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Learning a Pro
Old 14th October 2005
  #1
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Learning a Pro

After Reading a Recent October 2005 Article in Mix Magazine covering tech. tips from the Great Andy Wallace, I along with I'm sure many others have gained a great deal on insight. Like others I am aware that creating a mix is at times mostly a phycological affair, and you have to really climb inside the song if you want to paint it the way it ought to be. My Real Question lies here :

I know that Andy Starts his mixes by listening to the song over and over with faders up.
He Finds a part of the song that is really rockin and he decides to start there, and in-turn get that part really rocking and typically the rest of the song starts to fall in place on its own following that.

He Actually begins his mix with the SSL Quad Buss Compressor engaged set @
4:1 Ratio , Automatic Release , and NO makeup Gain
Typically during a mix, he will push anywhere from -2.5 db <-> -4db of GR (Early Days) or -4db <--> -6db of GR (Modern)

My Question is, and I have read everywhere I can, Including any posts by the famous Steve Sisco (Andy's Long Time Assistant for those who do not already know)
......... Does ANYONE know what the THRESHOLD is set to on the Quad Buss Compressor while Andy Wallace Mixes these great songs and albums.

For Those Interested Here is a link of a couple details regarding Andy's technique posted by Steve Sisco on the DUC. http://duc.digidesign.com/showflat.p...=&fpart=3&vc=1
and his Recent Article can be found here
http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_andy_wallace/

Thank you very Much for your time, Any Response from the Pro's on here would be appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Scott Harloff
Old 14th October 2005
  #2
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djui5's Avatar
 

He probably didn't say becuase it varies a lot from song to song.


If I were to guess, I'd say he starts around -16 or so.
Old 14th October 2005
  #3
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You adjust the threshold until you get the GR you want, in this case, -4 or -6, etc.

Fleaman
Old 14th October 2005
  #4
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Thanks for the quick reply's.

Although it does essentially exactly the same thing he says he really just leaves the compressor set, and uses a stereo bus as a pre-compresor trim.
I'm really just curious if anyone has an idea what that QuadBuss Comp is probably set at (threshold)

I'm thinking between -10 and -15 (p.s. thanks dude -16 sounds like a good point)

Anyone Else??

Cheers,
-Scott
Old 14th October 2005
  #5
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seb37000's Avatar
 

Thanks for the links scoot heh

Does anyone know what the the symphonic [effect] is ?
Old 14th October 2005
  #6
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Haven't read the article yet, but when you say 'symphonic', the SPX90 comes to mind.
Old 14th October 2005
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman
You adjust the threshold until you get the GR you want, in this case, -4 or -6, etc.

Fleaman
What about the Attack? Fast or slow?
Old 14th October 2005
  #8
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Quote:
Thanks for the links scoot
Oh my .... sorry that was a typo mistake, scott
Old 14th October 2005
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dntknowsht
What about the Attack? Fast or slow?
I dunno.

But guys, about the threshold: You adjust the threshold to the gain reduction readings you want. If you want -6, you adjust the threshold until your highest GR peaks at -6 on the meters.

Where the threshold knob ends up at (-10, -14, etc) is dependent on the material.

If you put your threshold knob @ -16 and your GR ends up being -12, then that is obviously wrong. But there might be some program material and that -16 threshold will give you -6 GR.

You can't pick a universal threshold setting on the knob to give you -6 GR.



Fleaman
Old 14th October 2005
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Alamo
Haven't read the article yet, but when you say 'symphonic', the SPX90 comes to mind.

I would say SPX900 or 1000 actually.

Its what they are famous for.
(Watch the prices for these jump through the roof).

Up to know it sounded to me like a Roland SDD320 on the bass.

They all work as well as the 2290 and the M7 for the chorus/symphoinic effect on the bass.

The secret is you have to EQ the send.
Old 14th October 2005
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman
I dunno.

But guys, about the threshold: You adjust the threshold to the gain reduction readings you want. If you want -6, you adjust the threshold until your highest GR peaks at -6 on the meters.

Where the threshold knob ends up at (-10, -14, etc) is dependent on the material.

If you put your threshold knob @ -16 and your GR ends up being -12, then that is obviously wrong. But there might be some program material and that -16 threshold will give you -6 GR.

You can't pick a universal threshold setting on the knob to give you -6 GR.



