The Sweeper is an envelope filter plug-in from Denise Audio, and is described as a ‘creative tool that lets you completely reshape your sound.’ Watching it in action, you could be forgiven for thinking that this simple-looking effect could revolutionise your music-making and filtering. The Sweeper is designed to offer a more natural version of sidechain compression – one of the most used processes in production – so this could be welcome just on that score alone. It is also useful as a noise reduction plug-in and, most interestingly, can shape your sound in very creative ways.
The interface is not that revolutionary, let’s be honest, but Denise Audio does seem to put functionality above looks, and The Sweeper can offer outstanding results with what’s on offer. It features two filter types (low and high pass), adjustable start and end frequencies, plus resonance and envelope controls.
The filter adjusts its frequency according to both the loudness of source or sidechain inputs. You can, for example, put the Sweeper on a synth and have a kick-drum adjust that synth’s filter according to the kick level, so we’re not just talking about traditional ducking, but far more creative and dynamic applications.
As a dynamic filter with controls for both attack and release times and start/end frequency, you can really control how the filter works over time, which gives it a very natural sound or, again, can add a completely new dynamic. With this type of control you can do everything, from precise gating to remove noise to sweeping drum loops that morph and twist as they loop, to create a lot more variation than you expect.
The traditional EDM pumping effect is perhaps the most overused effect next to Auto-Tune, so we could really do with an alternative and The Sweeper could be that. With the ability to creatively control frequency-specific frequency elements – rather than just smashing and grabbing entire mixes – you can use this plug-in both subtly and dramatically.
It’s best used sparingly at first, but you’ll soon have the confidence to run multiple instances across your mix for movement and maximum interest. Unlike those other often overused effects, this is not a one-trick pony, either. You could describe it as a filter revolution.
● Dynamic resonant and adaptive filter
● High and low pass filter
● Slope values from 12 to 48dB/Oct
● Filter attack and release controls
● Resonance: from subtle to extreme
● Interactive graph for real-time response
● Define filter start and end frequency