Here at 344 Audio, we are constantly on the lookout for the tools that will help us do our jobs more effectively and efficiently, and from many years of experience we have developed a critical ear when it comes to assessing the quality and usefulness of a plugin.
We have always been big fans of the products that the team at Oeksound have been putting out, and so naturally we were thrilled when they presented us with the opportunity to test and review their adaptive transient plugin Spiff.
Our Rating: 4.8/5
Adaptive Transient Control
On the surface, Spiff appears to be yet another addition to the range of transient shaping tools that are on the market, but upon diving in deeper, it's clear to see that Spiff does things a little differently than the competition.
The main function that sets Spiff apart is the way its EQ behaves. The EQ contained in Spiff is in fact a side chain EQ which analyses the incoming audio and applies a boost or cut to the transient components of the signal. This allows Spiff to process audio adaptively and with a lot more nuance than some of the other available tools within its class, making this product more akin to a scalpel than a sledgehammer. Intelligent stuff indeed.
Precise transient control with Spiff.
Whilst at first Spiff may look a little confusing, once you get to grips with the layout of the GUI and how the different parameters operate it quickly becomes a very intuitive tool to work with. Sound shaping with a very tactile experience and one that rewards experimentation.
Using different colours depending on boost or cut is a subtle but very nice design feature, as it makes it easy to get a visual snapshot of what's going on without having to study all of the controls.
The EQ bands are extremely flexible, and there are very few limits on how far you can push things when searching for the desired sound, so don't be afraid to get a little wild when using Spiff, just be careful to not have the depth control set too high when pushing the high end or else things can get a little harsh on the ears.
An overview of Spiff from the team at Oeksound.
Where to use it
Spiff is a versatile and potent mixing tool that will be highly applicable to a range of different applications. We would use it to control harsh plosives when editing dialogue, to balance levels in a sound with wide frequency content, and as a precision mixing tool during trailer sound design. Some other great uses of Spiff include:
- Removing mouth noises from dialogue recordings. - Adding brightness to dull recordings.
- Processing drum kit recordings.
- Cleaning up live audio recordings from bleed, unwanted sounds etc.
- Adding more impact and sweetness to drums, guitar pickings etc.
- Subtle cuts/boosts during mastering.
Yet again, Oeksound has delivered a plugin that stands above the competition both in terms of its effectiveness as an audio processing tool, and the quality of the user experience. There is a real depth to Spiff, and it seems like the kind of plugin that would keep revealing new facets to its operation even after months of working with it.
What we especially love is that Spiff bridges the gap between compressor and EQ, achieving similar audio results that you would commonly expect with a multiband compressor, only without compromising any of the dynamics.
The Bottom Line
This is a versatile mixing tool that is equally suited to pro mix engineers, composers and bedroom producers. Its fair price of £139 maybe places it just out of the reach of novice users but makes it an ideal purchase for anyone from intermediate level and above. For more on Spiff and Oeksound, as ell as their website and purchase information follow this link: https://oeksound.com/plugins/spiff/ You can check out our recent review of its sister plugin Soothe 2 here: https://www.344audio.com/single-post/review-oeksound-soothe-2 We hope you enjoyed this review!
If you enjoyed this post please check out our ultimate guide to audio post-production: https://www.344audio.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-audio-post-production-sound-design
344 Audio is an Audio Post Production studio in Manchester.
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