Freebie of the Month – September 2016

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This month Tokyo Dawn Records returns to the freebies column for another winner; this time it’s the TDR Nova parallel dynamic equalizer.


by Luka Sraka, Sept 2016


TDR Nova is a parallel dynamic equalizer made by Tokyo Dawn Records. Products from Tokyo Down were featured in our magazine before and it is no wonder the name keeps popping up from time to time.


TDR Nova comes in two versions, a free one and the commercial TDR Nova – Gentleman’s Edition which offers some additional features. Don’t let the “free of charge” fool you, the plug-in’s features are far from simple. TDR Nova is a powerful dynamic EQ that just might make it on your favourite master bus plug in list.

TDR Nova is available in all plug-in formats (VST, AU and AAX) in both 32 and 64-bit versions. It runs on Mac OS-X and Windows and it requires Windows XP SP2 or above and Mac OSX 10.6.8 or above.

The Nova features a familiar layout that we are used to in parametric equalizers, having a user-friendly drag and drop display. Each band includes a full-featured dynamics section controlled by a classic “knob” user interface.

The processor covers parametric equalization, dynamic equalization, frequency selective compression, multi-band compression and wideband compression. It is useful for anything ranging from master processing, to drum bus compression or you can also use it as a de-esser. There are four bands at your disposal and there’s additional low-pass and hi-pass filters. A great and definitely useful feature is the equal loudness button which adjusts the loudness of the EQ to the loudness of the bypassed signal even if we make a massive boost in the EQ curve.  Thus it helps us in finding optimal settings without distractions of loudness differences.

Each of the equalizer bands can be used as high or low shelf filters or as bell filters. We can adjust parameters with the knob interface or with a mouse, dragging the different bands on the display with the mouse scroll button acting as a Q control. Pressing the threshold button enables the dynamics section of the band which gives us access to the usual parameters such as threshold, ratio (which goes from 1:1 up to 10:1 and everything in between) and attack and release. The high-pass and low-pass filters feature slopes from a gentle 6dB per octave to the surgical 72dB per octave allowing us to be really precise. We can also select all of the bands simultaneously to control them all at once.

When none of the four EQ bands is selected we get the option of using the wideband compressor. Each of the band’s dynamic section can mimic the ratio, attack and release settings for wideband dynamic section or it can be independent by clicking on the split button. The master section features out gain and dry mix parameters with the EQ gain knob which enables the equal loudness option.

One of the very useful features is the order by frequency option. It orders all of the bands from low to high if we drag a band past its neighbour. We can easily solo the single bands using cmd + shift on a Mac or ctrl + shift in Windows. Last but not least there is a nice analyser built in which gives us the option of analysing the input, output or the side chain signal.

The user-interface itself is very intuitive and easy to use. On the main display the EQ curve is highlighted in transparent yellow with a bright yellow line showing us the real-time gain reduction. There is also a blue line that shows us the threshold level settings. Gain reduction and the RMS levels are also shown in the so-called button display with yellow and blue lines around the gain and threshold buttons respectfully.

TDR Nova is a powerful and versatile tool that can be a great addition to your plug-in arsenal. Its musicality and features makes it a show-in as a freebie of the month.

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