Bus Channel strips?

Discussion in 'Production' started by Dugg Funnie, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    Sup my dudes; I'm spending a good bit of time, as part of New Years' resolutions, to put together a solid production template in Ableton. So I've got some MIDI and audio channels together, already pre-grouped according to different elements of the track (i.e. Beats, Bass, Lead, etc...) and I'm wondering if I could get some input as to an effect rack to put on the group channel as a sort of channel bus for each group. So far, I've got:

    Beats:
    Voxengo GlissEQ (the DD titties of EQ)
    Transient Designer
    Vertigo VSC-2 (I love this compressor, but I don't hear too many other people talkin' bout it)
    FabFilter Pro-L
    Proximity (Haven't used this much yet, but I've heard good things and wanted to give it a shot, does having it at the end of the effect chain seem appropriate or should it be somewhere else?)


    Bass:
    Voxengo GlissEQ
    FabFilter Pro-C
    Limiter6
    Proximity


    Any tips or input for group channel strips? Also, anybody have standard bus FX they go-to? I know I'll probably have The Glue as my bus compressor and 2c-Aether for bus verb, but I'm looking to get a lil' more production oriented and not just compositional with my music. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    Good question.

    Your "Beats" strip looks great, and I agree with you 110% with regards to Vertigo VSC-2–an amazing, underrated compressor. Admittedly, it has taken a backseat in my productions as of late because I've fallen for my FabFilter Pro-C. Regardless, Vertigo is a great tool and is modeled very accurately after it's hardware alter-ego.

    The added "Transient Designer" in your strip may be a bit overkill, as those transients will be squashed once they hit the compressor. Maybe consider placing it after the compressor to help bring back some of those squashed transients. To add, consider throwing another EQ after your compressor to fine-tune any unwanted frequencies that may have appeared as a result of the makeup gain.

    FabFilter Pro-L is an excellent endpoint for your strip. Amazing limiter that can be as transparent or "pumpy" as you want it to be. Though I'd advise to keep it more or the "transparent" side of things as opposed to aiming for a dramatic increase in loudness.

    I'm a bit on the fence about Proximity. If you have panned the components of your drum kit adequately (ex. hats/cymbals, toms, misc percussion) you should have no need for proximity. The best test is to throw it on your bus and then A/B between mono/stereo to hear if anything has been lost due to phase/freq issues.

    As far as the "Bass" strip goes, I tend to avoid compressors like the plague on bass channels/bus'...unless I'm using them for sidechaining or a very transparent setting to "glue" multiple bass sound sources together. The thing is, most bass sounds from a synth aren't going to stray far enough (in terms of varying transients/levels) to warrant the use of a compressor (unless you have some extreme automation/modulation).

    Also, try experimenting with placing that EQ after the compressor since most compressors tend to react to low frequency information. For example, if you have low cut the bass prior to the signal hitting the compressor, you may not be satisfied.

    These little tidbits are just my humble opinion. In the end, use whatever sounds best to your ears. :)

    Cheers.
     
  3. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    I'll try your advice for the transient shaper after compression rather than before; I was going to set it and get the two to work together using the envelopes but I'm also consider making the VSC-2 it's own chain in the effect rack so I can run it in parallel instead of just having the compressed signal, then I could keep the TD on the main chain, get super poppin attacks and phat-fuck-yo-momma-in-the-mouth sustain.

    And yeah, I can never remember best practices regarding EQ before or after compression I've heard pretty damn compelling arguments for both sides of the table. And for the bass strip, yea the compressor is really just there to stick the different sources together; I might lose the Pro-C and swap it for Ableton's native compressor with the "Mix Gel" preset (which is actually p. dope)
     
  4. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    I know what you means about the compressor/eq order, it's easy to go in circles with argument to I usually try it both ways and hope for the best.

    I actually just picked up a copy of Ableton to incorporate into my workflow and I must say, the native plugins are very impressive! The compressor is no exception.

    Let me know if you're able to get the results your looking for.