HBF’s resident producer James Trigo gives us his opinion on Sample Magic’s Boost which promises to make your tracks sound bigger, brighter, wider and better.
Preparing your latest creation to be released into the wild is a tricky business and one that tends to be on your mind at every stage of the writing process. There’s a few options available to you once you hit the master channel, have a go yourself with your arsenal of plugins to hand, send it off to get someone else to do it, or use one of the internet mastering services out there. Sample Magic’s latest software release Boost, try’s to simplify the first option by combining four common mix processing plugins in one easy to use interface.
From left to right you have compress, colour, stereo and limiter dials, all with individual bypass toggles. There’s input and output level with a retro looking VU and boost and brick buttons on either side of the vintage looking front panel. This might seem simple at first look but that’s the point, a lot of the shaping and sculpting has been taken care of under the hood, so as you add or take away the effect you’re not given the opportunity to tinker too much, making the process quick and effective.
Each of the 64 presets gives you a starting point for the multi-band compressor, 4-band EQ, stereo enhancer and limiter, you can then fine tune the amount of each element once you’ve found a preset to suit your mix. I fired up Boost and started scanning through the light, medium, heavy and extreme settings, settling on Big Bright Master and after playing around with varying amounts of compression and EQ I had pretty decent results without much fuss. There’s loads of really well thought out presets and the sound quality is fantastic, enabling you to push mixes quite hard without sucking the life out of them.
The boost button re-routes the EQ and puts it after the limiter giving ‘perceived loudness’ but with the added risk of clipping, whereas brick does exactly what you’d expect and gives you a safety net for any of those stray transients. It’s not just for the mix buss either, adding Boost to the drum buss, bass or even vocals makes for some impressive results.
As a plugin for getting your mixes up to speed quick, Boost does a great job, but as a reasonably processor light addition to any instrument channel Boost has loads of versatility and the top notch sound quality we’ve come to expect from the Sample Magic range.
Buy Boost now for £49.99 from http://samplemagic.com