Spectral Plugins

I recently got interested in FFT (Fast Fourier transform) and decided to make some plugins making use of it. The first one I made is a spectral compressor, a compressor that can compress specific frequencies that exceed the threshold. The second one is a spectral gate, this can be used as a basic denoiser, or as a sound design tool.

Spectral compressor

The spectral compressor is an audio effect that can compress specific frequency bands. By dialling in the threshold, it will compress all the peaks exceeding the threshold, and compress them by dividing the amplitude of the peak by the ratio. This can be very handy in situations where you have a loop or a sample and only want to compress very specific frequency bands that are too hard to compress with a multiband compressor. For example: if you have a drum loop where the kick is too loud, you can use the spectral compressor to automatically only compress the kick without affecting the other elements.

With the FFT-size menu you can choose the amount of detail the compressor will use. A size of 1024 samples will create bins (frequency bands) , a size of 2048 will create 1024 bins etc. Take in account that the higher your FFT-size is, the higher the latency will be. This is because the FFT-size is the amount of samples the plugin will buffer at once.

Spectral Gate

The spectral gate is a plugin that can be used as a very basic denoiser, you can filter out noise from noisy recordings by dialling in the threshold. If you don’t want to get rid of noise, but want to get rid of very specific frequencies, you can use the invert button. Instead of filtering out the noise, it will filter out the frequencies exceeding the threshold. The spectral gate is also a great tool to use for sound-design and creating granular-like textures.

Spectral Sidechain

Spectral Sidechain is a sidechaining tool that subtracts the frequencies from the input from the frequency spectrum from the track it’s inserted on. This makes for a very clean and easy way to sidechain different elements to each other. The amount knob multiplies the amplitude of the incoming signal up to 10 times it’s original strength. This way it’s possible to customize the amount of sidechain that’s applied.


If you use Ableton Live you can get the .amxd files for the two plugins here.
I’m working on making a VST3 and AU version of the plugins, but these are still in development.

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How to install

to install the plugins, just download the .zip file, extract it, and just drag the .amxd files straight into Ableton Live. From here you can save them directly into your Max for Live or plugin folder.

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