In this review Julian Rodgers takes a look at the newly announced DW Drum Enhancer from Audified. This plug-in, developed in collaboration with the highly respected drum manufacturers at Drum Workshop, is a channel strip type plug-in which is tightly focussed on drum processing.
Twelve Different Processing Profiles
Offering a gate, compressor, filters, EQ and saturation, the simplified controls presented in the UI offer more depth than the interface suggests because, depending on which drum type and style is selected from the twelve available options in the drum type selector, the parameters for the various processors change to suitable settings for the anticipated content.
The drum types available are:
- Kick - Modern
- Kick - Heavy
- Kick - Vintage
- Snare - Modern
- Snare - Heavy
- Snare - Vintage
- Toms - Modern
- Toms - Heavy
- Toms - Vintage
- Other - Room
- Other - OH
- Other - Bus
Although not auditioned in this short review, the saturation control offers five different flavours of saturation. Each with a different spectral bias:
- Presence – favours the upper midrange frequencies for increased presence.
- Vintage – has a smoother high end with more even harmonics.
- Brown – has an almost flat response with light high frequencies roll-off combined with added harmonics.
- White – is balanced between the even and odd harmonics and extra brightness.
- LoFi – contains less energy at low and high frequencies.
In addition to the twelve options available via the drum type selector, the included presets offer useful starting points thought with any processing like this it is necessary to tweak the thresholds of dynamic processes at the very least and with level-based processes like saturation it is always going to be necessary to check that your signals are hot enough to drive the saturation section.
One Size Fits All?
While I don't think that a processor like this can compete with an experienced engineer with a complete set of tools, a fairer example might be the user who uses channel strip presets or instrument specific plug-ins and I think for these users the DW Drum Enhancer offers a good balance of simplicity versus processing options, offering more control than many of the alternatives.