Every so often, you might find you come up against a problem that seemingly has no solution. Until it does. Then everything is amazing.
Metaplugin from DDMF is one of those solutions.
I’d read about it in Sound on Sound magazine, this being one of only two physical subscriptions I now have, and had thought to myself “oh, that might be useful one day!”.
Then last year, I spent a week up in Scotland filming and recording the wonderful Xan Tyler for a series of 11 music videos of her and her trio – about half of them just her singing and playing her Onmichord or guitar, the others vocals, acoustic bass and guitar. These were filmed with my Blackmagic Pocket 4k camera (awesome looking images) and multitracked into Reaper on my laptop via an Alesis Multimix 16 (it’s getting on a bit but it’ll do 24–bit/96k over USB, plus it’s simple enough for other people to use without me).
In the new year, when I got around to giving the recordings the polish they needed, I felt this need to try out using the Brainworx Dynamic EQ plugin, but given that this was all still living in DaVinci Resolve the NLE (video editor to the rest of you), this left me in a bit of a pickle as the audio sidechaining features in Resolve are pretty much limited to the native dynamics processes of that application.
Then I remembered reading about this funky plugin that was described as being able to expose the sidechain inputs of VST2/3 plugins in hosts that might not have that functionality and spent a good couple of hours trying to find which magazine issue had that review – which actually turned out to be the latest one. This I found out by asking in the SOS forums…
So how it basically works, in this example, can be seen in the screenshot below and described after.
To create the ‘sidechain’ signal, you insert the supplied ‘sendit’ plugin on the channel you want to provide that signal (in this case “Vocal”).
On the channel you want to be affected, you insert an instance of the DDMF Metaplugin.
Once you’ve opened Metaplugin (and had it scan all your installed plugins), you add another instance of ‘sendit’ (set to receive on the same channel as the sending instance).
In this case, as we wanted to use a mono instance of bx_dynEQ, this was dragged into the window and the virtual patch cables were attached as appropriate – there are only two inputs to a mono plugin with a sidechain, so it’s not rocket science to make it work – with the plugin output patched to the audio output (which you can’t see here as it’s off the bottom of the screen), and that, is basically it.
Once you’ve adjusted the active plugin to do what you want, everything just happens.
All of this takes about as long as it takes to read this description, and that was without reading the manual… 🙂
The list of features from their website for the DDMF Metaplugin are these:
Effect version supports up to eight individual channels for, e.g. surround or other multichannel purposes.
- Instrument version featuring 16 stereo output buses for all conceivable routing purposes using multichannel instruments
- Double precision audio processing when supported by DAW and plugin format (not for Audio Units)
- Additional stereo sidechain input
- Convenient plugin organizer: scan your plugins once, then just drag and drop them onto the graph area
- Internal bridge from 32 to 64 bit, with seamless plugin window integration: load 32-bit plugins in ProTools or LogicPro X without the need for a 3rd party bridging solution
- NEW since v3.4: internal bridge from 64 bit to 32 bit too!
- Support for native Apple Audio Unit plugins
- Dry/wet ratio can be adjusted for each loaded plugin.
- Individual bypass for each loaded plugin
- Full plugin delay compensation included.
- Automate up to 100 parameters by mapping them on any parameter of a loaded plugin
- Negligible additional CPU overhead.
- Synths can also be loaded and played with any MIDI control, which means you can create custom synthesizers with existing building blocks.
- Up to 4x oversampling option of the whole signal chain is available.
- Included: mid-side matrix, multiband splitter and cross-track send/receive helper plugins.
- Define your own colour palette for the plugin: check!
- Freely resizable plugin window for maximum convenience: check!
- Can be used as a VST to AU wrapper, a VST to AAX wrapper or an AU to AAX wrapper.
- VST3 plugins now supported, so VST3 to AU and VST3 to AAX is possible as well. Plus, of course, VST3 to VST or VST to VST3.
Obviously, there are many more, more complicated plugin chains you can produce with this host-within-a-host, limited only by your imagination. “The world is your lobster” as a funny man once said.
But really, EVERYONE should have this plugin in their arsenal.
Even for hosts like Cubase, Reaper or Logic that have quite advanced side-chaining capabilities, they can take some time to set up, whereas, with the DDMF Metaplugin, you can save your whole multi-band awesome plugin chain as a preset once, and use it in whatever host you wish.
You owe it to yourself to buy this, your future music production career will thank you.
Plus, it’s only £34, so for what it can do, it’s a proper bargain!
Download the demo and purchase the full plugin from https://ddmf.eu