Baby Audio collaborated with producer Andrew Huang [Tape Op #85] to create the Transit transition designer plug-in. Like most Baby Audio plug-ins, Transit aims to simplify a complex task, offering an intuitive approach to generating impactful mix transitions such as risers, sweeps, and build-ups that can morph, distort, move, and envelop the listener in musical and magical ways. The plug-in streamlines the process of chaining multiple effects, creating unique and compelling sounds and effects. It’s part multi-effects process and part synthesizer in one dynamically controlled package.

Transit’s onscreen interface displays eight effects slots. Seven of these slots can host one of its 18 effects modules, including Noise generators, synth Osc(illators), Reverb, Delay, several filters, modulation effects, Bitcrusher, Auto pan, and Distortion. Even OTT (a classic, over-the-top multiband compressor) is included as a module. The first slot hosts the Transition Control knob, a macro control which is key to the plug-in’s operation. This control affects and automates multiple parameters across all the effect slots simultaneously, enabling the creation of complex, user-controlled effects transitions with just one knob movement.

As an alternative to the macro control, parameters can be linked to a built-in Motion Sequencer that times the effects to your DAW's tempo. The behaviors can even be looped to generate an LFO that continuously modulates one of your tracks. Of course, any parameter can be independently automated via standard DAW automation controls.

Each effect module provides a set of key parameters, and the influence of the Transition Control on each setting can be finely tuned by setting range limits and adjusting the strength and direction of the control's effect. Baby Audio supplies over 300 built-in presets to get you started exploring this plug-in’s possibilities. Reverse engineering and fine-tuning an effect is a straightforward process. Parameters move onscreen while adjusting the Transition Control module, allowing you to quickly understand how the sound is created and how to tailor the preset to a particular track.

I first applied the plug-in to generate some transitions while working on a mix for Italian EDM producer Glisz. I applied Transit to a percussion hit, then loaded up an Andrew Huang preset called Echo Swirl. I turned the Transition Control, and a cymbal crash transformed with a ping-ponging-flanging-ambient-echo into a fresh mix element, adding a new dimension to the top of a drop section. I experimented with reversing the new clip to create a reverse sweep into a chorus, which worked extremely well. Transit performed equally well on a simple acoustic track to add Bon Iver-esque whispery vocal echoes that were subtle but effective.

In each of my mixes, I try to find one or two moments where I can add something special that the producer and artist didn’t imagine or have the time to create. These could be interesting delay throws at the ends of phrases, or a flanging reverb that flies overhead from front to back in an Atmos mix. In the past, I’ve spent several minutes (or more) auditioning chains of processors in an effort to create the effect I hear in my head. Transit allows me to create sophisticated effects, ranging from subtle to brutal, in a matter of seconds.

Transit is a versatile tool suitable for any music style or post-production project requiring effects stretching from light and ambient to thunderous and explosive. The best way to learn about this plug-in is with a free trial, but you can also watch Andrew’s demonstration video on the Baby Audio website.

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

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