Sunday, May 22, 2016

Har-Bal Updates

Our plugin will come after 3.7. The main feature additions to 3.7 over version 3 is the inclusion of a mid-side-left-right solo button feature (lets you hear what each sounds like) and the major one, a thing called peak taming / complex time selection. The later allows you to, through a complex time selection criteria (threshold marker on the spectrum graph) select the time in which the spectrum goes above a particular threshold. Then for that time selection you have access to the average spectrum just for that selection and the ability to tame those peaks with a filter that just attacks those points in time. If used cleverly you can basically remove the too hot parts of a track with little audible side effect though if not used cleverly it will have obvious side effect. Very much an advanced feature that will take me some time to document properly on how to use it.

Beyond those there's at least one fix to the file handling that could cause file corruption issues in rare circumstances and the filter engine was completely re-written to fix critical race issues and playback stalls and improve the efficiency for use in the complex time selection feature above. There is also the change in the licensing model to avoid using network adapters as identification. This is a preliminary requirement for us implementing a plugin.

The plugin won't be a simple single channel plugin. Basically, the equivalent plugin EQ spectrum visualization and adjustment window to Har-Bal standalone would be shared across all instances of a Har-Bal EQ plugin, thereby allowing the user to easily compare channels, references channels, spectrum match channels etc. You could also do a virtual mix of channels and predict the final spectrum of those channels from mix settings etc. It will require an analysis phase whereby you play you track and it analyses the channels in analysis mode.

The analysis engine could also be implemented to look for leakage to particular channels and provide delay compensation. What we’re thinking of here in particular is multi-track drum recording which commonly suffers from leakage issues to the overheads which have different time lags so if you mix without compensation you'll get destructive interference between the close mic and overhead channels, preventing you from getting the mix you want.

As you should be able to see, what is proposed for a Har-Bal plugin is not trivial which is why we want to do it only after the release of version 3.7. In any case, much of our re-implementation of the filter engine was driven by the needs of the plugin.

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