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Author Topic: Your chain  (Read 43018 times)

ammitsboel

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #75 on: June 27, 2006, 05:41:12 pm »

jazzius wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 13:15

ammitsboel wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 09:13

Mark Donahue wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 03:52

ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 17:42

There's no chain like no chain.

Then there really isn't much use for a mastering engineer either now is there  Wink
At that point you're just the copy boy.

Or the project saviour!
I hope that your excuse for using one is another than "otherwise I'm just the copy boy"? Smile


Try doing nothing to the sound of your client's music and see how long you stay in business (unless you're in the copy business, in which case i'm sure you'll be very successful!).........D

You give the impression that you don't understand me?
Having a scientific discussion and enlightening every aspect is a way to achieve good results, do you not agree? Being able to accept and deal with the opposite opinion can be a great help.

Best Regards
H
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Andy Krehm

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #76 on: June 27, 2006, 10:02:08 pm »

ammitsboel wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 17:41

jazzius wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 13:15

ammitsboel wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 09:13

Mark Donahue wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 03:52

ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 17:42

There's no chain like no chain.

Then there really isn't much use for a mastering engineer either now is there  Wink
At that point you're just the copy boy.

Or the project saviour!
I hope that your excuse for using one is another than "otherwise I'm just the copy boy"? Smile


Try doing nothing to the sound of your client's music and see how long you stay in business (unless you're in the copy business, in which case i'm sure you'll be very successful!).........D

You give the impression that you don't understand me?
Having a scientific discussion and enlightening every aspect is a way to achieve good results, do you not agree? Being able to accept and deal with the opposite opinion can be a great help.

Best Regards
H

Perhaps Henrik is saying that once in a while one doesn't need to do any (or little) processing to a track to make it work in an album.

I'll never forget a jazz album that I worked on early in my mastering career. My client didn't like any sonic manipulations that I tried on the first song I worked on. Not having a enough experience at the time, I felt inwardly resentful that my client didn't like what I was trying to do!

Fortunately, I was smart enough to finally give in and just do what was essentially an as is transfer. What floored me in the end was that I had to use every resource and trick that I knew, at least at that time in my life, to match up the rest of the album to that one "as is" transfer!

Also early in my career, I remember one other album where I did a full-blown enhancement of the mixes on a jazz  album only to get a call from my client saying he didn't like the work and preferred the original mixes. And this after sitting through the whole day! So, he came back another day and I did a simple digital mastering job just slightly raising the volume while matching the volumes track to track and once in a while adding the most minute eq on the cymbals.

When reviewing that experience, I realized I should have known not to mess with the mixes because this particular client had actually mixed the album at my studio with my house mix guy. He came back and touched up the album many, many times and in the process, must have grown to love the mixes that he had spent so much time shaping.

Andy,

Silverbirch Productions.

Trillium Sound

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #77 on: June 27, 2006, 10:07:01 pm »

Andy Krehm wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 22:02

ammitsboel wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 17:41

jazzius wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 13:15

ammitsboel wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 09:13

Mark Donahue wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 03:52

ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 17:42

There's no chain like no chain.

Then there really isn't much use for a mastering engineer either now is there  Wink
At that point you're just the copy boy.

Or the project saviour!
I hope that your excuse for using one is another than "otherwise I'm just the copy boy"? Smile


Try doing nothing to the sound of your client's music and see how long you stay in business (unless you're in the copy business, in which case i'm sure you'll be very successful!).........D

You give the impression that you don't understand me?
Having a scientific discussion and enlightening every aspect is a way to achieve good results, do you not agree? Being able to accept and deal with the opposite opinion can be a great help.

Best Regards
H

Perhaps Henrik is saying that once in a while one doesn't need to do any (or little) processing to a track to make it work in an album.

I'll never forget a jazz album that I worked on early in my mastering career. My client didn't like any sonic manipulations that I tried on the first song I worked on. Not having a enough experience at the time, I felt inwardly resentful that my client didn't like what I was trying to do!

Fortunately, I was smart enough to finally give in and just do what was essentially an as is transfer. What floored me in the end was that I had to use every resource and trick that I knew, at least at that time in my life, to match up the rest of the album to that one "as is" transfer!

