Extractor — The Tool Music Producers Have Requested is Finally Here
For a while now, music producers have requested an automated feature specialized in making drum loops tighter, crisper and removing their sustain. As much as it’s something we all seek in our sound, we were stunned when we realized such a feature doesn’t exist in any of the commonly-used DAWs.
Seeing how many people were looking for this motivated our team to create a mix processor for thinning out audio sections to create tighter dynamics. In other words, we wanted to create a tool that could extract any sound from a loop.
And just like that, on November 11, 2022, we released our plugin Extractor.
Extractor is a dynamics tool and mix utility to thin out loops or extract separate frequencies from a looping sample.
A tasty-looking and effective interface
The Extraction Amount Control, displayed on the top left corner, shows a perfect visualization of its functionality: squeezing your sound and extracting only chosen frequencies from it. It goes from 0 to 100% and shows you the amount of extraction happening in real time.
This feature was carefully configured to tweak multiple controls under the hood, making even the slightest percentage change noticeable to the ears (and eyes). Setting it to 100% will extract a tightened and separated sound while lower values work on a more subtle level.
We highly recommend using automation in this section and alternating between thinned-out and fuller sections while increasing intensity. We guarantee this will be a game changer in your music production workflow.
Extractor features a powerful mono waveform display that gives you direct insight into the signal’s applied changes. In this section, you see the incoming audio in gray and the extracted signal in overlaid yellow.
The goal of this visual display is to provide a visual representation of the extracted signal in correlation with the incoming signal. This visualizer works as a reference when tweaking multiple controls, contributing to an even better result in your sound.
Transient and Beats: two options for processing your audio input signal
Extractor includes two different detection circuits. Transient mode reacts to any transient hit present in the incoming signal, and Beats mode syncs the extraction perfectly with your DAW .
In Transient mode, Extractor will detect all transient material in the incoming signal. This can work wonders on percussive and complex loops. The added sensitivity slider gives you the power to increase or decrease the number of hits that are detected.
In Beats mode, the plugin will detect specific note resolutions that are in sync with your DAW’s grid. At 1/4, for example, an extraction will happen at each quarter note. This mode is perfect for extracting a kick drum from busy or complex loops.
Extracting Modes: Single or Multi Band processing
There are two Extracting modes: Single and Multi Band.
In Single Band mode, the extraction happens on the full audio spectrum. In Multi Band mode, different frequencies of the input signal can be extracted individually.
Single Band mode is ideal when you wish to purge your whole audio input of a specific frequency. On the other hand, a good use case for Multi Band mode would be, for example, extracting a kick drum with a short click at the top-end and a long bass tone in the bottom-end from an otherwise noisy loop.
Both modes include a fine-tune slider allowing you to tweak both modes further, making them either tighter or looser in their processing. Any value below 0% will increase the overall tightness of the extraction, while values above 0% will make the extraction overall looser and longer. This extra feature was carefully crafted to tune many controls at once, granting accuracy and instant results to your sound.
Extra Audio Features
The Power Toggle allows you to quickly compare your sound before and after the extraction process. When it’s turned off, the extraction processing pauses so you can hear your audio with Extractor in bypassed mode.
At the end of the signal’s path, there’s an Output Gain control allowing you to set a final gain staging for the plugin. Increasing the final gain can be necessary, especially after extracting a heavy amount of sounds and removing their sustain.
How to use Extractor in your music production workflow
Here are some down-to-earth examples of this plugin in action to highlight its power and practicality.
With Extractor you can easily:
- Extract a four-to-the-floor kick drum from a full drum loop using the Beats processing mode.
- Thin out percussion loops dynamically by automating the Extraction Amount Control.
- Make a looping hat click tightly by turning the Extraction Amount all the way up in Single Band mode.
- Create stutter-like effects by extracting in Beats mode with a 1/16 rate.
- Remove any noise from an otherwise very lo-fi or noisy beat.