Review: Dent 2 by Unfiltered Audio

Dent 2 combines analog overdrive with digital destruction, wave shaping, bit crushing, circuit bending, wave set processing & modulation.

Dent 2 is the bigger brother on Indent 2 – which comes included with every purchase of Dent 2

Check Out Dent 2 — PA/Dent2

Where Indent 2 is designed to saturate, distort & modulate, Dent 2 is unapologetically a digital waveform work station designed to give you complete control over the audio wave cycle.

Watch the Video Review

Review & Release Notes

Signal Path

  1. Sample Reduction Engine
  2. Input Gain
  3. Wave Shaper
  4. Output Gain
  5. Trim
  6. Bit Crusher
  7. (1a) Filter (Can be placed before the Input Gain)
  8. DC Block

Sound Shaping

  1. Complex Mode (10 algorithms and 3 clipping stages)
  2. Mix
  3. Automatic Gain Compensation
  4. Trim
  5. Wave Set Processor
  6. Modulation Engine

Sample Reduction Engine (Lo-fi Digital Audio Effect)

The building blocks of digital audio are many, digitally encoded pieces of numerical information known as samples. A large number of samples are needed in order to properly hear the audio at a high resolution.

The Sample Reduction Engine reduces the sampling rate of Dent’s DSP & is highly interactive with the filter section.

It creates a lo-fi effect, similar to early digital audio gear which due to limitations at the time had a lower sample rate.

The DC Blocking filter is not affected by the Sample Reduction Engine.

Input Gain

Controls the amount of gain applied to the incoming audio signal. Choose from 10 clipping algorithms.

Occurs before the filter unless you deselect Post-Distortion.

Bias

Add or subtract DC Bias to the entire waveform. This will ignore the polarity (negative/positive) of the waveform.

Shape

Squares the waveform when turned to the right, thins out the waveform or creates needle like waveform when turned to the left.

Split

Separates the negative and positive components of the waveform – applies symmetrical DC Bias to both the positive and negative components of the waveform.

Upper/Lower X

Independently adjust the amplitude and polarity of the positive or negative components of the signalAt 12 o’ clock, if will mute the associated component of the signal. This can be used to rectify a signal.

Output Gain

Controls the amount of gain applied to the outgoing signal. It is useful to amplify quiet details, add back harmonics that are filtered out or as a second distortion stage

Complex Mode

When active, use three independent clipping Methods for each of the three stages (Input Gain, Wave Shaper, Output Gain).

Trim

Occurs after the Output gain and it’s clipper. It does not add any gain, but reduces the final output, to better balance the volumes of an overly distorted signal.

Bit crusher

Each audio sample contains multiple pieces of information known as bits. The more bits each sample has, the better the quality of the audio.

The Bit-crusher can be used to reduce the amount of bits to create a lo-fi audio effect similar to that of early Digital Audio Equipment.  Audio waveforms become noisy dynamic range is lost.

There are 6 Bit Crushing Algorithms

  1. Bitcrush: Standard bitcrushing algorithm.
  2. Bitwise AND: Turns the signal into a 16-bit integer and uses an AND comparison against another 16-bit integer set by the Bits knob. Extremely aggressive. This mode is
    recommended for synthesizers.
  3. Bitwise XOR: Similar to the AND mode, but uses XOR logic. Try this on a sine wave.
  4. Bent: Simulates bit destruction in a circuit bent toy. This algorithm was created by Olivier Gillet of Mutable Instruments.
  5. CRISPR: A milder, micro-bitcrush. Gets deep into your signal and makes it crispy.
  6. Dust: An unusual masking-based crush that thins out your signal.

Filter

Included is a highly resonant multi mode filter, that can be easily used to soften the effect of distortions and bit crushing or add resonance.

Filter Types – Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, Band Reject

Can either be placed at the beginning of the signal chain before the first clipping stage and after the Sample Reduction Engine or after the three clipping stages and Bit Crusher.

DC Block

Occurs last in the signal chain – filters out components 20 hz and below and is useful to filter out DC Bias.Step Sequencer

Wave set Processor

Allows you to randomise when the top row distortion controls are applied to the audio signal. When probability is at 100% distortion is always applied to the wave set (one cycle of a waveform) and is applied randomly.

When we select a different value, when the distortion is applied to the wave cycle is determined by the probability (percentage) you have selected.

