After owning version 3.0 of this plug-in for several years but not having used it in anger (probably due to lack of DSP power or just unaware of its benefits) I decided to do some research and upgrade it to version 5 for Scope.  I suppose the penny dropped when I realized that this was a dynamics processor that shaped sounds independently of input level.  The Transient Designer shapes a signal by increasing or decreasing transients and their sustain rather than by their overall level. It presents a very different approach to compression that we find to be more musical and quite often a quick and easy fix for pesky kick drums, bass guitars and anything that isn't behaving well.

The Transient Designer is very different from conventional dynamic processors or compressors. You don't need to know how the Transient Designer works in order to be able to use it effectively.


  • Shorten or lengthen the attack and sustain of percussive signals such as kick drum, snare or toms.
  • Take the bleed from open mics,
  • Expand the room sound of overheads.
  • Amplify or reduce the picking sound of an acoustic guitar, irrespective of level.
  • Hold the sound of strings longer.
  • Give a bass guitar more attack, by the same amount on both loud and soft passages.
  • Reduce the reverb time of a choir.
  • Attack can be amplified or attenuated by up to 15dB while Sustain can be amplified or attenuated by up to 24dB. Lastly, Output allows quick gain matching with the unprocessed signal.

Differential Envelope Technology (DET) maintains identical envelope processing from quiet to loud signals (from pianissimo to fortissimo) without the need for the user to adjust any external parameters. In a conventional system, low-level signals would be excluded from processing. Both parameters (Attack and sustain) work in parallel and do not influence each other.


The Attack parameter uses two envelope generators. The first follows the shape of the original curve rendering conventional attack and release controls superfluous, while the second generator produces the envelope Env 2 with a slower attack. The hatched area shows the difference between Env 1 and Env 2, and the VCA control voltage is derived from this difference. Positive attack values emphasize attack events, negative attack values smooth out the attack envelopes of events.

The Sustain parameter includes two further envelope generators. The envelope follower Env 3 again follows the shape of the original curve rendering conventional attack and release controls superfluous. For a longer period the envelope generator Env 4 holds the sustain level according to the peak level and the VCA control voltage is generated by the difference between Env 3 and Env 4. The sustain is extended at positive settings and shortened at negative settings.

References for this article:
Dante March 2011