Everything is Everything
Seeing the NuGen SigMod for the first time is a little like peering down the front of your underpants after a ‘Hangover’ style night out and finding something you wished you
hadn’t. We are so bombarded with photo-realistic GUI’s of vintage gear and pretty looking plugins that we sometimes forget that the ugly ones need love too. SigMod doesn’t ask for your
love though – it doesn’t need to. NuGen’s NewGem will re-arrange your brain with all the different ways you can save time in a highly charged production environment.
“Nugen’s NewGem will re-arrange your brain with all the different ways you can save time in a highly charged production environment.”
(Above) Purposeful, No Nonsense GUI
The SigMod is aptly named as it’s essentially a reconfigurable, Modular Signal Processor. With eleven freely routable, single-process, modules the SigMod takes the ‘utility’ moniker to a whole new level. The basic idea behind SigMod is that it gives you access to functions that may be non-existent in your DAW or, at the very least, only accessible in a long-winded fashion. SigMod’s included modules can be combined in any order or amount. It has to be said that everyone at APN loved the Auto-resizing function that allows the GUI to reconfigure itself with each module change.
Beginning with the basics, SigMod depicts the left and right input channels on the left and the outputs on the right side of the plugin. In between these points it’s quite literally, a free for all! Some of the easier concepts are MONO – useful for checking mix compatibility or nailing kicks / basses. DELAY, which can withhold left or right elements of the signal by up to 4,800 samples. Useful for flamming a Clap or Snap, perhaps. Of course left and right can be inverted at any time as the INVERT phase module can be added independently if desired. Try adding the TRIM module which’ll allow you to add up to 21dB of gain, or hunker your signal down to nothing. DETECT is great, you can run it on any of your tracks and it’ll tell you if you need to add the DC Offset module. By now you’re probably starting to understand that SigMod is an extensive trick bag of engineering skullduggery. Next up is the highly useful PROTECT module, this will allow you to set your own volume threshold above which the audio signal will cut out. You can find a ton of uses for that one.
(Above) Picking one of the eleven available modules from the settings window
Previously mentioned are the basic utility functions of SigMod. The sick stuff begins with the remaining modules. Lets take a look at CROSSOVER. This function requires the instantiation of the included SEND plugin which you can rename to keep things tidy and use it to send information from one track to the actual plugin (which will be residing on an adjacent tack) allowing you to create a user definable crossover point, giving you multiband capability on plugins that previously had none. Lovely… MID SIDE is a personal favorite. easily allowing you to create a MID SIDE environment for
any stereo plugin, users will find this most useful in ProTools, but you can add this capability to any plugin in any DAW – and it is a lot simpler than the gigantic plugin chains that many require you to create. Finally, another super creative, producer-centric application comes with the TAP Module. TAP allows you to create a SEND channel anywhere you want inside your DAW. You may send the signal from your INSERT plugin chain directly to a reverb or NYC compression track (for instance) halfway through a plugin chain rather than from the end. This is very, very cool stuff.
OPTIONAL iLOK INTEGRATION
Interestingly, NuGen understand the complexity of todays working configurations as well as the technical ones and, as such, offer producers and engineers both standard Authorization or the option to add SigMod to your iLok, which a majority of working pro’s will be delighted to see. It makes so much sense to have all your plugin set ups on a 128GB thumb drive and all your licenses on a single iLok key. Imagine the havoc this prevents when you turn up to mix a session at a random studio. The idea of trying to license a hundred individual plugins through multiple and complex authorization schemes almost all involving high degrees of involvement is unthinkable to most of us. Hi-fives to NuGen for that.
(Above) Easily migrate SigMod to iLok with no fee
I love the SigMod. It’s a cheeky little roister doister. So unassuming in looks yet so useful – it’s a plugin that should be able to do something useful for any and every engineer out there. Perhaps it’s the mid/side functionality that it can bring to the ZZ Top-spec beards of the top Pro Tools engineers
or the TAP function that will brighten the lives of a multitude of nerdy, Ableton DJ’s cooking up their next Beatport smash on a laptop somewhere near you. Either way, even for the less upwardly mobile, SigMod has become the perfect audio incarnation of the phrase “Everything is everything”.
“Competetively priced and a real joy to use. A ton of Pro tricks can be perpetrated with SigMod. Brilliant.”
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
NB: It is possible to convert most NuGen plugin licences to iLok. Please see further details here.
A free iLok account and iLok License Manager are needed
and you will also need an iLok USB 2 or 3 key
- Optional iLok integration
- Small GUI
- Learning Curve
- Fiddly Send & Receive paradigm