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Distressors as MIX Compressors????
Old 5th May 2003
  #31
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by no ssl yet
Ok so where's e-cue when you need him?
Locked up in the studio for 60 hours straight. (I think I'm the only one working in LA right now... shesh) must...take...shower....

Quote:
Originally posted by no ssl yet
I know he has some "in the box solutions"
and Thrill would you care to share tricks? (drum tricks of course not some newfangled form of prostitution LOL)
Check your PM no ssl for a couple specific songs I mixed in the box with several parallel techniques.

I don't usually parallel my entire mix. There's a lot of problems, specifically with phase cancellations that can get too furry on the entire mix. The main time I DO parallel the entire mix is when I only have a 2 mix (all the instruments on a stereo channel) and vocals to work with. Most of the time I mult my kick across 3-5 mults, depending on what I have to start with. 1 for the attack (a clicky deathmetal kick drum sound, which I don't turn up as much as I used to because it's starting to sound dated but I still keep it loud enough so you can hear the kick nicely on auratones), 1 for the mid (similar to a lot of Dre sounding kicks), 1 for the sub (this is the one that craps out your NS10's like no nobodys business). My out of the box chains usually go as follows:
1 SSL 9000J channel strip. Slight tweeks bus via small fader pre lg fader to:
Hi Chain: DBX 160XT overeasy or Distressor-> API 550b (usually a HPF on channel strip return)
Mid Chain: Vac Rac comp -> Vac Rac EQ
Lo Chain: Distressor (usually higher than 8:1, I like the Dist2) -> Pultec Blue (usually a LPF on the channel strip return) or Moog Graphic EQ
Lo Fi / SP1200 chain: Distressor (set to link with no cable plugged into back. dist 3 setting on nuke) -> Sans Amp Classic pedal (via Little Labs PCP)
Forat F16 return

The EL8 usually tames the 20-30 htz range pretty good but sometimes it's a little much, in which case eq'ing pre compression usually takes care of it.

My in the box chains usually go as follows (time adjusted accordingly):
1 Filterbank to tweek
Hi Chain: Digi gate -> Digi compressor (don't sleep, this thing is pretty dope) -> Filterbank
Mid Chain: either McDsp 4 band Multiband compressor, or Compbank->
Low Chain: Ren Comp (sometimes too slow) / CompBank -> Pultec eq
Lo Fi / SP1200 drum sound chain: -> Lo fi (8 bit, Saturation turned up if I need more low end)
I encourage hitting the red's, or I should say, I'm not discouraged when they do. Mix with your ears, not your eyes. Sometimes things sound better out of the reds, sometimes they don't. I've noticed when I do live based music in the box, my meters hardly hit the reds ever.

My bass chains out of the box are usually:
Stock bass on SSL 9000j with minor tweeks bussed post LG fader.
Distressor -> Moog Eq (drive at around 3 o clock, with the mid band on the low frequencies) Sometimes I use the 31 band moog for more subtle basses.
160XT (overeasy) -> Blue Pultec I usually bus this to the Roland Dimension D with either 1&4 pressed in or all of them pressed in. This gives the bass a width, if you want that on your bass. I usually send hot signal into the unit and bring the returns up lower than usual to taste.

Bass chains in the box:
1 Stock
Multed Ren Comp -> Pultec Blue
Multed Digicomp -> Ren Bass "Fuzzbass" setting added in very lightly to give bass an upperrange growl. -> Filterbank (usually to cut out frequencies with a hi Q that screw with the way this path sounds added into the original)
Sometimes the MC4 multiband compressor, or if it's a ballad C4.

I wish I could say "run this through this chain and it will sound awesome", but it totally depends on what you have to start with and how to mess with these tools. Once in a blue moon, I'll pull up the kick and not change a thing, but more often that not, I have to process it a little so it has it's place by the end of the mix.
Old 6th May 2003
  #32
Quote:
Originally posted by no ssl yet
[B
and Thrill would you care to share tricks? (drum tricks of course not some newfangled form of prostitution LOL) [/B]
Alright I thought of a specific case.

Before I break it down I want to go on record as saying that I am neither mixing or tracking anymore rap(I stopped Jan 1,2000).

But the applications I will detail still can apply. I still use what I learned mixing rap drums to this day.

