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saturation...Where?
Old 16th September 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

saturation...Where?

Hi everyone!
I was wondering if you can give me a hint where to put saturation in the mixing chain? Before or after the EQ/Compressor? Concerning Track, Bus and maybe also on the Master?
Thanks!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Probably best to try it in all those places and varying degrees and see how it sounds.

Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Hello hello people!
Thanks for your answer!
I know I could do so, and i did. But as a Newbie it really helps to get an input or idea from expirienced engineers until you are experienced enough, right?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
There's no situation the same.
Not all sounds "need" saturation.
You can apply saturation on everything anywhere.
However, overdoing it will make the mix sound bad.
Doing it because others do it to could be a pitfall not to use your ears.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by schimmelblau View Post
Hello hello people!
Thanks for your answer!
I know I could do so, and i did. But as a Newbie it really helps to get an input or idea from expirienced engineers until you are experienced enough, right?
Yes you're probably right. But I'm a complete noob too so I'm not really sure.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Yes you're probably right. But I'm a complete noob too so I'm not really sure.
You have to trust your ears. If you like the way it sounds then go for it. There is no real right and wrong.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by schimmelblau View Post
Before or after the EQ/Compressor?
Regarding pre-/post-effects what you should keep in mind is that sometimes an effect you're using isn't entirely "linear". So if you use a saturation plugin before a clean, neutral and pretty much linear EQ then the EQ will keep doing what it's doing to the signal. So if you set the EQ to boost 2k 2dB with a Q of 3 then that's what it'll do regardless of the input.

On the other hand you have things like the compressor which will (possibly, or likely) compress a different amount. So if you saturate a signal before the compressor that signal might now be a bit louder, and if it is then more of it will cross above the threshold and the compressor will compress more of the signal.

By placing the compressor first that won't happen.

And of course, by adjusting either an EQ or a compressor before the saturation effect you might very well get different levels of saturation - because the saturation effect is likely behaving like a compressor; more input = more saturation... So boosting levels in an EQ before that effect = more saturation...

So that's how you need to think about processing in general. What do you do, for what reason, and where, in relationship to other processes.

PS: Since saturation probably changes the tonal quality of the sound you also need to keep that in mind. In other words, saturating a signal might mean that you need to EQ differently - not because the EQ now works differently, but because the tone of the signal is different now.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Regarding pre-/post-effects what you should keep in mind is that sometimes an effect you're using isn't entirely "linear". So if you use a saturation plugin before a clean, neutral and pretty much linear EQ then the EQ will keep doing what it's doing to the signal. So if you set the EQ to boost 2k 2dB with a Q of 3 then that's what it'll do regardless of the input.

On the other hand you have things like the compressor which will (possibly, or likely) compress a different amount. So if you saturate a signal before the compressor that signal might now be a bit louder, and if it is then more of it will cross above the threshold and the compressor will compress more of the signal.

By placing the compressor first that won't happen.

And of course, by adjusting either an EQ or a compressor before the saturation effect you might very well get different levels of saturation - because the saturation effect is likely behaving like a compressor; more input = more saturation... So boosting levels in an EQ before that effect = more saturation...

So that's how you need to think about processing in general. What do you do, for what reason, and where, in relationship to other processes.

PS: Since saturation probably changes the tonal quality of the sound you also need to keep that in mind. In other words, saturating a signal might mean that you need to EQ differently - not because the EQ now works differently, but because the tone of the signal is different now.
This is amazing advice.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
You have to trust your ears. If you like the way it sounds then go for it. There is no real right and wrong.
Just wait til you get old, sonny. Then you can trust your ears up to about 4K. :-)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Just wait til you get old, sonny. Then you can trust your ears up to about 4K. :-)
lol...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by brent hahn View Post
just wait til you get old, sonny. Then you can trust your ears up to about 4k. :-)
whats that you say? Can you speak up?

Edit: that was supposed to be in all caps but GS wont do it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
whats that you say? Can you speak up?

Edit: that was supposed to be in all caps but GS wont do it.
But they still allow apostrophes.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
But they still allow apostrophes.
Touche
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
Touche
lol
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
lol
Indeed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
You have to trust your ears. If you like the way it sounds then go for it. There is no real right and wrong.
More or less my statement in post #2

Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Regarding pre-/post-effects what you should keep in mind is that sometimes an effect you're using isn't entirely "linear". So if you use a saturation plugin before a clean, neutral and pretty much linear EQ then the EQ will keep doing what it's doing to the signal. So if you set the EQ to boost 2k 2dB with a Q of 3 then that's what it'll do regardless of the input.

On the other hand you have things like the compressor which will (possibly, or likely) compress a different amount. So if you saturate a signal before the compressor that signal might now be a bit louder, and if it is then more of it will cross above the threshold and the compressor will compress more of the signal.

By placing the compressor first that won't happen.

And of course, by adjusting either an EQ or a compressor before the saturation effect you might very well get different levels of saturation - because the saturation effect is likely behaving like a compressor; more input = more saturation... So boosting levels in an EQ before that effect = more saturation...

So that's how you need to think about processing in general. What do you do, for what reason, and where, in relationship to other processes.

PS: Since saturation probably changes the tonal quality of the sound you also need to keep that in mind. In other words, saturating a signal might mean that you need to EQ differently - not because the EQ now works differently, but because the tone of the signal is different now.
Awesome answer!!! Very helpful and detailed!!!
Thank you and everyone else as well!!!
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