FiDef JENtwo — Psychoacoustic Processor

Invoke audience ardor.

FiDef JENtwo from MAAT

FiDef JENtwo :: Cross–platform Plug–in

Plug your audience into a more compelling experience.

Perpetual License: $129

Introducing…

FiDef® by FideliQuest is a very low amplitude psychoacoustic stimulus designed specifically for audio engineers. It makes a receptive brain relax and pay closer attention to an incoming audio stimulus. In brain physiology laboratory tests using functional neuroimaging techniques, FiDef has proven to excite brain activity related to perception and attention, and to enhance the subjective processes of listening and engagement.

The FiDef process, developed in the US by FideliQuest LLC, was first licensed by MAAT for our thEQblue. That same algorithm is now available standalone for all major plug-in formats, including VST 2, VST 3 and AAX native for macOS and Windows plus Audio Units for macOS. FiDef is a patented, 64 bit audio processor like no other. Brain science takes the lead in this subconscious signal generator that compels the listening to lean in and…engage!

The Quest

Since Edison’s first wax cylinders, the history of audio capture and playback can be summarized as the increasingly technical pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal: lifelike replication of the actual listening experience…The advent of digital technology, while solving many of the problems inherent in analog recording and playback, brought with it other challenges. At the same time, new enabling formats such as DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) and MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), along with consumer trends toward uncompressed HRA or High Resolution Audio releases of music catalogs have brought new levels of fidelity to the home. Yet, even the highest fidelity digital playback still exhibits a level of reserve that keeps the music at arm’s length, not always allowing it to embrace and move us. Low fidelity or hi–fi, analog or digital, FiDef makes for a deeper, more satisfying connection.

The Solution

While listening to a variety of recordings, an audio professional thought to himself, “Why do some recordings sound better than others?” He recruited an audio physicist and a musical neuroscientist while analyzing arrays of audio recordings to identify elements of sound that psychoacoustically engage the listener. Isolating the mechanism allowed them to develop a unique solution that synthesizes essential content from the material itself, inserting that dynamic information at low amplitude into the content. After years of development by a team of engineers with decades of industry experience, early in 2016 FideliQuest introduced FiDef™ audio processing, the first and only technology that restores what all recording and playback systems take away, whether analog or digital.

FiDef JENtwo by MAAT – Left vs Right Brain

Think of a common, non–harmonic, sub–audible signal all good engineers use to linearize digital audio; dither. The FiDef system also generates an anharmonic, sub–audible broadband signal. The difference is that FiDef does not modify the music itself in any way but instead is added to the music. Also unlike dither, it is correlated to the source audio. This is not noise for noise’s sake. This is a dynamic, correlated and spectrally shaped signal. The signal, based on FideliQuest research into the human auditory system, is customized to directly stimulate the brain, bypassing cognitive processing. The manifold results include less brain activity required to process incoming stimuli, with a resulting increase in perceived nuance and tactility from music, speech and effects. FiDef informs your brain of the subtle potentials within a recording. Hear more of how the song was played, not recorded.

The Science

Supported by sophisticated research into how the human brain processes sound, FiDef informs the listener’s auditory system of music’s full potential. Independent research has shown that the brain response between FiDef and untreated audio is significant to 99%. Because the subtle effects of subaudible supplementation are modeled in the brain over time with familiarization, listeners unaccustomed to FiDef might not hear the difference immediately. Studies indicate that the brain uses inverse effectiveness to process FiDef’d music with less effort, in effect hearing more by working less. Hear more than you think.

Grounded firmly in experimentation and analysis, FiDef technology can increase definition, detail, intelligibility, soundstage width and depth and, most important, the emotional engagement of the listener. In short, with FiDef processing, your audio sounds better, without any change to workflows or delivery methods, even on data–compressed file types and older or low–fi playback gear.
 

Better By Design

FiDef is a wholly new tool for your audio toolbox. FiDef’d audio doesn’t measure louder and the power spectrum is not changed. In fact, there’s only the addition of what seems to be a veil of added noise. That noise is what’s special, it’s the FiDef signal massaging your subconscious.

You may think you “know” how FiDef works, but you’re probably wrong. It’s simple if baffling in concept, complex in execution, and surprising in its results.

