JMG Sound’s 3D Expanse uses three buttons to make your music “supermassive”


JMG Sound, founding partner of United Plugins, released Expanse 3D, a psychoacoustic processing-based plug-in that is supposed to extend your music in three dimensions. Despite its simple three-button interface, the developer says there’s more going on under the hood than it looks to help you create supermassive sounds.

Width, depth and height are the three parameters on board Expanse 3D. Combined, they can apply analog-style overdrive, spectral phase shift, delay, and more, all for use in sound design, mixing, and mastering. Each parameter has several algorithms for different applications. You also have input and output levels, with a range of -24dB to + 24dB.

Width is a spectral phase processor that helps widen the stereo image of your audio. JMG Sound says it is able to keep the bass tight by reducing the stereo image of the low frequencies and gradually widening towards higher frequencies. Two algorithms are offered in Normal and Inverted modes, both of which operate similarly but at different frequencies.

Depth uses delay networks with channel and phase processing to create a feeling of depth and space. This can be used to glue multiple sounds together, as well as to dynamically contrast separate sounds. Three algorithms are available in depth: Normal, Tight and Deep. Normal will suffice for most sounds, while Tight will be better suited for percussive sounds due to the shorter delay times it uses. Deep uses longer delay times and can enhance sounds with a slow attack, such as pads and strings.

The pitch extends the highs and lows to produce “larger than life” sounds, JMG explains. As the pitch is increased, Expanse 3D will generate harmonics to complement the incoming signal, increasing the perception of bass and treble. Any sound transmitted through Height that lacks high and low frequency content will benefit from the Ext.Lo + Hi algorithm, which extends the range of the processor. Three other modes include Ext. Lo, which extends the low range. Ext.Hi, which stretches high-end, and Normal. The latter is best suited to global mixtures.

Each “dimension amplifier,” as labeled by JMG Sound, also implements analog-style saturation for warmer color. Expanse 3D is touted as a suitable mastering tool thanks to high quality filters resulting in zero phase shift and up to 8 times oversampling for clarity. A smart bypass feature also prevents harmful clicks and noises when automating a setting.

Expanse 3D by JMG Sound is available at an introductory price of € 29 until May 31, 2021, then at € 99. It is available in AAX, AU, VST, and VST3 formats for macOS and Windows.

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