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Favorite expander/enhancer
Old 28th April 2010
  #1
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Ben F's Avatar
 

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Favorite expander/enhancer

I have a few tracks that are quite over compressed/flat/lifeless and need upward expansion mainly in the mids/tops and perhaps some transient shaping to get some more attack on the drums. I have a some options on hand in the digital domain (apart from EQ)- Weiss DS-1, Sequoia multi band enhancer, Ozone 4 and Waves C4.

Anyone like to share their own experience and favourite tools?
Old 28th April 2010
  #2
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Hi Ben,

I sometimes use parallel compression trick but instead I use the compressor on an expansion setting to try to add dynamic range to a mix. I'll use something like the waves r-compressor on an auxiliary and set the threshold according to the amount of expansion I need/or can use effectively.

Hope that helps. Hope that brings some life to the mix your working on.
Old 28th April 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

Transient Designer usually helps in adding snap to things, or getting some sustain out of something that has none, so that might be the key in some cases. Upward expansion is a doubled-edged sword, it can work, and it can sound really bad, but try it, there's nothing to lose! I used ozone for upward expansion...
Old 28th April 2010
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by lu432 View Post
Hi Ben,

I sometimes use parallel compression trick but instead I use the compressor on an expansion setting to try to add dynamic range to a mix. I'll use something like the waves r-compressor ...


DS1 mkIII can do that and the Waves Renaissance would be a good choice when ITB.
Less obtrusive than multibands like C4 or Ozone imho.
Old 28th April 2010
  #5
Gear Head
 
Luna Sound's Avatar
 

If transients need rescuing then occasionally the Sonnox inflator plugin with the curve set to a negative no. can help.

I also sometimes use the Renaissance Channel strip with the compressor set to expand rather than compress. On some material this can put a little bit of punch back. Unlike the straight up r-compressor plugin the the channel strip includes side chain filters so you can tweak the effect with a little more control.
Old 28th April 2010
  #6
Parallel compression lover here - but my twist is to add a Softube's Passive EQ on the parallel bus. A 2db boost on highs and bingo, shine!
Old 28th April 2010
  #7
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Ben F's Avatar
 

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I used to use a tube vitalizer in parallel but it's long gone.
Old 28th April 2010
  #8
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Flux Solera (wideband) or Flux Alchemist (multiband)

Pretty hard to beat for those purposes.
Old 28th April 2010
  #9
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Analog wise I've got a modded SPL SX2 (the original "Vitalizer") in the racks - and digital wise once in a blue moon Stillwell Audio's ultra-easy to use "Transient Monster" gets dialed in a tiny bit for extra attack on otherwise flabby tracks. I've been liking the Voxengo "LF Max Punch" for beefing up punch and thump on flabby kicks as well.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 28th April 2010
  #10
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Jesse Graffam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
I've been liking the Voxengo "LF Max Punch" for beefing up punch and thump on flabby kicks as well.
I don't think Aleksey still offers the LF Punch plugin, but maybe he'll sell you a license anyways? See if you can find a demo version still online somewhere. Personally I like it more than LF Max Punch when being used for the purpose you described. To me it seems more consistent and solid than LF Max Punch while also outputting higher levels of added punch. I think the main "problem" I have with LF Max Punch for that is when the existing peak to average ratio drops, it doesn't output as much added punch, right when its needed most. LF Punch doesn't get shy like that.
Old 28th April 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Graffam View Post
I don't think Aleksey still offers the LF Punch plugin, but maybe he'll sell you a license anyways? See if you can find a demo version still online somewhere. Personally I like it more than LF Max Punch when being used for the purpose you described. To me it seems more consistent and solid than LF Max Punch while also outputting higher levels of added punch. I think the main "problem" I have with LF Max Punch for that is when the existing peak to average ratio drops, it doesn't output as much added punch, right when its needed most. LF Punch doesn't get shy like that.
Dunno - there's a bunch of tweaky parameters for it you can tweak to get things working more to your liking. And I use it on maybe 0.01% of tracks I get. And generally I want an enhancer to follow the already existing performance and not substantially alter it. So right now it ain't worth bothering with for me. I tend to get lazy about plugins that only get used once in a blue moon, and my days of demoing everything that comes out are long over.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 28th April 2010
  #12
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Jesse Graffam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
I tend to get lazy about plugins that only get used once in a blue moon, and my days of demoing everything that comes out are long over.
Yep I know where you're coming from. There's just too much stuff coming out now, plus... generally people get better at filtering the wheat from the chaff after a while, without having to hear stuff. Sure we might miss 2-3 great things, but that's why we have peer review too. (and getting better at filtering out that wheat/chaff too heh)



My starting point, adjusting "Strength" as desired, and a bit of the "Compress" if I like it vs whatever other methods being tried.

I haven't had this in my default "chain" in quite a while though, maybe 2 years ish. Moved on to my own methods/plugin for what I would have used this for.
Old 28th April 2010
  #13
Gear Nut
 

heres a link to lf MAX punch

Low-frequency audio band enhancer plugin - LF Max Punch - Voxengo

its really good
Old 28th April 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael callesen View Post
heres a link to lf MAX punch

Low-frequency audio band enhancer plugin - LF Max Punch - Voxengo

its really good
Yup, way better than Waves Maxx Bass imho.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 29th April 2010
  #15
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Had some tracks that fit that description today.

Very light compression (vari-mu worked best on these particular mixes) with the time constants tweaked carefully brought back some movement, life and swing to the track, and between the HEDD (pentode) and Transient Controller (Metric Halo DSP plugin) we were able to bring a smile to the producers face.

Cheers,
Thor
Old 30th April 2010
  #16
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I tried a few different combinations of plug-ins and hardware, and ended up with a simple chain of Sontec EQ and the trusty old Tube-Tech SMC2B. The Tube-tech was being used kind of like an EQ with some heavy compression on the low-mids. Sounded the most natural, client happy, job done.
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