If you have a UAD Apollo, you can get the UAD version of this plugin, or opt for the Plugin Alliance version. While the SPL Transient Designer is an absolute must for any studio (especially if you need to shape drums for EDM or Hip Hop) the Elysia Nvelope plugin takes that concept and adds a few extra bells and whistles.
The Nvelope offers three modes, Full Range, Dual Band and Shelf EQ. Notice that the Gain and Sustain knobs turn right to boost and left to cut. You can click the knob and then use the mouse wheel to scroll, which is little nicer than clicking and dragging.
Full Range Mode
In Full Range mode, you use it just like you would an SPL Transient Designer. The Attack and Sustain are applied to the entire signal. One additional feature is that the SC A (Sidechain Attack) knob can be used to reduce the response to low frequencies. Nice when you want the kick drum to affect (or not affect) the signal.
Here’s an audio example that we’ll evaluate with no effect applied.
The Attack is all the way up and Sustain all the way down to exaggerate the effect, as we want it to be more pumpy. The first clip has the SC A knob all the way up, and you can hear that it pumps with the kick. The second clip has the SC A all the way down, and you’ll notice the kick is largely ignored, and the piano takes over as driving the “pump”.
This is the Percussion Wet preset applied just to the drum track. Notice how it brings out the cymbals to make them a bit splashy, without effecting much else. A nice subtle effect.
This is the Sweet & Low preset applied to just the bass track. Notice how it brings the bass out just as described, Sweet and Low 😉 Again, another subtle effect.
Also check out our review of the Elysia Museq Equalizer.
In Dual Band Mode, the Attack and Sustain knobs act as before. However, notice that the SC A button now changes to the Freq A button. This is the start frequency for Attack processing and Freq S is the end frequency for the Sustain knob.
Dual Band actually offers more refinement than in full range mode when trying to get a pumping affect. This is where it has an edge over the SPL Transient Designer.
Shelving EQ mode makes the unit acts as a high/low shelf EQ. Why? I’m not sure. I wouldn’t pick this plugin for that effect, but what the heck, give it a try.
The knobs change from Attack and Sustain to Gain H and Gain L. Basically you pick the high shelf frequency, the low shelf frequency, and then use the Gain knobs to boost or cut. The thing to be careful of is that they are reversed from how you’d think. Just about every EQ on the market has the bass on the left. Here it’s on the right. I was quite perplexed when I tried to boost the hi-hats and cut the kick, and it actually sounded like there was more bass and no top end.
The kick is cut a bit and the hi-hats are brought out. It works as expected.
If the SPL Transient Designer is a must have, and the Elysia Nvelope plugin does that plus a little extra, then this is a must have too, right? If you’ve never used a Transient Designer before, I’d recommend starting with the SPL plugin. The 2 knobs on the SPL make it dead simple to use. Once you understand how it works, then maybe move up to the Nvelope as it offers a bit more fine tuning of the frequencies. I’m not sure I’d say the Shelf EQ is a nice bonus. It works, but why would you need it unless you have no other EQ plugins, and you use a DAW that offers no EQ options.
Check out our other reviews of Plugin Alliance plugins.