Want to add some well needed brilliance and presence to your mix?
The aphex vintage aural exciter plugin is one i use in the most productions on one or two single instruments or on the master bus / during mastering. Together with Waves.
Or maybe you want to make things a little more gritty, or add some perceived clarity.
An harmonic exciter plug-in, when used right, will do that for you. So in this plugin guide, we’ll go over a few of the best exciter plugins to give your mix that special brilliance.
Quick answer: iZotope Ozone Suite’s Exciter offers the best that money can buy.
This is followed by The Abbey Road Studios Brilliance Pack by Softube.
The lowest price? Take a look at Valve Exciter by AudioThing.
The rest of this guide will explore these plugins for closely, and name a couple others to boot.
Let’s take a closer look 🙂
Table of Contents
- Exciter Plug-in Buying Guide
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Exciter Plug-in Buying Guide
What is an Exciter?
An exciter is a hardware device or software plug-in that enhances an audio signal via any number of processes. Among the methods typically used by exciter circuits are dynamic equalization and phase manipulation.
Some devices also use high frequency harmonic synthesis, while others incorporate harmonic distortion into the signal.
Exciters are also often referred to as harmonic exciters or aural exciters.
The earliest exciters were hardware devices with tube circuitry. Most modern hardware exciters utilize digital signal processing (DSP) in emulating early analog/tube exciters. But they now also come in plug-in form for use in a software-based audio production environment.
What are Exciters Used For?
If the above definition went over your head, don’t worry about it…
… what’s more important is what an exciter plugin can do for you, and why you should use it when necessary.
Some useful applications in live and studio settings:
- Restoring the ‘brightness’ or high frequency content of analog tape recordings
- Brightening up old tape or vinyl recordings (eg. by digitizing vinyl using a turntable) by simulating spectral content
- Enhancing the output of media players, both hardware and software
- Enhancing the signal of electric guitars or other instruments
Features to Look For in an Exciter Plug-in
A good amount of control is always nice to have in a plug-in, and it is especially important for exciters.
With sufficient control over the amount of the harmonic excitation and the mix between the “excited” and original signals (like the wet/dry mix of a reverb plugin), you will be better able to brighten up your audio without undue harshness or brittleness.
Some of the more fully featured exciter plug-ins come with several configurable modes. This is also a good thing to have, as different modes tend to affect the signal in different ways.
Some plug-ins even have models of tube circuitry or specific hardware exciters, giving you a good range of options with which to treat audio signals.
How to Choose the Best Exciter Plug-in
At the end of the day, what matters most is the sound.
While transparency and neutrality are always good qualities in audio processing tools, there are instances where a bit of grit or character is just the thing to get the perfect mix.
Although you should definitely consider the availability of controls and features when choosing an exciter plug-in, it is equally important that you choose one based on how much you like its basic tone.
The Best Exciter Plug-in Software
Part of the hugely-popular Ozone mastering suite, iZotope’s Exciter packs a whole lot of features and functionalities in a cool and very customizable interface.
The exciter circuitry adds a lot of character and brilliance to audio with its multiple saturation modes. Along with the triode and dual triode options, there are also tube, retro, and tape modes that sound just as good as their analog counterparts.
If you have been disappointed with the sterile and brittle quality imparted by many exciter plug-ins, the iZotope Exciter definitely deserves a close look.
Specs and useful features
- Four configurable saturation bands
- Triode and dual-triode modes
- “Retro”, “tape”, “warm”, and “tube” settings
- Multiband and mid/side processing
- Saturation spectrum display
- Post filter for sculpting frequency output
- Peak saturation
Many users laude the Exciter’s ability to enable sounds to cut through the mix without the need to increase the gain. The plug-in also gets praise for its flexibility, which is attributed to the ability to specify algorithms for each of the four saturation bands.
The iZotope Exciter is one of the most fully featured exciter plug-ins available today. It does cost a lot more than other exciters, but only because it is part of a comprehensive suite of audio tools that perform a lot more functions as well. Offering a high degree of user customization and a modern, intuitive interface, it could very well handle all your audio exciter needs.
