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Pink Noise Plugin For Mixing?


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Mercury -

 

Yeah, the pink noise can do lots of stuff. I intend to probably try the Bob Katz K-14 spec for monitor calibration, but seems to me that is a different issue.

 

I think what the article says is to generate pink noise (using a plugin I don't yet have), then bring levels of each soloed track up to just barely be audible above the pink noise.

 

After that, I don't know. I suppose If I do EQ, compression, or any processing on a track I would reset that track.

 

Finally, I'd then adjust for *my* wanted balance. For example, the kick hotter by +2 dB and the vocal aux reverb panned -15 left, etc.

 

This is all new and experimental to me.

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Yeah, Logic has a plugin. Use that.

 

Interesting article, will try that. Sounds like fun :D

 

There is one thing though that is nonsense: "I left all of the channel faders at unity gain, as this makes the later stages of mixing (automation in particular) easier. Instead, I used Cubase’s built-in channel input gain function to balance each individual channel/sound against the noise. If your DAW doesn’t offer channel gain, you can insert a gain plug-in in the first insert slot (Blue Cat’s Gain Suite is a good cross-platform freebie), or if you’re dealing with continuous audio, you can use the clip volume on the arrange page."

 

Use the channel trim/gain for gain staging the channel, not for mixing. Otherwise you'll end with low levels that cannot be well handled by e.g. compressors. Put a gain plugin as last plugin in every chain and do the mixing there.

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All -

 

A Quick Report. YMMV.

 

First, I agree with deft_bonz that the gain plugs should be the last plug in each track.

 

MY PROJECT: Two lead vocal (as in doubled) tracks, one harmony BGV, nylon guitar, acoustic guitar, electric 12-string ric, 13 tracks of live studio acoustic drums, two tracks of bass plus a MIDI synth for bottom, marimba type synth, bongos, tambourine, and two tracks of real steel pans (drums). + several Aux channels, Alloy and Nectar plugs, lots of EQ plugs, and a bevy of UAD plugs.

 

I did a quickie mix loosely using this method. I'm amazed at the clarity of all the instruments. I did not use the Gain plugin but simply set my faders using the method described in the Sound On Sound article. I did this using Sennheiser HD 650 headphones so I did not have the flat frequency response of my monitors.

 

It was amazing how all the tracks just found their place in the sonic spectrum.

 

FTR, I had already been working on a mix in my former slug-it-out method so I had many plugs and Aux tracks in place. I kept those plugs and the panning, but turned off all automation (something which will require I *do* use the gain plugs eventually). Of course, my automated MUTEs went away on some tracks but I was not worrying about that for this test mix.

 

My wife told me I "need to remix all my other songs!"

 

Really, I'm impressed. I adjusted 30 tracks in the project in probably 10 minutes and had a well-balanced sound. Nothing stepped on anything else and the tone was terrific. I ended up with almost all my individual faders at probably -23 dB or so, with the output fader at 0. When done, I had enough output headroom to crank the output fader up to +6 and then added a Gain plug for an additional 3 db (9 dB total!) — and I still had 3 dB to spare.

 

All this goes against my former methods where I always pushed for the maximum level I could attain for each track. The dynamic range of this pink noise method is out of this world.

 

Certainly, I've got hurdles to add the gain plugs and then attend to my automation which will need to be severely adjusted.

 

All should try this and report back your results.

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Now you make me really excited to test it too.

 

BTW: I also would first set the mix with the faders, instead of opening the gain plugin each time. If I need to automate that track later on, I'd open the gain plugin (they are anyway inserted on all channels in my template, but bypassed for the start) and set the fader value into the gain plugin. Finally set the fader to zero and the automation fun may begin :D

 

Setting it up with the fader is just better as working within the gain plugin.

 

I would love to see a new feature like: Gain permanently added in every channel/aux/master as a last instance after all plugins (maybe you can set it pre or post fader). Plus a command that would put the fader value automatically into this gain section for all selected channels at once :D :D :D

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Yeah, deft_bonz. LP should have the gain setting (sans plug) and automatic fader-to-gain command!

 

One thing: contrary to the SOS article, do not put the pink noise tone oscillator plug on the output bus. It won't work since it dominates all incoming signals. In other words, it mutes the soloed track you're trying to set. Instead, use a dummy audio track, insert the pink noise there, set it to the desired level and solo it. Now it goes through the output track (along with each successive soloed track).

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  • 1 month later...

If pink noise flattening became the norm, LPX would need an option to set a "global EQ," so that the mixer's personal room had a customized flat response from the beginning.

 

That is to say, once you dial in your room using pink noise, you should be able to adjust some kind of a fixed EQ behind the scenes.

 

The channel EQ's would all still be set to unity initially. The only difference would be that the global EQ would automatically correct for the environment and speakers track by track.

 

This would save time, instead of having to mess with every fader to hunt and peck for flat. Especially when the track numbers start to add up.

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