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ShaperBox / LFO Tool equivalent with audio threshold trigger?
Old 18th January 2018
  #1
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Ain't Nobody's Avatar
 

Best possible way to duck bass with kick. (B4 transient, draw bezier curves)

GOAL
Duck bass with kick BEFORE peak occurs.



POSSIBLE APPROACHES


COMPRESSORS

Compressors are the worst option due to the lack of control over the ducking. Some are better than others, but they all pale in comparison to the sort of draw your own bezier curve tools found in LFO Tool, ShaperBox, and others.


BEZIER TOOLS (Tempo Based)

I've used LFO Tool and ShaperBox. Perhaps there are others and I can get some recommendations.

Either will do EXACTLY what is needed if you are doing house music where the kick pattern never varies. Beyond that, there needs to be some other way besides tempo sync to trigger on demand.


BEZIER TOOLS (MIDI trigger)

At first glance, ShaperBox would appear to be the perfect tool. It has exactly the right controls, and can be triggered by MIDI, so problem solved right?

Not really. Not in Logic, at Least. To use the MIDI trigger, it has to be on a MIDI track, and the instrument being ducked must first be sent to a bus, and then have that bus sidechained to the MIDI track. That's TWO extra tracks PER instrument to be ducked, and if you're like me and ducking different amounts of of various submixes, it's a nightmare.

Actually, the nightmare's just beginning because as a side effect, your mutes and solos will no longer work for individual tracks or busses involved anywhere in the process since Logic doesn't understand the bus is being heard through the MIDI track.

Hopefully there is some other way to rewire something in the Logic environment or similar, but it's enough of an issue to make me wonder about ditching Logic all together if there's another DAW this process works in without the issues.

There's an IAC option that smacks of the good old days with Logic's Environment that would appear on the surface to make more sense except that it then means you can't ever do offline bounces which is a non-starter.

I haven't tried this with LFO tool, but it looks as if the MIDI bit works similarly. LOVE to hear that there's another way... with either of these plugs or something different.


BEZIER TOOLS (Audio sidechain)

So since the MIDI triggering causes so many routing issues, just use an audio signal instead, right? Nope. Apparently that's one option Shaperbox doesn't have. Even if it did, you'd still have the same problem as with the compressor of not ducking BEFORE the initial transient, but that can be solved by:


TIME TRAVEL

Did this one today. Took the kick, selected all regions, and gave them a few ticks of negative delay (earlier in time). Fed that to a bus, and used that bus (early kick) as the sidechain for a comp. Fed the audio output of that bus to another bus that has a delay on it that negates the earlier negative delay. Result is in time, but the sidechain trigger is always slightly before.

It's kludgey as hell, but it's actually the best solution I've seen to date for a couple of reasons. First, although it involves a couple extra tracks, it's a couple extra tracks once only. Even if I separately duck eight different things, they're all using the same sidechain and a simple inline plug per channel.

Second, it self-updates. If I change something on the kick track, I don't then need to also change something on a MIDI trigger track or otherwise. Whatever's on that track goes early to the triggering bus.

It's not without it's issues. If you're looping, you won't hear the first note in the loop if it's at the beginning of the measure since technically it exists BEFORE the loop start point now. And, of course, it's introducing system latency, etc.

The biggest drawback, though, is that I'm back to using a compressor without all the fancy bezier goodies since ShaperBox and LFO tool don't have appear to have audio sidechain trigger options.



THOUGHTS

So... who's got a better way to use MIDI triggers in logic, another bezier tool that has an audio sidechain, or any other alternative solution?

Last edited by Ain't Nobody; 18th January 2018 at 04:24 AM.. Reason: changed theme of question
Old 18th January 2018
  #2
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Dynamic eqs/multiband sidechain compressors like the waves c6 or mcdsp ae600. Wavesfactory makes a cool one too, it's only single band essentially though.
Other than that, I generally just adjust the attack in the bass or use a fade on the initial transient so that its attack doesn't clash with the kick.
Midi lag in general is hardly noticeable, but I tend to feel more comfortable with a single routing from audio or midi for sidechaining. I just don't have a lot of faith in triggering midi to trigger a sidechain. You get latency in routing, and just a tad from midi it feels like to me, and it all kind of compounds in the box, plus it's more complex which leaves more tendency for problems, latency, and more stuff to remember if you come back to a project.
Old 18th January 2018
  #3
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I just came across Vengeance Multiband Sidechain 3. It appears to be the missing link in that it's dual band (can let the highs pass, but also has some nice features to dial in here), has bezier curves, and can be triggered by host sync, midi note, or audio sidechain.

... but requires another dongle (Syncrosoft). Shame. It appears to have some great features.

