Zynaptiq INTENSITY – Detail Enhancement Plug-in
Sound On Sound Magazine
by Paul White
A new ‘magic mastering’ plug‑in from Zynaptiq promises to improve almost any mix, with minimal user input.
Describing the inner workings of Zynaptiq’s Intensity plug‑in is no easy task, as most of the information available from the developers tells us what it isn’t, rather than what it is. We’re informed that it isn’t a compressor and it isn’t an EQ, even though it takes on tasks that you might otherwise use those tools for.
Fortunately, describing what it does on a subjective level is rather more straightforward! In a nutshell, it makes everything sound bigger and better while bringing out detail, all without adding harshness or boominess.
The price might look initially a bit steep for something with so few controls, but if you download the demo I don’t think it will take long for you to be convinced that Zynaptiq’s engineers have come up with something rather special. If your client has ever asked you for ‘more of everything’, then this is exactly the plug‑in to fire up. All the usual plug‑in formats (AAX Native, AU, RTAS, VST 2.4 and VST 3, on Mac and Windows) are supported at sample rates up to 192kHz, with authorisation using the iLok system.
Zynaptiq do divulge that Intensity employs a process not unlike that used by facial recognition software. Neural network analysis and proprietary input and output transformations are used to separate what Zynaptiq describe as the broad strokes and the detail elements that make up a sound.
This allows the details to be boosted while the main body of the sound is left unchanged. Individual tracks and whole mixes can be made to sound more detailed, brighter, more dense, louder or more full‑sounding. There’s also the option of adding controlled saturation using a soft‑knee saturating limiter at the output for those sounds that need more glue or — at higher levels — aggression, and if you want silky smooth, Intensity can do that too.