In this video, we’ll show you how to shape transients to enhance your drum sounds, samples, and percussive synth, guitar and piano elements in your tracks, using the Smack Attack transient shaper.
Learn how to design harder kicks, boomier loops, crispier claps, sizzling snares and pulsating arpeggios, all with this powerful dynamics processing plugin.
Here are a few basic tips for getting started with Smack Attack on a kick, a snare, or other drum sounds (remember that different instruments will require different settings):
- To give more impact to your snare or kick, try to dial up your Attack level from 0 to about 30, then tweak it from there.
- If you’re mixing a full drum kit, try to lower the Sustain level to -50 to make it sound tighter and crispier. (This setting may also help you to take away some room noise).
- To make your snare, rim or claps bigger and wider, try to turn Sustain level up to 40 or 50.
- You can choose between three different shapes on your attack (from left to right): “Needle,” “Nail” and “Blunt.” The first two are great for drums: “Needle” is for getting hard, crisp drum sounds, while “Nail” will give your drums a somewhat softer but still sharp “thwack.” “Blunt” is intended for all instruments, but can also help you design creative drum effects where you want a softer, more rounded attack.
- You can also choose between three shapes for your sustain (from left to right): “Linear,” “Non-Linear” and “Soft Linear.” Again, the first two are intended mainly from drums, while “Soft Linear” is ideal for other instruments.
- Play with the Duration controls to fine-tune the attack and sustain. Longer durations make for warmer transients; shorter durations produce a spikier sound.
- Use the Limiter in the Guard control to squash the sound when your source elements are aggressive.
- Boosting the Attack level will often boost the gain of the entire signal: use the Output knob to balance that out and bring the gain back down if needed.
- Explore the Wet/Dry mix control for parallel processing. This will give you more sonic options, from subtle to extreme.