I recently had a gig to mix a RnB song with live drums. Nice tune, but the drums were...well how can I best stated...sounded like ass!!!grudge

The guy wanted the drums to bounce and pop, especially the snare, which sounded like absolute crap. He wanted the Billie jean snare.

Sure i could have sound replaced the snare, but that's no fun.heh

The case:

A snare drum that was miked with an SM57 only on the top, through Mackie pre's, in a low ceiling room. Very thuddy and dead sounding. The color to describe the snare is brown or gray(as Bruce Sweiden would say).heh

Goal: "Billie Jean" snare

Solution? How?

Well, like I posted earlier in these cases I tend to break the snare down to its acoustic envelope. Attack-decay-sustain-release. All on four channels, with their own processor combinations. I think if I remember on this snare I went 5-6 channels deep.

1st channel- Attack("point"):

In the past when mixing rap, my favorite processor to bring out the attack on drums was the Drawmer 201 gate. I loved it in Hard gate mode with the filter in. Over the last year in half i've kinda been working with the new kid on the block, the Transient designer, and using that to define the attack"point". The only problem I am having is finding a filter that compliments it on drums. Its too clean at times(where the DS201 has a nice solid sound to its attack. Too bad I sold it.)grudge

But I used it anyway and really tuned into the "stick". A nice sharp point.

2nd channel-Attack/decay("meat"):

This is where the meat of the sound is. So i usually spend the most time defining this part. Your compressor/EQ combi is important. My fav comps are: Neve 32264a,Distressor,SSL or Alan Smart,DBX160x(especially if its a side stick). For EQ i like the GML8200(peaky),Neve1073(fat) or the Manley Pultec(roundish).

I think this time I around I did Distressor/GML 8200 and really dialed into the sound. A nice solid snare sound.

3rd channel-Decay

Again Transient Designer employed with a little bit of GML 8200. The idea this time was more space and much less attack. Dial it in with the GML. By itself it sounds weird, but mix start mixing it in and you'll hear what i am talking about.

4th channel- sustain/release

For this I went to reverb. But not a regular reverb. I want a sustain that will give the snare thickness, but not take up alot of space. So I went with a mono reverb(pitched shifted and panned slightly off center) so when the snare hits, it gives it a slight movement from L-R(fed from my second channel and fifth element). Also to keep it from "buiding too much steam" I put a filter on it with an envelope follower. That way I could shape the response(and color) in time with the other parts of the kit. Also the env filter was triggering a gate which I adjusted the release to blend as much as possible.

So now my snare is cranking!!! Man talk about a nice sound. But with so many layers, I am thinking"man i need to make the snare just cut through a touch". So i got two options:

1) Buss all the sounds over to a channel and compress/EQ that...nah. Remember we want to keep the hugeness of the sound and EQing it will create peaks when the hihat hits, which will compete for attention against the vocal.

2) I went with #2 or as I call it "the fifth element"-Filtered White noise(triggered by a gate of course).

Remember with the top mic alone and no bottomn, I don't have the luxury to sneak in a little bit of rattle. So i will create my own, filtered white noise with a gate(triggered by the second channel). This is trick I like for brightening a snare, it works better than EQ sometimes because how you set the filter determines the color. Also it will blend better with the hihat mic and give its own space.

So now I blend all of my channels together(this is where automation comes in handy). Sometimes I will blend the original in also, but since it sounds like garbage I thought i would keep it there.heh

In the end I did buss the kick,snare,and bass to a drumbuss and compressed and EQd that(Varimu/GML 8200) ans snuck it under the kit. It sounded great by the way and the producer who was the drummer was blown away!!!!
Old 6th May 2003
  #33
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jazzius's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Alright I thought of a specific case.


2) I went with #2 or as I call it "the fifth element"-Filtered White noise(triggered by a gate of course).

Nice!..........gonna try that!
Old 6th May 2003
  #34
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jazzius's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Alright I thought of a specific case.



In the past when mixing rap, my favorite processor to bring out the attack on drums was the Drawmer 201 gate. I loved it in Hard gate mode with the filter in.
The drawmer is V. cool, but don't you sometimes (always) wish it had the same knobs as the distressor?
Old 7th May 2003
  #35
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Ye gods, those are some unbelievably complex signal chains described above. Wow.
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