iZotope Ozone 7
Software technology has made multiband effects processing affordable and ubiquitous, enabling the producer on any budget to divide their sounds into separate frequency bands for discrete manipulation of each.
Here are 14 of our favourite multiband processors, starting with iZotope's all-conquering Ozone 7 mastering suite.
This all-in-one processor is indispensable for both mixing and mastering. The Dynamic EQ module provides frequency-oriented dynamics control, but there are other multiband processors here, too, including the excellent Stereo Imaging module.
FULL REVIEW: iZotope Ozone 7
Universal Audio UAD Precision Multiband
UA have every stage of the mastering process covered, from Bob Katz’s Precision K-Stereo processor widening, through to this excellent five-band multiband compressor, which combines flexibility with a warm, open sound.
READ MORE: UAD Precision Multiband
Blue Cat Audio MB-7 Mixer 2
This remarkable and creative splitter/plugin hoster divides the input signal into multiple bands, then provides you with a separate channel strip for each one, complete with insert slots for up to four audio VST/AU plugin!
FULL REVIEW: Blue Cat Audio MB-7 Mixer 2
Joey Sturgis Tones Transify
Transify take takes transient design further by offering the usual attack and sustain controls across four independent frequency bands, letting you bring extra snap or length to snare sounds, whilst leaving kicks alone, for example.
FULL REVIEW: Joey Sturgis Tones Transify
Softube Transient Shaper
This transient design plugin includes a frequency dial for setting the boundary between the Sustain and Punch portions of the signal, with switches for determining which frequencies are processed in each - Hi, Lo or Wide (both).
Powerful and versatile.
FULL REVIEW: Softube Transient Shaper
iZotope Alloy 2
Offers a modular approach to sound design, with several of its modules offering multiband functionality.
Specifically, the transient shaping, exciter, twin dynamics and de-esser modules all let you split the signal into multiple bands and wreak havoc with them.
FULL REVIEW: iZotope Alloy 2
A hugely flexible multiband compressor with a number of potential applications.
Unlike many processors, which have several bands set up by default, Pro-MB starts with an empty slate, encouraging you to create bands only where they’re needed. As a result, it’s as useful for de-essing as it is for dynamically processing even the most needy masters.
FULL REVIEW: FabFilter Pro-MB
A multiband distortion unit that lets you assign a different type of distortion or saturation to discrete low, mid and high bands.
A dry/wet balance dial offers easy parallel configuration, while movement and modulation are provided via LFOs, envelope follower, noise and sample-and-hold modules.
FULL REVIEW: FXpansion Maul
A wonderful processor for adding timing, volume and filtering ‘glitches’ to discrete frequency bands in the mix.
Up to six bands are available, to which sequences of data in each category can be added separately. Everything from subtle wonkiness to all-out ‘buffer override’ effects is possible.
READ MORE: MeldaProduction MMultiBandRhythmizer
PSP Audioware VintageWarmer 2
A classic plugin for emulating analogue compression and limiting.
Crucially, VW2 adds warm saturation effects as its Drive dial is cranked up, with separate Low and High bands, selectable via frequency-selection dials. It works beautifully as a parallel processor as well as an insert effect
FULL REVIEW: PSP Audioware VintageWarmer 2
Apply granular synthesis techniques and construct new sounds across several frequency bands.
This inventive plugin is perfect for creating swarms or clouds of notes, with each band taking on its own unique sonic flavour.
FULL REVIEW: MeldaProduction MMultiBandGranular
A brilliantly surgical tool for both mixing and mastering, this frequency-dependent transient shaper gives you the ability to manipulate the attack and sustain of different frequency areas in isolation.
READ MORE: Sonnox Envolution
Multiband distortion for up to six separate frequency bands.
A wide variety of distortion types are included, as well as a host of modulation options, which can introduce anything from subtle wobbling to full on glitchy mayhem.
FULL REVIEW: FabFilter Saturn
Softube Drawmer 1973
Softube’s painstaking and wonderful-sounding recreation of Drawmer’s classic three-band compressor.
Choose crossovers between bands, then shape each with the full range of dynamics parameters. There are some choice software benefits, too: dry/wet allows for instant parallel treatments, and stereo and mid/side options are available, too.
FULL REVIEW: Softube Drawmer 1973