Polyverse Gatekeeper also looks to be along the lines of LFO Tool or Volume Shaper with MIDI trigger option. Does this work differently in some other DAW?

Last edited by Ain't Nobody; 18th January 2018 at 09:31 AM..
Old 18th January 2018
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnevz View Post
Dynamic eqs/multiband sidechain compressors like the waves c6 or mcdsp ae600. Wavesfactory makes a cool one too, it's only single band essentially though.
Other than that, I generally just adjust the attack in the bass or use a fade on the initial transient so that its attack doesn't clash with the kick.
Midi lag in general is hardly noticeable, but I tend to feel more comfortable with a single routing from audio or midi for sidechaining. I just don't have a lot of faith in triggering midi to trigger a sidechain. You get latency in routing, and just a tad from midi it feels like to me, and it all kind of compounds in the box, plus it's more complex which leaves more tendency for problems, latency, and more stuff to remember if you come back to a project.
If it's a synth bass, I sometimes adjust the attack too, but only if it always hits with the kick. It usually doesn't. All this stuff is much easier if you're making 4 on the floor straight ahead stuff. I'm usually over the top with syncopation and variation which makes it all much tougher. Of course ghost note kicks and so on destroy the entire notion of triggered envelope method, so I am assuming that only 100% strength kicks are used. That is one area where a dynamic threshold approach is preferable.

I like the IDEA of midi triggering, although it seems to just not be workable in any practical sense within Logic as I need to choose between routing hell with loss of mutes and solos, or loss of offline bounce (and possibly other issues).

Triggering from audio threshold off of a MIDI generated instrument does seem to be the worst of both worlds, but the time traveling trick or alias track offset a bit early should offset any latency (unless there's a bit of drift).
Old 9th February 2018
  #5
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UPDATE: I've been diving into every similar plug I can find, and I just don't see another plug anywhere with bezier level controls that can be audio triggered like Vengeance Multiband Sidechain 3. Really a shame since I refuse to add another dongle just to use one plugin.

Currently, I'm using a tiny pulse (much shorter than kick) offset to be a couple ticks before each kick as the sidechain to feed a multiband compressor that drops everything below 200hz down 30db then instantly starts a smooth ramp up each time kick hits. I'd really prefer to draw in the release with bezier tools like some of the shaper tools have though... especially with 2 or more bands or at least some kind of slider to allow highs to pass. I really thought shaperbox was finally going to be the answer, but the MIDI trigger and Logic just don't mix.

Am I missing any other contenders.
Old 9th February 2018
  #6
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Apologies for the obviousness, but what about just copying and pasting automation? You can use the LFOTool to print off one bass note with the curve just as you like and then use the shape of that audio as a visual to draw in gain automation just as you want for the others via drag and copy.
Old 9th February 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsieur_R View Post
Apologies for the obviousness, but what about just copying and pasting automation? You can use the LFOTool to print off one bass note with the curve just as you like and then use the shape of that audio as a visual to draw in gain automation just as you want for the others via drag and copy.
One major problem with that method for me is that I write as I record as I mix as I arrange, so it's bound to go wrong at some point as things get re-re-rearranged. That and for whatever reason, those plugs appear to be more accurate than Logic's own automation.
Old 24th February 2018
  #8
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I've seriously considered vengeance multiband sidechain many times.
As well as other vengeance plugins.
It was the same thing for me, the eliscencer thing just put me off.
Otherwise I'd probably own 3-4 of their plugins.
Just got cubase with an Elicenser though, so I might look into the multiband sidechain again.

Def agree that logics automation doesn't seem to help with this kind of thing. I don't know if it's my settings or what, but I always get some lag or have some issues when trying to do seriously precise automation.
Old 24th February 2018
  #9
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This is infinitely irritating to me. I've dug through all the options many times. I found several people online saying they have Vengeance, but not to bother, and to get one of the others. Not clear, though, if they understood it does something none of the others appear to, or if they're using another DAW where MIDI triggers work properly.

Current reality: I've paid for three different plugins for this purpose, and I'm using none of them as I've resigned myself to using a Multiband comp with a sidechain input being fed by a separate trigger track which mirrors kick track, but offset by negative delay.

Essentially, EVERY dance music producer is using (or should be) something along these lines, so I'm quite surprised that there aren't better functioning options. Assuming Logic isn't going to suddenly alter it's routing, and assuming I'm not going to suddenly jump ship on the DAW and change everything, I'd be happy if Shaperbox just added an audio sidechain. With an audio sidechain, it could even have a dynamic threshold whre depending on incoming spike, it could apply the curve at an appropriate ratio so ghost kicks have less or no effect... dialed in like a comp. Even an all or nothing threshold would be a huge improvement and at least allow me to use the plug. Only reason I can think of that it lacks one is that they assume most people will just use it with tempo sync.
Old 24th February 2018
  #10
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I completely understand where your coming from, with the syncopation and variation it all that making it more difficult. And it being much easier with 4 on the floor of course.
The simplest quickest work arounds ive found are 1.) using automation to adjust the attack on the bass. Since, generally speaking, bass notes have a decent amount of space between them, and if the automation timing is off by a bit for whatever reason, it usually doesn't need to be so precise to adjust the attack on the bass, with adsr parameters. Before the next kick note hits.
2nd thing I'll sometimes do in that situation is just copy the bass, and then have that one track with the lowered attack and the other being normal.

