Wavegrove releases Vastaus, a freeware high-end fixer plugin for digital audio workstations on macOS and Windows.
Vastaus is available in AU and VST3 formats for macOS or VST2 and VST3 formats for Windows. Both Intel and M1 Macs are now supported.
Vastaus is a plugin that you don’t necessarily want to do too much or be too conspicuous. It’s about smoothing the high-end to get rid of any unwanted harsh frequencies.
It works on instrument channels and buses, as well as the master channel.
The GUI is a nice combination of simplicity and aesthetically pleasing design. The first controls that you will deal with are Input Gain and Tame. When each of these controls sits at zero (all the way to the left), Vastaus is at its most neutral.
In this state, Vastaus will tame and cut out excessively harsh hi frequencies.
Even before you start to push the settings, you can use Vastaus to tame some vocal esses or smooth instruments like cymbals, guitars, etc.
Boosting the Input Gain can be a nice way to bring back some high-end after taming for a more natural sound. Increasing the Tame setting strengthens the taming effect, but again, it’s about finding the right balance.
Another way to maintain a natural balance or even enhance clarity when pushing the Tame setting is to work with the Bias and React controls.
When React mode is engaged, Vastaus will let some transients pass while smoothing the sound. This mode often provides more natural detail and clarity.
The Bias setting allows you to limit the effect to either the positive or negative side of the audio sample, creating interesting harmonics.
On the right of the GUI, you’ll find Output Gain, Wet (dry/wet mix), and a Bypass switch.
I tried Vastaus with a pretty crude polysynth, hoping to soften the harshness a touch without losing all of the bite and attitude. I was pleased to find that it worked very well and gave me a more versatile sound.
For example, the polysynth was something I’d use for comping a combination of bass, chords, and lines. Initially, it was ideal in some areas, but not in all; Vastaus made it more rounded.
The downside, which I’m sure will be short-lived, is that I did experience some random popping when used on a Logic Pro instrument channel. That issue would obviously prevent proper use at the moment.
Still, I get the impression the developer is ironing out a few creases, especially with macOS, and will fix them promptly.
You can grab Vastaus from the Wavegrove Patreon page, with the option to support the developer if you can.
Download: Vastaus (3.7 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST2/VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS)