AES 2017: Sound Radix’ Powair adaptive compressor tames the peaks on its own
Sound Radix is going places with its plug-ins. Following the likes of AutoAlign and Drum Leveler, it’s got another problem-solving tool ready for the proverbial shed. It’s called Powair and it’s a modern compressor, designed for a “smarter, more natural” sound. The plug-in will be officially announced at the AES 2017 convention in New York.
Powair works at two stages with the goals of taming dynamics and improving the sound of vocals and instruments. The first part is being handled by a k-weighted perceived loudness auto-leveler that acts to bring your tracks to a target level. This is accomplished with a bespoke gain detection and reduction engine built to make fast gain changes while minimizing distortion and managing an adaptive response to the source signal.
To better preserve transients, Powair has a Punch feature to add the possibility of control over transient levels at the initial Attack stage. This way, transient length can be shaped with peak levels kept under control.
Sound Radix also claims it has an “industry-first” feature – Adaptive Compression. If you hit a compression level you like for a verse vocal, it can be maintained in louder sections as well, without falling into over-compression. Overall, Powair comes across as an intelligently designed compressor for modern audio engineering times. We also like the interface as we find it very sporty-looking and easy to get around.
Since Powair is yet to be formally announced, price and release date information is not available at this moment. We will be learning more in the coming days as Audio Radix makes its official move. Adaptive algorithms have been a notable feature this year, present for example in iZotope’s freshly unveiled Ozone 8 and Neutron 2. For good, bad, or worse, we’re entering an age where the computer will be doing increasingly more work. Then again, adaptive functionality is a great way to have newbie producers get their feet wet with the kind of advanced processing that makes records sound expensive, without them feeling overwhelmed. It can also make seasoned engineers’ lives a lot easier.