What's On My Master Bus?
There's a lot of debate around about what to do and what not to do with master bus. Personally i believe master bus has huge impact on final mix sound and I believe in 2014 anyone can use anything up to their personal preference. (DO NOT MISTAKEN MASTER BUS FOR MASTERING but that's for less experienced engineers or producers)
I always start my mix from setting up everything and I mix into the master bus chain. I wanna make sure I keep the balance of the mix the way I want, instead of mixing and then applying f.e. compression and changing the whole feel of the song.
I start from routing the signal to Dangerous Music D-Box. I use 4 Stereo groups for instruments, effects (instruments fx/ vocal fx) and vocals.
Next in the line is Chameleon Labs 7720 as my main bus compressor to do some light gain reduction, usually 1-2 dB at most
When I mix mixtape things and I don't wanna recall the settings from CL7720 I use Slate Digital VBC.
For 1st stage of saturation I use Sonnox Inflator. I use only touch of it, usually my settings are: effect 30%, curve stays at 0 and I don't play with input and output.
Another stage of saturation is Slate Digital VTM, quite different from Inflator, but I like to combine these 2. Depends on the mix I like to play with speed, tape type etc.
Kush Clariphonic is usually applied somewhere in the middle of mixing (not always needed) but sometimes I want to get that extra clarity and push the mix a bit more. A touch of Clariphonic creates magic.
The final tool in the chain (but used the least) is Izotope Ozone 4 harmonic exciter. I usually use it when I have to deal with poor quality instrumental most likely ripped of youtube. I always use it in M/S mode for better and more flexible tweaking.
This is my chain, obviously some of you guys might be surprised, some shocked, some might think I'm crazy and some might disagree, but as I said before it all comes down to personal preference. One day I'll elaborate on what and why is done, and what benefit the tools give to the mix.
3 Of My Favourite Filters
Sometimes engineers have all those discussions about "the best" plugins, well in my opinion there's no such a thing as "the best" because it comes down to personal preference and taste. So.. here are my 3 favorite filters.
#3 Avid EQ3 7 band
Yes, stock Pro Tools plugin. A lot of people don't even consider using stock plugins because they "suck" at least that's what they say. The filters on this thing work great. Workhorse when it comes to quick cuts and super CPU efficient. I use it on every mix, obviously different way each time.
#2 McDSP FilterBank F202
One of the best filters I have ever tried. Nice curves, cuts, simply amazing plugin. McDsp really created a perfect tool, whether it's for mixing or mastering. It adds extra color (at least that's what i think, not a lot just a touch). The boosts of EQ (peaks) are also magical, as long as it's not too much.
#1 UAD SSL E Series Channel Strip
This plugin itself is simply one of the best (when it comes to my taste) The filters... honey and milk that's how i can describe them, there's actually 2 different curves for the EQ filter section. Black and brown modeled of 2 different SSL EQ Sections. Great for any type of source, really easy to cut out the unwanted lows and unnecessary highs. My favorite all around filters, especially for vocals.
Universal Audio Website
Worth to mention
UAD Dangerous BAX EQ
M/S Mode is what this plugin is all about, filters but not only that.
Lovely M/S Filter.
Roland MV Patches Part 2. FREE
Hello Guys, I have more free patches for you. I hope you enjoy Roland MV. I'm close to selling mine. As much as i love this machine, I don't use it as much as I used to. Sad but true. Well engineering took over my lifestyle. Share it with other MV users, tweet it, spread the word. I wanna make sure everybody can benefit from those sounds.
PS. I created most of those patches myself.
Click the picture below, it will redirect you to dropbox folder where you can DOWNLOAD the patches.
I decided to write something about today’s music production, or rather the stage where it currently is.
I constantly hear a lot of people complain that today’s music is I’ll quote “shit”, at the same time I hear a lot of people say it isn’t hard to do music nowadays, so… those two things connect in straight line… Whatever is easy, it isn’t good right? Yes? No?
Ok my position on it as an (old/new school) audio engineer/producer is somewhere in between. I’m actually happy the music tools are so accessible to everybody for just a fraction of the cost, I’m also very sad that a lot of people simply cheat on how they make music. How? What? Cheat? Well, let me explain.