Also early in my career, I remember one other album where I did a full-blown enhancement of the mixes on a jazz  album only to get a call from my client saying he didn't like the work and preferred the original mixes. And this after sitting through the whole day! So, he came back another day and I did a simple digital mastering job just slightly raising the volume while matching the volumes track to track and once in a while adding the most minute eq on the cymbals.

When reviewing that experience, I realized I should have known not to mess with the mixes because this particular client had actually mixed the album at my studio with my house mix guy. He came back and touched up the album many, many times and in the process, must of grown to love the mixes that he had spent so much time shaping.

Andy,

Silverbirch Productions.



That is knowing your clients needs. With another client, the scenario that would work is totally the opposite.
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TotalSonic

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #78 on: June 28, 2006, 04:55:27 am »

Hey folks - been busy and out of town a little bit too so haven't posted for a little bit -
but here's my usual "simple" chain:

Digital Source (SAWStudio DAW #1 w/ Lynx One AES outs, DA-20 or PCM2600 DATs, MD350 MD player. Denon or Philips CD players)
-> Z-sys digital patch bay
-> 2 Lavry Blue DAC's (1 direct to Coleman M3PHmkII for source monitoring, 2nd to chain) ->
OR
Analog Source (Sony/MCI JH110B / Sansui SR717 turntable / Denon cassette deck) ->

Amek Medici eq ->
API 2500
OR pair of custom modded NTP179-120 ->

Mytek Stereo96 ADC ->
Z-sys digital patchbay ->
SAWStudio DAW #2 (w/Sydec Mixtreme192 & ibox AES4)->
RML Labs Levelizer &/OR Waves L3 ->
Sonoris Dither (or sometimes Waves IDR dither if the L3 is the final processor)
__________

Of course a lot of times things aren't as "simple" in which case the above might get augmented on the analog side by:
-> pair of Filtek MKIII eq's - if I need either a hardedged bottom or more bands than the Medici gives me, and sometimes a
-> SPL Vitalizer (I have the original stereo version, the SX2) if dealing with something that has too much "M's" (i.e. Mono-ish, Muddy, Muted, overly Mid-rangey) -

& on the digital side (either patched into the playing DAW or receiving DAW depending on the processor) as needed of:

(fully automateable 64bit processing SAWStudio native plugins)
JMS Audioware Hi-res EQ
Sonoris Compressor
Sonoris Mulitband Compressor
Sonoris M/S codec
Sonoris Equalizer
Sonoris Linear Phase EQ
Sonoris Pitch/Time
Brainspawn Stereo Panner

(DX/VST plugins)
Virtos Stereo Processor
Virtos Noise Reduction
Sony NR2.0 Click Remover
Spitfish De-esser
AIPL Warmtone (only used in rare cases to distort side channel)

_____________

OK - now the reasoning behind the choices.
On the analog side I've picked out mainly "sleeper" units - ones that to my ear sound just as good as the $4g + stuff - but that I sourced used (except for my API2500), and in some cases had racked up or modded, for generally under $2g's.  The Medici  is especially one of my fave things in that it is incredibly versatile and you can really boost the mids on highs with it if you need to without things getting grainy.  From looking at the Neve Masterpiece seems a lot of things were carried from the Medici to the Masterpiece's eq modules (such as the "sheen" & "glow" options).

On the digital side - I've been using SAW since the first version that came out in 1994 so I know it like the back of my hand and can edit things with it quicker than using anything else.  Plus the quality of it's internal processing math (64bit integer) and the efficiency of its engine (hand coded in assembly), the ability to easily layout and  PQ indexes and subcodes directly in it using the JMS CSG add-on, and the amazing level of support from it's author, make it to me the best native PC app out there.  The SAW native Sonoris plugins (coded by Pieter Stenekes - who has participated in the recent WUMP's) are some of the few plugins that I actually feel are "master" quality in their sound - all the while running amazingly efficiently due to the SAWStudio plugin API & environment.
__________

