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Author Topic: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing  (Read 5269 times)

Mickey Tee

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 11:24:18 pm »

Patrik T wrote on Thu, 12 June 2008 19:27

I think many people with these kinds of plugins are "widening" things when in fact things should be narrowed.

In order for things to sound better, that is!

Mono should be plugged in more often than plug-ins.


Best Regards
Patrik


Don't you find mono a bit too blunt and a bit too crude for audio? Why do you think things should be narrowed to sound better?

I find you lose a lot of the finesse of a sound when you mono it fwiw

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Mickey Tee

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 11:29:32 pm »

Dave Davis wrote on Thu, 12 June 2008 18:27

The best solutions I've heard until recently were HEDD hardware, and, the Cranesong coloring plugs like Phoenix are quite nice.

More recently I'm finding Metric Halo's new Character models to be more dynamic (sound different at low gains than high ones), and less cartoony than anything I've heard or used.  Similarly, the compressor in Channelstrip, at low ratios, has some interesting effects, flipping between "warm" and "smooth" modes, but that's a different thing (changes dynamics as well as harmonics).

-d-


I bet these are a bit expensive eh!

Maybe one day I'll be able to give them a try :S

The only charactery plug in I've tried is the stock Powercore one, and it's awful lol. Any of the channel strip emulations worth trying to colour signals? SSL? Just running the master out through it?

Thanks for your reply Smile

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Patrik T

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2008, 11:37:00 pm »

Mickey Tee wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 05:24


Don't you find mono a bit too blunt and a bit too crude for audio? Why do you think things should be narrowed to sound better?

I find you lose a lot of the finesse of a sound when you mono it fwiw

Thumbs Up


Every time I mention MONO being good, I mean for the purpose of good and uncompromised STEREO.

Should not be any shocking news for any serious engineer how to use it.


Best Regards
Patrik
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2008, 11:47:36 am »

Sounds like you know what you're doing then, Mickey. Smile

In all honesty, I do not really find the Waves plug-ins to be the greatest there is, when it comes to mixing multi-track recordings. They lack personality, and often I find them to give me a bland and cold end result.

With that said, I do use several Waves plug-ins on a daily basis at work, but for other things, and for that purpose they are solid.

Anyway, with mixing ITB I feel the UAD-1 plug-ins pretty much made the biggest difference (after better microphones, monitors and AD/DA converters) equipment-wise. I think a lot of people here would agree (although there are other companies making great stuff as well, the URS plug-ins for instance).

If your drums are missing that mid-range crack and presence, maybe they are not "full-range" enough? I sometimes layer my drums, using several sounds to achieve the impact I want. For instance, if I've got an electronic bass drum I can mix in a hard hitting clap sound beneath it to get that whack. With acoustic drums I think it starts with the drums and the way they are set up.

Back in the days, some people inserted a Pultec to the drum track and cranked up the high end like nobody's business, to get sheen and that special treble for days.

Today you can mimic this using the UAD-1 Pultec plug-in. Which basically means not much has changed in terms of tricks. (I'd rather use the real deal though but what can you do)

Some engineers used to insert an SPL Transient Designer onto their drum tracks to get more snap and crack.

Today you can mimic this using the SPL Transient Designer plug-in or equivalents.

IMHO a drum kit in complete mono except for a very wide and heavily crushed (think 1176 "all-buttons-in", that old Shure limiter or a Distressor on the Nuke setting) stereo ambient/distant room mic setup can sound way wider and more stereo than any other way of trying to position and stereo process individual drum tracks.

Likewise, a very low and rich bass sound in mono that is being dubbed by a gnarly, slightly distorted/overdriven mid-rangey bass sound two octaves higher which is being fed through, say, a Roland Dimension D (ah, yes there IS also a plug-in version for this) or just recorded twice and placed dead L and R could make the fundament of the mix sound wider and bigger than any other over-stuffed arrangement of various sources.

Just two more detailed and practical examples regarding them ninja mixing tricks for the record, sorry for the long post. Smile
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cass anawaty

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2008, 11:57:51 am »

If you're talking about "Character", the noveltech plug, I'm sure it does sound horrible on a mix.  It's for individual tracks--great for percussion, but little else.
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2008, 12:34:01 pm »

Cass Anawaty wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 16:57

If you're talking about "Character", the noveltech plug, I'm sure it does sound horrible on a mix.  It's for individual tracks--great for percussion, but little else.


