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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:57 pm    Post subject: Stock DAW Plugin Mixing Reply with quote

This was originally a thread I posted to the Vegas forum at sonymediasoftware.com but I think it can be more general than that, and also, here at RP, we get to use pictures! woohoo!

The plugins and techniques here will seem pretty Vegas specific, but I'll work through how to do it in other apps, or someone else will chime in who is a specialist on that DAW.

We've left our old studio and have now set up everything into 4 mobile 16 space racks. We record bands at shows, at their rehearsal area, or wherever they want. Pretty fun! However after putting a new PC together the night before a recording, I didnt have time to load my normal plugins in, and I thought, hey, its just tracking right?

WRONG

Putting my foot in my mouth is nothing new to longtime members of this forum, but for those who don't know, Murphy had me in mind as he wrote his laws.

Though my partner and I had explained on several different occasions that this was a TRACKING session, on the second day of tracking, they were itching for a mix, figuring it was an all in deal. Well, I never met a train so scary I could'nt walk in front of it, nor a ramp so shoddily constructed that I wouldnt ride it so I was game!

But wait, no plugins (oh my), no internet (OH MY!). What follows is the brute force use of the plugins you get when install Sony's apps.

OK I lied, I did have two more things installed, luckily they're free.

First of all, Gsonic Gpan. If you don't have it, grab it now
http://shareit1.element5.com/programs.html?productid=143329&language=English

there are two plugins in that download, gpan being free and stereo enhancer being shareware. After seeing the utility of Gpan, you may want to thank the guy later buy paying the whole 39 buks to register it and get the Stereo Enhancer.

Do a search in the Vegas forum for "gpan" and youll see some nifty tricks you can pull with it.

The second thing I had installed was S-Cal V4 from http://www.expdigital.co.uk/ (click software tech links, then scal) another glorious piece of freeware. I dont know about you, but I hate trying to figure out flanger speeds and delay times by hand, this thing does most of the work for you.

Third thing, that I have saved as a offline file is one of those note to frequency tables. Here is a handy one http://www.cranesong.com/IBIS%20FREQUENCY%20CHART.html

OK enough rambling. This band has one singer, one guitar player, a bass player, and a drummer with a single kick, five toms (EEEK!), not too many cymbals (whew), and the cymbals and hat are far away from the drums (YES!!!).

So heres the setup and layout:

ADC/DAC: RME ADI DS X 3 for 24 channels to RME HDSP 9652 into the PC

2 track/monitoring DAC Benchmark DAC-1.

Presonuc Centralstation handles the speaker switiching and input source control duties, ONLY in the monitoring chain.

Throw in a Mackie Control MCU and go!

Overheads, Blumlein Configuration (nice big room!) ---> 2 X AKG 414's in figure 8 ---> Manley Dual Mono tube mic pre ---> ADC

Kick drum ---> Audio technica ATM25 ---> Calrec 1063 ---> ADC

Snare drum ---> Sennheiser 441 ---> Manley VoxBox ---> ADC

3 highest toms ---> 3 X AKG D-112 ---> 3 X Neve 1272 ---> ADC

2 Floor toms ---> 2 X Shure Beta 52 ---> 2 X SSL Logic FX G383 mp/eq ---> ADC

Hat and ride ---> 2 X Oktava MC012 with the 10dB pad in cardioid ---> Focusrite Red 8 ---> ADC

Bass Guitar ---> DI input (yeah, sue me) of Langevin Dual Vocal Combo ---> ADC

Guitar ---> Mesa Boogie Recto Recording pre ---> ADC (no kidding!)
Guitar also has a DI with a split, the 1/4" out goes to the boogie, while the xlr out goes clean into a True Systems precision 8 mic pre to the ADC

Vocals ---> Cad VX2 bass rolloff on, cardioid, .125 capsule ---> Lengevin Dual Vocal Combo ---ADC

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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:19 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

Part 1: The Noise Gate




This is METAL in case I didnt mention it. Right off the bat I see Im going to need to gate the kick, snare and toms.

Lets look at what we got to work with here. Stock Vegas noisegate. Uh oh. We have some enemies here:

No meters

No Hold control

No Look ahead

No Frequency keying

No Sidechain

ooooooooooooooooooooooookkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Don't worry we got a tool for that Smile

I'll start with the kick, but you can work out the rest from there no problem.

1. Duplicate the kick track. Just right click on the kick track header. See figure 1 below[/b]


 

duplicate kick.jpg
Figure 1 :right click the track header and select "duplicate track" as shown

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Last edited by pipelineaudio on Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:20 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

2. Eq the duplicate track so that the resonant peaks of JUST the kick drum are louder than anything else. Really narrow down this EQ, we aren't trying to make a good sounding kick out of this, just a short BONK that tells you WHEN the kick is kicked. Use the low and high shelf controls on either end of the eq to completely ditch anything that isnt kick drum

See figure 2 Below


 

kick narrow eq.jpg
Figure 2: an EQ set up to highlight the kicks' timing

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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:27 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

3. Now move the duplicate track ahead in time so it starts about 5 mSec earlier than the original kick track

 

lookahead.jpg
Figure 3: drag the copied track's events so that they start a ways ahead of the original

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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:35 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

4. Pan the copy hard right and pan the original hard left assign both of their outputs to a buss, name this buss "kick"

 

assignments.jpg


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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:51 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

5. watch the stereo meters. Adjust the channel volumes so that the copy track is playing about 12 dB louder than the original track

 

adjust levels.jpg


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Last edited by pipelineaudio on Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:55 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