As far as things I'd like to change in the chain:
* well, while the Filtek's usually work well as a secondary eq - I'd still like to find another option that could be a lot more subtle as the Filtek's 2dB steps tend to be overkil for most applications.  The Langevin MiniMassive kind of caught my eye for this.  I'd like to look into getting my Filteks modded to 1dB steps also but so far seems the cash needed to do this would be better saved towareds just getting another eq
* I really love the smoothness of the NTP comps (recapped & modded with Triad input & Jensen output transformers) but they're not the easiest things to set as they work on a fixed threshold based on how much signal is sent into them - so I've been thinking of getting am active gain stage placed permanently before them (usually I feed them from the Medici which has a variable input to take care of this) - and I'd like to get them set up with meters also
* I had Dan Zellman open up my Medici and he's pretty sure he could open up the sound a little more by upgrading the caps in it.  I'd like to replace the pots on the input gains (seems Neve doesn't see any problem with this as the same kind of thing is on the Masterpiece) with stepped switches in 1/2dB steps also.
* I'd like to get either a Weiss DS-1 or a Maselec de-esser to hopefully better handle this chore than my current in-the-box options
* definitely would eventually like another dynamic processor - the DW Fearn VT7 really caught my ear recently - but I'm open to other options
* and definitely would like to get an analog M/S matrix.  Think the Dangerous S/M box might be the ticket - but I'd be curious to see if I could just get some of the older Neumann or Telefunken "panorama" modules racked up to get the same functionality for less cash.
* I downloaded the Voxengo Elephant 2.5 demo recently and, unlike the first version, was pretty impressed with it, so this will be my next digital processor purchase as another alternative to the other digital limiters I have
* I'd like to look into possible upgrades beyond the stock repro amps for my JH110B
* and finally thinking of getting a Lavry Blue ADC module added into my 4496 box as an option to my Mytek.

...but at this point all these things are of lower priority than getting a few things sorted out in my monitoring  - so at this point stands for the N802's and some more treatments for the room that will be my next purchases.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

dea

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2006, 02:10:49 pm »

Tascam 2488 Portastudio
Behringer Ultragraph Pro FBQ3102 - Graphic EQ
Behringer Virtualizer Pro DSP2024p - multifx
Behringer UltraTube T1951 - parametric eq
Behringer Ultrafex T1954  - exciter/enhancer
Behringer Composer Pro MDX2600  - compressor

Computer SW:
Voyetra Record Producer Deluxe
Reaper
Various plugins

I primarily use this equipment to record our bands jam sessions.  I also setup MIDI files to play my drums against.  I use the fx equipment to warm up the MIDI generated sounds.
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Demir Ateser
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EP

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #80 on: June 30, 2006, 04:11:24 pm »

TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 28 June 2006 09:55


I really love the smoothness of the NTP comps (recapped & modded with Triad input & Jensen output transformers) but they're not the easiest things to set as they work on a fixed threshold based on how much signal is sent into them - so I've been thinking of getting am active gain stage placed permanently before them


given the typical levels in a modern mastering operation, don't you find that you need to turn the inputs down, not up, to get it just right? Seems like a passive attenuator option early in the chain would do it.....

Please elaborate, if you have time, as I am soon to receive my -120's....
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permeke

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2006, 08:42:39 am »

I see a lot of you have two compressors in your chain.
A softer / slower one (varimu) and a faster one (SSL type, ....).

In what order do you hook them up ? Firdt the vari mu, then the fast one , or vice versa and why  ?
regards
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fuse

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #82 on: July 02, 2006, 09:54:33 am »

Most of the times my chains change but the general approach stays the same. As taken from the setup from the TC finalizer.

First add things to the sound (Phased EQ/MS/Width/Exciting) and as 2nd stage if needed multiband compressing and EQ cut away. Final stage would be limiting and dithering.

And as to parallel processing the TC works FX chain is an ideal toy to split of a parallel signal and process it. You would have to compensate for delays though. But the same goes for hardware equivalents as well.

But I wondered if someone else thinks swapping my first and second stage would make more sense. For me it's just the most practical approach giving me the best results.
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Wouter Veltmaat
Eindhoven

dea

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #83 on: July 07, 2006, 03:39:18 pm »

My budget chain.

