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Emusician Review: OhmForce Predatohm

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You can think of Predatohm as a 4-band compander or a 4-band dynamic equalizer. It divides the frequency spectrum into four user-defined bands and then applies distortion and independent compression or expansion to each band.

Setting up Predatohm's frequency bands is a piece of cake. Simply move the three band sliders at the top of the control panel. The Main Edit window above the sliders shows a slider's position in hertz as you move it. You can reduce the number of bands by pulling the sliders completely to the right. When all of the sliders are completely at the right, you have a single-band compressor.

Each compression band has controls for level, compression or expansion shape and threshold, and the type and amount of distortion. The Character knob controls the compression type; the left half of the knob controls compression, and the right half controls expansion. The Intensity knob determines the compression threshold. The Distortion Type knob selects among 13 types of distortion: hard clipping, 6 tube simulations, and 6 waveshaping curves.

The output of the compressors is mixed and passed through a resonant lowpass filter with variable shape and cutoff frequency. A Feedback delay stage follows the filter. The delay time is displayed in hertz to indicate the frequency at which feedback resonance occurs.

Predatohm's last stage is a stereo simulator. All Predatohm processing is in mono; stereo signals are mixed down to mono at the input. The Super Stereo stage sends the raw signal to the left output channel while sending an inverted and delayed copy to the right output channel. The Phase control sets the delay time. Super Stereo will introduce mono incompatibilities (including total cancellation when the delay is zero), so when that's a consideration, simply turn it off.

One of the most useful features of Predatohm and the other Ohm Force plug-ins is their ability to morph between presets. As many as eight presets can be stored using the preset buttons. Recalling a preset causes the controls to change to the preset values during the indicated morph time (ranging from 0 to 99 seconds). As settings morph, you can watch the controls gradually change their values.

As cool as the morphing feature is, it is a pity that you can't synchronize the morph time to MIDI tempo and that you can't recall (and therefore morph) presets using MIDI Program Change messages. Rather than being able to bounce a morph completely within the digital domain, you must manually click on the preset buttons while you route the audio out and back into the computer.


Predatohm's compression seems a little heavy-handed, but if you happen to be into distortion, it makes an excellent choice. The Standard versions are an incredible bargain, and the Expert versions seem fairly priced (though it would certainly be nice to get both skins).

The ease of using Predatohm depends on your choice of platform and host. On the Macintosh, in everything but Cubase VST, the Classic skin controls are touchy and difficult to use. Cubase is also the only host that supports MIDI control and tempo synchronization — two key features. Nevertheless, the sound quality is uniformly good, and Predatohm plug-ins are eminently usable in all hosts. Original from Emusician

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