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Brauer Template Recreation from Pro Tools Template - (VCA) set-up and Routing


markno999
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I am trying to duplicate the Michael Brauer Pro Tools Template that he recently released on Puremix, in Logic Pro X.   I signed up for a 30-day eval of Pro Tools to pick apart the template and recreate it in Logic, however, I have a few questions on how to best accomplish this task.  His template was unfortunately only released in Pro Tools format.

I have the template generally recreated, however, my questions are around Routing Folders in ProTools vs. equivalent in Logic Pro X.  I have to say that Routing Folders in PT are pretty slick, kind of like a Track Stack but not quite.   My goal in the template is to have small fader VCA's to affect the track level(s) and large fader VCA's that affect levels going into the ABCDE busses, these VCA's and bus compression are part of Brauer's process.   For those like me who have never worked on a console, these small and large fader terms refer to old school consoles where the small fader affects the track level(s), meaning as you pull down the VCA the compressors, etc. on the individual tracks are fed less signal, as are any sends.    Large Faders affect signal going to the Aux buses.

The large fader VCA in this template will affect the signal going into the ABCDE buses so the result is you can just move the VCA fader to find the sweet spot of these compressors rather than tweaking every single track to find it.  Brauer demonstrates this process in his Puremix Video recently released.    My temporary work-around is using a combination of Summing Folders  (which are essentially VCA's) to act as the small fader.  These tracks contain all the audio content that I imported into the template.  I am then sending the individual tracks in these folders to Aux buses, like to Drums, Bass, Guitars Auxes, etc..   Then created VCA's for these Aux Buses which will affect the levels going into the ABCDE buses where all the Brauerized compressors live.   This may be the only way but it does seem a bit convoluted compared to how it is set-up in the Pro Tools template.  After learning about VCA's am really a big fan of using them for a myriad of reasons that most of you are probably aware of.   If anyone has a better solution for this template routing I would love to hear it.  Thx. 


Regards

 

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For those non PT user among us - could you explain your terminology a bit more detailed please? What's an ABCDE bus? What's the exact difference between a "large" and a "small" VCA fader? What do "Routing Folders" do that summing or folder track stack can't? Please be aware that there might not be that many PT experts on this forum...

Edited by polanoid
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Polanoid,

Nothing really applies specifically to PT in this question, that Routing Folder information was provided for context.    An added bonus would be someone responding that does know about Routing Folders but I don't think knowing them is necessary for solving this issue.   The real question is about implementing VCA's in a way that I can accomplish the goal of having two touch points for VCA levels (more below).     I could always just gain the tracks individually for the purpose of doing what the small fader does i but would like to try this method first.   It seems to be a very convenient methodology.

ABCDE are used for multibus compression that are part of Brauer's process.   He essentially uses different compressors to prevent scaling issues whereby a compressor setting to accomplishes one thing, adversely affects another thing.  So he splits tasks out and puts them on separate Aux Busses.     So Keyboards, Piano, Strings go to the A Bus, Drums/Bass B Buss, Guitars to C Bus, D Bus is for effects and Backing Vocals, E is just a clean Bus used to maybe bring something out with coloring it.     For example, the large fader in this context is the level of Drums or Bass, hitting the B Bus.   Moving the fader up and down allows you to dial-in where the sweet spot is for hitting the compressor and finding where it sounds best.

The terminology of the small and larger fader is essentially where the VCA affects the signal.   If you put individual drums on a track, with effect such as compressors, then add the tracks to a summing stack (this is a VCA) in Logic, when you lower the summing stack level you reduce the level of the track and also the level that it is hitting any plugins at that track level, or any sends.    If you set-up a VCA downstream, it will not affect the level of the track-level plugins, only those downstream where the VCA is set-up.   That was the small and large fader context on an analogue board, small fader was track/channel level, large fader was buss level.

So the real question here is how to best set-up these VCA's, assuming there is a better way than the one described in the original post.   Maybe there isn't?   Thx, appreciate the response.

 

Regards

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Still don't understand it, but possibly others here will. One thing I can say for sure is that this isn't true:

23 hours ago, markno999 said:

add the tracks to a summing stack (this is a VCA) in Logic

because Folder Stacks, not Summing Stacks, are VCA controlled (summing stacks are basically sub groups where all containing tracks' outputs are routed to one summing aux).

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7 hours ago, polanoid said:

Still don't understand it, but possibly others here will. One thing I can say for sure is that this isn't true:

because Folder Stacks, not Summing Stacks, are VCA controlled (summing stacks are basically sub groups where all containing tracks' outputs are routed to one summing aux).

You're right, I meant to say Folder Stacks.   i.e.  Create Track Stack, Folder Stack.    That is a VCA, not a Summing Stack.  In any event, I figured out how to do this today so Template completed.

Regards

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5 hours ago, markno999 said:

In any event, I figured out how to do this today so Template completed.

Very good to hear. 

Without knowing how you ended up doing it, I tried to understand your Brauerize mixing template based on the description in your original post and if what you want is to be able to have a VCA to control the level of the signal that hits the plug-ins on a certain mix bus, for example A, so that you can dial in the sound imparted by the compressor inserted on mix bus A, then I would create a summing stack for bus A, then select all the subtracks of the stack and create a VCA fader for them (not a folder stack). Now that VCA fader controls how hard you make the bus A compressor work. Repeat for BCDE. 

