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ducking music when kick hits... Way to use lookahead?
Old 8th July 2016
  #1
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ducking music when kick hits... Way to use lookahead?

I've been using the glue for this for years now in Logic. I generally have one instance on the bass ducking whenever the kick hits, and another on the overall music (minus drums) buss also triggered by the kick.

This isn't really ideal, though, since there'a slight delay before the comp drops the level after the initial spike of the kick. It helps the kick attack stand out, but there's still a big spike of the initial kick attack PLUS the still unducked music that makes the limiters work harder on the mix.

It's really that initial spike that's the biggest issue. I want to have the music and bass fully ducked BEFORE the spike hits to significantly reduce the amplitude and isolate that attack.

I know I could just duplicate the kick track and offset a few ms earlier and feed that to the sidechain, but is anyone doing simpler setup with lookahead comp or limiter for this? Does that even work without sending everything to a buss? Does it cause Logic to get confused about delay compensation?
Old 8th July 2016
  #2
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acmusic's Avatar
 

We use this:

Sidechain Compressor | Dance production & voiceover audio plug-in


no bussing required, just direct routing (at least in Logic). Super fast attack
Old 8th July 2016
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acmusic View Post
We use this:

Sidechain Compressor | Dance production & voiceover audio plug-in


no bussing required, just direct routing (at least in Logic). Super fast attack
I don't see anything there about lookahead.

I've already got super short attack with Glue and others.

Basically, looking for a way to effectively have a compressor look AHEAD in the sidechain signal to duck the track being processed just BEFORE the peak hits... without, of course, offsetting the track being processed.

This is actually a pretty big deal. I could get a LOT more useable range out of my program limiters if I could avoid doubling those peaks. If I can just duck the bass by 3db, and the music by 3db just BEFORE the peak hits, that's 6db less amplitude during that first few ms that will NOT be triggering program limiters or comps, and will result in a much cleaner post mastered sound. Even with a short attack, the doubled up peak is still there, and it still has to be dealt with later.

I've gotten a MUCH punchier sound lately by working out these kinds of details along the way to really maximize the effectiveness and minimize the artifacts from final limiting. This particular issue is the weak link now.

Not sure if this can actually be done or not.

If so, who's doing it. If not, what's the best workaround that doesn't involve doubling and offsetting kick track, and is verified to NOT cause issues with logic's rather imprerfect delay compensation?
Old 8th July 2016
  #4
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You already figured out the solution. Make a copy of the track, advance it a few ms and use it to feed side chain. Have you tried this already? Did it give you the result you wanted?
Old 8th July 2016
  #5
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I know ableton compressor has lookahead and there's also softube which haven't used:

Softube - Lookahead and the FET Compressor

this is the one I make use of when fast attack it's needed:

DC8C Feature List
Old 8th July 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldDragon View Post
You already figured out the solution. Make a copy of the track, advance it a few ms and use it to feed side chain. Have you tried this already? Did it give you the result you wanted?
Yes, but that's a kludgey solution. I've got 75 tracks going, and tend to produce as I write. I don't need more tracks and have to keep remembering to copy the kick track over to duplicate every time I make a change to it.

Looking for simpler, more elegant solution. Really just need comp that can lookahead specifically on it's sidechain input.

I've found several threads from years past with people looking for same thing, and some inconclusive answers.

I would think there would even be a free plug somewhere that can do this.
Old 8th July 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rekloos View Post
I know ableton compressor has lookahead and there's also softube which haven't used:

Softube - Lookahead and the FET Compressor

this is the one I make use of when fast attack it's needed:

DC8C Feature List
Will look at it to see if it can properly look ahead at the sidechain while not causing timing issues with main track.

I could swear I remember trying to do this years ago and reading some obscure reference to how this is actually impossible due to the plugin architecture... can't really remember though.
Old 8th July 2016
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
Will look at it to see if it can properly look ahead at the sidechain while not causing timing issues with main track.

I could swear I remember trying to do this years ago and reading some obscure reference to how this is actually impossible due to the plugin architecture... can't really remember though.
I love what you are doing. I duck bass & kick, acoustic guitars with vocals. I always use rencomp. But you raise an interesting, creative point...

I usually play with my attack and release until it's "sucking" down in time with the groove.

