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Master bus chains for glue & mojo for "softer" techno?
Old 12th March 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Master bus chains for glue & mojo for "softer" techno?

Hey all!

Those of you who produce softer and more melodic techno, what kind of master bus chains do you usually use for glue, "mojo", pumping and analogue vibe?

I'm mostly interested in in-the-box plugin chains, but of course all chains are interesting to discuss.
Old 14th March 2020
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
arkos's Avatar
Get yourself an Analog Heat from Elektron.
Old 23rd March 2020
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the tip, that seems a pretty cool Swedish box indeed! Sound On Sound praised the first version!
Old 23rd March 2020
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
arkos's Avatar
Most welcome, you can find the mkI for 400-450€ used now which is a no brainer imo. It's way more than a distortion box, since I bought mine it's been on my master and it's staying there.
Old 1st April 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Use wet/dry controls more.


For example Ableton's Drum Buss and Glue Compressor, at like 10-20% wet each help bring just enough glue and character to a mix.

Also, grab yourself a 'colourful' EQ - I use Soundtoys Sieq for gentle boosts and love it, just feels really warm on the mids and bottoms.

I also use Saturn a fair bit at a super low wet value the same as above. Basically your wet/dry knob is your friend here.
Old 3rd April 2020
  #6
Gear Addict
 

EQ β†’ Black Box HG-2 β†’ Shadow Hills Class A

Sometimes, the above into

β†’ Acustica Celestial

β†’ IK Tapes

β†’ Acustica Celestial β†’ IK Tapes

I make dub techno.
Old 3rd April 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
 
rhythmtech's Avatar
 

Hard techno, acid techno, softer techno.. all the same set-up, only the settings change.

Sub master has a G+ type comp, usually BX Townhouse. Slate's one grabs the mids a little too much for techno IMO and Cytomic's is a little bland for my taste, although it is a great compressor.

A lot of stuff gets sent to the sub master and depending on how I want the compression to sound, sometimes some kick/bass goes to it also. Generally kick and bass go straight to the master.

Master has FF PRO-C2 catching the loudest peaks, FF MB2 tightening the lowend (120hz and below), Acustica Celestial for some shaping & width and then (model dependent on the style I want to achieve) a tape emulator at 30ips.

I'll usually have a limiter at the end of the chain but I only engage it now and again as a check. It doesn't get printed.
Old 3rd April 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
 
rhythmtech's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by abluesky View Post
EQ β†’ Black Box HG-2 β†’ Shadow Hills Class A

Sometimes, the above into

β†’ Acustica Celestial

β†’ IK Tapes

β†’ Acustica Celestial β†’ IK Tapes

I make dub techno.
Celestial is perfect for techno

The eq curves, the saturation, the dimension control... It all just works.
Old 11th April 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 
aof21's Avatar
 

For saturation / warmth (which is great for glue/ mojo): FF Saturn, Ableton Drum Bus, Tape simulator or harmonics in Ozone.
For glue / compression: Elysia Alpha, Shadow Hills Mastering Comp or stock Ableton Comp
Old 13th April 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
Nothing on the mixbus here, I have a hardware drawmer 1973 comp, on 50% parallel. Only for some few DB gainreduction on the midband. Its only a slight esoteric kiss.

Would recommend doing everything in the mix. Plugins on the master will often do more damage, easily kill your dynamic and punch. And makes you chase the tail. Keep it simple.
Old 13th April 2020
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantik View Post
Nothing on the mixbus here, I have a hardware drawmer 1973 comp, on 50% parallel. Only for some few DB gainreduction on the midband. Its only a slight esoteric kiss.

Would recommend doing everything in the mix. Plugins on the master will often do more damage, easily kill your dynamic and punch. And makes you chase the tail. Keep it simple.
Maybe. But this looks pretty good.

https://youtu.be/oBtrgvrRmrk

And you can emulate it with a trident low/hi shelf, SSL bus compressor, and transformer.
Old 19th April 2020
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Very interesting alternatives posted here, please keep 'em coming! :D

Interesting that Acustica Celestial seems popular. I also grabbed it during the Christmas giveaway, but haven't really tried it out yet. What modules in it do you guys get most use of?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantik View Post
Nothing on the mixbus here, I have a hardware drawmer 1973 comp, on 50% parallel. Only for some few DB gainreduction on the midband. Its only a slight esoteric kiss.

