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Author Topic: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box  (Read 18820 times)

exit

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[Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« on: April 30, 2004, 02:30:14 am »

I work in [Protools] every day. I have had a set way of doing things for a while now, but my EQ'ing has never pleased me like it would on the SSL. (Don't start the A vs. D thing pleez) I'm talking about vocals specifically. Keep in mind I do a lot of rap. When doing my ruff mixes I usually buss out each person to their own stereo Aux track. I always use the Waves DeEsser, Renaissance Comp, and Renaissance EQ 4. Sometimes the DeEsser is 1st, but lately I've been putting it last. As long as I've been working in Alsi I still haven't come to really LIKE the EQing I'm doing. I find myself looking at the graphic of the EQ when I shouldn't be. I'm paying more attention to what frequency or how much I'm tweaking then to how it sounds. I guess sometimes you gotta turn the monitor off so you can just listen! But anyways, my other big issue is DeEssing. Either it's too sibilant and I'm not working the deesser hard enough or it's working too hard and the ss's are smearing. I don't know if it has to do with everything going thru a stereo bus, but i don't like my Deessing. I'm usually deessing between 4237 and 4547.

Any bones you wanna throw would be great. I'm all for experimenting but we work on so many songs in a day that I never have time to play and try new things.
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Mark *exit* Goodchild

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kevin cubbins

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2004, 02:52:27 am »

whew....
the waves deesser kinda stinks imo. sometimes it works. one of the best ways to de-ess in pro tools is to simply chop out the sibilance and use crossfades in and out, or use an audiosuite-plugin eq to process the sibilant portion of the word.
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George Massenburg

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2004, 05:33:16 am »

exit wrote on Fri, 30 April 2004 01:30

I work in [Protools] every day. I have had a set way of doing things for a while now, but my EQ'ing has never pleased me like it would on the SSL. (Don't start the A vs. D thing pleez) I'm talking about vocals specifically. Keep in mind I do a lot of rap. When doing my ruff mixes I usually buss out each person to their own stereo Aux track. I always use the Waves DeEsser, Renaissance Comp, and Renaissance EQ 4. Sometimes the DeEsser is 1st, but lately I've been putting it last. As long as I've been working in Alsi I still haven't come to really LIKE the EQing I'm doing. I find myself looking at the graphic of the EQ when I shouldn't be. I'm paying more attention to what frequency or how much I'm tweaking then to how it sounds. I guess sometimes you gotta turn the monitor off so you can just listen! But anyways, my other big issue is DeEssing. Either it's too sibilant and I'm not working the deesser hard enough or it's working too hard and the ss's are smearing. I don't know if it has to do with everything going thru a stereo bus, but i don't like my Deessing. I'm usually deessing between 4237 and 4547.

Any bones you wanna throw would be great. I'm all for experimenting but we work on so many songs in a day that I never have time to play and try new things.



I don't have much hope that I'll change your mind about anything, but I can tell you that I disagree with the idea that you cannot make a good EQ in digital domain.  

I like well-designed analog EQ.  I also l use well-designed digital EQ.

On the other hand, if you like transparency, you'd never especially love anything about 4000E EQ's; at best they're crunchy in the mids/top.  I don't think that anyone expects digital EQ to sound like artifact-laden analog EQ...and that's good and proper.  But in my mind artifact-free (or relatively more free) EQ isn't in and of itself bad.

I would observe that "ess's" start slightly lower than you point out, and definitely go much higner.  But that doesn't matter...de-esser's in data domain work about as well as de-esser's anywhere, which is to say not very well (the de-esser in Pro Tools is especially maddening).  But they (the analog & the digital processors) seem not to work well in different ways.  Overall, I've found it best to use them only when necessary, switching them in and getting them out of circuit if I don't have something that especially needs attention.

Finally, I'd hope that you're comparing the latest double-precision EQ's and not the older stuff.  And it goes without saying that I hope none of us are using kracks.

George
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Peter Simonsen

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2004, 06:03:29 am »

Mark,

I know that like everything in life..everybody has his/hers personal liking in audio. You and I seem to have experienced some of the same "problems". I have never been a fan of the waves stuff. For me..the only eq I have tried, and that actually works to my liking is the MDW EQ, and the Sony Oxford eq. Both these plug-ins changed my mind about digital eq forever. And that after many a "crying night" filled with frustration..I mean even the eq in a Soundcraft Ghost kills a lot of digital eqs I have "tried to get to work" over the last couple of years.

If I may suggest you to try the MDW, and Sony stuff before giving up on digital eqs

Kind regards

Peter
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Loco

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2004, 10:18:49 am »

Use the C4 instead of the Deesser. Also, try switching positions between the EQ and the compressor. Last, don't deess on a stereo aux. You may get phasing issues.
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exit

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2004, 10:54:57 am »

Unfortunately we don't have the Oxford stuff as of yet, but I've been dying to get it. I don't think we have the MDW either. The place I'm at daily has a rig that has been used and abused by countless incompetent engineers before me so we're missing a lot of plug-ins anyway! (Like long delay?!?! How do you lose that?)

