One of the qualities of a great mix is its ability to transcend the music out of the 2 dimensional speakers, and to transcend it into the listening space, creating a 3D impact that allows the listener to feel like he or she has become part of the music. This 3D quality has always been one of the most difficult to achieve, but pro engineers have accomplished it with clever use of compression, eq, and fx. But at Slate Digital, we decided to decode the mystery once and for all. And so with the use of all of our analog know-how and expertise, we created a process that with only three knobs, can increase impact and dimension, enhance energy and liveliness, improve front to back depth, add tons of punch, and make sounds explode out of your speakers. And that’s why we call it the FG-BOMBER.
The FG-BOMBER has the most complex internal circuit path of any plugin we’ve created. To get its unique effect, it combines all analog modeled transient processing, dynamic frequency manipulation, specialized compression, tube saturation, harmonic generation, filtering… there is a ton behind the scenes. But we’ve condensed all of these processes into a simple interface with just four knobs.
The Drive sets the level that is sent to the processing network. We’ve set a marking on the Bomber meter (the little bomb icon) so that you can set the internal level in a way that is most optimized for the intended effect, but of course you can get great tone if you experiment beyond this level.
The Intensity parameter adjusts how much of the effect is mixed in with the signal, and can be as little as a few percent to add some extra imaging to full masters, or cranked to create unique effects for drum mics and vocals.
The Tone parameter changes the character of the effect. ‘Present’ focuses the effect on the mid frequencies, and will increase the transient impact sometimes dramatically, as well as extend the sustain and width. ‘Fat’ will also increase the transient impact and depth in a lush and ‘fat’ way where the low end will become bigger and wider. ‘Tight’ is the most evenly balanced of the three tone settings, and will add clarity, punch, and tightness to the lows.
Finally, an output trim controls the overall output of the entire module.
The Meter is monitoring the input signal after the Drive. Its goal is to show, through the bomb icon which corresponding to the sweet spot, how hot the signal should enter the effect for it to sound good.
Getting Started with FG-Bomber
You may want to remove some compression if you have it on, just so you can really get to know the effect first. Note that it can work in conjunction with drum buss compression. Put it on Fat, adjust Drive so that it’s peaking at Bomb, and slowly mix in the intensity. IMPORTANT, depending on the source material, it could be a very strong effect so sometimes it only needs a very little bit of intensity to make things sound amazing. But other times blending the effect in heavily can sound really huge. I have a really cool example where I recorded a drum-kit with ONE mic in front of the kit. Using Bomber on Present, I was able to make it sound like I had close mics on the kit too, it was pretty incredible.
Here I would probably use Fat or Tight, and a little goes a long way. Hit the Bomb icon on the meter, and then slowly blend it in. You’ll notice the mix starts to take on a more 3D effect, the percussion gets punchier, the vocal gets clearer.
For Mastering when you are hitting a limiter that is crushing the impact of the mix, Bomber can pre-compensate in a way that makes everything sound just like the mix.
Bomber can make the vocals sound much more articulate and clear. This is especially true when you compress a vocal first to make it sit in the mix. Sometimes the consonances of the words become a bit muffled, and Bomber can bring it back. Try it on Present and see if that makes the vocal pop, and again, sometimes all it takes is just a little turn of the intensity knob for it to work.
Bomber can make a bass sound incredible. Try it post compression on the present setting, and in this case play with the Drive and Intensity to see where it makes the bass pop out in an expressive way.
Playing with Drive/Intensity Interaction
The Drive and Intensity are very interactive. Get to know how they play off each other. You can decrease the percussiveness of the effect by overloading the drive past the Bomb icon, and then compensating with less (but sometimes more!) Intensity.
The FG-BOMBER can be used to enhance the impact and dimension of any track or mix. Used with low intensity, it can be the perfect process to ‘wake up’ a mix that needs some more excitement. On vocals, it can increase the clarity of the words, and make the vocals stand out more in busy mixes. For drums, it can be used on the buss to make them more punchy, lively, and deep.
Overall, the FG-BOMBER will be the perfect companion to your other Slate Digital tools, and will ensure your mixes stand out above the rest!