In most genres, getting your drums to punch and stand out correctly is crucial for a good mix. This is especially true if you’re making any type of modern or current sounding production. Get the drums and percussions to sit well, and the rest will fall into place with ease.
With that said, there are lots of tools that can be used to help accomplish this, including; Compressors, EQ, good sound selection, and one of my favorites, Transient Designers.
And boy, there are a lot of them out there today. So I was shocked when I came across BOOM Library’s Enforcer… thinking…What is it doing that my current tools aren’t, and is this something I’d even use?
Don’t get me wrong, BOOM makes some of the best sounding SFX I’ve ever heard. They are easily the first in line when I’m looking for yummy and bold-sounding fx and textures to assist with my music production and sound design projects.
But plugins?… This caused a bit of uncertainty. Not because I don’t think or believe BOOM is capable in this space (plugins); It’s just not what I know them for…It’s different.
Upon first look, I wasn’t sure what ENFORCER was offering me. But, it looked cool, with a good color scheme that’s incredibly easy on the eyes, Black and Orange.
ENFORCER is a bass enhancement plugin with transient shaping capabilities. At least, this is how I see it. The plugin allows you to produce massive and chest thumping sounds by precisely taking control of and sculpting your low end.
- Add Punch, Power & Body To Your Mix and Sound FX
- Packed with over 115 presets catering to music and sound FX
- Tune your drums and percussions sounds via semitones
- Duck frequencies to help create a clean and professional mix or Fx layers
- Wet/Dry Processing
It also has a nice soft clipping function that comes in handy for getting some extra loudness out of sounds. I also like the idea of having an upper and lower Threshold is amazing.
What I’m Currently Using Enforcer For
One thing that stood out to me was that ENFORCER synthesizes low-end, thus allowing you to layer low-frequency information. This is different from the plugins I’m used to working with. Most that function similarly manipulate the low end that is already present within the given sample or sound.
That said, I like to use Enforcer to add a little extra weight to my mix.
I do this by placing it to my bus channels: Instrument, drums, and mix and synthesize a little lowend to compliment the elements within the mix. I also start with the mix knob around 10%.
This allows for the plugin to be felt more than heard most of the time. 10% is just the starting point. Sometimes I’ll have to dial in more or less to get the desired effect I’m after, which is always track dependent.
Try This Out With Your Basslines, Bass One Shots, etc.
Start off with a clean bass sound, like a sine wave. Dial in the sine with the appropriate attack and decay of your choosing. Play it in the low register so its functions as the bass portion of the track or supporting bass portion, again up to you.
Load Enforcer on the track containing the sine bass and load the ‘Punch Thump’ preset as suggested by Artists Producer, Baby Brown.
“I am currently using ENFORCER to add punch to the smoothed off transients of heavily saturated 808’s in Trap music mixes. Using the Trigger’s Threshold and the ‘Punch Thump’ preset you can make those subs slam and negate the need for a second kick” – Baby Brown
I understood precisely what he was after when he mentioned not needing a secondary kick to aid the 808, as ENFORCER is capable of adding that to the bass, which is fantastic. Still, I wanted to add a little presence to an already pure and smooth sine sub.
To do this, I used the same preset, dialed in the attack the way I needed it, and then adjusted my Wet mix to around 5%, which was ‘chef kiss.’ Again, not too much presence and the transient it produced didn’t conflict with my kick. On the contrary, it gelled with it quite nicely.
Some of my favorite presets are listed in the SFX Sweetener Category.
Other Sounds To Try ENFORCER ON
Experimentation is key when it comes to sound design and music production. With that said, experiment by placing this plugin on anything and everything and see what you get.
I’m assuming BOOM Library originally meant for their plugin to aid sound designers by adding weight and level to foley, footsteps, and other sound design elements. But let that initial concept stop you from placing ENFORCER other sounds within your arsenal.
I’ll put it like this, plain and simple…If you have sounds that need BEEF, throw the ENFORCER on it!
Final ENFORCING Thoughts
Overall, I’m really enjoying ENFORCER. It’s a great plugin with a lot of uses. It works wonders on one-shot samples but can be great on musical loops and phrases.
I find the plugin ideal for anyone looking to add more low end, clarity, and a little extra punch and body to their music production and sound design projects.
The learning curve is extremely low, making it very simple to operate whether you’re a novice or a seasoned professional.