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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Greenhorn

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The AW I purchased about 3 months ago is the first recording device I've ever owned, so forgive my naivety. Yeah, I know, pretty late to the game! I've been diligently working my way through the manual, but have taken a break to actually try to make some music. My songwriting buddy came by and recorded a vocal track to a song idea we have and I've done my first "mix". Think I'm getting to the point where I'm getting a handle on applying DYN/EQ/EFF to each of the tracks, and saving what I think is worthwhile to scenes. Here's my question: What's the best way to apply effects to the stereo track? From what I've gathered from reading past posts, I can record my mix to a stereo track as I normally would, then copy (or move) the "mixed" stereo track to a free pair of tracks. Would I then turn all other tracks off, and be able to use all the DYN/EQ/EFF on this paired track as I would any other track, essentially "mastering" it, then RTZ and play/rec with just these two track turned on to create a new "mastered" stereo track on one of the available stereo virtual tracks?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Hi Blacho, yes, that is basically how I would do it.

Applying effects to the stereo track is a bit strange imho, because the stereo track is supposed to be the final product. However there can be a number of reasons why one would want to process the stereo track (eg if a part of the mastering process is done, as opposed to making a mix). To do that, do as you described. Copy the stereo track to a free stereo pair. If all paired tracks are used, you could choose a different virtual. Then apply whatever effects you want to that paired track. You also might want to choose a different virtual for the stereo track not to overwrite the version you just copied.

Scenes will come in handy here. You can save all mixing settings (what you do to create the first stereo track) into a scene, and the other settings that process the copy of the stereo track in a separate scene. Make sure you disconnect all other tracks.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:09 pm 
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You can do that, or you can add what you want to the stereo track, or you can take it to a pc or laptop and add stuff there within a program. That`s the beauty with the Yamaha`s there very versatile.
If you do a stereo mixdown you can bring it back in to two tracks, I would put it on empty virtual tracks though, not over what you`ve already recorded just in case you decide you want to tweak something later on.
Hope this is useful.

T.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:11 pm 
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Sorry Robbie, did`nt see you were online.

T.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:17 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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No problem, au contraire mon ami. 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:29 pm 
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What you are asking can be done. However, once you have a master mix, you can no longer effect the individual tracks. Since you have two fx engines available for all tracks and eq and dynamics for all tracks, why wouldn't you want to work with the individual tracks and get them in shape first. Once you do your stereo track, there are mixdown effects you can use when you finalize the song. Or as mentioned, you can take the master track and load it onto a computer with one of many free daw softwares and give it a go that way.

In other words, you have options.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Greenhorn

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Thanks for the help. What led me down this path was what I thought was a pretty good article (with sound samples) on Sound on Sound re: reverb. The article described some techniques for applying both a short and a long reverb and or delay to the final mix to help try to "pull" it all together. Made me curious. Here's the article if anyone's interested: Sorry, don't know how to activate link?

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul08/a ... everb1.htm

Your replies have prompted some questions.

TMac, you said I could "add what you want" to the stereo track. I don't know how to do that via the EFF send/return method. Can do for tracks and inputs, don't know how to assign multiple effects to stereo tracks?

RZ, re: mastering effects. I've pulled up the mastering library, but as far as I can tell it only offers DYN & EQ availablity, no effects. I am missing something?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:54 pm 
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Sorry Blacho, I was meaning adding eq and compression etc. not reverb, you can`t do that, but if you mixdown your stereo track and then add that to two available virtual tracks you can add reverb that way.

T.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Greenhorn

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Thanks for clarifying that for me TMac.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:36 am 
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I wouldn't say no to any idea at the mastering level, but remember that less is more.

I often run may stereo mix through a chain on my Wavs y96K card, but you could do it using software Wavs Gold plugins, or any other set of good plugins to which you have access. I am happy with results from the Wavs though.

The chain would often include EQ>Dyn>DeEsser>Limiter. The way these are applied depends on the mix. Ideally you need very little of the first three and with the fourth you can hopefully get 3dB of gain with no detrimental effect to the mix. But many mixes benefit from a little compression earlier in the chain to tighten them and provide a bit of a "cohesive quality", but the trick is - less is more.

With fast release times on the limiter, gentle limiting is very transparent. If you have used a compressor on the mix earlier in the chain, you have to be really careful applying the limiter. It is useful to compare the unmastered version( at appropriately matching volumes) to the mastering chain version, to ensure you are not straying farther from the raw recording's essence than would be advisable/acceptable for the material and genre.

I have heard of applying a VERY gentle flange effect to a final mix. When you start to hear it, that is too much and so back it off. Can't say that i use that flange technique very often, but I have tried it. Forget where I first heard the idea too, but it wasn't mine.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Greenhorn

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Thanks for the input Byron. I agree that less is more. I'm just kind of poking around in the dark trying to find what works for me. My approach so far to using EFF/DYN/EQ has been to turn it up until it's clearly overdone, then start dialing it back until it's there but mostly transparent. I've not spent much time with a limiter yet. From the little work I've done so far, it seems that the extra 3db of gain can come in handy.

