In his latest plug-in, Spectral Conquest (Mac/Win, $29, download), Andrew Ostler of the U.K. software collective Expert Sleepers uses FFT analysis and resynthesis to create a flexible multiband plug-in whose settings affect the signal in the frequency domain that is between analysis and resynthesis. The results vary from precise multiband filter sculpting to radical, band-independent frequency shifting. The plug-in supports MIDI, OSC, and spectral-processing scripts, written in the LUA scripting language (lua.org), for manipulating the bands in real time. Whether or not you choose to get that far under the hood, you can dial in effects as diverse as ultraprecise 512-band EQ and reverse-band frequency shifting (see Web Clip 1 ).
The major part of Spectral Conquest''s GUI is devoted to the band analysis-and-resynthesis graphic. The upper half graphs the input and output signals, with solid bars indicating the incoming band levels and brighter lines indicate the output levels. The lower half is where you draw in the resynthesized-band levels, ranging from absolute zero (no signal is resynthesized for the band) to the original level. Five buttons across the top let you quickly minimize (All Zero), reset (All One), suppress odd or even bands (Zero Odd or Even), and invert the current band setup.
Scripting adds real-time control of the bands, and several useful script presets are included. For example, the Shift preset assigns the Param 1 knob to shift all the bands up and down in frequency, and because that''s taking place before resynthesis, the effect is akin to frequency shifting (as opposed to simply shifting the bands of a graphic equalizer). Other scripts implement highpass, lowpass, and bandpass filtering; band-based threshold gating; and reversing the bands. Download the fully functional free version, which times out after 15 minutes, to hear for yourself.