Initial transient detection with a look ahead limiter compressor will not delay your "ducking" for you. To my knowledge, it just doesn't exist & isnt really necessary.

The transient isn't delivering the bass information, it's the longer wav that follows.

Ducking has been used since the beginning of time. And if you think about ducking using analog, and tape...this idea would be completely impossible to achieve.

I do however think you are onto something very cool that has lead me to experiment with duplicating & slipping a kick or vocal track as a dummy key in for side chain.

I think the key to ducking is to really play with getting it to pump in time, in a natural, inaudible way.
Old 9th July 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
To my knowledge, it just doesn't exist & isnt really necessary.

The transient isn't delivering the bass information, it's the longer wav that follows.
It's a little deeper than that. The transient does matter quite a bit, but not because the kick attack is buried, or the bass waveform is masked or anything like that.

It matters because the amplitude of the combined transient will cause limiters later in the chain to distort sooner than they would have if the bass and music had been ducked to not stack on top of the kick attack.

We're talking dance music here, not orchestral.

In the most common case of people limiting during mastering, that extra 5-6 db to the amplitude of those peaks translates into 5-6db LESS effective range for the limiter before distortion becomes audible as it releases.

If you knew a bullet was headed your way, would you duck? I know for a fact a limiter is going to hit that mix later, and I know for a fact the kick attack will mask everything else anyway, and if the waveforms are allowed to combine, that limiter will be knocked out of it's effective range much sooner which means either a less loud or more distorted mastered track.

It needs to be done. Only question is whether it can be done the easy way, or if I've got to pull kick track doubling and offsetting shenanigans to pull it off.
Old 9th July 2016
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
I've been using the glue for this for years now in Logic. I generally have one instance on the bass ducking whenever the kick hits, and another on the overall music (minus drums) buss also triggered by the kick.

This isn't really ideal, though, since there'a slight delay before the comp drops the level after the initial spike of the kick. It helps the kick attack stand out, but there's still a big spike of the initial kick attack PLUS the still unducked music that makes the limiters work harder on the mix.

It's really that initial spike that's the biggest issue. I want to have the music and bass fully ducked BEFORE the spike hits to significantly reduce the amplitude and isolate that attack.

I know I could just duplicate the kick track and offset a few ms earlier and feed that to the sidechain, but is anyone doing simpler setup with lookahead comp or limiter for this? Does that even work without sending everything to a buss? Does it cause Logic to get confused about delay compensation?
Have you given this a shot: use the Logic Stock Enveloper plugin with a slower attack and/or potentially some lookahead built in?

If you play with the attack, perhaps you could put the Enveloper on a Bus (to preserve the initial transient) and have the Send Postfader to balance it out via adjusting the send amount, and if you go the look ahead methodology you could use the plugin as an insert. The latter is the easiest as if you adjust the attack, you'd have to place The Glue on the bus in order trigger properly, or create another Bus with the original track and this Enveloper Bus routed to it. I believe the Side Chain Input could be the Enveloper Bus in this case. In theory, you could implement both approaches simultaneously & adjust with the Send Amount, among other parameters in both Logic & The Glue. You could have two instances of the Glue, for instance, one on the Bus, one on the main track, and the same goes for the Enveloper.

You might want to increase the release to then fatten up the body of the kick.

Again I'll stress -- by far the simplest solution would be to have The Enveloper used as an Insert on the main track, adjusting the Lookahead parameter.

ducking music when kick hits... Way to use lookahead?-default.jpg
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ducking music when kick hits... Way to use lookahead?-default.jpg  
Old 9th July 2016
  #11
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maybe use a tempo synced LFo on the music buss output. use sinewave and adjust shape and intenstity to taste.
Old 9th July 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starsoul707 View Post
maybe use a tempo synced LFo on the music buss output. use sinewave and adjust shape and intenstity to taste.
Tal Filter II is the best tool I've found for this as it lets you draw the exact curve you want. Problem is, it's not really synched to kick, but tot temp. If you're looking to get specific with your 4 on the floor ducking, it's brilliant, but I make extremely funky music with lots of syncopation, and the kicks are often not on the beat.

Good tool, but I'm looking here specifically to deal with the kick transient, so it's got to synch specifically to the kick wherever it may land.
Old 9th July 2016
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusiKLover View Post
Have you given this a shot: use the Logic Stock Enveloper plugin with a slower attack and/or potentially some lookahead built in?

