Plug-ins based around a single dial concept are typically geared towards a specific audio process. For the end user the merits of these styles of plug-in are in simplicity as they do away with complex UI’s and control sets in favour of either one control adjusting multiple parameters in different ways under the hood or AI machine learning algorithms working in the background. They are also about speed of use, which for some busy audio engineers is an absolute godsend. With single dial plug-ins a twist of its main control will leave you with one simple choice to make, how much of this effect or process do I need?
Some feel single dial style plug-ins are pointless or too simple, there are others who love the instant effects of the simple approach to processing single dial style. For some, single dial or one knob style plug-ins, are the answer to their mixing dilemmas. In this article we list our top picks of single dial plug-ins which, for some people can simplify complex audio processes.
Accusonus - ERA Single Dial Plug-ins
Accusonus’s first single dial plug-in was ERA-N released back in 2016. This was a straight forward noise suppression plug-in which has since been upgraded and renamed to ERA Noise Remover. Following on from ERA-N, Accusonus have been introducing more single dial plug-ins in the ERA product line which range a wide variety of applications for audio restoration:
ERA Noise Remover: Quickly reduces the level of unwanted background noise in spoken word performances such as air conditioning or hum.
ERA Reverb Remover: Helps to focus distant sounding source audio caused by recordings being captured in overly ambient spaces. This is a great tool for quickly reducing excessive reverb, which can help to add clarity to source material.
ERA Voice Leveler: Singers and voice over artists can at times move in and out of their ideal recording positions which causes level inconsistencies in both audio and video recordings. Of course these can be manually corrected in any DAW but this takes time. Use this single knob plug-in to address these level differences automatically.
ERA De-Esser: Dealing with harsh sounding sibilance in voice recordings is routine for audio engineers though it can be a challenge at times to set the frequency range correctly. ERA De-Esser does this automatically for you leaving you with the choice of how much de-essing you want to apply
ERA Plosive Remover: Reduces unflattering low-end thump sounds which from time to time creep into voice recordings.
ERA De-Clipper: Clipping is a harsh sounding form of distortion that can happen at the recording stage. Clipped audio is easy to spot on a waveform as the peaks of the audio appear to be chopped off. If this happens then all is not lost. ERA De-Clipper can save the day by repairing your clipped audio automatically.
All of these plug-ins are available in the ERA 4 Bundle Standard which cost $354.
You can watch our videos below to hear a selection of Accusonus’ ERA single dial plug-ins in action and to see just how easy and quick they are to apply to troublesome audio tracks.
Audio Assault - The Punch
The Punch by Audio Assault is a single dial transient shaper plug-in, which can be yours for as little as $10. The interface is so simple that it doesn’t require any instructions on how to use it. Note, this isn’t a full-on transient shaper as the main dial doesn’t let you soften the presentation of transients, instead The Punch is all about exaggerating the impact of transient material.
Back in 2017 Audio Assault offered The Punch as a free plug-in for a time limited period. This promo has since ended. Check out Audio Assaults example video showing The Punch in action…
Audionamix - IDC
Short for Instant Dialogue Cleaner, IDC by Audionamix provides a very powerful way for us to focus spoken word content in congested sounding recordings which suffer from high levels of background noise. IDC replaced Audionamix’s previous “voice cleaner plug-in” called SVC. This required users to hit an Acquire button and have an active internet connection for SVC to process. IDC simplified this by doing away with the lengthy processing waits and internet dependance while adopting a simple single dial user interface for dialling down the level of background noise. Watch our video below for a quick guided tour of the UI and to hear IDC in action cleaning up a dialogue performance recorded in an extremely noisy environment.
Kush - Omega Transformer Plug-ins
Kush’s Omega transformer plug-ins are based on transformer sections of Neve and API preamps and provide great vibe and mojo on a wide variety of track types in a mix. If you have some tracks that feel a bit gutless then inject some colour and interest with these, they will certainly not disappoint. Simply turn the main Intensity knob and lovely distinct flavours of vibe will unfold before your ears.
Watch our video below to hear Kush’s Omega Transformers in action in a full mix.
Softube - Drawmer S73
Softube’s Drawmer S73 plug-in provides one of the simplest approach to multi-band compression by use of a handful of selectable styles along with a main single amount dial. The straightforward approach the S73 boasts distills over 40 often complicated controls for setting multi-band compression down to just 4 simple controls, of which the main amount dial will be the main control for dialling in the perfect amount of dynamics processing.
Softube - Free Saturation Knob Plug-in
We can’t mention Softube in this list without talking about their amazing free Saturation plug-in. Softube’s Saturation Knob provides a quick and easy way to apply tasteful amounts of harmonic distortion for colour and focus purposes to tracks in a mix. It sounds brilliant on just about anything you throw at it, what’s best is that you can download and use Saturation Knob for free. We love The Saturation Knob, download it and we’re sure you will love it as well.
Watch our video below to hear how Softube’s Saturation Knob can be dialled in quickly to lift certain tracks out of a mix.
Waves - OneKnob Series
So far many of the single dial plug-ins we have covered in this article provide practical solutions to audio restoration related issues with a handful providing creative uses. The 8 plug-ins in the Waves OneKnob Series have been geared more towards reproducing popular music production creative effects, for example in OneKnob Pumper and OneKnob Filter. These two plug-ins simplify two essential production tricks used commonly in EDM production. As their names suggest, the first provides the effect of pumping, which can involve a long winded side-chain process being set up via a compressor and the second - filter sweeps, which can be a tricky beast to set up and get sounding spot on.
We’ve produced a number of video tutorials demonstrating each of the Waves OneKnob plug-ins, watch below to hear each in action.
If speed and simplicity in a plug-in are important factors to you then hopefully this list of single dial based plug-ins can help you to find some useful tools for your workflows.
These are our top picks, but what are yours? Are there some single dial plug-ins that you use that we haven’t got in our list? if so, do tell us about them in the comments below.