How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
MasterDigi
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:02 pm

How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by MasterDigi » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:10 pm

If this is a lame question, I'm sorry. I've been using Ableton for about a week and picked up a PUSH. Just a new hobby for me.

While playing with the push I created something with the encoder automation recording feature that I really like.

However, it is basically blowing out the track to get the sound that I'm hearing that I like. My question is, how to I KEEP this sound without blowing out the Master?

Does that make sense? Essentially, the track/channel is off the charts red - sounds cool to me - and I want to keep that sound in my main mix without blowing the master (which distorts the OTHER track/channels).

Sorry, this probably breaks all kinds of audio engineer rules - but that's the luxury of having zero formal training. Doing stuff experienced guys would probably never do.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP

pgmjsd
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:46 pm

Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by pgmjsd » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:01 pm

MasterDigi wrote:If this is a lame question, I'm sorry. I've been using Ableton for about a week and picked up a PUSH. Just a new hobby for me.

While playing with the push I created something with the encoder automation recording feature that I really like.

However, it is basically blowing out the track to get the sound that I'm hearing that I like. My question is, how to I KEEP this sound without blowing out the Master?

Does that make sense? Essentially, the track/channel is off the charts red - sounds cool to me - and I want to keep that sound in my main mix without blowing the master (which distorts the OTHER track/channels).

Sorry, this probably breaks all kinds of audio engineer rules - but that's the luxury of having zero formal training. Doing stuff experienced guys would probably never do.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP
By "blown out" I'm guessing you mean the level is really high.

Sounds to me like you need to pay more attention to gain staging. What exactly is producing the sound you like?

yur2die4
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by yur2die4 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:04 pm

For starters (probably many techniques), try loading Saturator. Just load it. That's it. Maybe turn it up a little. And it does the trick.

Then after that you can read the manual on some of Saturator's capabilities (it has a hi quality mode also).

To really give it some dirt, maybe rub off some of the high end with an EQ or filter.

Good luck!

If you get any ideas via other devices, techniques, post them on here. I'd be curious.

MasterDigi
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:02 pm

Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by MasterDigi » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:29 pm

I'll try those ideas. Thanks.

The sound is coming from the distortion of the level being so high. I was just playing with encoder knobs and it sounded rad - didn't even see WHY until after and realized the "problem".

Now I have to read about what "gain staging" is.

FWIW: I haven't had this much fun with music since jr. high when I got my first guitar. I'll keep you guys posted on what I figure out and share the beat if I find a solution to capture it.

MasterDigi
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:02 pm

Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by MasterDigi » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:19 pm

saturator is RAD!

It's not the exact same sound but it's close enough. THANKS!

aioffermann
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by aioffermann » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:35 am

You can always create another audio track and set "Audio from" to be the track that is blowing out, set to post-mixer (:

Who knows guys, maybe he likes digital clipping. Go figure :D

arafel
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by arafel » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:28 am

Create another track - Call it 'C'
route 'Blown Out' to it (you could even record it there too).
Turn Volume on 'C' Down so that it doesn't push master into red, but that you still keep the sound you like.

Edit - sry Aiofferman .. I posted the same as you...my bad.
2.8ghz Quad PowerMac, Fa-66 using optical link, Live 9.72, Remote25, Maschine, Samson 65a.

socialjusticeman
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by socialjusticeman » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:06 pm

It's surprising how much of a dinosaur I feel like sometimes.

I'm 32 years old.

I look after all the band and music tech operations for a nightclub called Brown Alley in Melbourne, Australia as a "day" job and so many of the younger DJs and producers I work with nowadays could be called clueless when it comes to gain staging. Red-lining DJ mixers is bad enough, but engineers are coming through who want to clip amps in order to get "their bands' sound" or clipping preamps on mix consoles to thicken the already clipped DJ mixer signal or even just plain-out boosting 31-band graphics until they clip on every transient (or worse, just stay clipping) and want to turn down the amps because they can't get their sound without some kind of saturation... Usually from a piece of gear they've never used before (in the band rack belonging to the venue).

Just as long as something is turning red, they're happy.

I was - for a long time - inclined to believe that this was some form of psycho-somatic reasoning, where they didn't feel like it was loud enough unless it was on the bleeding edge.

