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Stickfigger

Master Bus

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Posted (edited)

do you guys have a stock standard chain on your bus ? If so what is it ?

Edited by Stickfigger

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Too many things, have things piling over me:

 

Airwindows PDConsole -> bx_townhouse compressor or Vertigo VSC-2 (depending on source material) -> Airwindows Spiral -> iZotope Ozone -> iZotope Tonal Balance Control -> Fabfilter Pro L -> (the last three are just for my reference (and the last for my hearing protection) - they get removed on render) iZotope Insight 2 -> TBProAudio Isol8 -> Cerberus Audio ICE9 (no idea where it's vanished to, PluginBoutique had it for free for a while)

 

As result my computer runs like crap and everything takes ages to render. Don't do this (well except if you're mixing on headphones for sure get hold of ICE9, somehow, for your hearing protection at least)

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Currently : 

 

Airwindows PurestConsoleBuss >>> Kazrog True Iron (111C algo) >>> Vertigo VSC3 >>> Softube Tape (or u-he Satin or Goodhertz Wow Ctrl) >>> Airwindows StudioTan (NotJustAnotherDither24 algo)

 

I love the depth and clarity I can get using the whole PurestConsole system, makes mixing easier.

True Iron is 9 times out of ten an instant improvement, enhancing what PurestConsole does.

Vertigo VSC3 was just released a couple of days ago and is simply slaying my other compressors, insanely lush and versatile. Stunning piece of code really, sounds expensive and hardware-like (yes).

Finally, I often enjoy some mild tape compression / sat, and I'll switch between the 3 plugins I've mentionned depending on what I want / on what the track needs.

Oh and StudioTan / NJAD24 simply does the dithering job perfectly.

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Vertigo VSC3 was just released a couple of days ago and is simply slaying my other compressors

I've heard good things about it and will probably eventually switch from VSC2 to 3 but at the moment it's apparently VST3 only and so I'm waiting for a stable release of Ableton 10.1 to come out. What copy protection does it use ?

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FabFilter Q3, FabFilter C2, and FabFilter L2.

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For TV/Film mixes - Massey L2007 Mastering Limiter > Dolby Media Meter > Waves Dorrough Meter > Waves PAZ Frequency Analyzer (which I should take out since I never use it anymore)

For music production - Nothing. Straight from the stereo mains of my Mackie mixer to a FastTrackPro recording into Pro Tools.

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Vertigo VSC3 was just released a couple of days ago and is simply slaying my other compressors

I've heard good things about it and will probably eventually switch from VSC2 to 3 but at the moment it's apparently VST3 only and so I'm waiting for a stable release of Ableton 10.1 to come out. What copy protection does it use ?

 

It uses Vertigo's own authorizer. 

 

It sounds real and spectacular. I didn't need another compressor at all (I was pretty happy with Kotelnikov GE and TrackComp's SSL G, both being fantastic plugins) but was stunned by its sheer tone and instant usefulness. Damn versatile as well.

 

This week I'm teaching mastering 101 to my students, so I'm demonstrating compression during mastering on their material. We were all shocked by the drastic improvements VSC3 did to their tracks. 

 

One of them had this really aggressive, edgy, digital hardcore track and it was impressive how VSC3 balanced it and polished it, within a couple of clicks and very little amount of gentle gain reduction.

An other student had a dark synth-pop / disco track that sounded thin and all over the place volume-wise : VSC3 turned it into something dense and groovy effortlessly.

Finally, I used it as a tone-box right after Kotelnikov GE on a sort of West Coast'ish skwee track (should recommend listening to Eero Johannes to that student hehe) and it was a perfect way to add some warmth and depth (while Kotelnikov GE was incredible here to add clarity and unity to his tune).

 

Add the fact that it sounds lush AF on my own material and I was sold. I also feel like it could easily replace several plugins : tried just using VSC3 on the 2buss without Tape and True Iron yesterday, and it sounded amazing right away. Just don't demo it if you don't have the dough as you might want it badly. ;)

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It uses Vertigo's own authorizer.

Hmmm I might wait to see if it moves to Plugin Alliance - I've already got iLok, Plugin Alliance, Native Instuments, Arturia, Waves, XLN & Flux license managers and am worried my machine will topple over with much more !

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I hear you !

Vertigo isn't part of the Plugin Alliance any longer though, they're releasing their own plugin instead. As I'm about to sell all my PA plugins, I'm somehow glad they do.

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Dang that's a shame, only recently picked up VSC2 and it's going to be a mainstay on my 2-bus and the thought of a betterer VSC2 being out there gives me upgrade pangs....

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I don't really have a standard chain but the last 2 slots usually are Ozone 8 Maximizer and Tonal Balance Control. The choice of EQs, exciters and compressors depends on the source material. I really like iZotope Neutron's exciter. Also I like Neutron's cross-band sidechaining abilities and occasionally find them useful for mastering

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Yeah I've got Neutron on each track and then use the Tonal Balance Control on the master to control them all (and the instance of Ozone on the master). Would love more plugins to do that multiple instance communication - Definitely makes life easier !

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I guess that's how it's supposed to be used: Ozone on the Master Bus and Neutron as a mixing tool though I find that some of Neutron's features are missing in Ozone. That would be the side chain dynamic EQ and the more versatile exciter.

