New Toys: Mixland Subloom Plug-In

Subloom (version 1.07) is a low frequency processor for kick drums but it is great for other drums and low frequency instruments in my music mixes. I use Subloom as an inserted processor in Pro Tools and the Wet/Dry control as an automatable effect. 

Subloom’s chain of processors starts with the Kick section with both high and low-pass filters; generated curves graphically represented in a spectrum analyzer screen. There is also a Reso control for applying a super high-Q boost at a tunable frequency of the high-pass filter. I liked that you could tune this big boost to the song’s musical key—this effect comes on suddenly near the knob’s full CW position. 

The three-band equalizer has up to 12dB of boost/cut at three different frequency choices for each of the bands. These frequencies are perfect for equalizing kick drums with EQ changes graphically depicted in the GUI. Just below the equalizer is the Transient/ Saturation/Wrap section. Transient will boost or reduce the attack (beater) part of the sound but not like a transient designer—it sounds more like a real analog compressor and you can apply Transient processing pre/post the final Saturation section. 

I had very good results using the Saturation section on sustaining bass guitars as well as kick drums. There are three different Saturation types: 2nd harmonic tube amp or more edgy 3rd harmonic distortion. This section has something called Wrap that produces a wacky interaction between Saturation and EQ and I’m still experimenting with it on all sorts vocal and instrument tracks. 

The Sub section is the other half of Subloom. It is an sinewave generator that dynamically “tracks” the Kick section of the plug-in. Like an old dance remixer trick, Sub will add a tunable tone to your kick drum sound. You can adjust its pitch exactly, set the attack and decay/release time or how long the sinewave continues after it hits. 

Along with the Trigger threshold fader in the middle of the GUI, Attack and Decay timings are super important especially for busy, up tempo kick drum playing. 

The same set of controls on the Kick section are duplicated here including: Saturation in/out, Phase/Polarity flip, Mute and Solo. Finally, there are two, white mix faders to combine the Kick channel and the Sub channel for just the right blend. Like all the controls on Subloom, there are popup windows to indicate the dialed parameter values such as the Amount from 1 to 10, Frequency for EQs, and Time in MS for Delays. 

I’m having a lot of fun and still learning all the uses of Subloom and I just love that all these sound design processors are all running at the same time within one plug-in! Subloom from MixLand sells for $49 runs AAX, VST and AU Mac (M1 or M2) or PC 64-bit hosts only.