Dynamic Processors & Effects

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
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Rumbler101
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Dynamic Processors & Effects

Post by Rumbler101 » Sat May 17, 2014 3:30 pm

Hi,

What do you guys do with your dynamic processors and effects units with your gear? Do you even use them at all? I find it hard to see why an Electronic artist would use these as Electronic equipment is pretty exact where-as acoustic equipment has high dynamics and is sometimes I suppose all-over-the-place.

georgemarauder
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Re: Dynamic Processors & Effects

Post by georgemarauder » Sun May 18, 2014 3:26 am

Synths have dynamics, too.

I regularly multi-band compress my synth lines in tracks because when you go up or down an octave or 2 the notes tend to not be as even in volume due to the different frequencies. Example - playing a synth solo in the mid-range that gradually gets higher and higher. The higher notes become more piercing and need to be tamed. That's when I slap on a multi-band compressor.

Another example is when you're sweeping parameters such as filter cut-off on a sound. You definitely want to be in control of dynamics for stuff like that. At least in my experience.

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Re: Dynamic Processors & Effects

Post by ellaguru » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:46 am

dpost sorry.
Last edited by ellaguru on Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

ellaguru
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Re: Dynamic Processors & Effects

Post by ellaguru » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:49 am

ellaguru wrote:
georgemarauder wrote:Synths have dynamics, too.

I regularly multi-band compress my synth lines in tracks because when you go up or down an octave or 2 the notes tend to not be as even in volume due to the different frequencies. Example - playing a synth solo in the mid-range that gradually gets higher and higher. The higher notes become more piercing and need to be tamed. That's when I slap on a multi-band compressor.

Another example is when you're sweeping parameters such as filter cut-off on a sound. You definitely want to be in control of dynamics for stuff like that. At least in my experience.
100% quote
that's really a good advice
most people tend to think that synths (or samplers, but this field is a bit more complex due to the kind of samples you use, the font etc) are electronic machines, so they should "sound correctly" whatever the situation is, but in reality they should be treated as the other instrumens; i begin to see that since not long time, but better now than never

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_dan
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Re: Dynamic Processors & Effects

Post by _dan » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:00 pm

As a amateur hobbyist, I’ve found that I like my mixes better without an abundance of processing applied to the entire mix… especially in regards to fixing technical problems. For example, if there is a percussive voice that has unruly transients and sounds too muddy, instead of trying to compress and eq the entire mix, why not just slow the attack and open up the filter. Putting a little resonance on the right spot of a drum sample is better than a ton of exciter or maximizer for me. Synths(etc) are kind of ideal for stuff like that. Plus I feel like every time I run a synth through an external processor it washes out the sound a little bit (analogous to placing layers of plastic wrap over the surface of a picture). Another thing I try to do manage the tails of a given voice. For example if one sound is sustaining over another that is supposed to have more focus in the mix, and the two combined don't serve any aesthetic purpose, I’ll to pull back the release so that the less important voice doesn’t hog up all the space. When doing this stuff I think its really important to only edit sounds when they are being played along with the rest of the song. Even if I have a “go to” sound that I know will serve the mix, its still very likely to be modified somewhat so that it sits more naturally with everything else. I also prefer to use only what the device provides, which I think someone was discussing in another thread…. However…. I’ve never been able to get what I feel is an adequate level of loudness without putting the whole thing through a processor that lends itself to that purpose. This is probably an indicator of my lack of skill in that department, but damn if it doesn’t save time :)
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ninja6485
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Re: Dynamic Processors & Effects

Post by ninja6485 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:08 am

_Dan, have you tried listening to only select frequency ranges, and a/b-ing them while mixing sections? I didn't do any mixing on my disco submission, It's just a rough cut, but if I did I would not only check the mix in specific frequency bands, but make tiny eq cuts to open up the mix. If my bassline is peaking around 60hz and my bass drum is peaking around 120, I will cut the bass drum a little where I see the baseline peaking, and vice versa. Granted this is a lot easier with a frequency analysis plugin, but you don't have to rely on them, especially in frequency ranges that are easier to hear. I find when I get this right, and pan them subtley, It's hard to make it louder with a compressor without making the audio file look like a squashed fat sausage. Although in the example I'm thinking of, I added a little bit of compression to my low end group(but not multiband).
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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_dan
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Re: Dynamic Processors & Effects

Post by _dan » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:46 pm

I have solo'd individual ranges a couple of times, but mostly for the novelty. When creating a new arrangement I'm actually working the mix as much as the composition, and voice selection takes a big part in that. So in the gummy track the main voices were all bass tracks (one with wah and delay, one with alot of high end presence, and one that hits only the fundamentals with a clav played ontop. Because of this I chose a kick drum that was more mid high freq than low freq. I embeleshed that by setting the low pass filter on the kick to the sweet spot on the higher freq and added some resonance to make it crisp. Then I pulled its volume down on the kick until its bass was barely audible. This all happened while the other parts were playing. Initially on a project I'll just write filler parts so that I can hear voices interact and change their built in parameters till it soundss right or just pick a different voice. This happens all the way through the writing process. I think the mix on gummy was so so, but still a little too bottom heavy. Since I sequence in midi I would just continue this process an rerecord audio to fix it. I've never had success eq Ing an entire track. It always sounds unnatural when I try. What I wound up doin a while ago was to play games with compressing the dynamics of the entire track, try to push it to loud beyond reason without clipping just to see how the compressor will behave. What I found was that if I push adecent mix to compressed oblivion, the highs and lows get sucked out. On a freq/level chart, all freqs are at the same level, and trying to fix that with eq didn't sound right to me. So I started playing with the volume of each voice and used the built in subtractive synth processing, and have been much happier with the results. The writing flows better for me when the sound is there. Unfortunately on the gummy track I didn't get to that point until the competition was almost over, failed to even come close to disco, and the intro was obnoxiously loud. Lol but that's how I do it..
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