Here’s a lesson in how to apply automation settings to various parameters in your mixes.
Hello, and welcome to another Dojo! Tighten up your belts, because this time I’m going to take you further down “automation lane,” and point out some DAW features that may be missing in your mixes. You’ll recall that last month, I sang the praises of immersive audio and how having your automation skills “on point” can be a big benefit in your mixing process in this paradigm. I also dove into the differences between “write,” “latch,” “touch,” and “trim” settings. Now, you should be able to apply them to a multitude of different parameters available in most DAWs.
Three Plus One, Send/Return
Most of the time, in the latter stages of mixing, you’ll use the “big three” automation options: volume, pan, and mute/solo. As mentioned before, I generally use the “touch” setting when doing moves of this nature, because it will keep any previously written automation moves and only overwrite new data when the fader is touched. (Upon release, it immediately goes back to reading the previous automation data.)
In addition to these three, automation really blossoms when applied to send/return levels to aux bus effects, and will allow you to create dynamic mix textures such as delays and reverbs that evolve over time. I would add that the send/return automation is a key parameter for me, and something that I use on every mix. Every DAW, once in an automated “enable” state, will track your send levels to your aux effects (delays, reverbs, etc.).
Pre Fader, Post Fader…. What’s the Difference?
These terms are important to understand and describe the points in the signal path where various audio processes occur in relation to the channel’s fader. “Pre fader” is when you apply effects or processing before the channel’s volume fader—which means that the amount of signal you send to your reverb effect remains constant regardless of changes in the channel’s volume level. Thus, when you apply a reverb effect pre fader, increasing or decreasing the channel’s overall volume won’t affect the reverb level in the mix.
“Post fader” refers to a point in the signal path that occurs after the channel’s fader. So, any processing applied takes place after the audio signal passes through the channel’s volume fader. Changes made to the fader’s position directly affects the level of the audio signal that’s sent for processing. For example, using a compressor post fader on a vocal track means that the compressor’s response is influenced by the vocal’s volume changes. If you lower the vocal’s fader, the compressed signal will also be quieter. This can be useful for maintaining a more balanced dynamic range in the mix, should you choose.
“Automation really blossoms when applied to send/return levels to aux bus effects, and will allow you to create dynamic mix textures such as delays and reverbs that evolve over time.”
I’ve found that I do 99 percent of my send/return automations pre fader. Why? Because I don’t want any overall volume rides that I may do to affect my effect’s send levels (amount of reverb, amount of delay, etc.), and if I want to adjust the amount of effect levels, I simply automate the aux send fader and leave my overall volume fader alone. But, whatever works for you is the right way to do it.
Instantiate some new aux buses. (In LUNA and Pro Tools, the hotkey to do this is Cmd or Ctrl+Shift+N; then set the track type to aux.) Most DAWs are very similar, but read your manual if you are unsure how to do this (Fig. 1). On each aux bus, place a plugin of your choice. Get creative! Don’t just use reverbs and delays, but throw in an amp simulator, bit crusher, tremolos, etc. Next, select the audio track(s) you want to assign to the aux bus(es) of your choice. Also, feel free to assign multiple aux buses to a single audio track, because each bus can be independently automated.
Pick an audio track and set it on “write” or “touch” mode. Regardless of what your GUI looks like, press play and start adjusting the aux send’s fader levels. Play back your automation, edit, and have fun with your mixing. Next time, I’ll guide you through the advanced ways to automating your plugin parameters for even more finely nuanced control and creative possibilities. Namaste.
Guitar amp plugin specialist, Nembrini Audio, is proud to launch their BG Extasy Boutique Guitar Amplifier, meticulously modelled on the Bogner Ecstasy 101B head guitar amplifier.
Nembrini Audio has carefully reproduced the incredible tone and versatility of this famous boutique guitar amplifier which is hailed as a modern classic and widely regarded as one of the most desirable guitar amps on the market today. The BG Extasy Boutique Guitar Amplifier plugin has 3 distinctly voiced channels morphing past, present and future tones and a much sought after range of switching possibilities. The new plugin has all the detail of the amp plus it extends the possibilities of the original hardware thanks to the versatility of the digital world with new powerful features for the maximum control of tone.
BG Extasy Boutique Guitar Amplifier Plugin
- A complete recording chain means users can select between six different guitar cabinets, four microphone emulations with on/off-axis position switch, continuous position and distance knobs. A complete Mixer section with Solos, Mutes, Pans and Faders allows users to blend together the two microphones with the Studio Reverb.
- The Impulse Loader can load up to three third-party impulse responses, blend them together using volume, pan, phase, solo and mute controls plus a useful browser window has been added so all third-party IR files can be easily searched.
- New optimized Noise Gate section
- Includes a cleaner circuit to reduce rumbling and harshness
Talking about the BG Extasy Boutique Guitar Amplifier plugin, Igor Nembrini, founder and creator of Nembrini Audio said it's 'Classy, Versatile and Ecstatic, breathing like high gain boutique amps with infinite options.'
For an introductory period only, BG Extasy Boutique Guitar Amplifier (as an iLok-protected** AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plug-in) for MAC OS1.9 and above or Windows 7 and above, is available to purchase for only $39.00 USD (normally $137.00 USD) until 19th September 2021. The AuV3 format for iOS can be purchased for $9.99USD (normally $19.99 USD).
For more information:
The three SVT amp heads can be paired with any of eight speaker cabinets or any third-party IRs.
Ampeg today introduced the SVT Suite bass amplifier plugin, which features three of the most highly coveted SVT amplifier heads: The Heritage 50th Anniversary SVT, the Heritage SVT-CL, and the SVT-4PRO.
The plugin represents the first foray into amplifier modeling by Ampeg, the company that defined electric bass tone with the iconic "flip-top" B-15 Portaflex combo amp in 1963 (the most recorded bass amplifier in the world) and then again in 1969 with the mighty 300-watt SVT amplifier. Intended for home and professional recordists alike, the SVT Suite plugin brings that same legendary Ampeg tone to any studio environment.
"For the first time ever, we're offering the amp that redefined rock bass tone in a plugin format," said Dino Monoxelos, Ampeg Brand Marketing Manager. "No third parties, no proprietary hardware, just straight-up bass tone direct from Ampeg, the most trusted name in bass. And for all those who want SVT tone without having to move a large amp, or make room for it in a small studio, what could be better than having three of our finest SVT heads, a bevy of Ampeg cabinets, and a great selection of mics and effects pedals, all in a single plugin?"
The SVT Suite plugin's photorealistic interface—featuring Amp, Cab, and FX views—makes using it a simple and familiar experience. Flip a switch, turn a knob, patch in a cable, just like on a physical rig.
The three SVT amp heads can be paired with any of eight speaker cabinets and third-party IRs may also be loaded. Dual-Cab and Dual-IR modes allow two cabs or IRs to be used simultaneously. The cabs may be miked with any of six virtual microphones, and you can adjust the positioning of the mic in relation to the cab speaker, as well as blend in one of three stationary room mics. Models of the Ampeg Liquifier Analog Chorus, Opto Comp Analog Optical Compressor, and Scrambler Bass Overdrive pedals are also included, along with the new Rocktaver and Phasifier effects. And for those who prefer to add a parallel direct signal (or even go straight DI), there is a virtual version of the renowned SVT-DI studio direct box.
All this adds up to one extremely powerful plugin, offering nearly unlimited variations on authentic Ampeg SVT tone. A fully functional 15-day trial version of the 64-bit plugin is available in AAX, AU, and VST formats.
Pricing & Availability
SVT Suite is $199.99 USD (MSRP) and is now available worldwide.