Tc Works Native Bundle For Mac

  
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IZotope Music Production Suite 3 - Crossgrade from any paid iZotope Product Plug-in Bundle with Neutron 3 Advanced, Nectar 3, RX 7 Standard, VocalSynth 2, Insight 2, Ozone 9 Advanced, Tonal Balance Control 2, Relay, Exponential Audio NIMBUS, Exponential Audio R4, and 1-year Groove3 Subscription - Mac/PC AAX Native, VST2, VST3, AU. Formats: Mac VST & MAS, PC VST. TC Works were in at the start of the software plug-in explosion; I reviewed their original Native Reverb way back in SOS March 1998, and the entire Native Bundle version 2 in SOS July 1999. TC Works Native Bundle VST v3.1-H2O Team H2O 4.26 MB Check links: All links are alive! These are discontinued real good plugins TC NATIVE BUNDLE 3.1 includes Hi-End processing tools. This bundle covers your needs for equalization, dynamic processing incl. De-essing, reverberation, limiting and maximizing and now also Filter and LoFi Effects.

TC Electronic’s Native Bundle 3.0 adds an adventurous plug-in called Filtrator and new functionality to the suite of production tools previously offered. In addition to Filtrator, the MAS/VST plug-in bundle includes a graphic equalizer, parametric EQ, compressor/de-esser (with companion sidechain plug-in), limiter and an improved version of TC’s Native Reverb (now dubbed Native Reverb Plus). Version 3.0 also adds user-friendly functionality, such as A/B-preset comparison and outstanding preset storage/recall organization.

Minimum system requirements for the bundle include a 233MHz or faster Mac G3 with at least 128MB RAM, running Mac OS 9.1 (or higher) or Mac OS X. PC patrons can use Native Bundle 3.0 with a 500MHz or better Pentium III, 128MB or more RAM, and Windows 98 SE/2000/XP. Of course, you’ll also need a MAS, Audio Units or VST-compatible audio application on either platform. I reviewed the bundle using Digital Performer 3.11 and an 867MHz dual-processor G4 loaded with 768MB RAM.

Installing and using Native Bundle is a breeze, as long as you take one important precaution: If you’ve installed FreeMIDI 1.48 and use Digital Performer, then make sure you pull the Raditec SAC 2.2 Free-MIDI driver V. 1.0.10 out of the FreeMIDI folder that resides inside your System folder. A conflict between the SAC driver and the TC plug-in shell (installed with Native Bundle) causes Digital Performer to freeze when quitting the program. Ditch the Raditec driver, and everything will be hunky-dory.

A quick overview of common para- meter controls and metering is in order before we dive into each plug-in’s unique features. All of the plug-ins, except the sidechain plug-in SideChainer, offer I/O level controls and meters. (SideChainer offers only input meters, which is logical.) I/O meters feature a defeatable peak-hold function, and you can also manually clear the meters. All of the plugs, except the SideChainer, Limiter and Native Reverb Plus, also include TC’s defeatable SoftSat™ function, which subtly emulates tube gear’s saturation characteristics. With the exception of Native Reverb Plus and Filtrator, which are stereo-only, all of the plug-ins can process either mono or stereo sources. Finally, all of the plugs will work at 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96kHz sampling frequencies. With that, let’s explore what each plug-in has to offer.

SQUEEZE ME

All of the usual parameter controls are included with the Compressor plug-in: Attack, Release, Threshold and Ratio. Additionally, a Hold-Time control allows you to delay the onset of the compressor’s release phase. You can also adjust the compressor’s knee continuously from hard to soft, access one of two possible key inputs (sent from the SideChainer plug-in, which I’ll discuss shortly), enable/disable the above-mentioned SoftSat function and/or activate auto makeup gain.

Tc Works Native Bundle For Mac

Auto makeup gain automatically maximizes the compressor’s peak output level to be 0 dBFS before the plug-in’s output fader, a real time-saver compared to manually applying makeup gain. I found that auto makeup shaves off transients and brings mic bleed up significantly in level, which is not always appropriate, especially on drum tracks. It’s a very useful and flattering tool, however, for processing vocals and electric guitars (including bass). You can always disable this function when you don’t want to use it.

Without auto makeup active, the Compressor delivers very transparent dynamics processing. That said, I found the Compressor to be far more effective and flexible when used on nonpercussive sources such as vocals, bass and electric rhythm guitars. Although its Attack and Release controls are fairly wide-ranging, I could only make kick and snare tracks pop a little bit using the Compressor. I couldn’t coax extreme 1176- or Distressor-type drum sounds out of the plug-in.

The Compressor also features a user-friendly and transparent de-esser section. Its Threshold control is really a Range control, as the de-esser’s processing is level-independent. A Monitor function lets you listen to the sidechain signal, making it a snap to fine-tune the de-esser’s corner frequency.

