The Transient Designer & TwinTube Processor with A to D from SPL is a combination of two processing systems that can cover a number of bases in a studio with its analog processing power. The combination of these two processors is actually more than the sum of its parts as each can act on the other for a greater and deeper affecting of the signals sent through it. It is effective on many types of percussive signals and can add a palette of sound-shaping possibilities.
The Transient Designer Module
The Transient Designer provides a different type of concept for level-independent dynamic processing. In this it differs in principle from common compressors that are based upon processing signals of a specific level. Working with the Transient Designer is very simple: attacks can be amplified or attenuated and sustain may be prolonged or shortened.
Technical foundation is SPL's Differential Envelope Technology (DET) which allows level-independent dynamic processing by calculating differences in generated envelopes. These envelopes are always tracking the curve of the original signal to provide positive results in the outcome of the sound.
Thanks to the level-independent processing DET, the setting of a threshold is unneccesary. Other common controls of dynamic processing, such as ratio or parameters for time-constants are automated and designed to be optimized adaptively in a musical manner according to the characteristics of the input signal.
So only two controls per channel are required to allow the user to completely reshape the attack and sustain characteristics of a sound: attack can be amplified or attenuated by up to 15 dB while sustain can be amplified or attenuated by up to 24 dB.
Thus, in a very obvious and simple way, the Transient Designer opens a worthwhile dimension in dynamic processing with many possibilities for dynamic manipulation and processing that would take many more pieces of gear to duplicate.
An additional feature of the Transient Designer module is the output-gain control that enables you to compensate changes in the level of the processed signal. This helps ensure a simple and safe adjustment of levels for additional devices - especially A/D converters.
The Transient Designer uses the THAT 2181-VCAs, which are particularly natural and transparent sounding and known for minimal distortion values. The 2181 processes highest amplitudes without damping of high frequencies or reducing bass.
Transient Designer - Applications
The Transient Designer is suited for use in professional recording, in project or home studios and sound-reinforcement applications.You can manipulate and control the attack and sustain characteristics of a signal regardless of level in an intuitive and more simple way. Usually equalizers are used to separate instruments in a mix - the tonal aspect of the signal is considered, but not the temporal aspect. The Transient Designer opens this further dimension in signal processing. By manipulating the attack and sustain curves of a sound event, the mix can be made to sound more transparent. Instruments can be mixed at lower levels while still maintaining their positions in the mix, but occupying less space.
During a remix, or in general after miking, you can arrange new positions of instruments. Reduce ATTACK and increase SUSTAIN to move signals back in the mix that are too present. Additionally, the FX parts of too-dry signals are strengthened. Applied to single instruments or loops, the Transient Designer allows you to create entirely new sounds and effects.
The TwinTube Module
The TwinTube module is the combination of two essential tube effects into a single processor; that is, saturation effects along with harmonics processing. Both stages work separately from each other and are based on an individual tube circuit; therefore, each module employs two tubes. The effects can therefore not only be applied both individually or separately, but also in common.
Saturation effects are generated through the tube being pushed to and beyond its normal operating limits. In contrast to semiconductors, a tube thus pushed to such levels does not clip from a certain level, approaching more gradually its level limits and thereby producing its typical tonal result, which in audio signal processing can have such often profitable aural effects - on one hand (and depending on the amount applied), from subtle to extensive harmonic distortion and on the other hand, a compaction of the sonic event, that is, a limiting effect that exhibits a pleasant, rounded or soft sound.
Acoustically and also in its range of applications, this can be compared with tape-saturation effects. Harmonic distortion and limiting are the generally known, "classic" tube effects, which are today cornerstones of sound processing. But other less known and potentially important effects are a tube's ability for improving presence and spacial qualities through its processing of specific regions of the overtone series.
A special circuit comes into play for overtone/harmonic processing that involves a combined coil/condenser system working in conjunction with the tube. The control reacts dynamically to the audio signal and thereby processes both overtones as well as a signal's phase structure.
The processing of the phase structure influences the moments of acoustic perception and occurs in microsecond time divisions; it has nothing to do with the cancellations one associates with 180-degree signal shifts. A decisive factor in resultant tonal quality is the alignment of level relationships in the overtone spectrum. Such overtone "enrichment" does not operate on the generator principle of exciters (wherein distortion is added to the original signal). In this case the TwinTube harmonics control effects rather in a more equalized overtone structure resulting in a sound which in effect appears much more in the foreground, but without doing so through extreme level changes. Thus, for example, a voice appears immediate apart from the overall mixture, "sitting" clearly outlined in the mix's foreground. This effect can work well with vocals and acoustical instruments, both of which are rich with tonal nuances.
24-Bit / 192 kHz AD Converter Module 1090
This Transient Designer & TwinTube Processor AD comes equipped with the 24-bit / 192 kHz A/D Converter Module 1090, and works with a plug-and-play design for easy installation and usage. It offers a S/P-DIF output with both coaxial and optical connectors in parallel. The heart of the module is a 24-bit converter with a variable sample rate of up to 192 kHz. Quartz oscillators help ensure a clean, low-jitter master clock. The internal sample rate can be switched between 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz. Other sample rates (32, 176.4 and 192 kHz) are set by external syncronization.
The converter can be synced to other digital devices via a S/P-DIF input. The internal oscillators are automatically disabled when an external clock signal is present to prevent interference. An extremely effective voltage-stabilizing circuit ensures that the converter continuously receives sufficient and stable voltage - an important prerequisite for clean, transparent audio. The compact design minimizes the signal path to the converter. Grounding surfaces on both sides of the circuit board effectively reduce interference and ensure optimal separation between analog and digital components.