I've never found that plug-in to give me anything beyond what I can achieve myself using other effects such as EQ and dynamic's. Maybe it's a time saver at times though, I don't know since I never use it.
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Mickey Tee

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2008, 06:05:53 am »

Patrik T wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 04:37

Mickey Tee wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 05:24


Don't you find mono a bit too blunt and a bit too crude for audio? Why do you think things should be narrowed to sound better?

I find you lose a lot of the finesse of a sound when you mono it fwiw

Thumbs Up


Every time I mention MONO being good, I mean for the purpose of good and uncompromised STEREO.

Should not be any shocking news for any serious engineer how to use it.


Best Regards
Patrik


Hi,

Still not got a clue what you're talking about; can you explain it?

Thanks!

Mickey
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Mickey Tee

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2008, 06:08:04 am »

Cass Anawaty wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 16:57

If you're talking about "Character", the noveltech plug, I'm sure it does sound horrible on a mix.  It's for individual tracks--great for percussion, but little else.


What effect does it have on percussion?


Thanks Smile


Mickey
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Mickey Tee

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2008, 06:28:47 am »

Tomas Danko wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 16:47

Sounds like you know what you're doing then, Mickey. Smile

In all honesty, I do not really find the Waves plug-ins to be the greatest there is, when it comes to mixing multi-track recordings. They lack personality, and often I find them to give me a bland and cold end result.

With that said, I do use several Waves plug-ins on a daily basis at work, but for other things, and for that purpose they are solid.

Anyway, with mixing ITB I feel the UAD-1 plug-ins pretty much made the biggest difference (after better microphones, monitors and AD/DA converters) equipment-wise. I think a lot of people here would agree (although there are other companies making great stuff as well, the URS plug-ins for instance).

If your drums are missing that mid-range crack and presence, maybe they are not "full-range" enough? I sometimes layer my drums, using several sounds to achieve the impact I want. For instance, if I've got an electronic bass drum I can mix in a hard hitting clap sound beneath it to get that whack. With acoustic drums I think it starts with the drums and the way they are set up.

Back in the days, some people inserted a Pultec to the drum track and cranked up the high end like nobody's business, to get sheen and that special treble for days.

Today you can mimic this using the UAD-1 Pultec plug-in. Which basically means not much has changed in terms of tricks. (I'd rather use the real deal though but what can you do)

Some engineers used to insert an SPL Transient Designer onto their drum tracks to get more snap and crack.

Today you can mimic this using the SPL Transient Designer plug-in or equivalents.

IMHO a drum kit in complete mono except for a very wide and heavily crushed (think 1176 "all-buttons-in", that old Shure limiter or a Distressor on the Nuke setting) stereo ambient/distant room mic setup can sound way wider and more stereo than any other way of trying to position and stereo process individual drum tracks.

Likewise, a very low and rich bass sound in mono that is being dubbed by a gnarly, slightly distorted/overdriven mid-rangey bass sound two octaves higher which is being fed through, say, a Roland Dimension D (ah, yes there IS also a plug-in version for this) or just recorded twice and placed dead L and R could make the fundament of the mix sound wider and bigger than any other over-stuffed arrangement of various sources.

Just two more detailed and practical examples regarding them ninja mixing tricks for the record, sorry for the long post. Smile



Thanks very much for your long post Smile

I do like the waves products, but I guess I don't really have enough experience in the high end of the plug in market (I prefer the ren comp to the kjaerhus one and the tc works one, but can't compare it to a neve or a distressor lol). I don't think the sheen I'm after has to come from any amazing plugins or hardware; i think it's just experimenting, thinking and learning, and experience really.

The UAD plugs are so expensive; I can't afford them. As I'm sure most of the people who post on here are aware; you make f_ck all from music these days. But that's another story...

As for full range, hmm. I compare things in Adobe Audition, and find that while both my and others tracks have similar prominent frequencies they might sound quite different. Like where they appear to have a fairly flat curve from 1khz upwards on a snare drum, so do I but theirs sounds um nicer! I guess this could be the effects of multiband compression, but I often find all I can get out of multiband comp is a simply slightly heavier (perhaps slightly muffled! lol) mix...

I'll have a search on the Dimension D Smile

I guess the main problem is that i refuse to blame the tools, as I've always found (as i'm learning) that it's the careful application of knowledge through the tools which has always helped improve my sound.

I think some of the problems I hear probably are down to equipment (like I guess most records that make it in the pop charts are run through nice expensive hardware at some point?) and the rest is down to knowledge...

