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Oxford Dynamics

Mastering by Sonnox

Headhunterz
"my favourite probably go to compressor is the Oxford, Whenever I switch this on and start taking down the Threshold it already sounds amazing."
Headhunterz. is a Dutch hardstyle DJ/producer.
 adeonjpg
"The ones that really matter to me are the Oxford Dynamics Compressor, which I've used forever"
Madeon. is an electro house/pop producer from France.

A powerhouse of dynamic control in a single Plug-In that features six independent processes for precision dynamic sculpting of your tracks. From subtle control of a vocal, to a pumping side-chained effect; from lightning-fast gating and precision expansion to peak level limiting of single tracks and buses alike. Sonic clarity at all times – with the option of tube-like harmonic saturation when you need it.

We’d love to talk about our use of feed-forward architecture with logarithmic processing, but maybe it’s better to quote some of our users instead:

"Musical-sounding and intuitive," "Transparent" and "Versatile."

General

The Oxford Dynamics plug-in is a highly sophisticated device with comprehensive control of many parameters. Therefore, to aid operation, there is separate page of controls for each process, since it would not be feasible to have all controls and displays available on a single page. Although there are four gain level controlling processes, Gate, Expander, Compressor and Limiter in the mono and stereo plug-ins, their control signals are all derived from a single side-chain detector, operating on a single gain control element. The amount of processing necessary to allow a detector for each process would be far too great for current processor capabilities, if done correctly.

The 5.1 Buss Compressor does not include gating and and expansion, but as an additionally has a Sub Filter section.

Feed-Forward Architecture

The type of architecture in the Oxford Dynamics uses feed-forward techniques. In this case, a tiny delay is introduced into the signal path. (The amount of delay is virtually insignificant, and can be compensated for, in order that all signal paths are aligned, in any case.) This delay allows time for the side-chain control signal to be generated so that it can coincide exactly with the signal it will control. This technique allows very accurate control of the audio levels by generating totally precise control signals, thus preserving audio quality.

Gate

The gate acts like a switch, where signals below the THRESHOLD setting are attenuated, according the the RANGE control setting. This type of function is useful for suppressing unwanted background noises, such as tape hiss, where the wanted signal is well defined. Gates are very useful on drums and percussive instruments too.

Once the signal reaches levels above the THRESHOLD, the gate opens allowing the signal through at full level. When the signal level falls, it must reduce to 4dB below the THRESHOLD before the gate will close again. This is known as 4dB of hysteresis. Increasing the ATTACK time, softens the attack 'edge', and the RELEASE sets the time for the closure take to take place. The HOLD sets the minimum time before the gate is able to close again.

Expander

The expander has all the same controls as the gate with the addition of a RATIO control. But whereas the gate acts like a switch, allowing the full signal through once the THRESHOLD has been reached, the expander allows the signal level to increase, according to the slope of RATIO setting. This function can be used to lower background background noises but is particularly useful for increasing the dynamic attack of any musical instruments which are percussive nature, such as drums, percussion and acoustic guitar. 

Compressor

The compressor allows gain reduction to signals beyond the level set by the THRESHOLD according to the RATIO setting. The RATIO can be set anywhere between 1:1, where no compression takes place, and 1000:1 where virtually total limiting takes place, meaning that there is no increase in level whatsoever for signal level beyond the THRESHOLD.

The ATTACK determines how quickly the compression sets in, allowing initial transients to pass, with the longer settings, useful to pass the intial attach of percussive intruments. The RELEASE sets the time taken to recover to no gain reduction, once the signal has returned to a level below the THRESHOLD. The start of the RELEASE phase can be further delayed by increasing the HOLD control. 

The transfer curve of the compressor will normally show a corner at the THRESHOLD point, the transition between no gain reduction and gain reduction. This corner can be 'smoothed' using the SOFT function which helps to 'hide' compression. When compression takes place, the overall signal is reduced at the higher levels, normally requiring the level to be 'made up' again. The MAKE-UP gain control allows for this.

