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whiteLABEL bolsterisers

now updated to v1.3 >> smaller files for faster loading allowing more plugin instances in a project

bolsteriserCM - as featured on the cover of :


issue 165 - out now



also found in :


issue 91 : October 2010



An imaginary history

The bolsterisers hark from a time before compression as we now know it. A long-obscure English experimentalist engineer and gentleman scientist by the name of Edwin Pierfax III derived his naive design of the original bolsteriser during a nap on the lawn with his cat Tiswold. He is said to have announced one day during afternoon-tea that he had "found a method to aid in the bolsterising of signals to an extent most satisfactory".

He set to work at once.

As he laboured in his shed he came accross several variations on the understanding he dreamt of with his cat, and set about creating the component parts to realise his grand vision. One evening however after having nearly blown himself to pieces - feeling downtrodden and far from realising his dreams, his long-suffering wife Emily remarked (somewhat out-of-turn, one might add) that he was making a "tool without a use". Resisting the urge to fly into a rage (something he was no stranger to) he merely stormed-out of the room and back to his workshop, where he sat all night with Tiswold and resolved to find a use for the machine of his dreams - the bolsteriser.

whiteLABEL bolsterisers

As luck would have it, the following spring his old chum Victor Schwanke dropped by the workshop to visit a friend and announce his engagement. In the years following their last adventures, Victor had taken a posting within a part of the military he would only describe as "a bit hush-hush wot-eh?", and on hearing of Pierfax's project demanded a demonstration "without recourse to delay".

Duly, the senior ranks were ushered in to experience the bolsteriser for themselves. All in all, the demonstration went well, and despite nearly deafening most of those present, Pierfax was comissioned to produce four devices each of a similar design to be tested prior to possible deployment in what was mentioned in hushed voices as "experimental military communications".

Shortly after the military took possession of the first four devices, Pierfax's workshop was engulfed in an inferno, destroying the entire contents - including the original bolsteriser. To this day, history is unsure of the source of this incident, as it was never satisfactorily resolved - some say Emily deliberately set fire to her husband's workshop in pursuit of revenge for his "other (dubious) activities", some say the military itself was to blame, and others point the finger at Tiswold with his habit of flicking switches when his master was not present.

Fast-forward nearly ninety years and the bolsterisers are reborn in digital form. Unbeknownst to Pierfax, his devices survived well into the twenty-first century, and when recently discovered in Saint Pulcher's museum of Combat Curiosities just had to be examined. After various component-level tests, it was decided to power-up the devices and take some measurements with a view to recreating these fantasy beasts in software - and here they are in their equally naive digital implementations.

In their day, there was no working language of audio compression, so some of the terminology associated with the bolsterisers is a little out of keeping with the modern production lexicon. Today, the devices would be characterised roughly as follows :

    Rev (A) - Softknee RMS Compressor
    Rev (B) - Hardknee Peak Compressor
    Rev (C) - Hardknee Booster
    Rev (D) - Softknee Booster

some audio examples - thanks to Nigel Khan ...

* update *

In the weeks leading up to the release of the virtual incarnations of the bolsterisers, we were approached by a GCHQ operative claiming to have unearthed a fifth fantasy machine - the bolsteriser rev(E):

whiteLABEL bolsterisers

There is no record of this particular machine having ever being made, so under armed guard, we visited a a top-secret facility and by dead of night : ran some tests. It was found to be equivalent to a side-channel hybrid of rev(A) and rev(B). This has duly been released as an addition to the original package.

Following the release ...

We had a couple of crank-calls from people saying they were ex special-forces, claiming to have used the bolsterisers in combat. Several of these leads were fruitlessly followed, until a 3rd person coming forward could actually shed some light on the reality of the situation. This guy was for real and with the aid of pencil and paper, managed to show us (from memory) how to hack the hardware into allowing more control of the signal manipulation performed by the bolsterisers. These "new" controls have subsequently been included in the bolsterisers in the form of a version 1.2 upgrade. In use, they split 16 controls into to groups of 8 for the slow and fast modes, effectively making and A/B comparison switch out of the slow/fast control :

whiteLABEL bolsterisers


But wait - there's more ...

6 weeks after the initial launch of the bolsterisers, a 6th model came to our attention. Chronologically speaking, it is known as rev F, and although found to be similar in many respects to rev A it is substantially different in that it offers what we would now know as "side-chained" compression ... and its a damned-sight gnarlier than rev A.

whiteLABEL bolsterisers

whiteLABEL bolsterisers




to buy a bolsteriser, please visit the
whiteLABEL online shop
there's a bundle deal to save a bit of cash too ...

download free mono versions :
rev A rev B rev C rev D

fullsize screenshots : here
note on compatibility : here

thanks to the whiteLABEL beta-testers :
you know who you are ...



units shipped : >300k



© 2010 Rough Diamond Productions


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for the hard of thinking (disclaimer) :

Tiswold never existed, does not exist, and continues to not exist. The same is true of the other relevant actors in our tale, including (sadly) the St Pulcher's museum of Combat Curiosities. No component-level test of any kind was carried-out on real hardware in order to make these plugins because the bolsterisers are not modelled on any real device - past or present. GCHQ was not involved at any level in the development or marketing process, and nobody was harmed when high-ranking military officials first auditioned the original bolsteriser. Victor Schwanke never got married, or for that matter : engaged, and Emily had nothing to fear from her husband's somewhat questionable sexual activites - because he too : never existed.

In short : none of the above imaginary history is true, so don't go buying the bolsterisers and then get all disappointed that they're not some ultra-classic super-duper dynamic-convolving fine-grained-modelling cpu-munching hyper-real-nerds.

They are, as the text suggests : naive versions of various concepts and algorithms.

they just happen to look and sound quite cool - m'kay ?