Auburn Sounds has released Panagement, a spatialization multi-effects that combines:
- a Binaural Panner that lets you pan a track with head externalization,
- a Distance Fader bringing a track nearer or further,
- a Mono-to-Stereo effect that enlarges a track or simulates early reflections,
- a Stereo Width control,
- a Tilt Filter adjusts spectral balance between lows and highs,
- a Phasescope to check mono compatibility,
- a LFO that targets pan, distance, tilt or output gain.
The author's note
Guillaume Piolat, sole founder of Auburn Sounds, hypes his plugin in this way:
« I was always a bit uneasy with panning, and looking for something more gentle. In theory, binaural panning is better than the traditional pan pot. I hear it more and more, but it did not take the world by storm. Why? I think it's down to three reasons.
On the practical side, we need a panner that would be easy to operate and without audio compromises. Why use an additional processor if you lose something, be it time spent, latency, or sound clarity? My goal was that you would always be able to use Panagement, without wondering "what if I'm loosing something?". I think the tradeoff here is finally acceptable.
There is the mono-compatibility problem, because the traditional pan button is 100% mono-compatible and binaural panners are not. Firstly I tried to revert the effect of the binaural delay by equalizing phase. But the results were underwhelming.
The route taken in Panagement is damage mitigation. The "Mono" switch provides an instant view of mono reduction. You get a fast phasescope display and can reduce "Head Delay" if ever needed. To avoid phase disasters, inter-aural delay is limited to 1.3 ms at a maximum. The LFO also helps: when reduced to mono the inter-aural delay changes into a phaser sound.
There is finally a likeability problem. Realistic spatialization has a huge potential for direct access to emotions (one proof is all the binaural ASMR videos on the Internet). But it's sometimes overly intrusive, so it's important not to overdo it. The "Dry/Wet" knob helps you tune down the effect to approach a regular pan continuously. Not everything needs to be spectacular!
In conclusion, I think nothing is blocking you anymore from taking advantage of a huge externalized head space, and telling spatialized stories that will translate well to speakers. »
About Auburn Sounds
Auburn Sounds is a new plugin company commited to novelty, simplicity, reliability and sound. What it lacks in marketing muscle, it makes up for in dedication to quality.
There is a Free Edition you can use for free
Panagement is available as a VST 2.4 and Audio Unit for Windows and OS X computers.
Panagement Free Edition has the Binaural Panner, Distance Fader and Phasescope,
Panagement Enterprise Edition has all features enabled. Introductory price is €29 (+VAT).