Tc Works Native Bundle For Mac Computers

When you instantiate the SideChainer plug-in on a track and choose it as a key input, the track’s audio output serves as a sidechain input to any Native Bundle Compressor plug-in. This makes it easy, for instance, to duck instrumental tracks under a lead vocal. Native Bundle offers two key inputs, and multiple compressors can key off the same SideChainer. You can also mute the audio path output of the track that SideChainer is instantiated on so that the track serves strictly as a sidechain signal that is not heard in the mix. Nice!

Native Bundle’s Limiter plug-in offers Threshold, Attack, Hold and Release controls, plus a defeatable, automatic make-up gain function similar to that used in the Compressor. A histogram shows the average level of your audio file — either on input, output or both — over time. The Limiter worked great when used to maximize lead vocal and electric bass tracks that had a wide (unprocessed) dynamic range. Used during a mastering session, the Limiter’s action reminded me somewhat of the Waves L1 and L2: taming runaway transients and maximizing the output level to produce a much louder mix. However, the Waves L1 and L2 sounded clearer, and the TC Limiter tended to pump ever so slightly when pushed moderately hard (unlike the Waves plugs). For these reasons, I much prefer using TC’s Limiter on single tracks.

TONE CONTROL

Native Bundle also provides two high-quality equalization plug-ins: Parametric EQ and Graphic EQ. Parametric EQ offers a choice of parametric, notch and low- and high-shelving filters on each of seven stereo bands. All of these filters offer 20 to 20k Hz range, providing optimal overlap. Except for the notch filter, which produces a fixed infinite cut, all of the filter types provide up to 18dB boost/cut. Regrettably, high- and lowpass filters are not included in the filter offerings. However, using a shelving filter with maximum (18dB) cut and a 12dB/octave slope will, in most cases, accomplish much of the same thing. (You can adjust the steepness of each shelving filter’s slope from 3 to 12 dB per octave in 3dB/octave steps.)

Even when fed mono sources, each of the seven above-mentioned bands features linked left- and right-channel faders. You can unlink the channels to make independent L/R fader adjustments or bypass one or both channels’ EQ completely. If you link the channels again, you can move the two boost/cut faders for each band and their offsets will be preserved. One band’s parameter values can also be copied to another band.

The Parametric EQ’s defeatable joystick control provides additional stereo EQ options: Two shelving filters simultaneously and proportionally boost/cut highs above 6 kHz and bass frequencies below 250 Hz, and a third filter boost/cuts frequencies above 4 kHz.

The SoftSat function should be implemented with caution when using large amounts of EQ boost within the Parametric EQ. Even though SoftSat will prevent the plug’s output from exceeding full-scale, driving SoftSat too hard will cause unpleasant distortion. And a more moderate EQ boost often seems unresponsive with SoftSat engaged, as the latter’s compression effects fight the equalization gain.

Native Bundle’s Graphic EQ plug-in can be configured to provide seven, 14 or 28 bands of equalization. The plug-in features a slick graphic interface in which you can click or click-drag the mouse in each band to set its boost/cut. Alternatively, you can draw an EQ curve with your mouse by command-dragging (Mac) or right-clicking and dragging (PC). A very useful scalar-fader acts as a multiplier to expand or shrink the degree of boost/cut on all active bands simultaneously. (You can also use the mouse to create smaller groups of contiguous bands under scalar-fader control.) You can even use the scalar-fader to create an inverse EQ curve to your original settings.

Parametric EQ and Graphic EQ both provide very high-quality equalization. Their high-resolution parameter controls let you fine-tune spectral balance. Parametric EQ is especially noteworthy for its ability to adjust critical bass-range center/corner frequencies in ultrafine (as low as 0.7Hz) steps.

GIVE ME SPACE

Native Reverb Plus gives you a choice of three different room shapes — round, curved or square — and provides independent controls to edit parameters for those rooms. Parameters include dry/wet mix, room size, diffusion, color (timbre), low- and high-frequency damping, and decay time. You also have independent control over pre-delay times and initial levels for both early reflections and subsequent diffuse reverb. The plug-in’s graphic user interface makes custom tweaks an intuitive affair. But, unfortunately, the reverb tails sound fluttery, ringy, grainy and/or fizzy unless you keep their decay times very short. As a secondary reverb used for creating low-level ambience (emphasizing early reflections), however, Native Reverb Plus sometimes comes in handy. Overall, this was the only plug-in in the bundle that I found to be subpar in quality. WILD THING

