Friday, March 19, 2010

Techniques of 408 4

This week in 408, we learned how to comp tracks using the playlists function and multiply ways to apply compression.

Playlist Comping
  • Under Preferences, go to the operations tab of the setup menu. Select: automatically create a new playlist when loop recording, latch record enable buttons, link record and play faders.
  • After creating and naming a new track for loop record pass, enable loop record via operations, loop record or use the shortcut option, 'option L.'
  • Highlight a section to define the loop recording area.
  • Add a bit of pre-roll if need be.
  • Record takes!
  • You can then select the 'playlists' tab and bring up all the takes.
  • 'Promote' the best takes up to the top enabled track by selecting the area wanted, and pressing the arrow button on the left hand side of each track.
This is a very useful tool when you want to record a bunch of passes without stopping. Makes recording faster as well as being a lot easier to work with when editing.

There are 3 main types of multiply compression uses: Serial, Parallel, and Two Stage.

  • Used as a technique to achieve a 'fatter' drum sound, while preserving the natural attack of the drums.
  • You could approach this technique by duplicating tracks and adding compression, but it's a lot easier by using busses.
  • Start by creating a new stereo bus send, to a stereo aux track (summed drums)
  • Create a second stereo aux track that has the same input as the previous aux track. Add a compressor to this track and adjust settings to taste.
  • This second compressed track should be used to act as 'glue.' Creating a stronger image of the drums. Bring fader up to an appropriate level. It can also be useful to put this aux mix panned center to create a punchier and more full presence.
  • Serial compression is essentially two or more compressors in a row.
  • It is typically applied to run lower ratios to achieve more compression with less of the negative sounding effects that one compressor using high setting might contain.
  • To start, set the first compressor to a 6:1 ratio, fast release (aggressive), a high threshold and little gain. Set the second compressor to a 3:1 ratio, normal release (smooth), a lower threshold and have this compressor handle all the make up gain.
Two Stage
  • Start by taking the original signal and splitting it into two sends.
  • The first signal bus goes to compressor 1. The second signal bus heads to compressor 2.
  • Finally, send the compressor 1 channel to the compressor 2 channel.
  • Adjust both section to taste. Remember that Compressor 2 channel now has the master output of the signal.
  • Something to remember: send the source using the audio output path for compressor 1 and the sends section to send the signal to compressor 2.
Extra things that I learned...
  • In the I/O section of protools, you can name the busses (verb, compression, headphones). This is useful for being able to visually follow a signal path.
  • Plug-ins should be placed in the following order when working with kick/snare/toms: EQ, Compression, Gate.
  • Plug-ins should be placed in the following order when working with gated verb: verb, EQ, compression, gate.
  • Don't mix through a master fader!
  • Making individual Kick and snare aux sums can be done even before going to the drum sum. Use serial compression: have a compressor on the actual kick channel, then put a second compressor on the kick sum channel.
  • On the drum sum, you can place an EQ plug-in and boost the lows and highs to bring about more 'simmer' and more 'umph.'
Hot Keys!
  • Change between active playlist track - control, P or Control, ;
  • Promoting Playlist Section - control, option, V
  • New Track Menu Options - control, command, up, down, left, right
  • Toggle 'shuffle, spot, slip, grid' - tilda key
  • Solo a track - shift, S
  • Enable/Disable track - control, command, click
  • Consolidate - shift, option, 3 (name the track afterwards so you know what it is)

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