Czech plug-in developers Audified, known for their meticulous recreations of rare outboard equipment, have teamed up with DWe (Drum Workshop Electronics) to create a new drum-focused processor. Designed to speed up your workflow when processing drums, the Drum Enhancer has specifically designed parameters designed simplify and speed up working with drum and percussive sounds.
In a nutshell, this plug contains the main ingredients needed to cook your drums; compressor, gate and EQ. Although, the advantage of using individual components for this task is you can pick and choose different EQs and compressors for their own flavours. The downside to this is individually setting each one up for the task, which can be time consuming. The Drum Enhancer speeds this up immensely, especially as the parameters are already ‘tuned’ to the optimum parameter ranges for drums specifically. Also, to address the issue of different compressors and EQ flavours, Audified have included various different modelling types, such as solid state compressors, vintage EQ and even five different types of tube saturation for the final crunch.
You can select your ‘drum type’ depending on whether you are processing individual hits (kick, snare or toms), a kit recorded from 2 overheads (OH), as a room or bus setting designed to process a kit as a whole. I found the plug-in to be very effective on individual hits, really getting my kicks punchy and snares snapping without too much effort – however with one instance of it taking nearly 15% of my CPU I’d be hesitant on using multiple drum sounds in a kit. It worked pretty well on my whole drum mix as well, although I’m not sure in this context it would actually save a huge amount of time, compared with setting up a couple of dedicated plug ins for a drum bus channel strip?
Overall, I am a big fan of Audified’s plug-ins and this one is clearly well thought out and the interface design is clean and easy to understand. In terms of real world scenarios, I may use it to process the odd drum sound, however due to the drain on my CPU (2Ghz i7 macbook pro 2013) I couldn’t see myself using it on much more than that. In terms of bus processing, I already have some plug ins I know really well for this task, so I cant see myself replacing them with this tool either. In the end, I’m hard pressed to decide whether this is re-inventing the wheel or a genuine problem solver, either way it certainly does what it sets out to do and that’s process drums well with a manner of efficiency.