If you play with the attack, perhaps you could put the Enveloper on a Bus (to preserve the initial transient) and have the Send Postfader to balance it out via adjusting the send amount, and if you go the look ahead methodology you could use the plugin as an insert. The latter is the easiest as if you adjust the attack, you'd have to place The Glue on the bus in order trigger properly, or create another Bus with the original track and this Enveloper Bus routed to it. I believe the Side Chain Input could be the Enveloper Bus in this case. In theory, you could implement both approaches simultaneously & adjust with the Send Amount, among other parameters in both Logic & The Glue. You could have two instances of the Glue, for instance, one on the Bus, one on the main track, and the same goes for the Enveloper.

You might want to increase the release to then fatten up the body of the kick.

Again I'll stress -- by far the simplest solution would be to have The Enveloper used as an Insert on the main track, adjusting the Lookahead parameter.

ducking music when kick hits... Way to use lookahead?-default.jpg
Re-reading this a couple times to wrap my head around it. Like most routing discussions, I think I need a cup of coffee first.
Old 9th July 2016
  #14
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maybe you are overcompressing things...maybe lay off of the compression, and let the mix breathe....maybe the bassline isnt fitting with the kick very well....chances are if you are having to do that much compression, that the bassline is just not co existing with the kick in a natural way.

or maybe u are over EQing, or not cutting a big enough notch for the kick to breathe....

or maybe you are causing phase distortion by using EQs that are too steep...and causing mush and not letting the sound breathe
Old 9th July 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starsoul707 View Post
maybe you are overcompressing things...maybe lay off of the compression, and let the mix breathe....maybe the bassline isnt fitting with the kick very well....chances are if you are having to do that much compression, that the bassline is just not co existing with the kick in a natural way.
I don't HAVE to do any compression. It's not about any particular bassline. It's about extending the effective range of final program limiters thereby decreasing distortion in the mastered product per identical loudness.

I'm fully aware that it's contrary to the status quo, and a paradigm shift that most mixers are not prepared to embrace. Whether they jive with the overall philosophy or not, it is simply a fact that the kick attack is masking other simultaneous sounds anyway, and that decreasing the combined peak will, in fact, allow less distortion at the mastering stage per the same loudness achieved... or greater loudness before distortion becomes audible if you choose to look at it that way.

Anyone who disagrees philosophically with incorporating the track's inevitable mastering future into their mixing present is likely to laugh the whole thing off, but the mechanics hold true regardless. I personally look at mixing dance music as an entirely different task than mixing folk, reggae, or whatever else. The final rms dictates it IMO. Plenty will disagree, but I can't help but notice that most of them are not making a living mixing dance music.

I've literally spent months stacking a dozen limiters in all sorts of combinations to work out some of these details and find exactly how and where distortion occurs on modern dance music mastering and how to avoid it. It's not a theory. It has, however, evolved into a future-centric mixing philosophy... of which overcoming this issue is one small part.

Doesn't really matter, though. Different strokes for different folks. I'm not here to soapbox a mix philosophy... just find a practical solution to an everyday issue (that most folks don't even realize they have.)
Old 9th July 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
I don't HAVE to do any compression. It's not about any particular bassline. It's about extending the effective range of final program limiters thereby decreasing distortion in the mastered product per identical loudness.

I'm fully aware that it's contrary to the status quo, and a paradigm shift that most mixers are not prepared to embrace. Whether they jive with the overall philosophy or not, it is simply a fact that the kick attack is masking other simultaneous sounds anyway, and that decreasing the combined peak will, in fact, allow less distortion at the mastering stage per the same loudness achieved... or greater loudness before distortion becomes audible if you choose to look at it that way.

Anyone who disagrees philosophically with incorporating the track's inevitable mastering future into their mixing present is likely to laugh the whole thing off, but the mechanics hold true regardless. I personally look at mixing dance music as an entirely different task than mixing folk, reggae, or whatever else. The final rms dictates it IMO. Plenty will disagree, but I can't help but notice that most of them are not making a living mixing dance music.

I've literally spent months stacking a dozen limiters in all sorts of combinations to work out some of these details and find exactly how and where distortion occurs on modern dance music mastering and how to avoid it. It's not a theory. It has, however, evolved into a future-centric mixing philosophy... of which overcoming this issue is one small part.

