Year / Date of Issue: 02.2021
Developer: Leapwing Audio
Developer site: leapwingaudio
Format: VST, VST3, AAX
Bit depth: 64bit | R2R
System requirements: Windows 8, 10 (64-bit only) in AAX, VST, VST3
Summary: Leapwing has analyzed Al Schmitt’s approach to working with sound in order to “package” them into a special plugin
It won’t sound like Al Schmitt, but getting a piece of his sound is fine.
Belgian company Leapwing Audio has teamed up with renowned sound engineer Al Schmitt to release the Al Schmitt Signature Plugin. According to the developers, it repeats the processing techniques, the sound of the equipment and the workspace of Al Schmitt.
Al Schmitt Signature Plugin was created with the direct participation of Al Schmitt. The new product offers six processing profiles for different instruments and brings a piece of the sound of the legendary sound engineer to your DAW.
Al Schmitt is considered one of the most celebrated sound engineers in the history of modern popular music. At various times, the specialist worked with Jefferson Airplane, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Neil Young, Henry Mancini and many other famous musicians.
Schmitt’s recordings are distinguished by natural sounding, which the sound engineer achieves with minimal processing. Instead of a lot of effects, Schmitt relies on the right choice of room and microphones, as well as proper placement of recording devices.
Al Schmitt Signature Plugin’s six Processing Profiles offer effect chains for vocals, piano, bass, horns, strings, and general master bus. According to the creators, the developers analyzed Schmitt’s working methods and his equipment to replicate the sonic characteristics of his recordings.
The company keeps the inner workings of the algorithm a secret. Instead of diving into complex explanations of how they work, the developers offer a set of simple controls to tune the sound of the instruments.
Users can change a number of parameters – Body Level, Air Level, select three options for the Air parameter. The interface also provides a compression intensity slider and three types of reverb.
According to Leapwing Audio, depending on the selected profile, the parameters react differently to the signal. The only thing that remains common to all profiles is harmonic distortion, which adds “extra magic” to the signal.
Al Schmitt Signature Plugin refers to a “One Knob” plug-in that has a minimum of controls. Processing does not allow you to control the work of the effects, suggesting to trust the algorithm. The plugin cannot be called universal, but its profiles may well come in handy when working on the next project, the company hopes.
Leapwing Audio claims to have been able to get as close as possible to the sound of a famous sound engineer.