Working with the Attacker is disarmingly simple: All attack events can be amplified – regardless of their signal level. However, the possibilities for studio and live applications are seemingly endless. Usually equalizers are used to separate instruments in a mix. With EQs the tonal aspect of the signal is considered but not the temporal aspect. The Attacker now opens this new dimension in signal processing. By amplifying the attack curves of a sound event, the mix can be made to sound more transparent. Instruments can be mixed at lower levels while still maintaining their positions in the mix—but occupying less space. The Attacker also offers an output control gain control that allows to compensate for level changes after processing the signal. This ensures a simple and safe adjustment of levels and helps avoiding internal clipping.
The following examples are given as suggestions and examples. The described procedures with specific instruments can of course be transferred to others which are not mentioned here. The processing of drum and percussion sounds is the most typical Attacker application, but it is in no way limited to that.
Drums & Percussions
Emphasize the attack of a kick drum or a loop to increase the power and presence in the mix.Adjust the apparent “distance” of the microphone by simply varying the ATTACK values.Enjoy an amazingly simple integration of drum sounds into a mix. If the acoustic level of a snare is expanded to approximately +4 dB by increasing the attack value, the effective increase of peak levels in the overall mix is merely about 0.5 dB to 1 dB. If your drums happen to sound as if they have been placed in a shoe closet, the Attacker can immediately get them out of there. Just crank the ATTACK control to emphasize the first wave.
Increase ATTACK for in-the-face sounds, which is very useful and works particularly well for picking guitars. Or blow life and juice into quietly played guitar parts.Distorted guitars usually are very compressed, thus not very dynamic. Simply increase the ATTACK to get a clearer sound with more precision and better intonation despite any distortion.
Keyboards & Sampler
Sounds in keyboards and samples usually show a lot of compression, not maintaining enough of their natural dynamic. Increase the ATTACK values to re-gain a more natural response characteristic. The sounds occupy less space in the mix and appear more identifiable even at lower volumes.
When dealing with overdubs in movies you can easily add more punch and definition to effect sounds from any sample library.The same applies to outdoor recordings that suffer from poor microphone positioning—simply optimize them afterwards.
Like with any good thing, you also have to know where not to use it. For example, using the Attacker in mastering a summed signal usually is not recommendable, as it is rarely a good idea to treat a whole mix at once. Instead, treat individual elements within the mix.