Doesn't really matter, though. Different strokes for different folks. I'm not here to soapbox a mix philosophy... just find a practical solution to an everyday issue (that most folks don't even realize they have.)
ok
Old 9th July 2016
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Eventide precision time align lets you do negative delay thus moving backwards a signal in time.
Maybe you can set a send from the original kick to an aux with this plugin inserted and send this negative time delayed signal to the side chain of a compressor. Then you adjust how early the compression kicks in with the negative delay plugin.

Last edited by Pali; 9th July 2016 at 11:16 PM.. Reason: Side chain...
Old 9th July 2016
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pali View Post
Eventide precision time align lets you do negative delay thus moving backwards a signal in time.
Maybe you can set a send from the original kick to an aux with this plugin inserted and send this negative time delaye signal to a compressor. Then you adjust how early the compression kicks in with the negative delay plugin.
I was thinking something similar. It's still kludgey, but since it's a live feed of the track rather than a duplicate, it won't be messed up if I make some changes to the kick track and forget to redo the duplicate.
Old 9th July 2016
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
I was thinking something similar. It's still kludgey, but since it's a live feed of the track rather than a duplicate, it won't be messed up if I make some changes to the kick track and forget to redo the duplicate.
Yes. Clearly the send from the negative delayed track has to be pre fader and this track muted.
So setting the look ahead on a compressor like say Fabfilter C2 doesn't help you to duck the track before the key?
Old 9th July 2016
  #20
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I think I remember Bounce delivering something along your lines.

It has a sidechain, and I thing I remember a discussion about the look ahead.

maybe not, but check it out. It's a nice funk comp anyways.
Old 10th July 2016
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
I don't HAVE to do any compression. It's not about any particular bassline. It's about extending the effective range of final program limiters thereby decreasing distortion in the mastered product per identical loudness.

I'm fully aware that it's contrary to the status quo, and a paradigm shift that most mixers are not prepared to embrace. Whether they jive with the overall philosophy or not, it is simply a fact that the kick attack is masking other simultaneous sounds anyway, and that decreasing the combined peak will, in fact, allow less distortion at the mastering stage per the same loudness achieved... or greater loudness before distortion becomes audible if you choose to look at it that way.

Anyone who disagrees philosophically with incorporating the track's inevitable mastering future into their mixing present is likely to laugh the whole thing off, but the mechanics hold true regardless. I personally look at mixing dance music as an entirely different task than mixing folk, reggae, or whatever else. The final rms dictates it IMO. Plenty will disagree, but I can't help but notice that most of them are not making a living mixing dance music.

I've literally spent months stacking a dozen limiters in all sorts of combinations to work out some of these details and find exactly how and where distortion occurs on modern dance music mastering and how to avoid it. It's not a theory. It has, however, evolved into a future-centric mixing philosophy... of which overcoming this issue is one small part.

Doesn't really matter, though. Different strokes for different folks. I'm not here to soapbox a mix philosophy... just find a practical solution to an everyday issue (that most folks don't even realize they have.)
Are you carving your LF to fit first? Just curious & not being a smart a**.

I love PRO-Q for carving room in subs. I also like maxxbass for harmonically shifting some sub areas, used sparingly.

Then Duck last.
Old 10th July 2016
  #22
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Try different compressors on different settings. No one else uses look-ahead compressors for side chaining, and many use analog. Do you like any current dance music? Why do you think this is the solution?
Old 10th July 2016
  #23
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
I've been using the glue for this for years now in Logic. I generally have one instance on the bass ducking whenever the kick hits, and another on the overall music (minus drums) buss also triggered by the kick.

This isn't really ideal, though, since there'a slight delay before the comp drops the level after the initial spike of the kick. It helps the kick attack stand out, but there's still a big spike of the initial kick attack PLUS the still unducked music that makes the limiters work harder on the mix.

It's really that initial spike that's the biggest issue. I want to have the music and bass fully ducked BEFORE the spike hits to significantly reduce the amplitude and isolate that attack.

I know I could just duplicate the kick track and offset a few ms earlier and feed that to the sidechain, but is anyone doing simpler setup with lookahead comp or limiter for this? Does that even work without sending everything to a buss? Does it cause Logic to get confused about delay compensation?
DMG Compassion does side-chain compression with a look-ahead feature. That is what I used to use before switching to LFTool for mostly 4 on the floor kick-drums. Even for non 4 on the floor stuff I use LFTool these days. You just have to program it to hit at the right spot.


