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v4.2 Blue Cat Dynamics

Review:

Blue Cat Dynamics
  
Blue Cat Dynamics

"The most flexible all-in-one dynamics processor"

Blue Cat’s Dynamics is a full-featured dynamics processor: it can be used as a compressor, limiter, gate, expander, waveshaper or all at once!


Highlights

The dynamics response of the plug-in can be tweaked with a unique two-thresholds system, and provides detailed visual feedback about its behavior.

The plug-in includes several filters to control the frequencies affected by the compression. Its continuous VCA/Opto and Peak/RMS controls let you smoothly and precisely choose the behavior of the envelope detection like you have never been able to.

The plug-in also provides advanced stereo features, with mid/side processing capability, multiple stereo linking options and the ability to choose the channels affected by the processor.

An additional brick wall limiter and clipper protects the output for complete control over the dynamics response.

Three different modes are available for external side chaining, using either the external side chain input, MIDI control or automation lanes.

The configurable visual feedback shows every detail of what is going on inside the plug-in. You can also record this information as automation curves, to monitor the modifications applied to the signal on top of the audio representation of your favorite host application.

All these features can be controlled from a fully configurable and “skinnable” user interface, or from any external controller.

The package includes a mono and a stereo version for optimal CPU usage.

Main Features

  • Full featured dynamics processor: compressor, gate, limiter, expander, waveshaper with a unique two thresholds system.
  • Total control over the processor: continuous peak/RMS and Opto/VCA modes selection, peak envelope shape control, depth control to limit the gain range.
  • Total control over the signal: dry/wet control for parallel compression, input and side chain filters.
  • Stereo or mid-side processing with multiple channels linking options.
  • Post brickwall limiter or clipper.
  • Optimal monitoring: dynamics response, envelopes and gain reduction real time display with zooming capability. The main compression information can be recorded as automation curves.
  • Best quality: up to 4x oversampling for the best sounding quality.
  • Multiple side chaining modes: a unique way to perform side chain compression, ducking, gating and much more.
  • Fully configurable user interface for optimal experience.
  • No latency.

Blue Cat Audio Standards:

  • Available as: Mac-AAX, Mac-AU, Mac-RTAS, Mac-VST, Mac-VST3, Win-AAX, Win-DX, Win-RTAS, Win-VST, Win-VST3, Win x64-AAX, Win x64-DX, Win x64-VST, Win x64-VST3.
  • Native DSP code for optimal performance.
  • Full MIDI control and automation support with silent, zipper-free parameters update, advanced response control and MIDI Learn.
  • No CPU load on idle: when the plug-in is fed with silence, the processing smoothly shuts down, to optimize the CPU usage of your Digital Audio Workstation.
  • Skinnable and customizable user interface with transparency management.
  • Automation and MIDI output: record output parameters as automation curves or send MIDI CC messages to other plug-ins for powerful side chain effects.
  • Smooth Bypass: activate/deactivate the plug-in with absolutely no noise.
  • Undo/Redo.
  • Full featured integrated presets manager.
  • Copy/paste the plug-in's state between instances using the system clipboard.
  • Any sample rate supported.

Windows

  • An SSE2-enabled processor (Pentium 4 or newer).
  • Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10
  • Any VST / AAX compatible host software (32 or 64 bit).

Mac OS X

  • An Intel processor.
  • Mac OS 10.7 or newer.
  • Any VST / Audio Unit (32/64-bit) / AAX compatible application.

V4.2 (2019/02/07)

  • Brand new GUI design, with improved usability and touchscreen support.
  • The GUI can now be zoomed from 70% to 200%.
  • Lock the GUI state to prevent changes when loading presets.
  • New lookahead function for the dynamics section.
  • New brickwall limiter with optional lookahead.
  • Link pre and makeup gain to compensate gain changes.
  • Lock GUI state to prevent changes when loading presets.
  • Last loaded preset is now remembered in session and displayed in the presets menu.
  • Plug-in state can now be reverted to the last loaded preset.
  • Save and reload dynamics curves and bands as presets (+copy & paste).
  • Now supports retina displays on Mac (text and graphs using high resolution).
  • Mac: new installer.
  • Mac: fixed minor compatibility issues with Mac OS High Sierra and Mojave.
  • Changed demo limitations: up to 5 instances allowed, bypass time changed to half a second, and bypass parameter is not affected anymore.
  • Dropped support for Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier.
  • Dropped support for legacy RTAS and DirectX plug-ins formats.
  • Fully compatible with previous versions of the plug-in (except for VST3 on Mac, as explained below).

Warning: because of a bug of the initial VST3 release, this new version may not work with existing sessions that used the VST3 format. See this blog post for more details and how to fix it.

V4.1a (2016/03/04)

  • (VST only) Fixed a crash when loading the VST version in Ableton Live.

V4.1 (2016/03/03)

  • VST3 plug-in format support, with improved external sidechain compatibility for Cubase and Nuendo.

V4.0 (2015/06/18)

New Features:

  • Fully redesigned algorithms.
  • External sidechain input.
  • Control the attack and release shape of the peak envelope.
  • Improved monitoring, with gain reduction and increase histograms and new envelopes view.
  • Brand new fully customizable user interface:
  • New look and feel.
  • Show/hide what you need.
  • Meters and curves can now be frozen.
  • Zoomable GR meters and curves.
  • Improved readability.
  • Animated Transitions.

