We’ve had sonic enhancer plugins around for quite some time. They’re able to extract that certain magic from particular frequencies that are difficult to tune in with simple EQs and compressors. Sonic enhancers are particularly effective in the high and low frequencies, which are often lost in the mixing process. In the next tutorial, we will show you how to use one of them to master your track.

As usual, we’ll begin by listening to a short sequence created in our SoundBridge: DAW. It contains the majority of a full mix’s elements, with a few effects already added to the mastering chain.

This is a screenshot of my mix before applying IM Pusher to the master bus.
~Full Mix – Unprocessed

Our track has some starting headroom, as we can hear from the audio example above, with loudness reaching around -15 LUFS. This will serve as a good starting point for us to add a sonic enhancer effect and work on the track’s mastering. This time, we chose the Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher as our sonic enhancer. The Waves IMPusher offers a good deal of flexibility when it comes to boosting frequencies, enhancing sounds, and mastering entire tracks in any genre or style. Let’s place it as the last plugin in our mastering chain and take a look at its interface.

This is a screenshot of my mix with IM Pusher interface and its default settings.

IMPusher sonic enhancer’s parameters

The Waves IMPusher plugin includes a number of processors referred to as components. We can use all or some of them to achieve the best possible result for our material.  The Input level sits in the upper left corner of the interface and is a good place to start. The big bottom processor is called LOW. It boosts low frequencies while also adding harmonics. You can set the frequency at which this process begins based on note or frequency. We already have plenty of low-frequency content in our case, so we won’t use it.

Moving on, the Body component adds low-to-midrange dynamics and frequency processing. In general, this affects the weight of the middle frequencies. For our track, we’ll set the knob to 12. Magic is the main component of the Waves IMPusher, and it’s used to excite and boost the dynamics of all frequencies at the same time. There are also controls for frequency Focus and Dynamic Punch. We set the frequency focus to 62, and the overall Magic value is set to 60, in our case.

The High component takes care of the high frequencies, and we have set the number to 5. The Stereo Image widens the stereo field of the high frequencies, and here we will set its amount to around 12. Finally, the Push component is used to drive the overall audio level to the maximum loudness. It’s possible to choose between two processes: Clipping or Limiting.

This is a screenshot of my mix with IM Pusher interface and its settings applied to the master bus channel.

Following our initial introduction to Waves IMPusher and its parameters, we will now hear the difference between our track’s unprocessed and processed versions.
~Full Mix – Unprocessed
~Full Mix – Processed With IMPusher

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