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Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

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Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby David Polich » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:36 am

I "drank the Kool-Aid" and downloaded the 21-day demo of Pro Audio's
Dynamic Spectrum Mapper. I'd read all these glowing, hyped reviews,
and believed that maybe this plug-in really was the greatest
magic bullet ever invented.

After two days, I'm just not getting how this thing is supposed to
work. I tried most of the presets on appropriate tracks (vocals,
guitars, drums, mix buss) and to me they all ruined the sound, and
I don't say that lightly. Why do most of the presets have makeup
gain set to 20db? When I bypass the plug-in, the audio sounds better.
When I go back to something I am familiar with and love, like UAD's
LA2A, that's what I want. DSM just seems to distort and brighten things.

Either I am just too old and too dumb to get it, or this is a
severe case of marketing hype. Does anyone have this plug-in, and if so,
a clue as to what makes it work? Do you need a degree in audio physics
to understand it?
Mac Pro 2010 2.8Ghz Quadcore, 32GB RAM,OSX 10.8.5, MIDI Timepiece AV, Apogee Duet, DP 8.06 64-bit,Waves,Slate FGX and VBC,Nomad Factory,Izotope,UAD-2,Amplitube 3,Spectrasonics,Native Instruments,Pianoteq,Soniccouture,Gospel Musicians, Scuffham,Arturia,Amplesound, Sample Modeling, a ton of VI's running on a PC, Yamaha Motif XF6, Yamaha Motif XS6, Yamaha MO XF6,Korg Kornos X61,Korg CX-3,Korg M361,DSI Mopho, Alesis Ion,Yamaha Disklavier MK 3 MIDI Grand.
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Re: Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby rodger1811 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:57 am

David Polich wrote:I "drank the Kool-Aid" and downloaded the 21-day demo of Pro Audio's
Dynamic Spectrum Mapper. I'd read all these glowing, hyped reviews,
and believed that maybe this plug-in really was the greatest
magic bullet ever invented.

After two days, I'm just not getting how this thing is supposed to
work. I tried most of the presets on appropriate tracks (vocals,
guitars, drums, mix buss) and to me they all ruined the sound, and
I don't say that lightly. Why do most of the presets have makeup
gain set to 20db? When I bypass the plug-in, the audio sounds better.
When I go back to something I am familiar with and love, like UAD's
LA2A, that's what I want. DSM just seems to distort and brighten things.

Either I am just too old and too dumb to get it, or this is a
severe case of marketing hype. Does anyone have this plug-in, and if so,
a clue as to what makes it work? Do you need a degree in audio physics
to understand it?


I own this plugin and while I can't say that I'm an expert using it, I have found it to work pretty well. For the most part, I'm kind of a anti-preset guy, so I can't comment on them. However, I have had good results using the product. The "Spectrum Capture" is the magic behind the plugin and it's really straight forward to me. Press and hold the button during playback of a section that you like and it captures the Eq curve and amplitude of that section. From there, it's compression and Eq gets in gear and attempts to maintain the curve that you've captured. You'll likely have to tweak it but it gives you a great start. I really like it's multi-band compression!!

It also really shines as a De-Esser and it may just be one of the best I've ever used. I know that it's much more than that but I've not delved into it as much although I've had it for a while now. The Eq section is really nice and nice sounding as well. The guy that developed this (Paul Frindle) is one of the lead guys that came from Oxford. He has some tutorials on their website that you might find helpful. http://www.vimeo.com/2365432
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Re: Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby David Polich » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:54 am

Thanks for the video link. Very helpful.
Mac Pro 2010 2.8Ghz Quadcore, 32GB RAM,OSX 10.8.5, MIDI Timepiece AV, Apogee Duet, DP 8.06 64-bit,Waves,Slate FGX and VBC,Nomad Factory,Izotope,UAD-2,Amplitube 3,Spectrasonics,Native Instruments,Pianoteq,Soniccouture,Gospel Musicians, Scuffham,Arturia,Amplesound, Sample Modeling, a ton of VI's running on a PC, Yamaha Motif XF6, Yamaha Motif XS6, Yamaha MO XF6,Korg Kornos X61,Korg CX-3,Korg M361,DSI Mopho, Alesis Ion,Yamaha Disklavier MK 3 MIDI Grand.
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Re: Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby rodger1811 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:57 am

David Polich wrote:Thanks for the video link. Very helpful.


