‘Spiff’: Oeksound’s Sole Concept of Effective Audio Transient Controls

By handling transients the same way ‘Soothe’ handles resonances, ‘Spiff’ is capable of attenuating or boosting transient information of sounds with more accuracy and transparency.

The Music Telegraph | Text 2020/03/16 [15:06]

‘Spiff’: Oeksound’s Sole Concept of Effective Audio Transient Controls

By handling transients the same way ‘Soothe’ handles resonances, ‘Spiff’ is capable of attenuating or boosting transient information of sounds with more accuracy and transparency.

The Music Telegraph| 입력 : 2020/03/16 [15:06]

▲ Spiff

© oeksound




Founded in Helsinki, Finland in 2016, Oeksound announced its first product, ‘soothe’ the following year, and ‘soothe’ soon became a huge success in the highly competitive audio plug-in market. Following the success of soothe, ‘spiff’ was designed to fill in the gap of the sound engineer’s toolkit. It has been designed to cut or boost transients with extreme detail. Similar to soothe, spiff analyses the incoming signal and applies the processing only on the parts of the signal that contain the transient information. This keeps the rest of the signal intact and free from side effects.



‘Spiff’ is an adaptive transient processor that cuts or boosts only the frequencies that make up the transient material, keeping the rest of audio signal intact. It was originally designed to attenuate or remove sharp clicks, such as mouth noises on vocal recordings. These clicks could be a byproduct of excessive compression, treble boost, bad microphone choice, or just an unwanted part of the performance. ‘Spiff’ has been carefully tweaked to work well on vocal tracks, as it introduces minimal artifacts leaving the rest of the signal intact. Thanks to this, it turned out to be an equally useful tool on almost any sound source. 




The Spiff Engine

‘Spiff’ was designed to process transients in the same way as ‘Soothe’ processes resonances. In this way, ‘Spiff’ is capable of attenuating or even removing audio transient information by reacting only where and when needed.


▲ 'Spiff' shows you what part of the signal is being processed by means of a real-time graph

‘Spiff’ provides six major functions in the control processing and each of these guarantees both prompt response to the processing and intuitive workflows. These major functions consist of  ‘Mode Selection (cut/boost)’, ‘Control Parameters (depth/sensitivity/sharpness/decay/decay lf/hf)’, ‘Graph and EQ Controls’, ‘Selective Band Listen’, ‘Output Stage Controls (mix/trim/delta/bypass)’, and ‘Stereo and Mid/Side Controls (stereo mode/stereo link/balance)’.




Controls Not Difficult

There are two modes available in ‘Spiff’ - ‘Cut’ and ‘Boost’. Whichever mode you are using, ‘Spiff’ will analyze the incoming signal and apply the processing only to the frequency areas that make up the transients and will leave the rest of the signal untouched. 


▲ 'cut' and 'boost mode

 ‘Cut’ mode is useful for removing clicks, pops, or other sudden transient noises. It can also be used to decrease attack from both percussive and harmonic instruments, pushing elements further away from the listener, or even remove the close mics from a drum recording. By selecting ‘Boost’ mode the process is inverted. Now you can enhance transients across the whole frequency range. This is useful for adding attack to drums, bringing sounds to the front of the mix.



▲ 'Depth', 'Sensitivity', 'Decay', 'Sharpness', 'Decay lf/hf' control 

‘Depth’ determines how much processing is being applied. ‘Spiff’ is level independent meaning there is no threshold to consider. It will always apply the processing according to the depth control no matter how loud the input is. ‘Sensitivity’ controls how ‘Spiff’ detects transients. Higher value means it detects more transients, on the other hand, lower value means it only detects louder transients. ‘Sharpness’ controls the bandwidth (or Q) of the individual cuts and boosts ‘Spiff’ is applying to the signal. Lower values make ‘Spiff’ do wider cuts or boosts so it sounds more natural on percussive material such as drums. Higher values result in sharper cuts or boosts that work well on harmonically rich material such as piano. With the ‘Decay’ parameter, you can shorten or increase the time it takes for a cut or boost to return to its initial value. You can think of it as a recovery time of the processing. ‘Decay lf/hf’ stands for a decay low frequency / high frequency. With this you control how frequency dependent the decay time is, meaning that if you turn the knob  to the left, lower frequencies will take longer to recover from processing than high frequencies and vice versa. 