6. Now add two plugins to the kick buss, first Sony Track Noisegate, second Gpan.

 

TNG and Gpan.jpg


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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:00 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

7. Measure the length of a good clean kick drum by dragging the timeline on vegas, it will likely end up around 180mSec

 

Measure Kick.jpg


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Last edited by pipelineaudio on Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:07 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

8. Set the noisegate threshold to -inf, Attack to 2mSec, release to whatever you measured for the kick length

 

gate settings.jpg


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Last edited by pipelineaudio on Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:09 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

9. Set gpan Left input channel Gain 0.0, Pan 0.0% C, right input channel gain -inf, Pan wherever

 

gpan setting.jpg


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Last edited by pipelineaudio on Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:10 am    Post subject: Part 1 the noise gate Reply with quote

10. Now play your song and slowly raise the kick buss's "Sony track Noisegate" threshold until all you hear is kick. Itll take some fine tuning but youll get it there.

11. Adjust attack and release to taste

Now what you have just done is created a lookahead for the noisegate by having it trigger on the copy which you have moved ahead in time. You have also created a frequency key, even better than the good old Drawmer, by EQ'ing the trigger track. The original kick track gets unmolested until its trip through the gate!

From here you can add whatever fx after gpan to set the kick to your liking

If you like you could add a "drums" buss and assign each drum buss to it. A mixer withing a mixer, but if you enable View-->Show Audio Buss tracks from the main vegas menu, its not so confusing!

For an advanced trick, you may want to compress the copy track if you are having a particularly goofy section of mis triggering, but a better bet is to use the volume automation on the copy track as sort of a variable threshold control for the noise gate.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:29 am    Post subject: Part 2 Duck, duck, Bass! Reply with quote

Part 2: Duck , duck, Bass!


Alright we got our drums gated, but man that bass guitar is interfering with the groove of the

kick. Worse, the timing is so far off that it can actually sound like the kick is flamming! Big

soggy, undefined, messy bottom, YUK

Were going to use a traditional trick, with some newfangled tools to clean this up.

1. Create a buss called "bass guitar". In its fx chain place first Wave Hammer, then Gpan


 

bass buss.jpg


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:30 am    Post subject: Part 2 Duck, duck, Bass! Reply with quote

2. Set gpan left gain to 0.0 pan to center, right gain -inf pan to wherever

 

gpan setting.jpg


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:36 am    Post subject: Part 2 Duck, duck, Bass! Reply with quote

3. Zero out wavehammer completely and bypass the volume maximizer

4. Render a copy of the gated kick buss from part 1 call it "kick trigger" (some extra buss

routing options in vegas would really be helpful here, to avoid this step)

5. Move the kick trigger track ahead 5 mSec, pan it hard right and assign its output to bass

guitar buss

6. Pan the bass guitar track hard left and assign its ouput to bass guitar buss


 

assignments.jpg


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

7. Set wavehammer: threshold 0, ratio 12:1, gain zero, scan mode Peak, uncheck auto gain

compensation, and check use longer look ahead, attack zero, release 80mSec, Smart release 0


 

wave hammer.jpg


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:41 am    Post subject: Part 2 Duck, duck, Bass! Reply with quote

8. Play the song. Start lowering the threshold so that the bass guitar disappears whenever the

kick is hit.

9. Mess with the attack and release controls until it you really cant hear the process working.

Once you get this going right, it will sound like the kick drum is "playing the bass guitar". The

kick and bass will no longer be doubling up and you will be amazed just how much low end you can

leave in the kick and bass guitar tracks without muddying up. Also the song will sound MUCH MUCH

tighter and the bass guitar and kick drums will sound much more in sync.

The key here is to keep messing with the kick trigger track's position on the timeline, the

threshold control of wavehammer and the release time in wavehammer.

BE SURE to do any tonal and especially compression FX to the bass on the bass track itself.

Putting a dynamic range device AFTER the ducker will render the effect useless.

Thus Endeth Part 2

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great little work around. Nice read. It's quite easy to forget we have a useful mash of energy and ideas between our ears, but with so much at our disposal in pc recording these days it can be rarely challanging. Seems you still have it. You never said if the band were happy with the results! That freqency chart will come in handy, too.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa....I gotta try that bass ducker, that's freaking cool.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can also "gate" the kick using the volume envelopes - although it takes time, it will save some processing power - and it is always dead-on

I will try these tips though - especially since they use the stock plugins ... impressive workaround none-the-less Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about the buss to buss routing in vegas? you can have the bas buss routed through the gated kick buss -- click on the two squares in the buss and it will pop up another menue - so you can route one bus through another and back or whatever you want
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pipelineaudio Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes sir, and if you click "view show audio buss tracks" it doesnt seem so confusiing, because you have in effect another mixer

thats what this was from above "If you like you could add a "drums" buss and assign each drum buss to it. A mixer withing a mixer, but if you enable View-->Show Audio Buss tracks from the main vegas menu, its not so confusing! "

Regarding enveloping instead of a gate, there is a way that it isnt quite too impossible, and actually automatic. Somewhat

Ill put it up when I get a chance

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahh I see ... I somehow missed "assign each drum buss to it" .. hehe
yeah adding the buss track makes things a little easier - I usually don't though, since my projects can get rather huge

Glad to see another Vegas user in the forum ... I rather like it (for multitracking, mixing and editing) - midi is not so hot but I don't use midi much (yet)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, pipeline. Excellent detail. I'll reread a few times, then maybe it'll sink in...
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