Fleaman
well.... he COULD have a set threshold that he starts with and "mix up" to -6dB GR.
he'd obviously get more gain reduction the harder he hits that compressor with levels coming from the 2 buss.
Old 15th October 2005
  #12
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Mix for the Masses

Quote:
Originally Posted by seb37000
Oh my .... sorry that was a typo mistake, scott
=) No Problem man, (infact i do it all the time)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dntknowsht
What about the Attack? Fast or slow?
I am going to guess and say 1.2 - 2.5 ms attack time is his standard setup.
Please someone correct me if you know for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman
You can't pick a universal threshold setting on the knob to give you -6 GR.

Fleaman
Thank you for your continued input on this thread, However I am pretty sure that everyone here understands that Input Level above the threshold determines Gain Reduction.

Thanks Anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
I would say SPX900 or 1000 actually.

Its what they are famous for.
(Watch the prices for these jump through the roof).

Up to know it sounded to me like a Roland SDD320 on the bass.

They all work as well as the 2290 and the M7 for the chorus/symphoinic effect on the bass.

The secret is you have to EQ the send.
A very Accurate Statement. Andy makes clear mention of his use of chorusing on the Bass. Also for anyone who missed it, he also exclusively uses Drum Samples to trigger his ambience effects (rev/delay). No Samples in the tracks are heard, just the effect they have created using the ambience.


Thanks Everyone,

All thoughts are welcome.
Kind Regards,
Scott Harloff
Old 15th October 2005
  #13
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Donny's Avatar
 

Thrill could you please elaborate on this trick please ...
Old 15th October 2005
  #14
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Local 47's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley-OIART
Also for anyone who missed it, he also exclusively uses Drum Samples to trigger his ambience effects (rev/delay). No Samples in the tracks are heard, just the effect they have created using the ambience.

Are you sure that no samples are heard, except for their ambiance?
What about this excerpt from the interview: "I use the samples more to drive reverbs. If you killed the reverb, you'd still hear the sample."?
Old 15th October 2005
  #15
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Glad to see you caught that. Pretty Hefty oversight on my end.
I'll have to dive back in deep to the articles as soon as I got some time.

Take Care Everyone,
Keep this thread going if we can,

Sincerely,
-Scott
Old 15th October 2005
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny
Thrill could you please elaborate on this trick please ...

Its really not a trick but another "old New York thing". heh

Lots of the old New York guys do it(TLA and his brother for example).


When chorusing the bass you have to EQ the send so only the mids are sent to your chorus.


The lows tend to muck up the low end of the chorus and the hi's will push the bass into the lead vocal.

If you bandpass the send you will have enough info to trigger and hear the chorus but not over power everything else.

On the SSL this is pretty easy since you can assign the filters just for the send.

Shave off some top and bottomn and you are right there.

Also another trick is to just use the return and not the mixture of the two.

This works especially if you want a stereo bass effect.


All this being said...no article will help you mix like Andy Wallce.

If you want your mixes to sound like AW mixed them...

...get Andy Wallace to mix them.
Old 15th October 2005
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman

You can't pick a universal threshold setting on the knob to give you -6 GR.



Fleaman
Sure you can. I'm sure he has found just the spot that he wants to drive each individual channel and the stereo bus.

I'm sure that when he starts his mix (probably before he's listened to the first note), his assistant has the kick and bass hitting the console exactly how he wants. And the channels are somewhat balanced and hitting the stereo bus in a very consistent manner.

Consistency is a good thing. It helps you get to work on what matters and get things done. I'm sure he monitors pretty consistently also.
Old 15th October 2005
  #18
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interesting...thx Thrill
Old 18th October 2005
  #19
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Probably Shouldn't Repeat this but =)

Anyone Else wanna help comment on this thread?

Preferably some of you big hitters on the board? I know alot of you guys cherish your craft, but so do some of us young guys.

Thanks for everyone who has contributed so far,

Kind Regards,
-Scott
Old 21st October 2005
  #20
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Anyone?
=)
Old 23rd October 2005
  #21
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Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JYoder
I'm sure that when he starts his mix (probably before he's listened to the first note), his assistant has the kick and bass hitting the console exactly how he wants.
Bing!

Just about anyone who's doing a lot of mixing has a prep sheet to get the tracks into a specific order & grouping before they even listen to the multi-track master. I highly doubt that anyone is adding processing during the prep phase though.

FWIW, I can't think of anyone who just sets the threshold and never touches it...I've seen most mixers muck around with it to find the sweet spot during the early stages of the mix.

The key is to experiment and listen.
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