Smiley Is A FREE One-Knob Enhancer Plugin By Streaky Mastering

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Audio Anoraks has released Smiley, a freeware one-knob equalizer and audio enhancer effect in VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for digital audio workstations on PC and Mac.

Smiley is a simple single-control plugin designed to apply a “smile” EQ curve to the processed audio track. The equalizer curve can be both convex and concave in shape. This is controlled by the direction in which the control knob is rotated. Obviously, the convex (aka “smile”) curve will boost the high and low frequencies, while taming the mid frequencies.

The plugin was developed by Streaky, the mastering engineer behind Streaky Mastering. According to its author, Smiley performs additional DSP processing under the hood. In other words, it’s not just an EQ plugin, but there’s no information on what different types of processing are applied to the signal. Listening to the processed audio, my guess is that Smiley adds subtle multi-band compression to prevent harshness in the high-end. Also, the curve is most definitely not a simple “smile” curve. Most likely, the plugin applies the Fletcher-Munson curve to the signal.

Overall, the effect is subtle, but in a good way. Various “Soundgoodizer-like” effects tend to process the audio very aggressively. Often times, it’s easy to “enhance” the signal a bit too much with such plugins in a way that will quickly cause ear fatigue. I’ve only tested Smiley for a brief amount of time, but it seems to nail the amount by which the audio signal is enhanced. It might not fit everyone’s taste, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Smiley can be downloaded for free from the Audio Anoraks website. A valid email address is required to register for an Audio Anoraks user account before downloading the plugin. Please note that Smiley is compatible with 64-bit hosts only. Also, there’s no VST2 version of the plugin, so you’ll need a DAW that can host VST3, Audio Unit, or AAX plugins.

More info: Smiley (5.67 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 64-bit VST3/AU/ AAX plugin format for Windows & macOS)

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About Author

Tomislav is a content creator and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

11 Comments

    • Looks good, Streaky knows his stuff. I’m sure this is nothing you couldn’t do with a couple of shelving eq’s and a touch of compression, but this might get you there a little quicker and add a touch of Streaky magic to your track, definitely worth a look.

  1. “Smile” = -1.5dB @ 1.5k, + 3dB below that, + 4.5dB above that.
    “Frown” = the inverse, +1.5dB @1.5k, -3dB below that, +3dB above that.

    No dynamic action going on that i can detect.
    The 1.5k node is a bit more focused than you’d expect from say a tilt EQ.

    Pretty simple one-trick-pony that isn’t very versatile, but i love one-knob plugins like this that do one specific thing nonetheless.

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      Yes, we’ll see fewer and fewer VST2 plugins from new developers. Steinberg closing down VST2 for good and it is no longer possible to sign the license agreement for VST2 plugin development.

  2. Better watch out, Streaky, or you’ll have people complaining because they are offended by you naming your plugin “Smiley” because…there’s always someone offended by something. I’m sure there’s folks out there that find smiles offensive!

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