Tascam 2488 Portastudio
Behringer Tube UltraQ T1951 Parametric EQ ->
Behringer Virtualizer Pro DSP2024P multifx ->
( Behringer Composer Pro MDX2600 compressor <- side chain Behringer Ultragraph Pro FBQ3102 graphic eq ) ->
Behringer Tube UltraFex T1954 sound enhancement processor



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Demir Ateser
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TotalSonic

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #84 on: July 07, 2006, 03:54:44 pm »

EP wrote on Fri, 30 June 2006 21:11

TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 28 June 2006 09:55


I really love the smoothness of the NTP comps (recapped & modded with Triad input & Jensen output transformers) but they're not the easiest things to set as they work on a fixed threshold based on how much signal is sent into them - so I've been thinking of getting am active gain stage placed permanently before them


given the typical levels in a modern mastering operation, don't you find that you need to turn the inputs down, not up, to get it just right? Seems like a passive attenuator option early in the chain would do it.....

Please elaborate, if you have time, as I am soon to receive my -120's....


Hi Erik -
Sorry for the delayed response - just noticed this post after the thread was brought to the top again.  

You are correct - 9 times out of 10 to set the threshold to where I want to I need to attenuate (and not boost), and in these cases I agree a passive attenuator would be a more transparent (and for my usual purposes because of this a superior) choice.  

But there are indeed a few rare cases, more often where the original source is analog and highly dynamic, and where I want to have the compressor after the eq (which is my usual preference), where I actually am wanting to slam the NTP's, that I would like the ability to boost after the eq.  My Medici's have gain controls at the input that I can adjust (but no output gain controls) - but in some cases just boosting these to the level I want to set will overload the eq's.  SO - seems having a box with a passive attenuator and a bypassable active gain stage (with seperate controls for each side), and switchable metering from input to output, would be a good thing to get.  Maybe a switchable M/S matrix at this point would be the jammy too.

Best regards,
Steve Berson  

EP

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #85 on: July 07, 2006, 10:33:21 pm »

Funny how those simple little projects get a bit bigger over time  Laughing I have a pair of shallco passive attenuators (10db) that I plan to use for this purpose.....although I see your point on the coolness of having gain in the same unit. (not to mention m/s, although that can be a passive transformer circuit so not nesc. an active vs passive thing)

One of these days pretty soon, Dan will have my 179-120's done.....I'm getting excited!
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TotalSonic

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #86 on: July 08, 2006, 02:20:09 am »

EP wrote on Sat, 08 July 2006 03:33

Funny how those simple little projects get a bit bigger over time  Laughing


Yeah - it tends to happen that way as soon as you try and get the "vintage sleepers" to work in as streamlined way as the latest "state of the art" mastering gear.  But I just used the NTP's on a "poky" digital recording of piano/vocal that hadn't been recorded too well, and man, it was such the perfect compliment, with instant "warmth" added that it seemed to make the journey to getting these babies going more than well worth it.

Quote:

I have a pair of shallco passive attenuators (10db) that I plan to use for this purpose.....although I see your point on the coolness of having gain in the same unit. (not to mention m/s, although that can be a passive transformer circuit so not nesc. an active vs passive thing)

One of these days pretty soon, Dan will have my 179-120's done.....I'm getting excited!


Good stuff!    
Although probably once he has your pair shipped out he's going to have to get one of mine - as one of the modules has developed an intermittent noise in the past couple days  Crying or Very Sad

Maybe I'll take the downtime for this box as a positive thing to have Dan do the rest of my desired customizations so I can finally have these uber-smoov-vibe-compressors be as easy to use as my API2500. Smile

btw -
I found some interesting info on how Tocano Mastering in Copenhagen (which is also the former home of NTP) modded their 179-120's - at
http://www.resolutionmag.com/pdfs/FACILI~1/TOCCANO.PDF

Tocano knows its processing equipment well and Eliasson is happy to talk through some of the ways that they use it.  
Orland / NTP 179/120 compressor modules:
The original NTP modules were a favourite with mastering suites because of their smooth compression action but their minimal controls don't apply them so well to modern bass-heavy music. Ex-NTP and local designer Trols Orland will modify modules, adding new control facilities, such as side chain, peak clip, de-esser, stereo link, metering and a new rack. Using the side chain with an LF cut of 6dB/octave below 300Hz they become more usable on dance music.