Sequence – the x value will be distorted, the difference of y & x will not be distorted

The X value (left) represents how many wave sets will be distorted by the top row.  If X = 8 than the first 8 wave sets will be distorted. A wave set is one cycle of a waveform, so the first 8 cycles will be distorted.

The difference of Y (right) & X determines which wave sets will not be processed by Dent’s top row controls.  If Y = 12 and X = 8 than 4 wave sets will not be distorted.

When Sequence is selected, distortion of wave sets is not random but occurs in a row, therefore in this example the first 8 wavelets will be distorted and the next 4 will not.

Drop – replaces any undistorted waves sets with silence, useful for creating cable drop effects.

Mix

Control the balance between the affected wet signal and the unaffected dry signal.

Automatic Gain Compensation

Matches the amplitude of the wet signal to the dry signal to maintain a consistent volume level

Modulation

The are 6 different modulators that can be automated.  Modulation is set up using virtual patch cables that allow you to visualise and connect two or more sources together.

LFO’s – sine/saw/triangle/square, tempo sync, Uni/Bi-polar

Input Follower – side chain parameters to the incoming audio stream

Macro Control – virtual control knob for multiple parameters, or functions as a summing modulation bus

Sample and Hold Noise – S&H with slew, tempo sync and Uni/Bipolar modes

Step Sequencer – cycles through up to 16 chosen parameters

Rolli Lightpad – built in support for the Rolli Lightpad for use as a performance controller, including location and pressure, sliders, toggles and quad pressure

Conclusion

Dent 2 is the plugin for you if you want to distort and saturate the input of your signal whilst having full control over the output gain

If you want want a bit crusher and sample reduction engine, Dent has 6 different algorithms to choose from.

Dent is the only plugin with a Wave Set Processor to randomise your distortion controls or create cable drop effects.

It you want a wave shaper with unique distortion methods other than the traditional input gain and digital bit crushing – than Dent is for you.

If you want to see how your waveform is affected and apply patchable modulation to any parameter within Dent – than Dent 2 is for you.

Clip Modes: Chooses how the signal is treated when its amplitude exceeds a threshold. There are two clippers in Indent: one after the In Gain, and one after the Out Gain.

Hard Clip: If the signal’s amplitude exceeds +/- 1.0, it is simply clipped to that boundary. This
is an aggressive, digital-sounding form of distortion.

Soft Clip: The signal is saturated using a parabolic equation. This will actually affect the
sound of the entire signal in a subtle way. This clipping is more pleasant and analog-
sounding.

Wavefold: Signals that exceed the threshold are “folded” around the threshold. There is
more sophisticated shaping at play here, but essentially this can change the perceived frequency of the sound. A great way to hear this is to use a simple sine wave as an input, then increase the gain on the input and outputs.

Overfold: A combination of wavefolding and overdrive. Try this mode out on bass frequency sawtooth waves!

Harsh Fold: A much more brutal, digital-sounding implementation of wavefolding.

Distortion: A more traditional distortion algorithm. Excellent for guitars.Dent 2 - Wave Shaper

Tube: A partially rectified saturator that greatly attenuates negative components of signals.

Tape: A modified soft clipper with a parabolic equation that more closely matches the
saturation behavior of tape.

Gloubi: “Gloubi-boulga” waveshaper.

Cubic: The signal is multiplied by itself three times.

Key Features

  • Multimode bitcrusher: 6 unique modes, including CRISPR, Bent, XOR, AND, and standard bitcrushing. All five modes are continuous and non-stepped, giving you the widest possible             range of sounds.
  • Multimode clipper: 4 clipping flavors, from digital (hard clipping) to analog (soft clipping) and futuristic (wavefolding).
  • Probabilistic Wave set processing: Turn Dent’s distortion features on and off at zero-crossings to create pulsating grit, interference patterns, and cable dropouts.
  • Variable rectification: Continuously morph between full- and half-wave rectification, along with all of the timbres in between!
  • Resonant Multimode Filter: This filter packs some serious tone, from liquid cutoffs to screaming resonance.
  • Automatic Gain Compensation.
  • 2x/4x Oversampling.

Reviewer: Marcus Kruse

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Author: Joshua Casper

Joshua Casper is an Artist, Musician, and Blogger.

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