Unfortunately, I don't have a Waves Y96K card (or any software DAW). What I've read from your posts and other reviews, etc., it sounds like a really nice piece of kit. Pricey though ... in the rare scenarios when you can find one on eBay, they're typically priced more than I paid for the AW2400!

Agreed, it's essential to compare what you've got presently to what the original input was. I've spent much time tweaking a track, only to find that I've mucked it up pretty good!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Marker Magician
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One good way of learning is to use the 1600's mastering presets, so as to begin to appreciate what mastering manipulation will do. First you will hear what the compression does (much of it offensive). You will want to look on the DYN edit screen and adjust the threshhold and knee. The softer the knee (5 is soft) the more you will want to raise the threshold and lower the ratio (1.7:1 or 2:1). , with a quick release time (80 ms. is quite quick, so up from there) adjusting the threshold, first down if you need to find the trigger range, then upward until the attenuation bar shows about 3-4 dB of attenuation for short bursts (of course this is dependent on the dynamic characteristics of the material). Then add a bit of makeup gain.

This of course describes a process with the goal of "tightening up" the mix and perhaps getting a bit of gain, but more mix related. Now pay attention to the EQ settings on the presets. They are very wide (Q less than 1.0) and incrementally small + or - . They tend to be centered away from the fundamental frequencies and will sometimes overlap. the representation on the screen is not very helpful as the resolution is crude. But listen and take note of the the difference when you use the Bypass button. Sometimes subtle, which is the goal. Often better when you have no EQ, but not always. High Pass Filtering (HPF), in the low slot on the EQ , at a low (+- 45 khz ) can clear up some mud

All this done, if you want your track to have anything approaching a "commercial" sound, you have to gently "brickwall" limit your track to eek out as much gain as possible, without adversely affecting the material. Limiters aren't the villian. It is pushing them too hard that does the damage. Never make final decisions about limiting at the end of a long mixing/listening session.

Unfortunately, i do not think the AW series machines do very well in the "brickwall" category. You use the DYN, with the threshold set to 0dB ( or perhaps -0.2), with a very rapid attack ( I think 6ms is as quick as it comes on the AW). There seem to be samples that sneak through. As your mixes become more even and balanced, through better tracking and experience, this is less of an issue and you can use the AW to eek out volume, but the machine falls down in this "brickwall" regard IMO. Still, This step might be performed on the AW as a second mastering step, on a digital copy of the stereo mix made from of the session mix you mastered with your EQ and "gentle" compression settings. This of course, all being done in real time, is consuming of time. It is not as fast as using a software based "rendering" on a computer.

But use those mastering presets to begin to educate your ear to the power of subtle mastering tweeks.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:59 pm 
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Greenhorn

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Great info Byron, thanks very much for the detail.

I've done some of what you said ... starting with one of the mastering presets ... and experimented from there. Sometime with pleasing results, many times not! It's been a good way to see what the DYN and EQ can do.

On a slightly different note, although it's not really my intention to have to add a lot of digital gain, it seems the extra gain available via the DYN & EQ come in handy on individual tracks and during mixdown. Recorded a guitar track last night with an SM57 2" or 3" away, the amp was up pretty loud, input gain on the AW at about 3 o'clock. When I listen back completely dry (I want a good sounding track before I fiddle with the DYN/EQ/EFF), the track still sounds somewhat wimpier than I hoped for.

From my reading on this forum, seems like this isn't that uncommon, or am I wrong and just doing something hinky?

I do not have an external pre-amp. Wondering if a decent one might help me track clean but with a bit of a stronger signal. Been saving my pennies and eyeing used Focusrite ISA Ones.

BTW, i have a 2400.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:09 am 
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Marker Magician
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Blacho wrote:
although it's not really my intention to have to add a lot of digital gain, it seems the extra gain available via the DYN & EQ come in handy on individual tracks and during mixdown. Recorded a guitar track last night with an SM57 2" or 3" away, the amp was up pretty loud, input gain on the AW at about 3 o'clock. When I listen back completely dry (I want a good sounding track before I fiddle with the DYN/EQ/EFF), the track still sounds somewhat wimpier than I hoped for.

From my reading on this forum, seems like this isn't that uncommon, or am I wrong and just doing something hinky?

I do not have an external pre-amp. Wondering if a decent one might help me track clean but with a bit of a stronger signal. Been saving my pennies and eyeing used Focusrite ISA Ones.

BTW, i have a 2400.


What do you mean by wimpy? If the performance is solid, and the levels consistent, ... then there is lots you can do to gently instill a bit of character.

