During the test phase of the new Denise plugin called Noize 2, I ended up discovering how creative producing with noise samples can be. I literally changed the way I approach sonic textures and frequencies. Old tricks for sure, but sometimes having a new tool – like for example a plugin which lets you apply noise in such an adaptive and tweakable way may change completely your workflow. Makes you feel like a newbie again 🙂
One of the best small tricks I found lately is with a crowd sample for “choir” sections. Check it out:
For the release of Noize 2, the new noise generating plugin which has a *load sample* feature, Cecil, Joe, Rob from Denise and I went around our favorite spots in Berlin to record its sounds and noises and the video maker Diego Delgado documented it. We’ve created Berlin Sounds, a pack of 39 samples recorded in 16 locations.
I’ve been working a lot with my IGS Tubecore Mastering Edition lately and I’ve been so satisfied I’ve been almost strapping it on every master bus, on every production. I love the sound of it and the features dry/wet and mid/side really make it a game changer. It’s such a WARM piece of gear that my cat also loves to sleep upon it.
I’ve wanted to investigate a little deeper on the actual color that it gives the instruments, so I made a test.
1) I’ve recorded a 16bar piece of metal song with 9 tracks:
3) I’ve “reamped” each single track thru the Tubecore with no gain reduction. Gain at 13, output at 9.5 That’s a small amount of gain, btw. Halfway the total gain available on this monster. We’re not going for massive distructive gain differences.
4) I’ve re-reamped each already reamped track thru the Tubecore again, this time with gain at 11, output at 9.5
5) I’ve matched each reamped and 2x reamped track’s RMS to the originals
6) I’ve mastered the 3 versions (1st version with no tubecore, second with tubecore on each track, second with 2x tubecore on each track) and bounced the 3 wave files A, H, Z.
7) I’ve strapped an additional tubecore with compression on (30att, 0.1rel, 1db GR) on each of these 3 wave files, generating 3 more versions (1: no mixbus comp, 2: mixbus comp) This one’s just a slight difference btw.
My aim here is to listen purely to the color of the unit itself, of the tube gain. So the result are 6 files, where we have 3 letters and 2 numbers. Each letter corresponds one of the 3 versions (dry / 1x TC / 2x TC) while the numbers will be 1: with no additional tubecore bus compressor, 2: with additional tubecore bus compression.
Hi y’all nerdy music lovers!
I’m really happy I’ve recently joined the Denise team.
They are developing amazing plugins and they have a great vision.
In fact, they’ve just released their new noize plugin which is the result of a contest whose winner is JNB, who suggested an adaptive noise plugin.
I’ve been lucky to get my copy in advance and I’m already using it in several productions which are going on at the mo.
And because it’s such a creative tool to experiment with, we thought it would be cool to come up with a blog post with some tips and tricks and a tutorial on pink noise mixing, which has become quite a hot topic lately.
Since the first radios started using limiters to raise the volume of the broadcasted music, they have been implemented in studio and some models have become legendary for how they very uniquely color the sound.
As a result, nowadays you can buy all kind of clones and plugin emulations and each brand swears by the perfect imitation of the original vibe of those historical units.
Since I’ve been producing music, I’ve become more and more passionate about some of them so I ended up with my small but very precious collection of analog compressors.
I’ve recently started to endorse IGS Audio‘s Tubecore 3U Mastering Edition Vari-Mu compressor, which adds to my stereo Hairball1176 Rev. D Fet limiter, my modded G SLL (project by Gyraf Audio) and more analog beauties.
Analog compressors: The test!
I’ve tested them next to their plugin emulations to understand better how each model really affects the sound during my mixing sessions, and to make it clearer how each emulation/clone really behaves.
Here are the protagonists of my comparison test:
UREI 1176 models
• 2x 1176 Hairball Rev D (Linked stereo)
• Slate FG 116
• Waves CLA 76 (Blacky)
• Ik Multimedia Black 76
SSL Bus Compressor models
• Custom built G-SSL (w/Sidechain filter mod)
• Slate VBC FG-Grey
• Waves SSL G Comp
Some technical stuff before going to listen to the files or “How the test was done“
I’ve used a stereo stem of drums to drive the compressors and I’ve accurately matched both input and output levels among the same models, same thing for the gain reduction.
You can imagine how that’s a not-so-easy task to do, for the reason that each unit has a different monitoring & GR philosophy, but still I’ve been pretty meticulous. That said, this test doesn’t want to be – at all – a scientific test for comparing noise levels, exact RMS/ Peak levels, etc. The reason why I’ve done it, instead, is because I wanted to capture to the different coloration that each compressor is capable of, during tracking/mixing, confronting hardware vs software, and that’s why the drums have been compressed twice. Therefore the files feature a first round of compression and a second round of compression starting at 0.31 (where the first round is sent again into the compressors).
I’ve connected everything with balanced cables and the AD/DA converters are those of my Yamaha MR816x interface. Ps: The 1176’s and SSL’s have been fed 4db input gain more than the Vari-Mu’s because I wanted to keep the studio routing/settings of the production I’m now working on, but still the i/o gain and GR are matched between sw/hw.
Attack: 11 o’clock
Input Gain: 6db
Let’s listen (0:00 – 0:31 – First round of compression)
(0:31 – end – Double compression)
Have you made up your mind? Which one is your favorite? I have my preferences…
In November I came to Berlin with my beloved woman, and a good ol’ friend o’mine helped us drive all the way to this magic city and we settled in a tiny apartment in Ostkreuz in F’hain, bringing all our stuff like a convoy… We were carrying mostly instruments, preamps, compressors, amps and soundproofing material. Crazy.
II. God **** the queen!
After a few days tho, actually, we flew to Oxfordshire (UK) where I reached the crazy English/Zimbabwean band Kamikaze Test Pilots to record and produce their album “Stealing Chameleons”, in the beautiful Henwood Studios, filled with beautiful vintage microphones and instruments and a pretty nice neve console. We recorded everything LIVE and LOUD.
One of the cool aspects of recording these guys is that they are not afraid to push it till it sounds rough and basically they like to enjoy being in the studio, so we ended up experimenting quite a bit.
We were basically not only agreeing but also hyped about wanting to try not to edit stuff too much, using as much acoustic sounds as we could, delivering as much as possible the raw energy of their playing.
So we got everything cabled up, a bunch of good mics such as cascade fatheads, neumann u87s, sm7s, md421, all straight into the neve preamps and started recording takes and takes, coffee upon coffee, blasphemy upon blasphemy we ended up having some cool stuff recorded and taped into a massive studer tape recorder, ready to be mixed in my home studio Lullaby Productions in Berlin and to be mastered by mastering wizard Pete Maher.
Emigre’, one of the most beautiful and at the same time experimental tracks of this album, reflects completely this kind of laidback attitude to producing we shared… I ended up playing the accordion on this one, Valeria ended up singing la-la-la…, Ryan singing Bom Bom Bom, and the result is clearly something which goes far beyond the classic rock sound.
Kamikaze Test Pilots – Emigré
When you’re given new shoes they will shine When you’re given good news you will shine I know how nice it is It’s all new, and that’s what it is
When they shout out “non grata!” you must smile When they shout out nasty things you must smile I know how hard it is It’s all new, and that’s what it is
I’m feeling pretty rad right now because my remix to “We moved” by J.Views has been included in his new album “401.1 Days“.
Toghether with some amazing music and artists. And it’s been processed thru a VHS!