What FiDef Is Not…
  • analog emulation, simulation or modeling
  • chorusing
  • data or frequency repacking
  • distortion generation or manipulation
  • dithering
  • dynamics processing
  • echo
  • encoding/decoding
  • equalization
  • flanging
  • frequency or amplitude modulation
  • masking
  • vocoded noise
  • noise cancellation or control
  • resampling
  • resynthesis
  • time domain modification
  • vocoded noise, signal or anything else
  • wave field synthesis
Your audience will feel their music like never before, but that’s not all…
  • Mixing: improve definition of individual mix elements
  • Mastering: bring out the best of each project
  • Broadcast: production & post
  • Games: enhance envelopment
  • Forensics: improve intelligibility
  • Sound design: “spotlight” individual elements
  • Restoration: broaden spatiality
FiDef JENtwo provide five profiles, each for a different effect. To make it easier to mentally map each Profile to something less abstract and more intuitive, you can rename them to taste…
  • TRUCKN: subtle sweetening (the default)
  • TRUCKN HUSH: a lower perceived amplitude version of TRUCKN for widely dynamic content
  • SUTRO: draws your attention to frequencies above 8 kHz, resulting in a widened soundstage with accentuation of transient detail
  • RESNO: points the listener toward the upper mids, resulting in added texture to vocals and other instruments
  • EVOSE: with warm forwardness, this Profile builds on RESNO and turns it up to 11

A Caveat

FiDef triggers cerebral activity necessary for humans to respond to recorded sound in the same manner as the brain would respond to a live performance. This is provided by introducing additional, sub–audible signals into the recording that trigger specific brain activity in the listener. The supplementing content is sub-audible because it is essentially below the level of audibility when played at a normal volume level, or is masked by the content when a recording is played at an elevated volume level.

As an engineer, it’s a fact that you do not listen like your clients. Most likely, you are an analytical thinker and listener. Because FiDef is a psychoacoustic process, it may not have any impact if the listener resists its charms. We’re talking full–on Jedi mind tricks, folks. If you are like many of us audio engineers, you are very much a “left–brain” person and discount what you cannot understand or explain. You are used to dissecting what you hear, you simply can’t help it. Unfortunately, your conscious higher level brain function will suppress your unconscious brain, and FiDef acts subconsciously. Result? If you try too hard to hear it, you probably won’t!

Though this is in direct opposition to the “impostor syndrome” you’ve worked so hard to overcome, there will be no noticeable effect if you “listen hard.” That is; analytically. Most folks don’t listen analytically, they listen casually and, in the case of music or dialog, for entertainment, education and enjoyment. However, your clients, your spouse and most likely your second engineer will notice “something different” about FiDef’d content. That something is usually a subtle and positive improvement in engagement and enjoyment. Remember, most folks don’t listen rationally, they listen because it’s fun!

Sounds like this whole FiDef thing is snake oil? Read below what some heavy hitting and highly respected engineers think of FiDef, and then drop your anti–B.S. bias into bypass and simply try it on your clients. After all, they are the final judge.

Reviews & Testimonials

You’ve already heard FiDef in the Top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100. It’s also been used on radio and television ads as well as globally syndicated movie trailers to bring that little extra needed to rise above the rest.

Elliot Scheiner — Multi–Grammy award winning producer & engineer (Beyoncé, Phish, Foo Fighters, Faith Hill, Ricky Martin, Van Morrison, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton)

“(FiDef) brings better quality to music…It just sounds better”

Gary Katz - A&R & multi–Grammy award winning producer (Steely Dan, Prince, Diana Ross, 10cc, Joe Cocker, Laura Nyro, Rickie Lee Jones, The Mamas & the Papas, Steppenwolf, Chaka Khan)

“…I’ve never heard anything like FiDef. Makes my records sound better, and it’ll make your records sound better.”

Hugh Padgham — Multi–Grammy award winning producer & engineer (Paul McCartney, Sting, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Brian Wilson, Suzanne Vega)

“It just sounds better…like 3 dimensional.”

Frank Filipetti - Multi–Grammy award winning engineer & producer

“I heard the FiDef difference in 5 seconds.”

Tony Cousins — Mastering engineer (Adele, George Michael, Seal, The Stone Roses, Peter Gabriel, Amadou & Mariam, Robbie Williams, Elton John)

“Makes me want to go back and remaster everything I have ever done.”

Jeff Greenberg - Owner & CEO of the legendary Village Studios

“Over the years I've seen a lot of schemes claiming to make music sound better. In almost every case when analyzed these are elevations of EQ or gain subtly hidden in a matrix. FiDef is an algorithm that has been developed to work with the listener's perception and therefore has created something that is truly an organic enhanced musical experience.”

Paul Blakemore - Grammy winning (and 7x nominee) chief mastering engineer at the Concord Music Group (Concord Records, Concord Jazz, CRAFT Recordings, Fantasy, Fearless, Loma Vista, Rounder, Stax, Telarc, etc.)

FiDef is a mysterious but wonderful product. It works on virtually every style of music and every style of mastering, from the gentlest touch to the most aggressive dynamic range processing. From my experience it does three things:

  1. Deepens the listener’s emotional response to the music.
  2. Simultaneously expands and clarifies the stereo localization and space.
  3. Helps the listener follow the musical conversation between soloist and accompaniment, whether the solo is a lead vocal, single instrument, or group of instruments.
Sometimes the added modulation noise is a bit distracting, especially around a very pure waveform on solo instruments like flute, piano, or solo guitar. FiDef JENtwo includes a low level processing on one of its presets and this solves this problem while still providing the effect of FiDef.
It's amazing, really - kind of an all-purpose ‘digital improvement filter.’ I never would have believed such a thing could work until I both heard it and felt the effects.”

