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Review: Denise Noize 2 Plugin – The Tool I Didn’t Know I Needed

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Denise has just released Noize 2; the follow-up to the plugin that won their ‘you design it, we’ll build it’ competition in mid-2018. The plugin is an adaptive noise generator, designed to add a layer of noise to your audio as the audio input triggers it – the idea is that that additional sizzle of noise helps your instrument cut through a mix. It’s an effect that’s achievable within most DAWs via gates and sidechaining, but Noize 2 speeds up the process dramatically. 

Noize 2 comes with a range of new features including a few new noise types, and the biggest addition, the ability to load your own samples into the noise bank along with some basic sample editing functions. I was admittedly a little sceptical of the usefulness of Noize, adding noise to your sound isn’t the most exciting sounding function. Is this something one actually needs? But I have to say, upon loading up the plugin on a drum track, I was surprised how much of a difference adding a little noise made to the character of the drums. Used subtly, adding noise adds a more natural feel to programmed drums, creating fizz in the upper frequencies — like a very slight reverb. The onboard high and low-pass filters and rise/fall shape controls allow you to tailor the layered noise to suit your desired effect.

It doesn’t end there for Noize 2 though, with the onboard sample bank, there’s room for some interesting experiments and creativity. You could use something logical like an ambient field recording and experiment with giving the illusion of your sounds being in a certain space (like a simplified convolution reverb). This is certainly what  Denise had in mind anyway,  released in conjunction with Noize 2 is a pack of field recordings done in Berlin by the Denise team.

However, you can put whatever you fancy in that sample bank. The loaded sample appears to simply loop freely of your DAW’s clock, so no real scope for syncing your loaded sample with your audio track, but it does mean you can also trim your sample down to a split second for some fun granular effects. It is a slight bummer that the start and end point of the sample are not MIDI map-able — I was hoping to modulate them via an LFO for maximum granular madness (yes, I know that’s not the intended function of this plugin, but still). Most of the other parameters are MIDI map-able though, meaning there’s absolutely scope for changing the character of your noise/sample layering over time — ideal for builds and drops.

Noize is a surprisingly versatile plugin, and one I wasn’t expecting to like so much. There’s a 7-day free trial available via the Denise website here, so give it a whirl.

Another nifty use, is to make chopped up samples sound more natural and less chopped – check out their demo:

 

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