This article is going to be a little less template, and a little more workflow. We all have our favorite plug-ins. We probably also all have plug-ins we’d love to use, but run into limitations that keep us from pulling them out of the tool box. For instance, I have a couple of plug-ins from Waves that can add some really cool sonic character when I’m designing a sound, but also introduce more noise than I like when I start pushing them too hard. The problem is, I like pushing those plug-ins hard to get that character. Even when not pushing them too hard, I can still hear noise added by the algorithm. I’m not a fan of unwanted noise. So, I recently started experimenting with an old analog technique…
Herbert Goldberg has an interesting article up about compressors and the though process behind designing their inner workings. That fits nicely into this month’s theme, don’t you think?
Technically speaking the same principles are used in audio signal limiting and compression processors but just the transfer curves and envelope follower settings are different. Ultra fast attack rates and high ratio amounts are used for limiting purposes which causes just very few peaks to pass on a certain threshold.
In digital implementations limiting processors can be more strict due to look-ahead and clever gain prediction functions which guarantees that no peak information passes the threshold. That is called brickwall limiting then.
Continue Reading here.
Oh…he also has a number of freeware VST plug-ins you can check out too! Descriptions of each plug-in can be found here.
Charles Maynes’ post earlier this month reminded me of an idea I had but never bothered to actually test out…using dynamics processors as envelope generators.
If you’ve ever listened to me rant at all in the last two and a half years I’ve been active in this online community, you’ve probably at some point heard me say, “Compressors don’t make things louder, make up gain does!” I stand by that comment…so much so that I tend to repeat it every couple of months. Technically, I just did it again. Compressors and gates, in and of themselves, don’t make signals louder, they do just the opposite. If you’re using a compressor (and disregarding make-up gain for the moment) it makes a signal softer when it exceeds a given threshold. Gates, for the most part, completely mute signals unless they exceed a given threshold. So, why not use those behaviors creatively?