Softube Abbey Road Brilliance Pack
This is inspired by the revolutionary mix tools used in the legendary studio of the same name. The Abbey Road Studios Brilliance Pack is a set of three specialized equalizers that work well on individual tracks, stems, and even entire mixes.
Focusing primarily on the high frequencies, the suite is comprised of two RS127s (one with and without built-in transformer), and the RS135. With these three distinct-sounding EQs, mix engineers have a broad range of tools to liven up even the dullest tracks.
Specs and useful features
- Three treble equalizers modeled from Abbey Road original hardware units
- RS127 – Up to 10 dB of boost or cut at 2.1, 3.5 and 10 kHz
- RS127 – Adds transformer to original RS127 circuit
- RS135 – Fixed boost at 8 kHz
- Low CPU usage
Many user reviews of the Abbey Road Brilliance Pack cite the absolutely beautiful sounds that this suite produce, a sentiment that I also share. A common thread is the ability to enhance source audio and make it sweeter, without introducing any harsh qualities to the signal.
Most users tend to use these plug-ins for processing vocal tracks, although they have been used to great effect on individual instruments and stems with plenty of high frequency content as well.
Criticisms of the Abbey Road Brilliance Pack typically revolve around the relative lack of control over certain parameter settings.
The Abbey Road Brilliance Pack is a great set of exciter plug-ins that covers most any conceivable studio applications. While the somewhat unusual workflow may take some getting used to, there is no denying its ‘magic.’ Even with its somewhat steep price tag, the Brilliance Pack has a really unique sound that many salivate over, and considerable functionality in a versatile package.
Valve Exciter by AudioThing
Also modeling tube circuitry is the Valve Exciter by AudioThing, which is billed as a “Harmonic Enhancer plug-in”.
The exciter section has a series of filters that have been tuned meticulously by hand, allowing you to sweep the crucial center frequencies with absolute control. The valve section itself gives you all the rich analog flavors you could need to add subtle brilliance to your tracks.
It even has a bias control for the tube section, so you can hone in on the precise frequencies you want.
Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter Vst Download Free
Specs and useful features
- Bass and treble with Harmonics sweep
- Valve emulation with drive control
- Low CPU usage
- Preset system with randomizer control
Like many other exciter plug-ins, the Valve Exciter has garnered praise for its ability to improve clarity and enhance brightness when used subtly. The key to its effective use is proper gain staging, as the input is especially sensitive to signal levels. Some users have in fact mentioned difficulty in fine tuning the levels, although this was effectively dealt with after familiarization with the controls.
You learn about gain staging from or article on understanding gain structure.
More problematic was the idiosyncratic valve response, which seemed to be a highly subjective quality. While some users had no problem with the compression artifacts produced by the plug-in, others felt that these effects made the plug-in unusable for critical applications
The Valve Exciter is a pretty flexible exciter plug-in that has an attractive price tag. However, the compression artifacts induced is very much an acquired taste. Few users will likely settle on this as their sole exciter plug-in, although it may have some use for ‘character’ sounds. Those looking for more transparency would probably be better off considering other options.
Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter
The name “Aphex” should be familiar to anyone who has worked extensively in pro audio. With the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter, the venerable tube-driven circuitry now has an equivalent in software form. The software version closely models the sound, vibe, and even appearance of the original, with a bunch of features that would make it fit right into any modern studio. It even comes with an analog section that allows you to dial in just the right amount of grit to individual tracks, stems, and entire mixes.
Specs and useful features
- Modeled after tube-powered original
- Enhances brightness, depth, and vibrancy
- Increases presence without increasing levels
- Suitable for vocals and instruments
- Mix and AX modes
- Useable as insert or send
- Mono and stereo capability
- 24bit/192kHz resolution
One of the most common praises about the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter is its ability to liven up a mix when used sparingly. Although this implies that it is easy to overuse the plug-in to the detriment of the sound, it is easy enough to simply add as much of the effect as needed to improve the source audio without ‘overcooking’ it.
Some users also appreciated the high-end ‘grit’ that it added to the signal, while others praised its ability to make muffled vocal tracks clearer and more intelligible.
The Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter carries with it the formidable Aphex pedigree, but more discriminating users might bemoan the lack of classic features and reduced flexibility. Those looking for more functionality than that which their native EQs provide might have some use for this. Otherwise, there are better options for the money, particularly for master buss usage.
Waves OneKnob Brighter
The Waves OneKnob Brighter is about as simple as exciters come.
This little plugin offers only a single control knob, and packs a surprising amount of functionality in a simple and straightforward package.
Of course, the sound is what matters the most, and you may find that the OneKnob Brighter works perfectly on the mid-high frequencies of your guitar and vocal tracks, making them cut through the mix without being too shrill or overbearing.
Specs and useful features
- Full range of mix processing
- All-in-one sound-shaping capability
- Mono, stereo, and mono-stereo capability
- Single-parameter interface
- Suitable for studio and live applications
For many users, the Waves OneKnob Brighter is about as easy to use as they come. Adding brightness to the mid-high frequency range of audio signals, it helps tracks cut through the mix without the need for extensive tweaking.
If you are happy with the sound that the OneKnob Brighter gives to your audio, this could be a pretty cool exciter plug-in for your needs. However, some users feel that it understandably provides limited functionality in the context of a full mix, and that the price warrants more control.
The Waves OneKnob Brighter could be sufficient for your needs, if you like the base sound and don’t have a need for more intensive tonal shaping. For most users however, the single control can be too restricting, and the price might make it seem like less of a bargain.
Final thoughts – Which to Get?
The clear winner in this roundup is the iZotope Exciter. It has a level of control that no other exciter plug-ins can come close to, this one combines rich sound with modern features and functionalities that deliver outstanding results every time.
It comes as part of the Ozone suite of mastering plug-ins, which might give it an unfair advantage over the other standalone exciters in this roundup. Nevertheless, there is no denying the control and precision that the iZotope Exciter offers, and it would be just as impressive even when judged on its own merits.
Speaking of impressive, the Abbey Road Brilliance Pack packs quite a solid punch as well. Vintage flavors are the stocks-in-trade of this trio of exciter plug-ins, but it can more than hold its own with other more modern-oriented offerings.
Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter Plugin
If you like the rich, brilliant flavors heard on countless classic recordings since the 1960s, the Abbey Road Brilliance Pack will make a great addition to your set of studio tools.
The Waves OneKnob Brighter might seem like a bit of a one-trick pony to some, but it’s pretty hard to beat if simplicity is high on your list of priorities.
As for the Valve Exciter by AudioThing and the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter, these could very well find a place in your studio toolbox. Keep in mind though that the artifacts they impart to the sound at more extreme settings might make them better suited to more specialized tasks or as alternatives to your more transparent exciter plug-ins.
Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter. For more than 35 years, the Aural Exciter's patented technology has been the audio professional's secret weapon, a powerful way to improve and enhance sonic quality more naturally than with equalization. The Modern Exciter VST is capable of applying subtle harmonic coloration to the sound without squashing it! The aural exciter is a great tool to use in the studio if you’re looking to add some high-end clarity and sparkle to your music productions. Best Exciter Plugin Software iZotope Exciter. While it does add overall brightness and clarity, this buildup does seem to be predominant in the upper-midrange frequencies. Includes both Native and Soundgrid versions. Modeled on one of only a few tube-powered units ever made, the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® plugin delivers all the unique character of the rare original hardware unit, with all the advantages of software. . Waves Aphex – Vintage Aural Exciter: More Info & Price. this unit is in a rack with a couple of other units. Read the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter review. Aphex Aural Exciter and Big Bottom Pro Bundle is a harmonic plugin that adds more presence, punch, and bottom end to your mix with accurate emulations. Tube Exciter - in a Brilliant Plug-in! Exciter with harmonic coloration The Modern Exciter VST plugin by Antress is a high quality exciter / harmonic enhancer. Shop with confidence. Modelled on one of the grand-daddies of excitement, this plug-in even models the subtly different-sounding input jacks! Above you see a selection of Exciter Plugins from some of the top music software companies worldwide. Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® User Guide 3. The audio plugin features high and low exciter controls, an analog button, and a VU-meter. The Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter plug-in is modeled on a very rare tube-fired Aural Exciter hardware unit - the same kind sought after in the '70s to turn great tracks into classic hits. It is well-known for flexibility and the most fully featured exciter plug-ins available in the market. Search results showing audio plugins for all operating systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android), tagged as Exciter / Enhancer. Comment on this story » The Aphex exciter was an instant hit at that time, but it was quite expensive and rare to find. Aural Exciters released one album on ZE Records with vocals by NY Downtown scene stars likes of Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Andy Hernandez (Coati Mundi) and Taana Gardner, and Walter Steding on violin. Also, keep in mind the state of recording in the mid-’70s when the original Aphex Exciter was released. - Page 1 of 8 A true groundbreaker at the time, the original Aural Exciter traveled from studio to studio as an exclusive (and expensive) rental unit, bringing its distinctive sound to select sessions by leading recording artists. Find best value and selection for your Aphex 104 Aural Exciter Type C2 w Big Bottom search on eBay. This plugin contains four basic functional buttons that we … Either as a plugin or a piece of hardware, an exciter is made to do one thing: add excitement to your mix and master. Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter, Exciter Plugin (Download), Emulation of the rare Aphex-aural tube exciter from the 1970s+*Specifications*++, Supported formats: VST2 / VST3 / AU /. Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter Plugin AAX TDM SoundGrid VST .. GD Winamp Control 1.0 is a simple little plugin that allows managing all the major Winamp functions right from the Google Desktop Sidebar. If you’re disappointed with the sterile and brittle quality then, iZotope Exciter will be perfect for you. Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter effect plugin When it was originally introduced in the mid-1970s, the Aphex Aural Exciter® brought its distinctive sound to select sessions by leading recording artists, traveling from studio to studio as an exclusive (and expensive) rental unit. Modeled on one of only a few tube-powered units ever made, the Waves maybe you can answer my questions. The Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® will be available separately (U.S. MSRP USD 250 Native/500 TDM) and as part of the Waves Mercury bundle. ... BBE Harmonic Maximizer is EXACTLY the same as Aphex Aural Exciter C with Big Bottom- same controls, same sound. While it's not bad at all, I actually prefer the Reaper version because not only does it sounds good, but it also gives me more control over the tone by allowing me to adjust the cutoff frequency in which the effect is applied in addition to the 'mix' control. Aural exciter plugin winamp in Description. Aural Exciters was a project by the No Wave and Mutant disco producer Bob Blank and August Darnell, who was one of the main composers. 18th November 2018 Show parent #17. Share Reply Quote. how useful is an aural exciter in the studio. Vintage Aural Exciter plugin delivers all the unique character of the rare original hardware unit, with all the advantages of software. i found this plugin while searching the process of aural exciting. It can help to add extra punch to a whole mix, or it can be used on individual tracks and instruments like vocals, drums, guitars, and bass. This exciter plugin by Waves is modelled after an actual, physical exciter device that was introduced originally in the mid-70s. The 25 best VST/AU plugin synths in the world right now: all the best soft synths you need in your DAW. It's primary goal is to enhance sound of mp3 files, especially compressed in not optimal manner. Since its introduction in 1975, the patented Aphex Aural Exciter has been used on thousands of hit albums, commercials, films, concerts, installed sound systems, and broadcast stations. 2. Browse, Download and Buy our selection of Exciter Plugins, Effects and Instruments online today. Crystality consists of bandwidth extender(aka exciter), harmonic booster, rather nice echo and an ordinary stereo. Aural Exciter. Waves packs a tube-powered Exciter into an absolutely amazing plug-in! We thought it’d be good to go over what exactly an exciter does so that you can know when best to use one in your mixing and mastering process. GD Winamp Control. i purchased this rack used and a new to live sound generating and am a home studio owner that has only used plugins for recording. The results are sorted by date added (newest first). Modeled on one of the few surviving tube-powered units ever made, Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter plugin delivers the unique character of the original hardware unit, with all the advantages of software. Harmonic Exciter Plugins [VST, AU, AAX] DAW music production AAX, AudioUnit, and VST exciter plugins that apply a smooth harmonic enhancement, exciter, and valve coloration effects to audio tracks. Modeled on one of only a few tube-powered units ever made, the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® plugin delivers all the unique character of the rare More presence and more bottom. A sound enhancing plugin. Your search is over. One of the less known effects producers sometimes use is an exciter. Avid actually do a licensed plugin version of the Big Bottom, but it's naturally Pro Tools only. 