Friday, February 12, 2010

Techniques of 408 1

What I have learned in 408 so far....

I am really excited with all the new techniques and tricks that we have been learning in 408! I know that I will be able to achieve a much fuller and professional sounding mix by putting these lessons to use. Here are examples of some of these new approaches I have learned and how they are created:

  • Natural Reverb - To understand this concept we set up a 57 in the foyer of the music hall while close micing the rest of the kit. We recorded the drums just enough to get a sample. We made sure to line up the transients of the 57 to that of the close mics. This is because of the slight time delay that it takes to reach the 57 in the foyer. We then created a new audio track and duplicated the original snare onto the new track. To 'strip silence' the rest of the kit in between the snare hits we used the apple 'u' on the keypad to get the job done. We also used apple 'n' to create fades for the newly cropped audio. On the new edited snare track we made a send to the foyer 57 track. We placed a compressor on the foyer 57 track as well to mask discrepancies in the volume level. A eq can also be placed on this track to get rid of some of the unwanted bass build up. On the foyer track now add a gate plug in. Make the key input of the plug in set to the send number of the edited snare track. Also, engage the 'side chain blue key' on the gate plug in. Once all these principals are in place, the gate will be opened when ever the snare is hit and result in the natural reverb from the foyer. Adjust to taste!
  • Fake Reverb - After you understand how to use gates and the side chain function, many other possibly arise for other creative ideas. You can add 'fake' reverb to a snare track in the same manner as the natural verb, but instead of the send going to the foyer 57 track, you create an aux track with the appropriate reverb plug in in place. The rest of the gain structure and signal chain is the same in regards to how the gate is opened and reverb is heard.
  • Reverse Reverb - This technique can be achieved by duplicating a track (in class we used a piano to demonstrate) and reversing the newly created track. You then can add a reverb plug in to the reversed track and adjust to taste. When the reverb is flattering the reversed sound, add a buss to the track and send it to an empty recordable audio track. Then play back the reverb while recording it to the new track. After this is complete, line up the transients of the reverb track with the initial dry track. This will create an other worldly effect and give a strange, but welcomed presence to anything that is slow moving.
  • Trigger and Tone Generation Using Drums - This is a neat effect when you want to add rhythmic pitches to a tune, reinforce a drum beat, or create modulation of tracks in respect to the tempo and movement of the song. Set up sends to an aux track to start (from the drum tracks that you want the triggers to react from...usually the kick and snare.) Create a tone using the tone generator in protools (usually 42 hz or 55 hz to reinforce the kick, around 5khz to reinforce the snare). Now make sure gates are set up on the track you want to tone to come from. The gate will 'hold back' the tone until the drum is hit. This will then release the gate using the side chain function and create a tone that will help fatten up what could be an otherwise dull sound. You can also use this same approach when trying to manipulate an instrument and create a delay or tremolo that is perfectly in time and rhythm of a drum grove. In class we used a guitar and piano to demonstrate. When a gate was placed on the guitar or piano track, it would open up with the grove of the song and create a pulse feel similar to a delay or tremolo. From here you can add more effects like delay after the gate so that the feel is natural and the gate decays in a musical manner.
I hope to use every one of these techniques on the album; my group has already talked over how we can apply them to parts of our songs to add space, extra dimension and tension between our pieces. Yay!

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