Rob Tavaglione - Producer/engineer writing in Mix Magazine

“Using TRUKN, I toggled bypass as I intently focused on the soundstage before me, only to find no benefit. I finally ‘got the assignment’ and allowed myself to analytically disconnect and unfocus my intent until I heard the mix as a whole, revealing more inner detail and making it ‘more alive.’ Now I could not only hear bypass clearly, but I could also discern Profile differences: TRUKN was the most natural and subtle, SUTRO was more defined and airy, RESNO seemed quite vocally focused, and EVOSE as a bit too pronounced…
I now include FiDef JENtwo on almost all of my masters for the musicality and likability it seems to bring to the music. No, I cannot verify the improvement with blind tests or concrete proof, but my clients are requesting almost no master revisions lately, and anything that makes my work even a little bit more effective and entertaining is fine by me, user-controls or not.”

Garrett Haines, studio owner & engineer, writing in Tape Op

“I tend to dismiss subconscious secret signal processors as money grabs, but this title is different…Like any effect, FiDef JENtwo isn’t for every track, but in the right circumstance, it can add some excitement and dimension unlike anything on the market.”

Frans de Rond - label owner, producer & ultra–fi engineer

“I have tried different settings, trying to choose purely on first impression and intuition. In the beginning I didn’t hear that much difference. But I recognize this phenomenon; when you try to focus too much you often just don’t hear it anymore. But if I let it go, then I feel that I really hear the difference or maybe even feel the difference.”

Patrik Schwitter — CEO/CTO/CFO/Senior Engineer/Tape Op/Tea Boy/Back Office Slave & Corporate Groupie

“I started a comprehensive album mix with an acoustic large band using FiDef JENtwo on the master bus. WOW!! (For that)…I used the TRUKN HUSH Profile. It was ‘day vs. night,’ somehow analogue sounding (I know, it’s a daft and overtaxed expression…) but that ‘injection of liveliness’ was not just a homeopathic dose! Just awesome, stunning and some kind of magic. I'm nothing but impressed!”

Jan Niklas Jansen - artist & musician

“We live in a golden age of digital audio. For one, it actually sounds good. But also: Our plugin folders are filled with toys that allow us to perform magic, and almost on a weekly basis new things get released that allow us to do this magic faster and more easily, more creatively or even better sounding.
FiDef JENtwo is not one of these plugins. In fact, when in full-on mixing mode it's sometimes hard to tell that it's even on. The REAL magic that it does happens after mixdown. When sending podcast productions for review, I find that editors listen with more joy and appear to focus better. That makes the recall notes (and my life) noticeably better. After a long day working on music, I can get on my bike, put the rough mixes on my headphones and have an easy time of just enjoying the music as - music. And not a jumble of things that still need working on. Which, incidentally, makes it easier for me to actually pick out the things that do need working on.
So, what do we have here? A plugin with a barely existent UI, five options to choose from and the heaviest lifting it does is while I am not even working on my DAW. Magic.”

Mark Wingfield - guitarist & indy engineer (Allan Holdsworth, Chet Baker, Tony Levin, Chad Wackerman)

“Something I notice using FDJ2 on a drum bus is that it seems to gel the drums together almost as if the space between the drum hits is smoother and more cohesive. Just more pleasant to listen to and therefore you listen in a more open way I find…it’s more of a feeling you get when it’s engaged than a specific change in sound you can point to. I do like the effect of stacking it up so you have it on the drum bus, on a horn section, percussion and vocals and then also on the master bus.”

Wingfield’s MAAT FiDef Analog Magic Sauce for Mixing and Mastering

Watch it on YouTube.

Johannes Bittner - indy artist

“The different modes (Profiles) are all pleasing to my ears. FDJ2 makes the resulting master more cohesive - less sounding harsh in the mids/highs and more round and bouncy in the lower frequency spectrum. Overall I would call it less sounding “digital” - and that is what I was aiming for by buying your plugin.
I like to experiment with such tools and I came to the conclusion that using FDJ2 twice with different modes (for example first one for the lower spectrum with EVOSE and second one with TRUKN for mids and highs) can be a nice combination - meanwhile keeping in mind that the noise floor is also adding up.
Your tools did not replace anything in my workflow, but they are a nice addition I did not know I wanted. I am happy that I found these and hope you are already working on new stuff to optimize the digital working space, Thank You very much.”

Thomas Jøren Nielsen - composer & sound designer

“FiDef is part of my signature sound.”