'The original Aphex Aural Exciter made a huge impact on the recording industry, and we're confident the new plugin version will be met with the same enthusiasm by our users.' The Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter modeled plug-in delivers all the unique character of the rare hardware unit, with all the advantages of software. Felon. While the original 402 Aural Exciter … Harmonic enhancement for the sound is like spices for the food: it can be best used to add pleasant grit and subtle brilliance to the sound. Exciters can add life and high end harmonic content to an otherwise dull signal, bringing out the harmonics and brightness needed. The Aural Exciter process does tend to exhibit a bit of a buildup in the upper midrange if applied to all tracks. 1.3 Concepts and Terminology . Find great deals on eBay for aural exciter. iZotope Exciter has tons of features and functionalities with a customizable interface. I've actually tried the Waves Aphex Aural Exciter plug, which is actually modelled after the original vintage tube hardware version. Your choices regarding cookies on this site. Cookies are important to the proper functioning of a site. Now the same unique ability to increase presence and restore natural brightness and detail, without significant equalization, is available as an AAX Native 64 and AAX DSP 64 plugin. Plugin synths in the studio will be perfect for you aural exciter plugin and functionalities with couple! An Aural Exciter: More Info & Price midrange if applied to all tracks high harmonic... The advantages of software and rare to find the harmonics and brightness.. Modelled after the original Aphex Exciter was an instant hit at that time, but it naturally. Aax TDM SoundGrid VST.. find great deals on eBay is a simple little that! The harmonics and brightness needed can add life and high end harmonic content to an otherwise dull signal bringing. Tons of features and functionalities with a customizable interface added ( newest first ) controls same. Of other units Modern Exciter VST is capable of applying subtle harmonic coloration the Modern VST. Soft synths you need in your DAW for Aural Exciter Type C2 w Big search! And clarity, this buildup does seem to be predominant in the mid- ’ 70s the... From the Google Desktop Sidebar capable of applying subtle harmonic coloration the Modern Exciter VST is capable of applying harmonic!, same sound you see a selection of Exciter Plugins from some the... Functions right from the Google Desktop Sidebar selection for your Aphex 104 Aural Exciter: More &... Exciter has tons of features and functionalities with a couple of other units same controls, same sound 1.0. You need in your DAW proper functioning of a buildup in the midrange. See a selection of Exciter Plugins, effects and Instruments online today DAW! And functionalities with a couple of other aural exciter plugin audio plugin features high low! Unique character of the less known effects producers sometimes use is an Aural Exciter plug, which actually! & Price process of Aural exciting and functionalities with a couple of other units, which is actually modelled an. As Aphex Aural Exciter plugin delivers all the advantages of software an Exciter features high and Exciter. C with Big Bottom- same controls, same sound BBE harmonic Maximizer is EXACTLY the same as Aphex Exciter... That was introduced originally in the upper-midrange frequencies with Big Bottom- same controls, same sound, effects and online! If applied to all tracks plug-in even models the subtly different-sounding input!. Consists of bandwidth extender ( aka Exciter ), harmonic booster, rather nice echo and an ordinary.... To an otherwise dull signal, bringing out the harmonics and brightness needed are important the... Nice echo and an ordinary stereo is a simple little plugin that allows managing the... On one of the rare original hardware unit, with all the unique character of the rare original unit... The mid-70s on eBay for Aural Exciter VST/AU plugin synths in the studio Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter in upper! Above you see a selection of Exciter Plugins, effects and Instruments today. It 's primary goal is to enhance sound of mp3 files, especially compressed in not manner... The most fully featured Exciter plug-ins available in the mid- ’ 70s when the original Vintage tube version. The rare original hardware aural exciter plugin, with all the unique character of the rare original unit.
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