When I started making music blah blah blah, this doesn’t matter. Let’s go just few years back, I worked hard just to put some money together to get myself production tools, and I know there were a lot of producers doing the same thing. Working and buying hardware gear, I’m pretty sure very expensive gear.
Now lets go to 2010 maybe 2011 when plugins synthesizers actually started sounding GOOOOD, yes GOOOOOD. It’s coming from a person who was obsessed with hardware sound, I still like hardware but nowadays I’d choose software. Yuup I would.
Anyway, back to the topic. It’s easy to make music nowadays because it’s simple to download cracked version of FL or any other sequencer/ daw etc., it’s easy to download any synth plugin not paying for it… Not paying… Is it fair? Nope. How does it relate to sound itself? To quality?
Let me explain. Most of producers nowadays are not too business orientated because they don’t understand the value of their own business. If you get something for free do you really care to make the money back? I doubt it, because you didn’t spend any money at al nor you didn't do any effort for the cause.
Look at it from this perspective:
a) Person X downloads all the software to make beats, after 2 weeks the person realizes they're "SICK WITH IT" and decide to open a beat store. Can somebody be great doing something for 2 weeks? you answer it yourself.
b) Person Y downloads all the software to make beats, they're actually pretty good with it after some time, how much money did the person spend? $0 everything cracked. Beat store.. Their sell exclusive beats for $10.. what do you think about it? I'll keep that for your brain to process. All I'll say is that, somebody who spent a lot of money on their business, has to cut their own prices to compete with the "competition" I could write pages and page s about that but i wanna be brief with it.
I truly believe that most of “producers”... ok sorry, first of all I’m using wrong word. Beat Makers didn’t spend more than $100 maybe $200 on the midi controller because the rest is cracked software.
Ok so what’s the point here? The point is that if you don’t invest, you shouldn't expect to make any money back. Everybody talk about hustle don’t they? Well even drug dealers buy their product to sell it for higher price, it’s simple rule of business.
Now, I don’t wanna make everybody feel offended, because there are people who don’t take shortcuts. There’s still people who will spend $300 on plugins instead of new Jordans.
Ok man, where the f are you going with it? What does it have to do with quality?
To close this up, even talentless people have a chance to make music nowadays. Yes, its super simple to line up few drums on grid, and so on. Talent or talentless? That’s a good question too. I believe sometimes simplicity produces hits however sometimes there’s a thin line between genius and p.o.s. however there's a huge difference between genius and p.o.s.
I’ll call myself a music spiritual guy, I don’t make music when I don’t feel like it, but again I’d rather work a bit harder to make something unique, find the sounds, find the inspiration instead of just putting few 808s in the track and making it bang.
I speak from perspective of engineer and producer, even tho I don't really make beats, i like to sit down with an artist and word on the music together that way we can find the common language, b
I was getting a lot of questions about the magical, mysterious, mythical black magic and legendary "Parallel Compression". A lot of people tend to make this technique ultra complicated explaining to others. Problem starts when we add some buses to it.. wait what.. what buses? No worries You won't need a weekly pass to jump on this bus. Anyway lets start.
It applies to any DAW you might be using, from Pro Tools which i used in this example to Cubase, Reaper, Sonar, Logic, StudioOne and the list goes on. Lets GO !!!
Lets start from empty session. I didn't want to open one of the projects with billion tracks so you guys won't feel lost and forgotten.
Simple small session, 3 audio files, 2 buses, 1 master track (i assume i dont have to explain what each track is)
Audio 1- Audio File marked red dot
Aux 1 - Auxiliary track (a.k.a. bus) marked red dot
white dot is my print track since i dont use bounce option in pro tools. More advanced people will understand what i'm talking about. this is optional but not mandatory so don't worry about it.
black dot is a master track.
Make sure you name your auxiliary tracks (buses) so you won't get lost later on. I named Aux 1 "COMPRESSOR"
Send the audio to "COMPRESSOR" BUS using "Send" in your DAW
Insert compressor on BUS track.
