Plutonium and PlutoniumXtra: You Might Not Have Heard of Them Before (and You Still Might Not)

Psycho-acoustics is a bit of a dark art and 0v1 Records are the wizards

Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception and audiology and concerns itself with how all parts of the human body perceives sound. The two Plutonium Plugins by 0v1 Records lean into the way that different parts of the body receive and transmit sound signals to our brains. 

The two included Plutonium Plugins are designed with mastering and drum/808 processing in mind. These add sub-audible signals to your audio tracks and utilise stereo widening, compression, equalisation, and transient alteration to excite frequencies at specific stereo ranges to give your track a more dynamic, impactful sound.

Plutonium Psychoacoustic Plugin

The first plugin – simply entitled Plutonium – offers three sections; one with a list of emotional terms which add ambience, body or help the vocal stand out, the middle section let’s you select the type of track your working (mixbus, drums, vocals, master) and shape the tone, and the final section on the left gives you the opportunity to choose what part of the body you want your drums to knock in. 

The second plugin unit is the PlutoniumXtra which focuses on getting your mids to pop, featuring the same track type selection and tone generators, along with a list of body parts that you would like your mids to impact.

It’s worth jumping onto the 0v1 website to see how they recommend you use this plugin. For my mastering test they recommended a chain of ‘Plutonium – PlutoniumXtra – Plutonium’, utilising the first Plutonium in the chain to focus on the drum knock of your track (using the left side of the plugin) and the second to shape your master (the right side of the plugin).

This is a really helpful place to start getting familiar with this plugin, because the effect is so subtle, this stack allows you to pin down the unique ways that it is shaping your track.

I have to say when loading up this plugin I wondered if I was being pranked – they’re not lying – it is extraordinarily difficult to hear what this plugin is doing to your track.

It’s also quite hard to describe the ways this plugin lifts your track, but it does. It’s a feeling thing more than a really audible sound thing (and as we know, music is all about feel).

I would have liked to have a little more in depth information from 0v1 Records about what each different setting of the tone generator does, as I found the descriptive options a touch vague.

This pair of Plutonium Plugins comes in at 120 Euros (right around 200 AUD) for an unlimited licence. You can also download a 15 day trial if you’re interested in giving it a try before you buy.

Check out the 0v1 Records Plutonium Plugins website to find out more: https://0v1recordsplugin.com/