I have worked on sessions from other studios that had good use of the C4 that I tried to make note of. These days if you're not careful you send out plug-in settings and ideas to other studios and other people bite the idea and use it! Not like the old days where certain engineers would cover the gear racks with cardboard so no one knew what they were using! Every plug-in setting I see that I like, I try my best to use it when it suits me. I'm gonna go back and give the C4 a shot today.

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Mark *exit* Goodchild

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Waylon

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2004, 03:09:49 pm »

exit wrote on Fri, 30 April 2004 09:54

....... The place I'm at daily has a rig that has been used and abused by countless incompetent engineers before me so we're missing a lot of plug-ins anyway! (Like long delay?!?! How do you lose that?)





With all due respect, one easy way you lose that by having people move your registered/legal plugs to another folder to install thier kracked plugs....
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Steve Smith

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Jan Folkson

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2004, 04:01:33 pm »

The way that I de ess in PT is to grab the offending 's' with a bit of pre and post and use the gain plug and drop it by 6 or so db crossfade close to the 's' and you're ready for the next one.  It's not fast, it's not elegant but it's very effective.
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George Massenburg

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2004, 11:49:52 pm »

Jan Folkson wrote on Fri, 30 April 2004 15:01

The way that I de ess in PT is to grab the offending 's' with a bit of pre and post and use the gain plug and drop it by 6 or so db crossfade close to the 's' and you're ready for the next one.  It's not fast, it's not elegant but it's very effective.



Actually, this is how I do most of my de-essing these days.  Take each offensive "ess" down exactly as much as you want it down (and they're all different).

There was this one other way we did it once.  On the Laura Turner that we did last Spring, I moved ALL of the esses from the main lead vocal track to a separate track, and i then could compress the "meat" of the vocal separately from the esses.  Very time-consuming.  Very elegant and infinitely controlable.

George
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kevin cubbins

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2004, 03:14:50 am »

Neat idea, George.
Lemme ask you this, did you need to crossfade the head and tail of each region as to avoid pops during playback?
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George Massenburg

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2004, 06:36:11 am »

kevin cubbins wrote on Sat, 01 May 2004 02:14

Neat idea, George.
Lemme ask you this, did you need to crossfade the head and tail of each region as to avoid pops during playback?


Yup.  And it wasn't automatic, either.  If you're going to compress that main track deeply, you often reach for a custom fade.

George
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Bobro

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2004, 07:00:20 am »

This being the "reason in audio" forum, thought I might point out that the opening post seems to be more specific to Waves plugins than to "in the box" in general.

originally posted by GM
There was this one other way we did it once. On the Laura Turner that we did last Spring, I moved ALL of the esses from the main lead vocal track to a separate track, and i then could compress the "meat" of the vocal separately from the esses. Very time-consuming. Very elegant and infinitely controlable.

Tried this with some overblown "p"s on bass voice, with the boom eq'd off on the "p" track, but not heavily, so they're still "p"s and not some kind of clicky thing, worked nicely.

Doing "s"s or other consonants individually in Samplitude is very easy and relatively quick: customizable auto crossfade on, press a key to split a region, however small in, grab the little handle on the object for volume, or double click the new object if EQ is necessary for "p"s, etc; a box with all available built-in fx, crossfades, and available plugins, just for that new object, pops up.

Mixing a singer with a very sexy natural "ss-shh" thing going on, and IMO it would be criminal to de-ess it. Better some sibilance than reduce such a specific charm.

Strangely, my "f"s can be hairy even an arm's length from the mic. Maybe it's some kind of wino-frothing-at-the-mouth thing.

-Bobro


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Rob Darling

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2004, 07:18:39 am »

The de-essing thing makes you realize how much your tools are just that- tools.  They are useful but once improved upon, can sit forever.  DAW's simply let you do it better.  A little more initial work, but a much better result.

I'm with Bobro.  As a Nuendo user, nothing is easier than separating offending s's and p's into regions and trimming them down with the volume handle.
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David Schober

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2004, 09:42:24 am »

Hello Gents,

Agreed on the idea of using A/S gain for de esser contol.  Sometimes a plugin works fine for most everything, but an nasty one needs the surgery.

Also, for p-pops (plosives) instead of using gain, I use the hi pass filter from the Filterbank plugins,  The 24dB/oct will get almost anything and clean enough for an acapella vocal.

One other idea...I've had times where a vocalist will be a loud breather, or someone compressed it so much that the breaths are as loud as the vocal.  I'll pull all the breaths onto an adjacent track and lower the gain of that track until it feels right.  And occasionally, even de-essing the newly created breath track if it's shreddy.  In any case, that allows me to compress and eq the main vocal track to my heart's content and it not affect the breaths.  And no, I usually don't need to create fade in and out fades on either track.  I found that as long as the region doesn't get slid it sounds fine.
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Jan Folkson

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Re: [Rant] EQ'ing in the box
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2004, 09:48:52 am »

Plosive P usually get their own treatment.  Audiosuite eq with a low-cut filter adjusted to taste.  Taking the BOOM out leaves a gentle puff on the p sounding very natural.

Once again, not fast, not elegant, but very effective.
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