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Playfair Audio’s Dynamic Grading is an alternative to compressors

Image Credit: Playfair Audio

How would we control audio dynamics if compressors had never been invented? Well, Playfair Audio seems to answer that question with its first Dynamic Grading plugin.

Dynamic Grading is an alternative to a compressor, thanks to which we can control the dynamics of our signal without using threshold, ratio or attack controls. Despite its alternate controls, Dynamic Grading draws inspiration from some of the great compressors we know and love. But what’s intriguing is the easily adjustable representation of audio dynamics that replaces the aforementioned controls.

As a result, dynamic scoring should leave your signal chains free of complicated plugin pairs. You won’t have to watch a hundred YouTube tutorials to understand the different types of compression either.

Playfair Audio Dynamic Grading

“Dynamic Grading makes your audio dynamics visible and tangible.” Playfair Audio status.

Image Credit: Playfair Audio

Well, that certainly seems to be the case. Representing audio dynamics via a histogram is one thing, but pair it with the three limited controls and you have a plugin that’s easier to understand than compressors are at first.

Controlling audio dynamics is a key part of music production, but Dynamic Grading’s new approach could be a game-changer. The plugin challenges the way we thought of compressors as technical tools for so long. It used to be that we had to sit down and think about signal flow in complex signal chains that included combinations of different processors. Now, with the use of Augmented Intelligence – artificial intelligence helping you rather than doing the work itself – you can sculpt the dynamics like Michelangelo did with his David. Its simple histogram display and imaging controls allow you to adjust audio dynamics as well as alter image brightness and contrast.

The Dynamic Grading method is inspired by digital image processing tools, where the use of histograms and gradation curves is well known and established to adjust the dynamics of brightness in images. With Dynamic Grading, these concepts have been adapted and adapted for practical use in music production and audio engineering for the first time.

Playfair Audio

Image Credit: Playfair Audio

The interface seems to be quite simple, although you will have to spend some time using the process and getting familiar with it.

Price and availability

Dynamic Rating is available now on the Playfair website for £167.00. It works in 64-bit AU, VST3 and AAX plug-in formats on macOS 10.10+ and Windows 7+.

Do you think Dynamic Grading is the first of many alternative versions of audio processing plugins?