In my mind that's the most elegant way to setup for this workflow in Logic Pro, but I haven't seen the Pro Tools template. 

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8 hours ago, David Nahmani said:

Very good to hear. 

Without knowing how you ended up doing it, I tried to understand your Brauerize mixing template based on the description in your original post and if what you want is to be able to have a VCA to control the level of the signal that hits the plug-ins on a certain mix bus, for example A, so that you can dial in the sound imparted by the compressor inserted on mix bus A, then I would create a summing stack for bus A, then select all the subtracks of the stack and create a VCA fader for them (not a folder stack). Now that VCA fader controls how hard you make the bus A compressor work. Repeat for BCDE. 

In my mind that's the most elegant way to setup for this workflow in Logic Pro, but I haven't seen the Pro Tools template. 

Thanks David,  that is exactly how I ended up doing it.    Works perfectly and super convenient for mixing.  

 

Regards

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@markno999 - I also just watched the puremix brauer videos and protools session. I was starting recreating this myself. Any pointers you could give me on the following so far:

I made

- folders stacks for Drums, Bass, Keys, Leads, Vocals etc. running the faders to zero (being essentially bus E - uncompressed - if opened up) 

- Drums and Bass then send to Bus --> B etc etc..

My main issues is calibrating the compressors (it already works but I wonder how to base calibrate the compressors as I could not open the pro tools file and also do not have all of the amazing compressors he has, e.g. i have the arturia neve compressor).

Did you use any replacement plugins? If you could share anything I would be super keen to check it out to learn from you.

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4 hours ago, stephanLogic said:

@markno999 - I also just watched the puremix brauer videos and protools session. I was starting recreating this myself. Any pointers you could give me on the following so far:

I made

- folders stacks for Drums, Bass, Keys, Leads, Vocals etc. running the faders to zero (being essentially bus E - uncompressed - if opened up) 

- Drums and Bass then send to Bus --> B etc etc..

My main issues is calibrating the compressors (it already works but I wonder how to base calibrate the compressors as I could not open the pro tools file and also do not have all of the amazing compressors he has, e.g. i have the arturia neve compressor).

Did you use any replacement plugins? If you could share anything I would be super keen to check it out to learn from you.

 

Stephan,

I started with Folder Tracks but ended up using Summing Stacks instead.   Brauer has a calibration instruction set on his website.   It seems most YouTube videos and articles on Brauerization that I have seen are focusing on, and in many cases obsessing on calibration of ABCD being the crown jewel. It seems many people get hyper-focused on the aspect of calibration of ABCD compressors or the compressors themselves as being the main tool of Brauer's process. Having tried the ABCD method a few years ago I was a bit underwhelmed and thought it was a waste of time. I didn't get the point based on what I had seen on the topic.  

However, after watching the Michael Brauer and Fernando video on Puremix (very good video btw) it seems that one of the real secrets to finding the magic sound is by playing with the VCA's to feed ABCD correctly to find the sweet spot, AND, the other routing methods he uses in his template. If you're not hitting the compressors right, use the VCAs to correct it. ABDC buses were less than 20% of the video content so there is much more involved in Brauer's methods than I was aware of from articles or videos. My takeaway on calibration was the calibration is only important in that whatever level you choose as your calibration point (-18,-20,-16) or whatever, the compressors are all set to -1db gain reduction. Pick a point that suits your workflow, style and hardware.  You should be able to see the general settings in the video and them tweak them depending on what plugins you are using.   

 

Pushing the pre ABCDE VCAs around, from low to high you find the spot where "the magic happens" as Micheal says in the video. Also in the video, Micheal and Fernando bypass the effects on ABCD in their song example and the differences are subtle in that you add some dimension, 3D quality, clarity and weight to the sound. However, their mix does not fall apart when bypassing ABCD effects which I think speaks to the rest of the template and techniques contributing to the overall sound. The mix sounds a little smaller bypassed but still quite good by any standard.

 

Not sure about the legalities of sharing it since this template video is currently available for sale on the Puremix site, and, this is Brauer's sought after ITB template meaning it would likely get out there.   I would hate to get a message from them about copyright infringement.    He has, after all, Copyrighted the term Brauerize:) 

 

Couple other problems with it, the template contains all the Brauer plugins from his ITB template which many people may not have.    I would not have time to do a Logic Native version of the template or really be available for any questions about the template with my unusual schedule.    Lastly, without seeing the video of Brauer and Fernando explaining how the template works, it may not be immediately apparent how to use it.   Hope this is helpful.

 

Regards 

 

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  • 2 months later...

 

Hi Mark,

Funny, I am exactly in the same process, I am also a puremix subscriber and I got a monthly suscription to (a modern version of) PT TODAY just to open Michael's template and reverse engineer it.

Sadly, it doesn't open. It crashes when loading the UAD plugs which is weird because I own all the uad plugs he uses and I have more than enough processing (x16 + satellite octo).

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and, if you feel like swapping, I reproduced a few other interesting techniques from puremix as templates in logic.

 

Edited by F. d T.
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