If your levels are low, in comparison to some other tracks, on the 2400 , you can boost the signal digitally by up to +12 dB at the very beginning of the chain. See the signal chain on the View screen, via view button.

The 1600 and G let you cut gain, but not add it. This is a good feature of the 2400.

A preamp is a handy piece of gear. Start small with an ART single channel for just a few bucks. The AW pres do need some help, especially with dynamic mics. Don't forget you can digitally add up to +12 dB at the input stage too, if memory serves correctly.

as for adding gain to the final product, it is a necessary part of the process. if you mix in a controlled fashion, the mix's average volume levels can be quite low (material dependent) so that there is lots of headroom, hopefully with no peak exceeding -3. This requires some use of DYN on the tracks, and perhaps some fader riding or "Automix" to do a bit of volume adjustment on the fly during mixdown. Don't be afraid to turn your reference monitors' volume up as you mix, as need be, to avoid being deceived that your whole mix is wimpy, ... but ... You need to recover that 3dB for the final product. Plus a good brick wall limiter will let you sneak a few more dB out, But don't be greedy. listen for the transient sounds (snare snap, bass string finger noise, beater sound from the kick for e.g.) as you compress a mix. You can't sacrifice the open sound for more volume.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Greenhorn

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"Gently instill a bit of character" ... nicely put. I am trying to do so. Felt like it was a decent track re: performance and levels. By wimpy, I guess I mean that it needs some help, particularly in the gain/level department, to try to capture the "live" sound coming out of the amp.

Your patience, advice and detailed feedback are sincerely appreciated. This forum has been an invaluable tool in an effort to get up to speed with the AW.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:55 pm 
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If you are happy with performance and levels, but not the tone of your guitar, you should take into consideration the space within which you "close mic'ed" the guitar. You are hearing the box, but the microphone is placed so as to not "hear" the room. Placing the mic further from the amp, or using a large diaphragm mic, or multi-micing to get both the box and the room sometime works. Also, I generally will use some sort of DI box, with the DI's xlr out taking the electric guitar's input straight to the recorder. The Thru out put from the DI can go to the Amp, which is then mic'ed with one or more microphones. Then i have two or three signal to mix down to a stereo pair, or utilize separately, as i wish.

You can work wonders with guitar signal by exploring delays too. Setting the delay times to match your tempo can really develop the sound. Did you play your guitar track to a click or drum beat of some kind? Calculating delays is fairly straight-forward, if you are not familiar with how .. easy to learn. Gentle tremolo, or other frequency modulation can add interest too. Less is best for most material, but there is no particular error or "sin" in doctoring a track to help it work in a mix.

Some times guitars sound "wimpy" when they have to compete in the lower frequencies with other instruments. So some HPF (High pass Filtering) with settings to filter the low to mids up as high as perhaps 225 htZ, will allow you to ride the guitar volumes a bit harder. Take care to set your meters to show the post-fader levels to get an accurate read. Also, be aware of where in the chain you place the EQ curve you create. You will often want the EQ in front of the compressors and effects you apply. The 2400 has good flexibility in this regard too (beyond what a a G or 1600 has). Take your time and experiment. you will begin to "hear' the track, which will guide you as you listen to it work with other mix elements.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:27 pm 
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Greenhorn

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Good stuff Byron. I need to spend some more time on trying to capture my guitar tone (seem to be a little better with the clean and acoustic sounds vs. the overdriven sound). I've tried some of the different mic techniques you described, found out the hard way about phasing issues when using more than one mic ... just haven't done enough of it. Having an awful time EQ'ing the dirty guitar also. Other than an HPF, almost always end up using no EQ. Haven't used the thru on my DI, but have recorded multiple tracks of the same part (sometimes just copy to another track), then played around with treating them and panning them. Can definitely help.

The guitar track was played to a click. I have come across some charts and explanations on setting delay times to the BPM, and have really enjoyed that discovery.

I'm clearly new to this, and I don't imagine they rival high-end outboard gear like TC, Lexicon, Waves card, etc., but I find that the onboard DYN/EQ/EFF can take you pretty far, and that you can texture tracks or combinations of tracks with a reasonably good result.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:35 am 
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Marker Magician
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The AW generally has everything on board you need. My Wavs card is certainly handy, and the utilities are very good, but the AW has the horsepower to get a great job done. the only piece missing IMO is a final limiting capability, and there certainly are ways to accomplish this without spending an arm and a leg. for strictly hobbyist or archival projects, the AW can do it all. And as we have discussed, if you copy a stereo mix back to a stereo pair, you can use the AW's DYN to do the limiting. I am just not sure you could truly call it "brickwall", so a commercial project would require this step out of the AW to insure no errant sample sneaks by, and with this confidence allowing you to eek a bit of volume out. as i said earlier, don't be seduced by the volume, as it comes at the expense of transparency and dynamic range.

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