The DSM is a multiband compressor and expander with 3× more frequency bands than conventional multibands.
The DSM created a revolution in compression when we introduced the Capture button. It takes an average of the audio spectrum and uses this to set all the threshold levels in one go. It works like magic. (Under the hood it does a ton of processing on the signal history and dynamics.) However, if you love spending hours twiddling more than a dozen frequency bands by hand then the DSM is not for you.
Oversampled FFT technology means there's zero phase distortion.
The DSM design intentionally prioritises transients and keeps the live feeling in your tracks. Our customers notice the difference.
We haven't touched the core compression algorithm ever since the DSM was launched more than 10 years ago. Why change something that works so well?
Audibly transparent below -1 dBFS. Retains transient information even above digital maximum. One button. Brilliant.
In V3, the Limiter can be used on its own, without the spectral dynamics processing.
If the Limiter is used with the spectral dynamics, it now comes last in the signal chain, after Dry/Wet and Output Gain.
If the Threshold Spectrum is captured from the same track that you're processing, then very natural, invisible compression is possible. This is because you're aiming for a target frequency response which comes directly from the track itself.
If the Threshold Spectrum is captured from a forward-sounding passage in a track, then that impression of loudness will be carried over to the whole track. The DSM exploits the phenomenon that perceived loudness is largely determined by frequency content.
If the Threshold Spectrum is captured from a vocal track at a moment without any sibilance, then the whole track will be de-essed. Better results and faster to use than many dedicated de-essers. The DSM is especially good on vocals, due to the high resolution in the mid-to-high frequency range.
Start with a pink noise Threshold Spectrum for creative tape saturation effects.
If the Threshold Spectrum is captured from a different track, then the spectrum of that track is dynamically impressed upon the track you're processing. Trying out different Threshold Spectrums captured from successful productions will often provide fruitful avenues to explore.
If the Threshold Spectrum is captured from part of a recording with desirable room ambience and vocal tone, then any deviations from this, such as due to scene changes or microphone proximity effects, will be reduced by the compression.
We forsee the DSM's new downwards expander mode being used to recover dynamic range in over-compressed tracks.
We will wait with interest to see what other creative ideas producers come up with, perhaps in conjunction with the new spectral sidechain.
Paul Frindle has 50 years' experience in the pro audio and music industries. He has worked as a studio engineer in Oxford and Paris, and was a design engineer at SSL with responsibilities for E and G-series analogue consoles, emerging assignable consoles and nascent digital audio products. As one of the original team that became Sony Oxford, he is responsible for many revolutionary aspects of the Sony OXF-R3 mixing console. More recently he was responsible for product design and quality assurance at Oxford Plugins. On leaving Sony Oxford, he co-founded PRO AUDIO DSP in order to make novel sound-processing applications to fulfill many issues he had identified in the audio production chain over his career.
Paul Ryder is a software developer and musician, with 20 years' experience in the pro audio industry. During this time Paul was a key member of the development team for the Sony OXF-R3 console. He was also the principal software engineer responsible for the development and implementation of the Sony Oxford plugins.
Ant Scott is a mathematician who has contributed to high-end audio processing projects since 1998. He also worked at Sony Oxford.