Look at track with white dot, it's a send track. REMEMBER to click PRE (fader) option in your DAW.
PRE means the send signal won't be affected if you lower the AUDIO fader down. Signal be sent to the bus before the fader (it all makes sense, its not complicated just read it few times you'll get it)
Adjust compressor settings to whatever is cleaver for you, whatever sounds good, whatever is missing etc.
Right now adjust levels of unprocessed AUDIO and processed "COMPRESSOR" track (MOVE THOSE FADERS) Do whatever sounds good to your ear. there's no rights and wrongs just make sure it sounds good.
Yes, it's that easy. You might want to use extra Equalizer, or something inserted before or after compressor, whatever your imagination wants to use, feel free and experiment with it. There's no rights and wrongs as long as it sounds good.
I hope this little tutorial will help people understand that wonderful technique. It can be used with vocals, drums, pianos virtually anything. I personally use parallel compression on Drums and vocals the most.
In the example i used stock Avid's Compressor and Equalizer, but it doesn't matter which compressor you will you (sorta, since each comp has its own character, sound and so on, even tho they all compressors they don't always sound identical)
Each DAW has a bit different GUI, but remember the crucial words "SEND" "AUXILIARY" "BUS" "COMPRESSOR" "FADERS".
send the audio to bus and that's all, move these faders and get the sound you're looking for.
If you have more questions, or if i made something complicated, feel free to post a comment I'll try to explain the unknown.
Pensado's Place #67
I been very bad with DPC lately so i hope whoever didn't see new Pensado's place yet will enjoy.
For past few weeks I didn't have much time to update things. I had to re-upload files for you guys since megaupload went down. All files i upload (patches) are created by me, there's no copyrights. I just sit down and prepare sounds. I also own Roland Fantom X6, all the Fantom sounds are legit. At the end of the day these are just kicks, hats, snares etc. I see people sell drumkits for $25. Soon I'll have Roland MV Full library for sale, very cheap +500 kits. I'll just charge for the ones I created by myself (which is over 350 patches)
REQUEST NEXT D.P.C.
If you'd like to get something for free, or if you want to know some of my production, mixing techniques leave a comment here. Next DPC is yours. Want drums? You'll get drums. Want to know how to make vocal sounding nice? you'll get that. Suggestions? Feel Free.
Hey Guys, It's been a minute since last dpc. Let's get back to it, today I'll post few FREE plugins I use a lot in almost each mix with a short description.
One of the best delays out there, tell me whatever you want, I used many delays but this is always number 1 choice. Unfortunately the company who produced it (Kjaerhus Audio) doesn't exist anymore however I attached VST (.dll) file below. (I hope it's legal but i saw some webistes still have them for download, I don't want to violate any rights here so please inform me if its foul) anyway if you never used this amazing delay you should most definitely try it
SPAN SPECTRUM ANALYZER
It's a MUST HAVE spectrum analyzer, especially since its free you guys should GET IT like right now. Voxengo did amazing job with this one. Way better than any other analyzers i used, Very easy to read from, graphically it also blows away the competition. Who said free is always bad? not me
DOWNLOAD from manufactures website
Here's a website with few other interesting free plugins. Personally I tried some of them, some sound very nice some of them not so amazing but depends on the sound they might do the work. From vacuum compressors (very interesting plugin) to saturation tools. Dig a little bit in it I'm sure you'll find something interesting there.
Also if you have a minute look for a plugin called "Ferox" which is analog tape emulator, The older version is free and im sure it's still available somewhere online, I personally use it sometimes on vocals just to make them a bit analogish.
DOWNLOAD PLUGINGS HERE
Few other names that you should checkout NastyDLA, TesslaSE, TesslaPro, Molot, FerricTDS, Rombo, i would post links here but hey not everything comes easy, Google it and download, do some research and enjoy new free tools. Next D.P.C. is gonna be something totally different.
I've been using this amazing machine since 2008. what I love about my mv88 is the great sound and the ease of use. This D.P.C. is specially for those who use this workstation with passion and love just like i do (lol) click the images below to download 10 free patches. follow me @DotDaEngineer