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Sonnox Oxford Envolution & Limiter on Drums

Hey, it’s Warren Huart here. Hope you’re doing marvelously well.

The good folks at Sonnox have given us two plugins to try. One is the Oxford Envolution, and the other one is the Oxford Limiter. I’m very excited to try both of these out, because I’ve heard very good things about both of them, particularly the Envolution, which I have been recommended to try on a drum buss.

So here we have a song by Robert Jon & the Wreck. I recorded this at Sunset Sound, it was a whole album recorded live in a day. There are no drum samples on this. This is the drum sound. I’ll just loop the prechorus so you can hear it.


So with the exception of some reverb, no drum samples. That is the sound of the room.

So what I did here is I used three drum busses. I have a straight drum buss here, I have a drum buss crush, and a kick/snare buss. Now, these three, what I’m going to do now is I’m going to create another buss. I’m going to have these three bussing into one. Let’s loop our prechorus, let’s get the Envolution out.


Wow. Okay, so here it is in the middle on the transient. Let’s increase the transient. Off. It’s immediately really dramatic. Then go the other way. So I’m going to go crazy.

That release time there, you can see I’m lengthening how much of the transient it gets.


The attack is letting the — if I go back to here, it’s catching all of the initial transient. Here… Nice. Wow. It’s a kind of interesting tool. I think it’s already getting pretty massive, I don’t need to do as much as that. I’m already showing you how to overuse it.

If I go back to the attack here, get the transient quite snappy… Bypass it. I like this idea.

A mix control is fantastic on any plugin these days. It’s a must. I think it’s a massive difference. Have a listen.


It’s a pretty huge difference there. I like that idea a lot. You know what I love about working in DAWs? About working in the box? It’s the fact that we can automate anything. So what I can do is I can shape the transient the way I want it to be for different sections.

If I’ve got a really super dense section like what’s coming up next, like listen to this chorus…

[mix, chorus]

Because I have a snare buss, right? So let’s just say I can mute that for a second. We’ll just mute it for the heck of it.

Let’s just go — because we’re not using any samples… Wow. Just on its defaulted setting, just cranking that transient? That’s amazing.

That’s fantastic. That’s really, really good. And we haven’t even gotten into adjusting the sustain on it. But you can see just on a mono snare…


Look. Now we can get frequency conscious. We can decide where we want that to be. Where we want that focus to be.



I’ve got a tilt. Oh. So I can drive my transient here or here. The sustain. You know what? I need more time to mess around with this. This is really, really good. I want to see what this warmth control does.

[snare, adjusting warmth]

Wow. Bypasses the entire plugin effect. It says warmth; adds warmth to the signal by introducing subtle distortion. At 100% warmth, the plugin’s output level can not exceed zero. Okay, love it.

Off. On. Fan-bleeding-tastic. So this frequency here shows us the sustain frequency mix controls. Up here shows the transient frequency mix controls. Really, really nice. Really, really tasty. I’m going to — I’ve got it quite dramatic at the moment, so I’m going to scale it back.

That’s a really, really cool drum shaping tool. I’m leaving it on. That’s just on the snare, made a huge difference. Heck, while we’re here, I’m going to quickly put it on the kick. Again, remember this is only live kick.


No samples. Get that transient up. Let’s shorten the sustain. Already loving it. Bypass. It’s great. You know me, I just opened up the plugin and started to use it. Absolutely frickin’ fantastic.

So I’m going to go and do it on the whole drum mix as well. Drum buss here, open this up, I’m going to do a little soft amount.


Absolutely loving it. It kind of reminds me of mixing through an SSL I’ve got that spankiness back.


Remember, no drum samples were harmed during this mix. Let’s go and try the limiter, I’m going to go to the overall mix buss. I turned everything off my mix buss, so you were hearing there, I had some EQs, I had some compression, I had all kinds of stuff going on. It’s all turned off.

I’m just going to go straight away and just go and use the limiter.

[drums, adjusting limiter]

Even its default is great. Bring it down a little bit. Whole mix. That’s nice, because it’s mainly just catching the kick and snare transients that I just boosted, but it’s folding them back in in a really nice way.


It’s really nice. What’s the enhance curve? Adjust the amount of dynamic enhancement form zero to 125%. In normal mode, the full sample value limiting occurs at 100% or higher.

When safe mode is engaged, sample value limiting occurs throughout the range. The enhance fader then controls the degree of dynamic loudness boost.

Let’s see what it does.

[mix, adjusting enhancement]

I mean, I’m crashing the shnizzle out of it now, but it sounds really, really good.

There was something about the Oxford stuff that when it came out, if you go back to the original kind of Oxford consoles, the EQs, everybody absolutely loved them, so I love that Sonnox has taken this over. Please go down below, click on the link, there’ll be one above here, and you can win one of three copies of both of these, so you can win three of each of these.

Thank you very much Sonnox for letting us use these, and I will definitely be using them a lot. The limiter sounds fantastic, absolutely love what is going on with the Envolution. Really, really great tools. Have a marvelous time recording and mixing, and I’ll see you all again very soon.


Warren Huart

Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English record producer/musician/composer and recording engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at

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