Just some more workarounds, and ways to get to the end goal.
I'd like a simple plugin that does this too. But I tend to think it's just the nature of midi and digital audio to some degree.
Waiting for vengeance to hit me with a demo of the mbs. I guess their demos are sent out personally and not automatically? Kind of odd.
Old 24th February 2018
  #11
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Let me know how the demo goes. What am I saying? Please don't. I need another dongle like a hole in the head.

One positive from all this is that it's forced me to at least attempt every known method. In doing so, I've found some pros and cons for each. Ultimately, a simple MIDI trigger without the routing issues would be ideal... especially if it can be triggered by the MIDI triggering the kick itself... but as MIDI, not after the conversion to audio.

Since that requires deeper changes to the DAW architecture (at least in Logic)... and since I'm not willing to lose offline bounce as a compromise (let alone the much worse option that kills all mute/solo capabilities), this leaves the myriad of other imperfect options.

Although I'm not thrilled about using the MB comp because the controls for release aren't as precise as bezier tools, I have grown fond of the ability to define the slope so that, for instance, I can duck everything below 200hz, but with a gentle slope getting there. That's useful to really smooth out the effect.
An ideal tool would have bezier tools with MIDI triggering option, audio sidechain option with ability (if you choose) to trigger envelope according to ratio defined by amplitude of incoming sidechain signal (like a comp to accommodate kicks of varied strength)... and multiband capability with a user definable slope to let the highs pass, but avoid any issues at the crossover point.

I'm almost afraid to re-read the specs on Vengeance on the off chance that it already has a user definable slope for the multiband frequency.
Old 16th April 2018
  #12
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Giving Guda Audio Envelopr a try, and it has a multiband option which is good, though fixed slope crossover. However, there appears to be no manual or explanation except for a video with no dialog.

I see no sidechain, but a 1 note trigger option. Am I to assume this is a MIDI trigger subject to all the same issues in Logic as the MIDI trigger within CableGuys' offering?

Anyone using this plug? How are you using the note trigger option (especially in Logic).
Old 2 days ago
  #13
Followers of this thread might be interested to know that we've just released a plug-in called Duck, which allows a ducking envelope to be triggered from an audio sidechain input:

Devious Machines release Duck - the definitive "sidechain" tool
Old 1 day ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurodriver View Post
Followers of this thread might be interested to know that we've just released a plug-in called Duck, which allows a ducking envelope to be triggered from an audio sidechain input:

Devious Machines release Duck - the definitive "sidechain" tool
Hey Neuro - can the 'ducking' be positive gain too?
Old 1 day ago
  #15
HSi
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How long before the kick do you want the bass to duck? A couple of ms?



You need this or an equivalent, use that as a an external side chain and use a compressor on the bass track. Make the track silent, push it a few m. seconds ahead, job done

I would just alter the envelope of the bass on the kick notes, thats easier said than done in logic though, in Maschine, thats just turning one knob at the right time. If you were to increase the attack by a few ms.
Old 1 day ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutetourettes View Post
Hey Neuro - can the 'ducking' be positive gain too?
Currently it just goes up to unity, though you can of course apply your own positive gain afterwards or before the plug-in and offset the curve accordingly.
Old 1 day ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurodriver View Post
Currently it just goes up to unity, though you can of course apply your own positive gain afterwards or before the plug-in and offset the curve accordingly.
would you consider giving the option of above unity? I can't quite see how i'd be able to do that by offsetting gains (maybe I'm just being thick)

so when a sidechain trigger event happens, the main audio level can increase for a while, with a nice hand-drawn curve to my satisfaction, and then revert to what it was...
Old 1 day ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutetourettes View Post
would you consider giving the option of above unity? I can't quite see how i'd be able to do that by offsetting gains (maybe I'm just being thick)

so when a sidechain trigger event happens, the main audio level can increase for a while, with a nice hand-drawn curve to my satisfaction, and then revert to what it was...
When in audio or MIDI triggered mode, the envelope plays as a one-shot, and comes to rest at its ending position. So if you make the ending position less than full volume, then boost the volume of the track by the same amount, then any position on the curve above your end position is effectively gain.
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