution distortion to give more crunch and punch.
WIDEN – mid-side effect that opens up your stereo image, adding substantial size to your mix.
PULSE – a smart tremolo effect, automatically synced to your BPM.
EXTREME MODE – switch to extreme mode and push your mix beyond the limits.
If the processing algorithms running behind the scenes are any good, we can see Focus One killing it on both mixes and mastering. While you probably have a tool in your arsenal that already does any of these five things, Focus One offers a different spin on these time-tested effects and techniques for sound processing. It also simplifies the complex process of applying them to your audio to an extent where you get going just by moving a fader.
Sure, you might need more fine-grained control if you want a more strategic or subtle effect, but not everyone has the time or desire to muck around with setting 20 different parameters. If it sounds any good, Focus One can be a time-saver, a balls-out creative effect, a mastering processor, and anything in-between. There’s a free demo available, so try it and see if it does it for you.
Price and availability
Focus One is available in VST and AU formats for Windows and Mac computers at an affordable price of 50 EUR. A free demo is available on the plug-in website as well.