After extensive testing of Audio Ease’s Speakerphone, I can with confidence say that it’s nothing less than extraordinary. Continue reading for why it got ProToolers second ever “wicked approval” award, and why you might need it in your podcast.
In case you missed my last post on Speakerphone I’ll give you a short rundown of what it is. Basically it’s a plug-in that simulates speakers. It manages to simulate pretty much any speaker you can think of, from guitar amps, to cellphones, cam recorders, etc, etc. If it exists, Speakerphone can do it. This would be valuable in itself, however, Audio Ease decided to take it a couple of steps further. There are lots of effects built-in:
- A distortion unit. Old speakers, guitar amps and walkie-talkies can distort pretty heavily. Speakerphones distortion unit helps keeping things too clean.
- EQ and a frequency tuner to better pick out the frequencies you want to keep and the ones you want to get rid off.
- A dynamics section for compressing and such, and a gate for clearing out unwanted noise.
- Modulation effects for “messing up” the signal.
- A delay (echo) and a world class reverb (room emulation). Audio Ease are the creators of one of the best reverbs in the world, and the rooms available in Speakerphone are directly from it. It can even recreate hearing the speaker from a whole other floor in your virtual building.
- And more…
These things really help a lot. Another thing that helps is the sample bay. The sample bay features Speakerphones included sound clips, that either play once or loops. There are a lot of them, and they are divided into several categories. There are applauds, cable crackle, sonar noise, footsteps and lots, lots more. Together with the reverb it really helps to create the image that the speaker actually is in the place that you want it to be.
It can be time consuming and hard to build all the thinkable scenarios from scratch. Thankfully Audio Ease have included an incredible amount of presets. Everything from guitar FX to cell phones are included. It almost seems like you don’t have to build a thing yourself. I do think you should though, because it’s a great deal of fun. You can come up with all kinds of crazy stuff.
You must understand that this is only the tip of the iceberg. For me as a musician, Speakerphone is of great interest. But to people who work in movie, TV, radio, podcast or anything along those lines, Speakerphone can be something close to sent from above. You need to do a segment with two people talking on the phone? No problem. You want it to sound like you’re watching TV while a kid is playing guitar through an amp two floors up? No problem.
The conclusion here is the same as I posted on ProTooler:
On rare occasions a product is released that does what nothing else does. This is one of those occasions and Speakerphone does just that – what nothing else does. While others emulate guitar cabinets or telephone voices, Speakerphone emulates just about any speaker you can think of. Audio Ease didn’t stop there however, they also included lots of effects for sculpting the speaker, as well as samples and a very high quality reverb to put it somewhere. Speakerphone might not be of great importance to everyone, after all, not everyone is in need of something like this. For me it’s very useful in music and podcast mixes, and if you’re doing post production then it’s very likely that this will be you new best friend. It’s with this motivation that I for the second time in ProToolers entire history give away the wicked approval – our award for completely outstanding products.
Stay tuned for clips on Speakerphone in action.