But often I find myself relying on mastering tools for compensating mixing problems too much anyway

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Less and less these days. A small bass boost and hi shave, maybe a PEQ cut at 1khz and boost at 3khz

 

Stock ableton compressor

 

My recreation of “shallow water” by Fairfield circuitry via max 4 live stuff and a simple delay.

 

Drum buss is nice to put on the master but it’s pretty damn aggressive.

 

I’ve messed around with air windows stuff but it’s mostly obnoxiously subtle for my taste. One I do really like is his noise one. That’s the most useful one for my needs.

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I am going to use the phrase obnoxiously subtle at least once more today

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Sound Radix Powair

+

Samplitude’s own eq and limiter plugs

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Limiter while mixing ?

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Limiter while mixing ?

 

 

I think this is the trend with DAWs like Ableton? I suspect because most producers want a loud or 'mastered' sounding mix right from the get go. It's not necessarily wrong, but I'm not into it either.

 

 

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Limiter while mixing ?

 

Yes

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Posted (edited)

I don't always use everything, but my default project loads up with this on the master buss (everything but the final safety clipper and dither starts in bypass and usually stays that way until I have the mix mostly done):

 

48-channel buss with a bunch of instances of Airwindows PurestConsole set up as a 24 (stereo) track summing buss in it (24 instances of PC Channel in parallel, summed into one instance of PC Buss on channels 1 and 2, which are routed to the master buss).  All of my mixing happens through that; if I need more than 24 tracks I add a second buss in parallel with the first (or as a submix routed to a pair of channels in the first, depending on what I'm doing), but I've found limiting my track count usually ends up making me arrange things better so I'm almost always good with 24 or less (including sends).

 

The main stereo buss defaults to:

 

Airwindows Pop (usually off, but more often than not when a mix is mostly done I find that switching this on, dialing it in so it's just shy of distorting, and then turning the wet/dry down to 10% wet or less has this nice subtle effect of bringing out background details, room tone, reverbs, etc. in a way that sounds really nice but doesn't sound compressed at all, or even processed really, it's more like it focuses on the details of the sound for you)

 

Airwindows Buttercomp 2 - I usually do at least the second half of the mix through this, sometimes more. Again, it doesn't really make it sound compressed, it just makes everything sound a bit fuller in the low mids.

 

Airwindows Spiral - not using it much these days because I've been mixing to tape more often lately, but if I don't feel like setting that up I'll switch on Spiral, which has a similar quality to it (but a lot less subtle than even subtle tape emulation).  Also it gives me 2-3db more headroom with minimal coloration, usually.  Less aggressive than a limiter, nicer coloration than most soft clippers as long as you don't push it past its ceiling (although that can be good, too, jsut not on the master buss!)

 

K- Meter

 

Span Plus

 

Airwindows ClipOnly -> StudioTan -> ReaInsert - these only get enabled if I'm inserting hardware

 

Airwindows ClipOnly (safety clipping, I don't actually hit its ceiling on mixdown)

 

Airwindows Studio Tan

 

 

 

I've been really in to the Airwindows stuff since it started getting ported to Windows VST.

 

 

That's it for mixing, all nice but subtle and really low CPU. Sometimes I'll put TDR SlickEQ M in there before or after Pop, and occasionally I'll use a more aggressive compressor but usually not (and these days if I do it's generally a cheap hardware compressor like the Alesis Microlimiter or Behringer MDX2100 to kind of soften everything up a bit; when I have time to finish building the GSSL I'm almost done with that will probably end up here a lot, too).  If I need to do a simple self-master I'll print a stereo mix through 1/4" tape (usually) and then open it in a new session and adjust it there, usually with some combination of PSP e27, TDR SlickEQ M, TDR Nova (rarely) and/or TDR Limiter 6.

Edited by RSP

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Limiter while mixing ?

Yes

Nah

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vanilla ableton compressor or glue -> cakewalk ca-2a as a limiter -> ableton limiter for final peaks

 

i try to avoid eq on master as ideally i should be dealing with the freqs on each individual track. if a song is finished and i'm getting it ready for a release then i'll use EQ, but not when mixing.

 

i'm also starting to use tape sims on the master as i think it applies a subtle treatment that breaks up the digital cleanliness just enough. when i A/B it should be barely noticeable, it's more the effect it has on long term listening that is important. so i listen to A and B for at least 10 seconds when i compare. i bought waves kramer master tape for this if anyone's curious.

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vanilla ableton compressor or glue -> cakewalk ca-2a as a limiter -> ableton limiter for final peaks

 

i try to avoid eq on master as ideally i should be dealing with the freqs on each individual track. if a song is finished and i'm getting it ready for a release then i'll use EQ, but not when mixing.

 

i'm also starting to use tape sims on the master as i think it applies a subtle treatment that breaks up the digital cleanliness just enough. when i A/B it should be barely noticeable, it's more the effect it has on long term listening that is important. so i listen to A and B for at least 10 seconds when i compare. i bought waves kramer master tape for this if anyone's curious.

I use j37 from waves . Did u try that one ?

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Limiter while mixing ?

Yes

Nah

 

Yes!

I roughly bring it to target loudness while mixing because that way I have a better idea how everything sounds through all the compressors and the limiting in the end and therefore can make better decisions. For the sound design I usually have it turned off though

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