No problem and good luck! I really think you'll love it once you get the hang of how it works! 8)
Mid 2012 Mac Pro 12 Core 2.4GHz, 24G RAM, OSX 10.8.2, DP 8.01
4x2 TB Hard Drives
APOGEE Symphony
MOTU 2408 mk3
MOTU HD192/Black Lion Modified
MOTU 24I/Ox2
MOTU MIDI Timepiece
Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad x 2
Universal Audio (Entire Plugin Library)
Waves Mercury+ Studio Classics
Tons of other goodies; to many to mention here
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Re: Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby cbergm7210 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:06 pm

I use it to shape vocals and such, but yes, it can wreck a track in a hurry in my experience.

I'll sample a lead vocal, for example, then slap it across the background vocal tracks to get them to sound more like the lead right off the bat. Then I'll compress and eq to taste after the plug. If you're trying to get the BGVs to blend a bit better with the LV this helps.

Or if I have an instrument that generally sounds good but every now and then certain frequencies will pop out, I'll sample the good part of the instruments track and then it'll keep that track more consistent with the smooth sound. Instruments like the violin that can be smooth in the lower registers but can be sharp sounding in the upper mids, for example.

In general when I use it my settings generally don't ride up into the extreme ends of things like the presets as it really does do things to the timbre. But, it can really save a track where eq and comp aren't cutting it. Perhaps a performer who was moving around and there's a bunch of comb filtering. Or you have comps from different day's recordings trying to get them to sound coherent.
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Re: Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby cloudsplitter » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:56 pm

I also own it...and I have found it to be somewhat hard to get to sound good...In my opinion the money would have been better spent somewhere else, That's not saying it's a bad plug..just that it isn't giving me goose bumps everytime I use it like the reviews seem to suggest.
Mac Pro 3,1 8 core 12 gigs ram Mavericks. DP-8.05 Fractal Audio Axe-FX Ultra, motu traveler, motu MIDI express, 2-24" LCD monitors, Yamaha HS80M,Yamaha NS10M's JBL28P monitors. Mackie control universal, BFD-2, Omnisphere,Trilian Ozone 4, Melodyne Studio/Editor, . Alesis Masterlink. Avalon 737sp. PCM 90. MikTek C4V. Korg Triton Extreme. Paul Reed Smith guitars, MPC-2500 there's more..but that's the heart of it.
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Re: Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby David Polich » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:37 am

Yeah, I'm beginning to think I won't buy it after the demo expires. Played
around with it some more after viewing the video - I get more of how it
works, but here's the problem I keep coming back to..I'll insert it on a
track, leave the EQ flat, set the compressor controls so it doesn't do
anything, leave the gains at zero, run a "capture", then listen to the
track played back while enabling and disabling the plug-in. When it's enabled,
the sound is generally more muffled, veiled, and grainy sounding..it's not transparent.

I think it's a corrective tool, at best. Maybe as a better de-esser. Not
a game changer, though. I like to keep in mind that plenty of amazing
records were mixed without this tool, before it came along.

UA's LA2A - now that I can't live without.
Mac Pro 2010 2.8Ghz Quadcore, 32GB RAM,OSX 10.8.5, MIDI Timepiece AV, Apogee Duet, DP 8.06 64-bit,Waves,Slate FGX and VBC,Nomad Factory,Izotope,UAD-2,Amplitube 3,Spectrasonics,Native Instruments,Pianoteq,Soniccouture,Gospel Musicians, Scuffham,Arturia,Amplesound, Sample Modeling, a ton of VI's running on a PC, Yamaha Motif XF6, Yamaha Motif XS6, Yamaha MO XF6,Korg Kornos X61,Korg CX-3,Korg M361,DSI Mopho, Alesis Ion,Yamaha Disklavier MK 3 MIDI Grand.
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Re: Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby cbergm7210 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:23 am

I think it's a corrective tool


I concur. I don't reach for it every mix, but it has saved instances where nothing else did.
Mac Pro 2.66GHz Dual Quad Core Nahalem, 16 Gigs RAM, DP 7.24, RME Fireface 800, MOTU MIDIexpress 128, Powercore PCIe, Waves, URS, PSP Audio, Mac OS 10.8.4

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Re: Dynamic Spectrum Mapper - anyone understand it?

Postby Macrozonaris » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:34 am

I tried the demo yesterday and had some amazing results. I am writing an orchestral score for a PS3 game and used the DSM to capture John Powell's How To Train Your Dragon score (1. This Is Berk), which has been one of the benchmarks for the project in hand. I then put the unmastered bounce of the mockup through it and the result was quite uncanny. The orchestra sounded more real and it glued together the sound very well. I have about 6 plugins in my mastering chain that I usually use for quick home mastering, and the DSM was a lot better and way quicker.

Also had some Zimmer/Inception type music in the low register with brass, strings and analogue synths. Captured a part of one cue in the score and used it on my piece, and it also sounded very good. Really good way of making a sampled score sound more real and better.
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