My new favorite plug-in, SigMod, is a routing toolbox with various "modules"– Mono, Trim, Phase, DC Offset, Mute/Solo, Switch, Tap, Delay, Mid/Side, Crossover, and Protect– that you can freely combine into signal chains. If you look at these modules as basic features, you'll see that pretty much every modern DAW has all of SigMod's functionality built into the DAW itself in some form or another. But the beauty of SigMod is that it ties all that functionality together into a single window that you can customize to your liking– for each instantiation of the plug-in– so you have the necessary controls right there in front of you for whatever track you're working on.

LC: "Trim the left and right sides of a stereo signal independently"– I've been waiting decades for this function. OMG.

AH: The left-right trim/swap functions alone are worth the $49 price! Cubase/Nuendo can do this within the application, but it requires choosing a certain type of panner, and then holding modifier keys while dragging on the panner. And then you can't easily copy that setting to another track. SigMod makes this kind of thing so dang easy, and you can drag-copy the plug-in's settings between tracks all you like! Plus, SigMod can be used before and/or after other plug-ins to give those other plug-ins all sorts of additional functionality.

JB: Am I missing something, or doesn't the Trim plug-in in Pro Tools do this? You just unlink it, and then choose L or R. I was just doing this over the weekend on some stems, and automating left and right differently, which was confusing but worked.

AH: I hate the Pro Tools "multi-mono" Trim plug-in. It's clunky that you have to option/alt-click the channel selector to access both channels, and then manage the trims separately in the two windows. The beauty of SigMod is that a single plug-in window, with a super-straightforward, non-skeuomorphic interface, gives you these kinds of controls, plus whatever else controls you need for that instance.

In my case, I record a lot of stuff in stereo, and I want to be able to swap channels easily and trim the L/R channels at the same time. SigMod gives me one window to accomplish both functions. In addition, I sometimes want to adjust the relative timing/delay between the L/R channels, change polarity of one side, and check mono-compatibility – while I'm swapping/trimming the channels – and again, SigMod lets me do that in one window.

SigMod can also be easily configured for more complex operations. Imagine setting up SigMod and its companion Receive plug-in (included with SigMod) as a crossover, sending part of the spectrum to the rest of the plug-in chain that follows SigMod on the same track, and sending the rest of the spectrum to another track to be "Received" and processed differently. This kind of signal flow allows you to implement multi-band compression, for example, with different compressors. Or use SigMod to convert a L/R stereo signal into M/S mode, then process the Mid and Side channels with different plug-in chains. Or in M/S mode, add something like a multi-tap delay to the high frequencies of just the sides, while you add reverb to the lows of the middle– while having mute/solo capability at various points within this matrix. Or use SigMod and Receive together to set up any of your favorite plug-in chains for parallel processing.

I could go on and on about all of the routing tricks you can accomplish with SigMod, but why not visit the NUGEN Audio website to download a demo? SigMod is really effin' cool, and it's a true time-saver – despite it being incredibly simple in concept and operation!

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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