New integrated presets manager:

  • Load/save presets from the plug-in's user interface.
  • Organize presets with folders.
  • Customize the default preset.
  • Exchange presets easily.
  • Load Presets using MIDI Bank Select and Program Change.
  • Copy/paste the plug-in's current state from the presets menu using the system clipboard.
  • Automation range and response curve can now be customized for each parameter (in and out).
  • Automation and MIDI settings (channel, MIDI learn, etc.) are now accessible from the main user interface.
  • Audio Suite support for the AAX version for offline dynamics processing in Pro Tools.
  • Dynamics response curve is now displayed on the Avid S6 control surface when used with Pro Tools.

Improvements:

  • Limiter and output meter now work in L/R mode when the dynamics section is operating in Mid/Side mode.
  • New presets to get started faster.
  • The plug-in name has been shortened for a clearer display in mixer view for most host applications.
  • Plug-in now shows in the "Dynamics" section of most DAWs.
  • The windows installer now automatically detects the most appropriate VST install path and remembers where the plug-in was initially installed to simplify upgrades.
  • License is now shared between plug-ins types (register only once for all formats).
  • Improved value display in the fine edit window.
  • Improved parameters display and response curves on control surfaces.

Optimizations and Performance Improvements:

  • Improved parameters precision (now stored as 64-bit).
  • More compact presets format (uses less space and loads faster).
  • Smaller binaries on Mac (dropped PowerPC support).

Bug Fixes:

  • (RTAS) Fixed parameters control with EUCON control surfaces in Pro Tools.
  • Fixed user interface issues in Final Cut Pro X.
  • Fixed keyboard stealing issue in Digital Performer 7 on Mac.
  • Fixed version number reported hosting application for VST and Audio Unit versions.

Note: this new version can be installed side by side with the previous version for backward compatibility reasons. Installing this new version won't break your previous projects.

V3.12 (2014/03/20)

  • Fixed 64-bit VST MIDI Events not sent for the first output parameter in the list.
  • Windows VST installer now detects the VST plug-ins path and remembers previous install location for updates.
  • Fixed Audio Unit validation issue on OSX Mavericks/Logic Pro X.
  • Fixed VST plug-in window frame not showing in Cubase 7.5 (32-bit) on Mac.
  • Fixed VST version that could not be loaded in Audio HiJack Pro (Mac).

V3.11 (2013/06/27)

  • 64-bit AAX support for Pro Tools 11.

V3.11 (2011/02/10)

  • Fixed keyboard focus stealing issue in Pro Tools and several other host applications.
  • 64-bit Mac VST support.

V3.1 (2010/04/13)

  • RTAS plugin format support for Pro Tools (Mac and Windows).
  • 64-bit applications support for Windows DX and VST under Windows x64.
  • Mac AU 64-bit format support (compatible with 64-bit Logic 9.1 on Snow Leopard)
  • Space bar does not trigger plug-in buttons anymore (avoids conflict with transport control in most applications).
  • Demo version now displays a nag screen only once per session, and only when opening the user interface of the plug-in.
  • Fixed MIDI learn issues.
  • Windows 7: fixed hand cursor that displayed a green square under the hand symbol.
  • Mac: fixed user interface crashes in some hosts under Snow Leopard.
  • Mac: fixed keyboard/mouse focus issues in some hosts.
  • Mac: fixed multiple screens issue.
  • Mac-AU: fixed user interface resizing issue when changing skin in some hosts (Logic).
  • Mac-AU: fixed settings lost issue when doing offline rendering in some applications.
  • Mac AU: output parameters routing now works for more than one instance in Logic Pro's Environment.
  • Mac AU: fixed output parameters that could exceed defined range and not record properly as automation curves.

V3.01 (2009/05/05)

  • Mac VST update: fixed incompatibility issues with Cubase 5 on Mac.

V3.0 (2009/04/27)

  • Mac VST support.
  • Mac Audio Unit support.
  • Mid/Side processing capability.
  • New stereo linking options.
  • Enable/disable processing on each channel.
  • Customize the range of the meters and zoom/navigate in the display.
  • Automation output can now be disabled for hosts that do not propose automated parameters choice.
  • Improved accuracy of MIDI output.
  • New Presets.
  • New installer (much faster install, improved upgrades).
  • Brand new documentation.

V2.1 (2007/10/18)

  • Improved skin loading speed.
  • Improved user interface performance.
  • Improved the display of parameters values in the MIDI settings panel and the host application.

V2.0 (2007/08/30)

  • Smooth Bypass: activate/deactivate the plugin with absolutely no noise.
  • Undo/Redo.
  • Load/Save presets in a host-independent format: you can now share presets between the directX and VST versions.
  • New toolbar to access main functionalities.
  • Ratio is now displayed in a standard way.
  • Blue Cat's Skinning Language 1.3.4 support.

V1.4 (2007/03/21)

  • New user interface design.
  • Several ergonomics improvements.
  • Skin loading performance improvement (up to 80% faster).
  • Reduced memory consumption when using several instances.
  • Compression graph clarity and rendering performance enhancements.
  • Window Opacity Management: make the plugin window transparent and see behind.
  • Blue Cat's Skinning Language 1.3 support.
  • (Bug fix): on the stereo version the sidechain filter did not work as expected in some situations.

V1.3 (2006/12/19)

  • (Bug fix): the frequency and time values were not accurate when using oversampling.

V1.2 (2006/12/11)

  • (Bug fix): the preset MIDI output settings were not restored correctly when re-opening a project or changing a preset.

V1.1 (2006/11/29)

  • (Bug fix): in some plug-in adapters (such as FxPansion's VST to RTAS adapter) the GUI did not display properly when first loaded.

V1.0 (2006/11/15)

  • First release.