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Taming these guitar-like Synth Dynamics


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Hi, all!

 

I have a patch here I made on my Gaia. It's a saw wave, run through a 24 dB/octave low-pass filter with little resonance, and a quickly decaying cutoff envelope. It goes through an amplitude envelope with a 90% sustain and quick decay, with a little bit of release that gives it a more metallic tone. Finally, it's run through a built-in fuzz distortion, flanging, then a delay and quick small-room reverb. There's a little bit of portamento as well.

 

Normally with synth patches, I don't have that many volume dynamics I need to adjust, but here, due to the arrangement and various modulations, the sound varies in volume a bit. From the start of this recording to the end, I'm increasing cutoff (manually), though I duck it down for the single notes and bring it up for the power chords.

 

Now, the volumes here are all over the place- varying anywhere from -7.4 dB at the beginning to clipping at 0.0 dB with the cutoff raised and power chords hitting. And, I'm not really sure how to manage it.

 

What I really want is a recording where the volumes of the single notes are manageable and consistent so as to blend better with other instruments, whilst giving the power chords (fifths chord) impact above the single notes. What might I need to observe to accomplish this? How can I use compression, limiting or expansion to my advantage here?

 

Also, I don't particularly understand what the classification for fuzz distortion is. How will this interact with my cutoff frequency, filter resonance and post-flanging, and how might I best use these interactions to my advantage for really crunchy, powerful fifths on the synth?

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1715217/gaia_riff.aif

 

Thank you for your advice- I'm not very experienced with working with more dynamic audio, and don't particularly know what I need to listen for to get the best of my synth work.

 

P.S.- I'm not exactly trying to emulate a real guitar- I know a pulse or square could emulate a guitar a bit better, yet I like the artificial, definitely synth tone introduced with the portamento and saw wave and the like.

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How can I use compression, limiting or expansion to my advantage here?

 

 

Place the Logic Limiter as the last insert and that should keep the signal from clipping.

 

Use the Output Level knob to lower the entire signal to a range that doesn't clip, or to a point where the signal starts to get buried in the mix. Next raise the Limiter's Gain slider to get back some of the signal so that it starts to blend back in the mix.

 

You will have to experiment with this. Keep in mind there is more to the Limiter than meets the ear.

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How can I use compression, limiting or expansion to my advantage here?

 

 

Place the Logic Limiter as the last insert and that should keep the signal from clipping.

 

Use the Output Level knob to lower the entire signal to a range that doesn't clip, or to a point where the signal starts to get buried in the mix. Next raise the Limiter's Gain slider to get back some of the signal so that it starts to blend back in the mix.

 

You will have to experiment with this. Keep in mind there is more to the Limiter than meets the ear.

 

Sorry, clipping was the wrong word here. I think that the fuzz distortion in my Gaia hard limits the patch to 0.0 dB in the keyboard itself, which results in some additional distortion I'd believe.

 

However, lowering the entire gain of the sound so that it's at a reasonable level like, say, -4.0 dB maximum, makes me realize that it doesn't have as much impact as I'd hope it would. So... perhaps there's some dynamic processing that could increase this impact without me clipping? Or, some way I could re-record the patch with different filter settings for a more powerful tonality?

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My preferred method for this involves the MultiPressor. Here's the "fattened" file and the used MP-preset I quickly & dirtily made. You can put the preset in Library>Application Support>Logic>Plug-In Settings>Multipressor

Of course I could only go from what you described you needed, I had no mix to reference it to, but to me it sounded like you wanted more "body", so that's roughly what I did.

GaiariffAudioMPpreset.zip

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Even tho you said it stops dead at 0db so doesn't really need limiting.....Using what Shiver said, you should still be able to squeeze a bit more perceived loudness out of it to give it more impact by pushing the limiter a bit harder on the gain.

 

How far you can push this before it starts to sound bad depends on the sound itself I guess but you can usually get a few db's p-vol without any noticeable noise especially when its a dirty sound already.

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