Adding effects advice

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Wrighty
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Adding effects advice

Post by Wrighty » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:51 am

Hi all

I am looking for advice on adding effects please.

I record acoustic solo guitar on two mics - so into Auria on two tracks. I then want to add eq/reverb/compression/limiter to both tracks so i usually do this using the channel strip in the master channel. Recently i have been seeing more and more reference to adding effects either by creating a separate new channel using aux or by using auxin on the master channel and then dialling the effect into each channel using the aux knobs.

Can you please help me understand the pro’s and con’s of both methods and why i would use either in this scenario to get the best recording.

At this point i am not using pro but happy to upgrade if there’s an advantage.

Thanks

Peter

Aph
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Aph » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:15 am

Putting all the effects on each channel takes a lot of CPU power.
“Sharing” effects on a bus will save CPU.
However, I never share EQ and rarely compression. I want those on individual channels to carve out the sound for that particular instrument.
People do put EQ (and compression) on the master bus to tweak the overall sound.

Wrighty
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Wrighty » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:22 am

Thanks - I can see the sense in that.

From an application point of view - in terms of achieving the best sound balance, does the way it is applied make anuy difference?

Aph
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Aph » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:33 pm

As usual... "it depends". You could try a few experiments and use your ears to hear what the difference is.
For example, let's say you have two acoustic guitar tracks with no effects on either track but you have EQ, compression and reverb on the master track. In general, I think that would not sound the greatest.
Now, if you put EQ and compression on each track and then have one reverb plugin on an Aux track where you can control the amount of send signal from each track and also the overall amount of total reverb coming out of the reverb bus (into the master), that, I think, would sound much better.

Wrighty
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Wrighty » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:52 am

Thanks Aph.

Can you help me understand why the master effect process wouldn’t sound the greatest?

Also, the method you suggest - is this relevant to one guitar but with two stereo tracks? (as opposed to two instruments)

Aph
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Aph » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:34 pm

Only in the fact that different instruments probably need different processing... not that the digital signal will be compromised.
For example, if you have two different acoustic guitars, surely they would sound better if you processed them each with their own EQ, etc.
Even if you recorded the same guitar i.e. once for rhythm and once for lead, having separate EQ's to bring out the different qualities makes sense (maybe scoop out a little mid-range on the rhythm and add a touch of midrange and highs to the lead... etc.).
You can certainly add reverb to each track, too (at the expense of CPU), but having one reverb on a bus will let you add the amount of each instrument you want and have them sound like they are in the same space... or same "room".

In general, I would process each "instrument", whether it's a stereo track or mono.

By far the most used effects that I add to my tracks are EQ and compression. And you can see that the Channelstrip of each track in Auria includes these two effects.

wigglelights
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by wigglelights » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:34 am

I think Alph makes some good points, but is missing that the OP is using what I presume to be an XY mic recording of a single performance.

As he says - it depends; are you using matched mics or different brands? How much room are you capturing in the mics? Will any other tracks, like vocals, be added later? Are you looking for a natural sound or more effected?

Assuming the simplest case - XY micing to bring out the widest range of the guitar - I would look at EQ on each individual channel, and routing these channels to one of the subs where compression and reverb would be added.
Certainly each mic is “hearing” something slightly different, and eq on those two tracks will be for getting them to fit together the best. Adding compression on the individual tracks could be tricky, as any differences in timing settings could make the tracks feel out of sync. If you do need any, just keep it minimal.
Then send both tracks to a sub. This is where the two tracks get “glued” together. The Auria subs have a nice bus compressor built in, any overall eq tweaks and reverb can be added here as well. Just spend time with the original tracks before adding too much to the bus, the better it sounds without the “glue” the better it will sound with it.

Hope that makes sense!

Wrighty
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Wrighty » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:31 am

Thanks - you are correct re the stereo micing of one guitar.

I use two identical mics in spaces pair setup most of the time - they do sound different so separate EQ on each using an insert makes good sense.

What I don’t understand is why then send to a sub rather than just add the more general effects in the master insert strip?

Aph
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Aph » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:52 am

If all you have is one stereo guitar, it won’t make much difference, except that it is considered “best practice”.
But, here’s one example, say for reverb, on a bus. Turn the mix control on the reverb to 100% wet. Then all you have to do is adjust the sub’s fader for the amount of reverb you want in the mix. You are also set up if you ever want to add extra instrument tracks.
Reverb on a master bus means you are constantly opening the plugin to adjust the mix control for the right amount of the effect, etc.
There’s also something called parallel processing that makes it way easier if the effects are on a sub... but that’s something where a video is worth a million words. YouTube has a lot of recording videos. :)

Wrighty
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Wrighty » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:55 am

Thanks - makes sense..

One last question - what if I add a stereo channel and choose Aux1 as the input, then add the effect to that channel and dial it in to each stereo channel with the Aux knob?

How does that differ in results from using the subgroup as you suggest?

wigglelights
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by wigglelights » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:21 am

The idea is treating the XY as a single track. Again, especially with compression, affecting both tracks as one will help glue them together, as compression has time based aspects (attack, release and knee).
There are no rules, so whatever works best for you - just try these different options and see what sounds best to you/makes most sense in your workflow. It is a common practice from what I can tell, among professional engineers, to sum XY tracks - and as an an absolutely not pro engineer, I’ve had good luck with this approach especially when other instruments (vocals, drums, keys, etc) are involved.
But treating them as separate tracks could make for some creative treatment of the final mix - just experiment and listen.

Aph
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Aph » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:26 am

Yeah, sorry... I’m meaning Aux for effects. Subs are for combining several channels into one.

Wrighty
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Re: Adding effects advice

Post by Wrighty » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:27 am

Thanks very much for your help and patience!

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