RA is a Nonlinear TDM plug-in for the professional Audio Engineers that demand the most from their plug-ins. The plug-in can be thought of as an amplifier that is being over driven, but there is control over what part is being overdriven.
The controls in RA are divided into 4 groups:
-The first and most useful control is the LOW LEVEL control. This control brings up the low level content of the audio. It may also be thought of as a detail control. It functions like an amplifier being over driven, but works more on the low level part of the signal and less on the high level part. This control generates third harmonic distortion. The LOW LEVEL control can also have a multiplying effect on other plug-ins by increasing their effect. The LOW LEVEL control is useful on most any kind of signal and is a little like upward compression with out attack and release times.
-The second control group is the PEAK controls. They are like an adjustable soft clip, or an amplifier where you have control over how it saturates, but leaves the low level part of the signal alone. The distortion generated by the PEAK controls is third harmonic. The PEAK control rounds off the peaks of the wave shape and has a hardness value that can be changed. The HARDNESS control’s soft setting (0) limits the peak to approximately -3dbfs and the hard setting (100) limits peaks to approximately -10dbfs.
In a test some people did not hear 50% distortion if it is only second harmonic. But it does change the feel of things and can have a thickening effect. The TOP control rounds off the top of the wave shape and the BOTTOM control rounds off the bottom of the wave shape. When used together it is possible to have the even harmonic content cancel and have third harmonic distortion left.
-The final group has two controls are more like house keeping. The first control which is in front of the signal processing is a DRIVE control that has a plus and minus 6 db range. Being the distortion generator is level dependent, this will allow for a more or less aggressive operation of the process and the ability to better match the process to the track. The DRIVE control is also unity gain from the input to the output. However if you have a -1dbfs signal and increase the drive gain to +6 db you will clip and the clip light indicator will turn red.
-The last control of the plug-in is an output level trim which has a range of plus and minus 6 db for matching gain. Clipping the signal with the trim control will light the clip light indicator, but the coloring controls cannot clip. The main use of the LEVEL TRIM is for level matching, being the curve bending is very non linear it is not possible to have a fixed unity gain.
The graphic display shows how the signal is being distorted and is useful in the prediction of what the plug-in will do. The controls are interactive which means each one will affect the process in front of it. You could almost think of the curve display in a graphics program.
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