Limiter

The limiter is designed to set a fixed ceiling for signals according to the THRESHOLD setting. Although it does have an ATTACK control which can allow initial transients to pass, at the medium and fastest ATTACK setting, the signal can be retained so as not to exceed the THRESHOLD. This is achieved with 'feed forward - look ahead' techniques and allows initial attack transients to be significantly modified without breaching the THRESHOLD setting.

Limiters were originally designed to prevent transmission systems being overloaded but are often used as artistic tools too. The ATTACK, HOLD and RELEASE behave in a similar manner to those of the compressor, but have different ranges.

Side-Chain EQ

The side-chain equaliser is a fully parametric 2 band section. Its main purpose is to allow modification of the frequency response of the side-chain signal path for functions such as 'de-essing'. It is possible to use it in the main signal path alone as an additional 2 band equaliser, or it can be used in the side-chain alone, or for both the signal path and side-chain combined.

Warmth

The AMOUNT control allows the addition of harmonically related signal with a tube or electronic valve like characteristics. Signal increases of up to 6dB can be achieved within the audio, but without going over the digital maximum. MAX TRIM allows fine tuning in order to compensate the peak level. The warmth function is independent without dependency on other dynamic processes.

Buss Compressor (AAX DSP and AAX Native Versions only)

The AAX DSP and AAX Native version of the Dynamics plug-ins includes a 5.1 buss Compressor and Limiter with exactly the same controls and parameters as the mono/stereo plug-ins.

Additionally for the sub channel, the LP FILTER sets the cut off frequency, the SUB TRIM sets the contribution of the sub signal to the side-chain, and the SUB PASS sets the amount of gain reduction control passed to the sub channel.

Features

  • Gate, Expander, Compressor, Limiter & 2-band side-chain EQ 
  • Warmth for extra presence and tube-like saturation 
  • 3 different compressor types; Normal, Classic and Linear  
  • Variable soft knee; 0 dBr to –20 dBr in 5 dB steps 
  • Surround bus compressor & limiter (HD-HDX only) 
  • Ultra low noise and distortion
  • The dynamics section from the acclaimed Sony OXF-R3 console

System Requirements

Pro Tools:

  • Pro Tools 10.3.8, 11.3.2, 12 – AAX DSP/ AAX Native
  • Pro Tools 7, 8, 9, 10 – TDM/RTAS
  • Approved Pro Tools CPU, OS and hardware configuration: www.avid.com 
  • Legacy support for OS X 10.4.11 – 10.6.8  & Windows XP: TDM/RTAS
  • iLok USB device with latest drivers
  • iLok2 required for AAX plug-ins

Audio Units:

  • Audio Units-compatible application (Logic, Digital Performer etc.)
  • Mac OS X 10.7 – 10.11
  • Legacy 32-bit support for OS X 10.4.11 – 10.6.8
  • iLok USB device with latest drivers
  • iLok2 required for 64-bit plug-in

VST2:

  • VST2-compatible application (Cubase, Nuendo, Sequoia etc.)
  • Mac OS X 10.7 – 10.11
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Legacy 32-bit support for OS X 10.4.11 – 10.6.8 & Windows XP
  • An iLok USB device with latest drivers is required to run this software
  • An iLok2 USB Key is required for 64-bit Sonnox plug-ins

Supported Hosts

Mac:

  • Pro Tools 10.3.8 – 12 (AAX Native & AAX DSP)
  • Pro Tools 7 – 10 (TDM & RTAS)
  • Logic Pro X 10.2
  • Logic 8 & 9
  • Digital Performer
  • Nuendo    
  • Cubase
  • Ableton
  • Studio 1

Windows:

  • Pro Tools 10.3.8 – 12 (AAX Native & AAX DSP)
  • Pro Tools 7 – 10 (TDM & RTAS)
  • Nuendo
  • Cubase
  • Ableton
  • Samplitude
  • Sequoia
  • Pyramix
  • Studio 1

PLEASE NOTE - AN ILOK IS REQUIRED FOR AUTHORISATION. REFUNDS WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR CUSTOMERS THAT PURCHASE AND DO NOT OWN AN ILOK. 

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