It would be interesting to get hold of Mr. Orland and see if some schematics for all of this would be purchasable.  (although getting the stereo link going is no problem as Dan Zellman already added that on mine).

Best regards,
Steve Berson

EP

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #87 on: July 08, 2006, 10:48:05 am »

TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 08 July 2006 07:20



The original NTP modules were a favourite with mastering suites because of their smooth compression action but their minimal controls don't apply them so well to modern bass-heavy music. Ex-NTP and local designer Trols Orland will modify modules, adding new control facilities, such as side chain, peak clip, de-esser, stereo link, metering and a new rack. Using the side chain with an LF cut of 6dB/octave below 300Hz they become more usable on dance music.


I suspect whats done here, to affect most of the 'mod' is the side chain is looped out to a filter with some controls on the faceplate.....Hey Dan's got mine on his bench-if you see him tell him to experiment a little  Very Happy !  I would not be surprised if he already had thought of how it could be done.
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TotalSonic

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #88 on: July 08, 2006, 01:18:39 pm »

Kris permeke wrote on Sun, 02 July 2006 13:42

I see a lot of you have two compressors in your chain.
A softer / slower one (varimu) and a faster one (SSL type, ....).

In what order do you hook them up ? Firdt the vari mu, then the fast one , or vice versa and why  ?
regards



I can't speak for others, especially as I don't have a vari-mu type comp, but it's actually pretty rare for me to have 2 analog comps in series.  For me the reason I have more than one (and want to in fact get more at some point) is that the ones I own have very different characters from each other  - and since every track is different, and the best compressor for one track might not be the best for another, it's nice to have multiple options.  

Once in a while I'll use one for the Mid and a different for the Side channels though in order to get different characters on these two elements.   And once in a blue moon something might come in that I want to get some squash on - in which case one way to proceed might one adjusted with a low ratio and lower high threshold for just some smoothing and another acting more as a limiter on the peaks.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Viitalahde

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #89 on: July 09, 2009, 02:14:26 pm »

Processing chain discussions are so 2006, but I'll bump it up anyway. I've read through this topic and I'd like to see more discussion.

My chain has changed pretty radically from the last autumn when I upgraded my processing converter to the HEDD. After that I built a new passive EQ with a tube make-up stage, and I built that with clean audio in mind. Now I got myself a brand new Knif Audio compressor, of which I'm going to write a review once I've used it for a while.

My chain is definately going for cleaner and cleaner, and if I can't get it transparent, I'd like to have something that actually makes the audio slightly more open when just ran through. The passive EQ and the Knif compressor do just that. It's subtle, it's not an obvious sonic fingerprint but it's there.

Right now my chain is this, pretty much in the order:

-HEDD192 D/A
-LCEQ2 (the passive EQ)
-A parametric EQ based on a Sontec (replaced this summer with a Barry Porter design)
-Knif Audio Pure Mu compressor
-Gyraf Audio G10 compressor
-HEDD192 A/D

Not all used all the time, obviously.

I like to keep things simple and work out my way doing little things. Occasionally, I drive the sound to saturation, and I've been using the Gyraf for this. This might change, since I'm interested in the use of pentodes in vari-mu compressors.

Before this I'll also try out an optical compressor in the chain, based on the sidechain Fred Forssell has published. I have a certain sound of compression in mind with this.

Whenever I'm changing my chain, I always have a goal in mind. I hate constant changes in the chain. I have a good feeling that the HEDD, the passive EQ and the Knif compressor are the first pieces in my chain with which I'll have a long working relationship with.

Oh, I control this all with a pretty simple passive console. I'm building a new one, since I want a different kind of a monitor attenuator and sends for VU meters. The number of inserts is about shrink down, too.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
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