Native Bundle’s Filtrator can process any stereo audio source in real time with highly programmable, synthesizer-style filters. The plug-in’s filter and amplifier sections can both be modulated by an LFO (synchable to MIDI clock) and/or envelope follower to create a variety of positively wild sounds. Using Filtrator, I transformed acoustic drum tracks into percussive bubbles and metamorphosed an electric bass guitar track into a rhythmic, pitched chainsaw. Filtrator is not the kind of plug-in that you’ll reach for often on traditional music productions, but if you ever want to turn Debbie Gibson’s sweet string pad into a disturbing synth patch from Blade Runner, then this is your highway to the dark side! I love plug-ins that dish out unique sounds that jolt me out of creative malaise, and Filtrator does just that. SAVE ME

You can store your custom presets for all Native Bundle plug-ins in folders and subfolders (for example, to group together reverbs of the same type or save each of your client’s presets seperately). When you’re ready to load a preset, Native Bundle will navigate the directory’s hierarchy directly from a drop-down menu in the plug-in! I wish more plug-in manufacturers would offer this level of ease to save and load presets. That said, it’s unfortunate that the title of the current preset is not displayed and there is no indication of whether or not it’s been edited since it was last recalled.

Aside from the lack of an Undo command and a few other minor interface issues, TC’s Native Bundle is very user-friendly. The plug-ins are also very efficient: I could instantiate many Native Bundle plugs with very minimal drain on my CPU. The owner’s manual — available only in .pdf form — is fairly good but omits important information (mostly regarding various displays and specifications) that TC promises will be added in the next release.

Costing only $499 list, Native Bundle delivers a really good bang for your buck. If you’re looking for a wide variety of production tools in a cost-effective package, then be sure to check it out!

TC Electronic (formerly branded as TC Works), 805/373-1828, www.tcelectronic.com.

Mix contributing editor Michael Cooper owns Michael Cooper Recording in beautiful Sisters, Ore.

Dynamics, EQ, Reverb & Filter Plug-ins

Formats: Mac VST & MAS, PC VST

Compressor/De-Esser.TC Works were in at the start of the software plug-in explosion; I reviewed their original Native Reverb way back in SOS March 1998, and the entire Native Bundle version 2 in SOS July 1999. The latest version comprises a reverb, compressor/de-esser, limiter, graphic EQ and parametric EQ (all of which were featured in the original), plus a completely new filter. To make the most of my space here I'll concentrate on the differences and new features.

The Compressor/De-esser (previously named DeX) has had its familiar Attack, Release, Threshold and Ratio controls supplemented by more unusual ones like Soft Knee Width, which varies the transition from hard to smooth, and Hold Time, which delays the start of the release phase to emulate a range of compressor designs. You can also set up ducking effects using up to two additional SideChainer plug-ins.

Works

TC Limiter.The Limiter is ideal for maximising the level of recordings in a transparent manner, just like Waves' L1 and L2Ultramaximisers. Both Limiter and Compressor/De-esser sound to my ears almost identical to the version 2.0 plug-ins; both also have exactly the same CPU overhead as before, and neither exhibits any latency.

TC Graphic EQ.Graphic EQ offers either seven, 14 or 28 bands, and a 'draw your own curve' graphic window makes it very easy to use, while Parametric EQ provides up to seven bands of parametric, low shelf, high shelf and notch filtering, plus a handy joystick to add overall loudness/air contributions to your current response. Both EQs sound noticeably more open and natural to my ears than their version 2.0 counterparts, particularly at extreme settings. Both also use slightly more CPU than before, but this is largely academic since they each took between 1 and 2 percent of my Pentium III 1GHz processor, and I'm pleased that TC Works have concentrated on improving the sound rather than being tempted to shave off CPU cycles.

TC Parametric EQ.The two EQs and Compresssor/De-esser also provide on/off buttons and 'magic eye' indicators for the optional Soft Sat algorithm. This contributes subtle amounts of odd-harmonic distortion to add some 'analogue warmth' to the sound, and works extremely well.

TC Works have made even more extensive improvements to their Native Reverb Plus, with an enhanced algorithmic engine featuring additional parameters, and a significantly upgraded user interface. The Shape control has the same Round, Curved and Square options, but the Size parameter now sits more sensibly alongside, to adjust the scaling of these initial reflections, as well as the graphic image size. The Diffuse control determines the density of wall reflections as before, while Color adjusts high and low-frequency damping and EQ with one handy grabbable control, but has two new sliders alongside labelled Lo and Hi Factor. These provide significant extra control over reverb quality, and unless my ears deceive me they offer far more than simple EQ, sounding as if they are placed in some sort of feedback connection that allows the quality of the reverb tail to change over time.

TC Native Reverb Plus.TC have incorporated many of the remaining controls into a graphic time/amplitude display akin to those found on their more upmarket products. This lets you control the level and start time of early reflections, and the level, start time, and decay time of the reverb tail, all by clicking and dragging your mouse. This makes it far easier to understand what's going on, and I'm surprised TC Works didn't use a similar approach with the I/O transfer characteristic of their compressor.