Note though that it will not make a 3 or 6 dB difference on the peaks because the frequencies of the leads will never be exactly the same as those of the attack of the kick. It might save a dB here and there. That's all. But it can make the attack of the kick cut through a bit more.

Alistair
Old 10th July 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldi View Post
Try different compressors on different settings. No one else uses look-ahead compressors for side chaining, and many use analog. Do you like any current dance music? Why do you think this is the solution?
It's not a matter of getting something that sounds good. I've got plenty of options there. It's a very technical matter of avoiding stacking additional amplitude on top of the first few ms of the kick attack for reasons stated earlier. They typical approach with short attack on The Glue sounds just fine, but kicks the can down the road to cause issues later. I'm just more of a kick the can back UP the road kind of guy.
Old 10th July 2016
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
Are you carving your LF to fit first? Just curious & not being a smart a**.

I love PRO-Q for carving room in subs. I also like maxxbass for harmonically shifting some sub areas, used sparingly.

Then Duck last.
Yes and no. Though I often use "real" instruments, I generally use very synthetic kicks, so there's generally not a whole lot to work out. On synth basses, I often carve out the attack directly in the patch itself if it's going to hit with the kick. As for frequency overlap, it's usually not too much of an issue. If anything, I tend to like to hear my basses with less fundamental and more overtones anyway.

It's not a matter of just getting the kick and bass to gel, though. I'm happy with basic tools there. It's really a much more technical issue.
Old 10th July 2016
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
DMG Compassion does side-chain compression with a look-ahead feature. That is what I used to use before switching to LFTool for mostly 4 on the floor kick-drums. Even for non 4 on the floor stuff I use LFTool these days. You just have to program it to hit at the right spot.


Note though that it will not make a 3 or 6 dB difference on the peaks because the frequencies of the leads will never be exactly the same as those of the attack of the kick. It might save a dB here and there. That's all. But it can make the attack of the kick cut through a bit more.

Alistair
Good point about the freq's. I was just illustrating a concept by throwing the numbers out, but I get what you're saying and understand it's a bit more complex than I made it out to be.

That would be WAY too much programming for me with LFtool since I'm doing extremely syncopated music and purposefully vary where the kick hits on most tracks.

I dug through all the old threads I could find that relate, and someone else brought up DMG. I'll have to take a look. I could swear I remember someone somewhere explaining that this concept (lookahead specifically on sidechain track) is actually impossible given AU architecture, but will look into.
Old 10th July 2016
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brockorama View Post
I think I remember Bounce delivering something along your lines.

It has a sidechain, and I thing I remember a discussion about the look ahead.

maybe not, but check it out. It's a nice funk comp anyways.
I'm not seeing any mention of, or controls for lookahead.
Old 10th July 2016
  #28
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This might be what you're looking for: Tbpro audio tools impress

Professional Audio Tools

Not tried it myself mind but @ MarsBot has it

Last edited by Tod Slaughter; 10th July 2016 at 10:22 AM.. Reason: #
Old 10th July 2016
  #29
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
I dug through all the old threads I could find that relate, and someone else brought up DMG. I'll have to take a look. I could swear I remember someone somewhere explaining that this concept (lookahead specifically on sidechain track) is actually impossible given AU architecture, but will look into.
I don't use Logic or AU so I can't say for sure but it seems unlikely. The host doesn't actually know what is going on inside the plugin. The plugin just reports the look ahead as extra latency to the host and internally the plugin delays the main signal path compared to the side-chain.

I guess it is possible that Logic delays the whole track/bus feeding the side-chain pre-sends (rather than just at the output) but then I don't see how it would deal with PDC and live inputs... Anyway, Compassion has a demo so you could test it to be sure.

PS: My Logic using friend says to use this: http://www.vengeance-sound.com/plugi...d%20Sidechain3

I don't see a look-ahead function but you might want to try it out.

Alistair
Old 10th July 2016
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james_bond View Post
This might be what you're looking for: Tbpro audio tools impress

Professional Audio Tools

Not tried it myself mind but @ MarsBot has it
Hmm. Yeah. Could be from the looks of it. Hadn't seen this one. Thx.
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