Quiet Art Defaulter Plug-In
by Barry Rudolph

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Quiet Art Defaulter

Quiet Art Defaulter is a clip gain normalizing plug-in for Pro Tools. Introduced with Pro Tools 10, Regions are now called Clips--each clip has a small gain fader for individually setting its level. Clip gain is a non-destructive way of adjusting a clip's volume before the audio signal enters the mixer and any subsequent plug-in processing.

An AudioSuite processor, Defaulter will analyze according to a specified level setting and tell Clip Gain to bring it up or down in 0.5dB steps to meet those specifications. Pro Tools allows for 32 levels of undo for quickly undoing a clip gain step changes.

I start my Defaulter sessions by duplicating the playlist of the track. If you are working on a vocal comp track or voiceover/dialog recording with dozens of disparate clips connected together, you can choose to individually normalize each clip to a set value. Defaulter will read the highest level and calculate the change of gain.

With the AudioSuite Defaulter window open and a selected clip highlighted, touching the Analyze button will cause that selected clip to adjust to the maximum value set. It takes seconds to do this and then automatically advances to the next clip in sequence. Defaulter ignores clips with levels below the user set threshold and will work reading peak or RMS level values.

Before I apply head and tail fades to each clip, I use Defaulter to normalize each clip when compiling lead vocals in Pro Tools HDX. I find it gets individual clips close to the same hot levels and if a certain clip does something unexpected, I can easily turned down the Clip Gain fader itself or use undo. Defaulter works fairly consistently and saves a lot of time. Generally if a clip doesn't change level, it is because the clip you are working on is below the default threshold. You would need to lower the threshold setting in the Defaulter GUI.

You can automate this process by using a macro and Quiet Art offers links to trial versions of Keyboard Maestro's app and software. The macros will do an entire track and then step down to the next track underneath it and do it as well then on and onward to the next track.

Defaulter sells for $89 or as part of a bundle with WaveRider Version 3 for $199. All downloadable from: quietart.co.nz

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