Would recommend doing everything in the mix. Plugins on the master will often do more damage, easily kill your dynamic and punch. And makes you chase the tail. Keep it simple.
Wow, this is indeed a pretty rare stance, and, judging from Sound on Sound's engineer interviews, also pretty rare nowadays. May I ask what kind of techno you produce?

I believe you might be more right than I dare think... but I don't think I'm ready/good enough to go there yet...
Old 23rd April 2020
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

By the way, when using master bus compression for some light pumping/glue, is it common to do it in a parallel setup?

I've always been running my mix bus compressor as a regular insert "all wet", but saw a recommendation (on the Subsekt forums) of running 70% wet / 30% dry. That never occurred to me... I need to try it. How do you guys do it?
Old 25th April 2020
  #14
Lives for gear
 
aof21's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueflake View Post
By the way, when using master bus compression for some light pumping/glue, is it common to do it in a parallel setup?

I've always been running my mix bus compressor as a regular insert "all wet", but saw a recommendation (on the Subsekt forums) of running 70% wet / 30% dry. That never occurred to me... I need to try it. How do you guys do it?
Yes, frequently doing something less than 100% wet.
Old 27th April 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueflake View Post
Very interesting alternatives posted here, please keep 'em coming! :D

Interesting that Acustica Celestial seems popular. I also grabbed it during the Christmas giveaway, but haven't really tried it out yet. What modules in it do you guys get most use of?



Wow, this is indeed a pretty rare stance, and, judging from Sound on Sound's engineer interviews, also pretty rare nowadays. May I ask what kind of techno you produce?

I believe you might be more right than I dare think... but I don't think I'm ready/good enough to go there yet...
I am producing around 130 BPM I would say "chris liebing" style techno. I have never seen an SOS article talking about producing techno. I read gear reviews there a lot. But keep in mind: with rockmusic guides it can sometimes be a little but missleading, because in EDM you work with steady instrument level signals and not Microphones, AMPs and human players that need a lot of compression to make signals steady.

From my experience the best techno producers we all love do not have the time or dedication to write huge online articles on SOS, but there perspective might be totally different to what is know as "common sense" in the audio world.

The masterbus is very sensible, because 100% of all your mix goes into it. So it better be of the highest quality what you put into it. Because it will affect everything in your mix. Usually I where hunting the holy gray for years trying out tons of plugins. Before I realized that the mixbus is the least thing I should worry about, especially when using plugins. Also plugins made me chase the tail, I was never realy SET. never realy finished. Instead of improving my mixing tools, I was on the hunt, which we all know will last forever.

Plugins will do the following: phase shifts, slight EQ curves, compression, slight +db gains, adding noise, distortion, stereo spread. Usually a combination of this. To impress the customer, everything is behind one button. These tools are all valid and important for you mix. But they are all like a poison. If you overdoze it slightly, It will kill you. If you have the perfect dose, only a little. It will heal you.

Have you seen Rober Babicz about his mixbus compressors? "The needle is barely moving". Have you seen Stimming talking about his API 2500? Which is on paper an incredible master compressor for techno. He decided to put it out of the masterchain. You can google all of these statements and many more. Truncate does not use a compressor on his 2bus also, he said not a long time ago (paraphrasing): "I am doing this in groups, but not on the whole mix".

So these are probably 3 hall of fame techno producers that come to my mind. Especially Robert emphases on the point to stick away from these plugins on the masterchain. So why?

Because you can do everything you need in the mix. And the expectation that your mixbus will magically enhance things is an illusion. And has harder you try to force it, it harder your day will be. If you want something useful go after hardware, but dont expect magic things to happen. Why hardware? because it will make you commit. and the chance is high that you wont destroy your mix when you have only 1-2 units sitting there. It will be set, and it will be fine. And it will only add a subtible effect which will go a long way.

What I use today is a I have the Mixdream XP summing unit where my ableton channels go into and get summed together. Analog summing is invalid, but the XP gives a slight favourable grit to the signal. Kinda nice for techno. The stereo signal then goes into Drawmer Multiband, the needle again barely moving. If I would turn this all off, you would barely hear the difference. It is all very very little. Offcourse I would love to add an SSL fusion there if I would have the budget, maybe sometimes I will. But I see a lot more things I could add to the recording end, which would pay out far better. Do not believe that celestial will sound the same. Let me say. I use still plugins from AA, nebula, fab and so on a lot. But the masterchain is something to be very careful! at least my own perspective. I know its not following the "common sense" agenda.