▲ Real-Time graph and Side-chain EQ

Taking up a large part of the interface is the side-chain EQ. With the side-chain EQ you can emphasize or ignore frequencies with the help of five bands - a high-pass filter, a low-pass filter, and three parametric bands. Dragging a node upwards increases the relative amount of processing for that band and vice versa.



▲ Band Listen button 

‘Band listen’ button solos a band and monitors the delta signal across that frequency range. This lets you zone in and listen to what ‘Spiff’ is reacting to over a very narrow area making it easier to decide if you want to process more or less here.



▲ Output Stage controls     

The Output-stage controls contain the ‘Mix’ parameter which lets you blend in the dry signal with the processed signal. A lower ‘Mix’ value works great if you have applied heavy processing with ‘Spiff’ but you want to use only a bit of it in parallel with the dry signal. The ‘Trim’ control works as the make up gain for ‘Spiff’, letting you compensate for any changes in volume that the processing has added or removed. The ‘Bypass’ button works as a soft bypass so that you can compare the signal with and without ‘Spiff’, without any glitches that may occur in some DAWs. The ‘Delta’ signal refers to the difference between the dry signal and the processed signal. The ‘Delta’ button lets you listen to what’s ‘Spiff’ is reacting to and what it’s adding or removing depending on the mode.



▲ Stereo and Mid/Side controls    

If you have opened ‘Spiff’ on a stereo track, the section above the Output controls all relate to how ‘Spiff’ works in stereo. First, you have the mode, which can be switched between ‘left/right’ and ‘mid/side’. If you are accustomed to mid/side processing, you will find ‘Spiff’ very useful on the master bus, where it can add width and depth to a whole mix while in mid/side. ‘Stereo Link’ on 100% will combine the side-chain signals and apply the same reduction for both channels. ‘Stereo Link’ on 0% will make ‘Spiff’ act as two mono instances. ‘Balance’ controls if the processing is applied equally to both channels or if one channel gets less than the other.




The Sound from ‘Spiff’

Under ‘Cut’ mode, ’Spiff' reacts very fast against all the annoying transients and removes them effectively without hurting any essential part of sounds. This was especially proven when I tried to remove the harsh blow sounds from the snare drum played by an inexperienced drummer who cannot controls dynamics yet. Moreover, the sounds turned into more musical, transparent, and balanced without any coloring or exaggeration on the original sounds. The 'Boost' mode not only inverted the sounds but also added somewhat lively energy on the sounds, especially on the attack. This effectively changes the ADSR of a sound giving musical dynamics to the sounds processed. The processed bass guitar through 'Spiff' sounded more dynamic and powerful but it never lost clarity below mid-range frequencies.


In terms of functionality, ‘Spiff’ provides users with incredible accuracy and convenience. On creative side, ‘Spiff’ eagerly suggests you any experimental attempt in your music by toggling delta button and tweaking depth or decay controls to your taste. Whatever the purpose is, ‘Spiff’ will satisfy you with both accuracy and creativity. 





With ‘Spiff’ You can do:


- Remove mouth noises and hard consonants from close mic’d vocal sound 

- Eliminate clicks and pops

- Soften the pick attack from a guitar recording while retaining the top end sheen

- Bring elements to the front of a mix without increasing the RMS level

- Boost fundamentals from drums without additional boominess

- and more.









€149.00 EUR




*Note that a 20-day, fully-functional trial version for macOS and Windows can be downloaded free: here






Oeksound With a focus on bringing innovative sound mixing and mastering tools for both professionals and enthusiasts, oeksound is a young plug-in company based in Helsinki, Finland. It was founded in 2016 by Olli Erik Keskinen when he released oeksound’s first plug-in, soothe. With so many companies around already chasing the perfect modelling for yet another 1176-emulation, oeksound is here to craft new tools for modern needs.






For more information on 'Spiff'



View this article in Korean version:  1   2 



  • 도배방지 이미지