Aegean Music has introduced the beta version of Doppler Dome, a forthcoming free Doppler effect simulation tool which is currently available as a 32-bit and 64-bit VST plugin for Windows based host applications.
If you’re not sure what the Doppler effect is, it’s the change in frequency which you hear when a moving sound source passes by near you. For example, when you hear a car moving down the road, its engine suddenly appears to be pitched down once the car passes your position and starts moving away from you.
Even though the basic Doppler effect is not that hard to emulate in pretty much any DAW with a bit of pan and pitch automation, I’ve always wanted to have a plugin which would be able to achieve this type of effect without having to mess with multiple automation lanes. Doppler Dome was built specifically for this purpose and coming from the developer of the awesome Pitchproof harmonizer plugin, I was more than eager to give this early beta version a try. Although my first impressions are fairly positive, I would like to see several improvements included in the final version of the plugin. Let’s first take a quick look at what Doppler Dome can do to your source audio material and after that I’ll add my feature requests which I’ll also forward to Aegean Music.
The currently available beta version of Doppler Dome features a really cool freely drawable envelope editor (you can create pretty much any envelope shape you could imagine), a speed control (which adjusts the speed of the sound source), a mix control (really useful if you’re going for more musical chorus style effects) and modulation amount controls for volume, pan and pitch. If the speed parameter is set to a low setting, the plugin is capable of pulling off some fairly convincing Doppler style effects, especially if you apply a fair amount of modulation to volume, pan and pitch. The plugin also does a great job at various chorus style effects, which can be achieved if you increase the speed and set the mix to around 70% or less.
What I’d love to see included in future versions of Doppler Dome is a low pass filter which could help with emulating the high frequency drop-off which occurs with distant sound sources. In my opinion, it would make the Doppler effect more dramatic and closer to what we hear in real life. It would also be great if the envelope could be restarted by incoming MIDI notes, so that it would be easier to control the timing of the effect.
Otherwise, this is a really good Doppler effect simulator and I’m really looking forward to future versions of the plugin. The interface looks really nice, the envelope editor works great and the plugin was 100% stable during the test run on my 64-bit Windows DAW. The CPU hit is also quite low, which is always a big plus.
Doppler Dome beta is available for free download via KVR Audio (1.45 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows, a Mac version is announced for release in near future).