All I can do is keep on trying and experimenting and reading; no magic plug ins for Mickey!

Do any quite technical books which might help spring to mind, anyone?

Smile
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rankus

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2008, 11:54:31 pm »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Fri, 13 June 2008 07:54

No plug or hardware can restore the warmth that was lost from overdriving cheesy underpowered IC stages.



Translation:  Really good hardware on the way in is what makes the kind of mix you are after... If the raw tracks don't have the character your after then you have already lost the battle.

get some stuff with names like Apogee, API, and some really sweet mics... Then of course there is the instrument itself... You will never get a intermediate drum kit to sound like a high end one etc. Every link in the chain counts... one week link and it all goes out the window.

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Bob Schwenkler

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2008, 03:36:35 am »

Mickey Tee wrote on Mon, 16 June 2008 03:28

hers tracks have similar prominent frequencies they might sound quite different. Like where they appear to have a fairly flat curve from 1khz upwards on a snare drum, so do I but theirs sounds um nicer!


Quote:

Translation: Really good hardware on the way in is what makes the kind of mix you are after... If the raw tracks don't have the character your after then you have already lost the battle.


Ditto.

If yours sound the same as theirs only theirs sound better it is more likely the source than the processing. If these albums you're listening to are at the top of their game for the genre it's quite likely that they're using high quality equipment and instruments and rooms and players on the way in.

There's a reason that the higher end mics and preamps and converters cost as much as they do and that people still buy them. It's because they sound really good and those sounds can't be created with lower quality equipment or imitated with post processing. You can of course still potentially make cool sounding music with whatever you have, but it won't have the same level of fidelity.

Quote:

I think some of the problems I hear probably are down to equipment (like I guess most records that make it in the pop charts are run through nice expensive hardware at some point?) and the rest is down to knowledge...


Your descriptions of A/Bing your stuff to others' gives me the impression that the above mentioned is what you're hearing more than specific recording/mixing/mastering techniques.

JDNelson

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2008, 07:20:13 pm »

When I see the word "sheen" keep coming up I wonder if this refers to even-order harmonics, which good hardware gear can impart to a mix?

cerberus

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2008, 01:08:48 am »

Mickey Tee wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 23:20

cerberus wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 18:32

i suggest to try upsampling  with a high quality src. i find that upsampling
immediately affords me more control to achieve the desired results.

What does this mean??

Thanks for the reply!
Smile
hi mickey;

by "upsampling" i meant to bump up the working sample rate to 88.2 or 96khz.
imo, most experts will agree that higher rates than 96khz are wickity wack
until we get to dsd; which is  just wacky for workflow.

and "src" is "sample rate converter",

"high quality", has two meanings, one is somewhat subjective; and the other slightly
less obvious meaning: an src with a high "q" (steep) antialiasing filter.

some of this stuff you can research real easily on wikipedia, etc.
i cannot explain sampling theory in one post. maybe bruno
could? but  imo, it would be good to understand basically
how it works before messing around with it.

jeff dinces

Mickey Tee

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Re: Final Touches - Stereo & Warmth Processing
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2008, 07:53:49 am »

cerberus wrote on Wed, 02 July 2008 06:08

Mickey Tee wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 23:20

cerberus wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 18:32

i suggest to try upsampling  with a high quality src. i find that upsampling
immediately affords me more control to achieve the desired results.

What does this mean??

Thanks for the reply!
Smile
hi mickey;

by "upsampling" i meant to bump up the working sample rate to 88.2 or 96khz.
imo, most experts will agree that higher rates than 96khz are wickity wack
until we get to dsd; which is  just wacky for workflow.

and "src" is "sample rate converter",

"high quality", has two meanings, one is somewhat subjective; and the other slightly
less obvious meaning: an src with a high "q" (steep) antialiasing filter.

some of this stuff you can research real easily on wikipedia, etc.
i cannot explain sampling theory in one post. maybe bruno
could? but  imo, it would be good to understand basically
how it works before messing around with it.

jeff dinces


I'm pretty sure my problems aren't being caused by lack of attention to this kind of detail. I admit I know not much about all this ^^ but the changes by fiddling with the above will be very small (though potentially important, imparting a certain quality). I think I'm a while away from producing anything which would benefit by these small differences. I think my problems are more frequency content related and general technique based; all of which I'm still learning more about. I think I have the answer to my original question anyhow; those so called final plugs are useless and will do nothing to fix my problems!




Thanks very much for your input, and once I'm happier overall I'll recheck these tips to see what I can do Smile

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