Spectral Lemuring is inspired by the discontinued Spectral Monkeyage plugin from Shiny FX.
Although the freeware Spectral Lemuring plugin isn’t a direct emulation of Spectral Monkeyage, it does share some core characteristics. Most importantly, it can process the high-magnitude and low-magnitude parts of the FFT signal individually.
FFT (Fast Fourier Transformation) provides frequency information about a signal by converting it into individual spectral components. This measurement is often used for precise quality control analysis, but it can also lead to some pretty crazy effects.
One of the things that made Spectral Monkeyage interesting was the single slider Spectral Gating feature. Rather than letting everything pass through when the threshold is met (like a typical noise gate), spectral gating only allows frequency bands with a level exceeding the threshold to pass through.
In the case of Spectral Monkeyage, there were up to 4,096 individual gates, one to represent each frequency band. Dealing with things on this kind of spectral level can bring harsh or crude results that are occasionally quite lovely and just what you need.
While Spectral Lemuring doesn’t have the exact feature set of Spectral Monkeyage, it maintains the same not-so-subtle results and has a similar signal freeze function.
Fugue State Audio describes Spectral Lemuring as a lo-fi pitch shifter with some extra functionality. Pitch shifting like this could be useful in quite a few genres, especially things like minimal techno, where you have to create motion and tension with very little going on. Of course, any kind of lo-fi effect will lend itself well to Hip Hop, too.
Spectral Lemuring has taken a less crude (than Spectral Monkeyage) approach to the GUI. It offers direct control of more parameters instead of bundling some things into single sliders.
You can download it for free now, and the developer has a Patreon page if you want to check that out.
In keeping with the spectral theme, there’s the SSL-inspired Specomp from Analog Obsession. Like all Analog Obsession plugins, it’s free, and while it’s been around for a while, it’s an oldie but a goodie.
Spectral Lemuring is available in VST3 plugin format for Windows.
Spectral Lemuring (2.8 MB download size, ZIP archive, 64-bit VST3 plugin format for Windows)