oeksound, the Finnish audio plugin manufacturer known for its innovative tools like Soothe2 and Spiff, has recently unveiled its latest product, Bloom.
Bloom is branded as an adaptive tone shaper, a tool designed to analyze and correct the tonal balance of audio signals. This concept is not entirely new in audio processing; however, the dynamic and context-aware adjustments promised by Bloom suggest a more intuitive and natural-sounding approach compared to traditional methods.
Adaptive Tone Shaping: The idea of a plugin that dynamically adjusts to the audio signal is appealing, but it raises questions about the extent of control it leaves to the user. How does Bloom decide what constitutes a 'balanced' sound, and can it adapt to the diverse aesthetic preferences across different music genres?
User Interface and Control: The primary “amount” control and frequency balance sliders suggest a user-friendly interface. However, the effectiveness of these controls in achieving precise tonal adjustments is something that needs rigorous testing, especially in comparison to the fine-tuning possible with traditional EQs.
Squash Mode and Additional Features: While features like squash mode, attack and release controls, and mid/side functionality add versatility, their real-world utility versus established dynamics processing tools is yet to be ascertained.
Low Latency Mode: This feature is critical for real-time processing, but its performance in terms of processing load and responsiveness in different DAW environments would be a key factor in its applicability.
Comparison with Traditional EQ and Previous oeksound Plugins
Bloom is positioned as a more intuitive and transparent alternative to traditional EQ, with its adaptive nature. However, this also brings up concerns about over-reliance on automated processes and the potential loss of nuanced control that manual EQ adjustments offer. Furthermore, it's important to consider how Bloom stands in relation to oeksound’s previous products, particularly in terms of offering distinct functionalities or improvements.
Creative and Corrective Applications
While the shift from problem-solving to tone shaping indicates a broader application range, the real test for Bloom will be in practical scenarios. How effectively can it balance between being a creative tool for sound sculpting and a corrective tool for audio enhancement?
Market Implications and User Expectations
oeksound has set a high bar with its earlier plugins. Bloom enters a market where users have high expectations for innovation, ease of use, and audible results. Its reception will depend on how well it meets these expectations and whether it justifies its place in a studio setup already equipped with various EQs and tone-shaping tools.
Bloom represents a potentially forward step in the evolution of audio processing tools, promising a blend of innovation and practicality. However, its success and utility will ultimately be determined by how it performs in real-world testing and whether it can genuinely offer something unique and valuable to audio professionals and enthusiasts. As with any new product in the music technology sphere, a critical and independent evaluation is essential to understand its place in the ever-evolving landscape of audio production tools.
Prices are still be announced. Our best guess is a similar price to Sooth2 and Spiff, which sell between $150 and $200. We hope for a 30% introductory discount at launch as well.
No specific date has been confirmed by oeksound, other than a planned release "in the next few months".
Trained in classical and jazz piano, Christof has over 30 years of experience in songwriting and music production. In 2021, he founded musicmanta and is now its Editor-in-Chief. Christof has worked in marketing for 25 years in Unilever and Kimberly-Clark. He is now the Head of Performance Marketing UK for Andrex, Kleenex, and Huggies, leading a team of 10 to create award-winning marketing campaigns, writing effective content, reaching millions of people.
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