How to use D16’s Antresol

D16’s Antresol brings the classic sound of an analog BBD stereo flanger back to life with unrivaled precision.

An authentic virtual emulation of physical circuitry allows for the manipulation of expected parameters as well as intricate nuances. This feature guide will overview some of the essential components of Antresol that you’ll want to be aware of to get the most out of the plugin.

1. The true BBD section

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True BBD is the life and blood of the flanger, and what gives Antresol its sonic authenticity. BBD, short for Bucket Brigade Device, refers to a discrete time delay line composed of buffered condensers. If that sentence went over your head, no need to worry – you don’t have to understand every fine detail of a BBD schematic to use Antresol, beyond knowing that it’s a staple device used by some traditional analog gear (check out this document if you’re looking for a more technical look). While digital signal processing has replaced most bucket brigades, Antresol recreates the delay line for its distinct analog sound, and provides the user with control over its basic parameters:

  • BBD Length controls the delay line’s buffer length.
  • The LFO to Clock Voltage Curve determines how values generated by low frequency oscillators are converted to series of impulses for the BBD line oscillator clock.
    • Mistress emulates a classic flanger, creating larger change dynamics for smaller delays and vice versa.
    • Linear establishes a 1:1 relationship between the LFO and the clock.
    • Concave is the opposite of Mistress, creating larger change dynamics for large delays and smaller change dynamics for small delays.
  • The Frequency display shows the current frequency of the BBD’s timing clock, which is determined by various parameters within and outside of the true BBD section.
    • Pro Tip: When this value drops below the sampling frequency, sound artifacts become introduced to the signal. This isn’t an accident, but rather a reflection of the flanger’s analogue counterpart, and can be manipulated to produce radical effects such as bit crushing.

2. The LFO section

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The LFO section generates the signal that’s used to control parameters within the True BBD section outlined above. The LFO is controlled by several parameters:

  • The offset sets the delay time between the dry signal and the LFO’s oscillation.
  • The rate displays the LFO oscillation rate in Hz, spanning from 0.02 Hz to 40 Hz.
  • The depth determines the intensity of the LFO’s oscillations.
  • Tempo sync aligns the frequency and phase of oscillation with the tempo your DAW, with the ability to further adjust to full, triplet, and dotted values of what is set by the rate parameter.
  • Phase shift allows the user to control the relative phase shift of the LFO between the left and right channels of a stereo track. This means that the two frequencies in each channel don’t necessarily have to be perfectly lined up, but can rather be offset to varying degrees.

3. The feedback section

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The feedback section is quite straightforward, responsible for simply controlling the amount of feedback in the delay loop. The more feedback you have, the more intense the flanging effect will feel, particularly in regards to pitch. The left and right channels can be independently adjusted, or linked by turning on the Link flag.

4. The FX section

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The FX section handles the final step of the flanger – combining the dry and flanged signals. Let’s take a look at some of the controls in more detail:

  • The Mistress Auto Mix Mode button toggles whether the FX block is operating manually or automatically.
  • The Gain L/M knob sets the volume of the flanged signal for the left (or mid) channel.
  • The Gain R/S knob sets the volume of the flanged signal for the right (or side) channel.
  • The FX knob sets the ratio in volume between the flanged and dry signals.

Pro Tip: If Mistress Auto Mix Mode is activated, the wet and dry signals are mixed together automatically. The ratio is determined based on the feedback loop parameters with the attempt to achieve an optimal sound.

We hope you found this tour of Antresol’s features useful! If you have a question, leave it in the comments below.

March 15, 2018

Harrison Shimazu Harrison Shimazu is an editor of the Splice blog and a composer for video games and film.