Murat Çolak - composer, educator, mixer & mastering engineer

“Until the release of FiDef JENtwo, I employed FiDef in my mastering chain in conjunction with my favorite “vibe” EQ, MAAT’s thEQblue. Combined with its dozen expertly modeled pristine EQ curves, FiDef would (and still does) bring new dimensions to my masters I could find in no other signal processor. With the clarity they can add to higher frequency transients, the gentle effects of expansiveness and excitement they bring to the lower mid-range, and the subtle, airy freshness they can blanket the upper midrange with, one of the four FiDef profiles thEQblue comes with found a use in most of my masters.
Now, with FiDef JENtwo, I can exploit these effects in my mixes without making my CPU suffer - and boy do I enjoy that. I throw JENtwo on the vocal buss for air, “volume,” excitement and intelligibility with TRUKN or RESNO; on my synth and guitar busses for depth and clarity with RESNO; strings or soft leads for some sweet edge with SUTRO; and even on drums for subtle transient emphasis with TRUKN or some mid-range excitement with EVOSE. The meticulously designed correlated noise profiles add things on various sources you will never expect, and there’s not a project I don’t come up with a new use for FiDef. It’s all very subtle and program dependent, you will “hear” what it does when you A/B with the effect on and off, or solo the delta signal to educate your conscious mind(!)
Incorporating it to your workflow couldn’t be easier - just throw it on the material which you think might be lacking something (or just for fun!) and simply switch between the profiles until it inevitably gives you an “a-ha” moment.
Last but not least, the new TRUKN HUSH profile proved itself to work with the most delicate program material in the mastering context - such as a string quartet, woodwind or a solo classical piano recording. I’m excited to see what other dimensions this uncanny life-giver can add to my recordings with future updates and new profiles.”

Eddie Grey - engineer & Logic Pro maven

Here’s a video run–through with audio examples.

Rober Martínez–Garcia - Musica de Almas y Vendavales

“My God, FiDef is incredible! I saw a lot of tests on Youtube and people didn’t feel the difference. I think they focused wrong, but after downloading the demo and trying it myself I realized how amazing it is. I feel inside the music and listen in more detail. After turning it off I feel outside and I have a hard time getting inside. I’m a musician without money, but I'm going to buy it. I really don’t want to work anymore without having it in my mix chain.
“It blew my mind. (That’s what we’re here for! - OMas) Thank you very much and congratulations. I wish you much success and thanks for being sound geeks.”

Chris Johnson, writing on Gearspace - Johnson is the creator of Airwindows Texturize

“This ain’t an EQ, or anything where you can tell people “this gets you exactly 5 more db of woo!
As such, (MAAT is) in a jam where they cannot actually communicate what’s happening, because it’s outside the usual parameters of how people listen to and analyze sound. So the woo-woo is actually the shortcut to how people experience this IF they like it.
I think we all have much to learn about WHAT this is doing, but the fact that something’s obviously being done means it’s the opposite of a placebo. I also think the threshold of perception is the right place to use it, so by definition it needs to court the role of a placebo, because if you just use it as a blast of noise you’re doing something else. To my mind if you’re picking it out 10 out of 10 in blind testing you’ve probably got more of this effect than you should, and you’re obscuring legitimate information that has a right to be there. The correct setting is probably “mostly” observable, but occasionally you’ll fail a blind test on it.”

EBDA1176, also on Gearspace

They wrote a lucid and informative yet not pedantic review of FiDef JENtwo.

Justin Weis - owner/engineer at TRAKWORX on Gearspace

I don't notice a widening effect. It's more like the center becomes slightly fuller and more solid with a very subtle addition of front to back depth. And there's a tiny ‘filling in’ of space around the high frequencies, just as tape hiss does. Sounds good on some projects.
But picking it apart and analyzing it is only one way to look at it. The other way is to just listen to the music as a whole, the way a fan would, and that is when I experience more of an effect.

cracker satchmo on Gearspace

“…noticed with pleasure that often i can hear the various ‘strands of the musical carpet’ more distinctly individually without the whole becoming less together or ‘organically one’.
Also, i had some difficulties with offline installation and am happy to share that Maat's customer service has been nothing but stellar!”


Reviewers! Want to add your voiceover to the mix?

Head to our Contact page and give a shout…We’d love to hear what you think about FiDef JENtwo!

Speeds & Feeds

Downloads & Specifications

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Requirements

  • macOS 10.9 and newer, Universal Binary 2, 64 bit only
  • Windows 7 and newer, 32 & 64 bit

Supporting

  • AAX Native (Pro Tools 10.3.10 and newer), AU, VST 2, VST 3
  • Sample rates from 44.1 to 384kHz, FiDef processing from 44.1 to 192kHz

FiDef JENtwo

Perpetual License: $129