@ abluesky
stimming is basically the zen master of electronic audio, i very much trust everything he says. And if he co-designs a product it is something to consider indeed! sadly, i cannot play the video (?)
Old 27th April 2020
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantik View Post
I am producing around 130 BPM I would say "chris liebing" style techno. I have never seen an SOS article talking about producing techno. I read gear reviews there a lot. But keep in mind: with rockmusic guides it can sometimes be a little but missleading, because in EDM you work with steady instrument level signals and not Microphones, AMPs and human players that need a lot of compression to make signals steady.

From my experience the best techno producers we all love do not have the time or dedication to write huge online articles on SOS, but there perspective might be totally different to what is know as "common sense" in the audio world.

The masterbus is very sensible, because 100% of all your mix goes into it. So it better be of the highest quality what you put into it. Because it will affect everything in your mix. Usually I where hunting the holy gray for years trying out tons of plugins. Before I realized that the mixbus is the least thing I should worry about, especially when using plugins. Also plugins made me chase the tail, I was never realy SET. never realy finished. Instead of improving my mixing tools, I was on the hunt, which we all know will last forever.

Plugins will do the following: phase shifts, slight EQ curves, compression, slight +db gains, adding noise, distortion, stereo spread. Usually a combination of this. To impress the customer, everything is behind one button. These tools are all valid and important for you mix. But they are all like a poison. If you overdoze it slightly, It will kill you. If you have the perfect dose, only a little. It will heal you.

Have you seen Rober Babicz about his mixbus compressors? "The needle is barely moving". Have you seen Stimming talking about his API 2500? Which is on paper an incredible master compressor for techno. He decided to put it out of the masterchain. You can google all of these statements and many more. Truncate does not use a compressor on his 2bus also, he said not a long time ago (paraphrasing): "I am doing this in groups, but not on the whole mix".

So these are probably 3 hall of fame techno producers that come to my mind. Especially Robert emphases on the point to stick away from these plugins on the masterchain. So why?

Because you can do everything you need in the mix. And the expectation that your mixbus will magically enhance things is an illusion. And has harder you try to force it, it harder your day will be. If you want something useful go after hardware, but dont expect magic things to happen. Why hardware? because it will make you commit. and the chance is high that you wont destroy your mix when you have only 1-2 units sitting there. It will be set, and it will be fine. And it will only add a subtible effect which will go a long way.

What I use today is a I have the Mixdream XP summing unit where my ableton channels go into and get summed together. Analog summing is invalid, but the XP gives a slight favourable grit to the signal. Kinda nice for techno. The stereo signal then goes into Drawmer Multiband, the needle again barely moving. If I would turn this all off, you would barely hear the difference. It is all very very little. Offcourse I would love to add an SSL fusion there if I would have the budget, maybe sometimes I will. But I see a lot more things I could add to the recording end, which would pay out far better. Do not believe that celestial will sound the same. Let me say. I use still plugins from AA, nebula, fab and so on a lot. But the masterchain is something to be very careful! at least my own perspective. I know its not following the "common sense" agenda.

@ abluesky
stimming is basically the zen master of electronic audio, i very much trust everything he says. And if he co-designs a product it is something to consider indeed! sadly, i cannot play the video (?)
Yeah, agree with you there about Stimming. I just checked and I can still see the video. Essentially, Stimming together with DOCtron is coming out with a little unit that is a trident EQ, ssl comp and transformer.

I described my mastering chain above, it’s three, maybe four plugins and yes, the needle barely moves. .5-1db.

Also, AA Celstial may not sound the same, but it sounds similar and was free.
Old 10th May 2020
  #17
Gear Head
 

U-he's Satin is extremely versatile and sounds fantastic to my ears. It can be a little heavy handed, don't just cycle to the presets and give up on it. For glue, a little goes a long way.

Edit: Just to say I find that at extreme settings all but a few plugins fall to pieces and of course driving the signal too hot into your master buss is a recipe for disaster. I tend to keep my mixbuss bare during tracking/arranging/mixing and only add anything (even then, rarely) to the final mixdown wav.

Mixbuss Mojo Magic Bullets can have you chasing the end of a rainbow, so to speak. Better to get there in mix on the whole.
Old 14th May 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
I use Satin the most. Its great. On the mixbuss i just mix into the brainworx townhouse buss compressor. I like to use the plugs in busses and individual tracks.
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