You can still get the version 2 sound by setting the Factor controls to their mid positions, but the version 3 reverb tails do seem more transparent, and I certainly didn't mind the overhead increasing from 3.4 to 4.2 percent on my PC. Moreover, the new controls allow far more versatile results ranging from the usual rooms, halls, and arenas to special effects such as Crispy Sizzler and Ice. However, TC's native reverbs can't use the same amount of DSP as their higher-end DSP-assisted siblings, and like its predecessor, Native Reverb Plus can exhibit a slight metallic coloration, particularly on long reverb tails. Nevertheless, it's a fine reverb for the price, far more versatile than before, and only available as part of this bundle.

TC Filtrator.Filtrator is totally new, and is essentially a filter with LFO and envelope-follower modulation, followed by an overdrive section. The filter can be set to high-pass or low-pass operation, with 12, 18 or 24 dB/octave slope and a variable resonant peak at the cutoff point, all set by a couple of switches and a graphic filter response window. The fun starts once you modulate the filter frequency. The envelope follower has Attack, Hold and Decay controls, while the LFO offers sine, sawtooth, square and random (sample & hold) waveforms, and can be synchronised to MIDI Clock when using a suitable VST-compatible host application.

The central Modulation Display is a 'fish-eye' oscilloscope that displays the combined mod waveform, controlled via two sliders around its periphery that let you add variable amounts of the two mod sources in either positive or negative directions. Normally the In Phase switch applies an identical effect to both stereo channels, but disengaging it reverses the modulation phase of one channel to dramatic effect as the filters sweep in opposite directions.

Once you start to push up the Drive control in the Amplifier section you run first into mild saturation and then hard clipping. This is due to odd-harmonic distortion as used in the Soft Sat algorithm, which is once again provided as a more subtle option, while the Damp control rolls off the upper harmonics if you want a rounder and smoother result. The display is completed by input and output gain controls and a pair of novel LED level meters.

Tc Works Native Bundle For Mac

Tc Works Native Bundle For Mac Os

TC SideChainer.As you might expect, once you combine all the facilities at your disposal you can get some fascinating effects ranging from synchronised sweeping filters, through growls and roars, swirling grunge and self-oscillation, to R2D2 impersonations. I'd have liked a wet/dry mix control to let some of the original signal through, but perhaps you can't have everything.

Tc Works Native Bundle For Mac Osx

In addition to whatever preset facilities are provided by the host application, all the Native Bundle plug-ins now offer additional dedicated load/save options that save discrete files for each preset, and let you sort them into nested category folders, rather like you can with Waves plug-ins. This is potentially very useful, but unlike the Waves implementation, ends up being most confusing, since the new nested version 3 preset name isn't displayed after you select it, but the old version 2 presets are still available for compatibility reasons via the host application, which often displays the name of the one currently selected. So, if you do see a name displayed, it's only valid if you've chosen it via the host application, while you'll never know which version 3 preset you chose. Just as confusing is that most version 2 presets don't appear in the version 3 list.

TC Works' Native Bundle has always had a good reputation, and version 3 will only enhance that. If you purchased version 2 after July 1st 2002 you can get a free update to the new version, but I suspect its various improvements will also encourage more longstanding users to upgrade as well, especially at only $39. I suspect plenty of new users will also be tempted by Filtrator after downloading the free demo version, and for around £50 each these plug-ins are good value for money. Niggles apart, this is an impressive collection overall, and I expect it to do well.

£299 including VAT; upgrade from any other Native Bundle version $39; upgrade from Native Reverb, Native Essentials, or Steinberg bundle $199.

Plug-in News

At the Frankfurt Musikmesse, TF Pro were showing Boomedia's Studio Weapons plug-in pack. This contains no fewer than 17 plug-ins: 10 instruments and seven effects. The instruments include bass and lead synths, an x0x-style drum box, a sample-based percussion instrument and a multi-faceted 'groovestation', while the effects cover delays, modulation effects and filters. Studio Weapons should be in shops by the time you read this, and will cost £129 including VAT.

Tc Works Native Bundle For Mac Pro

New Born Music have released a monophonic Windows synth plug-in called Grenade, which combines subtractive and FM synthesis and features waveshaping distortion and built-in chorus effect. The full version costs a modest $17.95.

Tc Works Native Bundle For Mac

The MultiVSTShell wrapper for running VST plug-ins within Digidesign's Pro Tools (see March's Pro Tools Notes) has been updated to include the missing MSP Pi file and fix a few minor gremlins. Author Roger Carruthers suggests that the single-instrument Minishell may actually be more useful, as it has a much lower CPU load, and also points out that you don't need to open the DSP Status window to get it working (as was stated in Pro Tools Notes) — you can simply click the DSP On/off button.

Published May 2003