I started to think one night, though, that maybe this is just another strange situation like the one in the 50s and 60s when the old guitar guys thought the young guys were crazy for liking vlave saturation. The old guys thought it sounded awful and just gross -- not even bombastic, just gross.

We're those old guitar guys.

To OP: if you like the sound of digital clipping, use it. There is no right or wrong in this game, only popular opinion and fashion.



Sound familiar?

socialjusticeman
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by socialjusticeman » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:11 pm

... But to actually be helpful, this sound will vary based on which Digital-to-analog converter you are using, so will sound very different on each playback device and can't really be called a "controlled distortion" for this reason.

As suggested above, do try re-recording the clipped master bus and hopefully, you'll have something ver close to the original you like but with the ability to turn it down in the mix if you want and to keep it approximately the same on various playback systems.

Also, warping sounds pretty bad most of the time on digitally-clipped material, except in tones or beats mode, so try those or no warping at all if you feel like it.

MasterDigi
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by MasterDigi » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:50 pm

Thank you all so much for the information.

I had to laugh at the dinosaur comment, I'm 36. This is all new to me and just a hobby so I really appreciate you guys taking the time to give me some insight and direction.

Trying to get a solid 2-3 minute track down over the next week. Right now, still just working on sounds and beats that I like, and having more fun than I've had in many years.

Thanks again!

SuburbanThug
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by SuburbanThug » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:01 pm

Salem's stuff is always clipped out it seems like. I don't particularly like it but to each his own. He still makes some good music.

Jack McOck
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by Jack McOck » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:57 pm

+1 for Saturator

Try to different distortion modes—Digital Clip should be the closest to what you're after, but muck about with all of them and see what you see. Don't forget you can also stack up multiple Saturators to really drive things.

Once you're done with that, I'd take a look Ohmicide or RP-Distort and get access to a whole new range of distortions.

n2design
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by n2design » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:31 pm

MasterDigi wrote:If this is a lame question, I'm sorry. I've been using Ableton for about a week and picked up a PUSH. Just a new hobby for me.

While playing with the push I created something with the encoder automation recording feature that I really like.

However, it is basically blowing out the track to get the sound that I'm hearing that I like. My question is, how to I KEEP this sound without blowing out the Master?

Does that make sense? Essentially, the track/channel is off the charts red - sounds cool to me - and I want to keep that sound in my main mix without blowing the master (which distorts the OTHER track/channels).

Sorry, this probably breaks all kinds of audio engineer rules - but that's the luxury of having zero formal training. Doing stuff experienced guys would probably never do.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP
This can be done real ez. Bounce that track in solo. then once its rendered, import it back into the project and reduce the volume fader. now you have the same sound at a lower decibel.

fwiw, to most ears digital clipping is not desirable. ESP on a good sound system.

Last thing to remember is your final mixdown should not clip whatsoever, that can actually damage sound systems.

jlgrimes
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Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by jlgrimes » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:02 am

MasterDigi wrote:If this is a lame question, I'm sorry. I've been using Ableton for about a week and picked up a PUSH. Just a new hobby for me.

While playing with the push I created something with the encoder automation recording feature that I really like.

However, it is basically blowing out the track to get the sound that I'm hearing that I like. My question is, how to I KEEP this sound without blowing out the Master?

Does that make sense? Essentially, the track/channel is off the charts red - sounds cool to me - and I want to keep that sound in my main mix without blowing the master (which distorts the OTHER track/channels).

Sorry, this probably breaks all kinds of audio engineer rules - but that's the luxury of having zero formal training. Doing stuff experienced guys would probably never do.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP
I get this issue a lot too.

I often write a track, get it sounding nice and hot and realize my master is blazing red. Then when I lower it, I have to remix it somewhat to get the level I was wanting.


My only suggestion is to use a limiter on the master track. You will still get a squashed output, but just not as bad as going raw.

Also you can turn the master down a bit from the start. That way you will have your headroom.

MasterDigi
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:02 pm

Re: How to get "blown" out track without blowing out Master?

Post by MasterDigi » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:32 pm

Making huge progress! Kind of hitting the steep part of the learning curve now. I feel like I have a decent handle on the Push itself and am now starting to really dig into Ableton.

You guys are awesome. Thanks again for all the incredible feedback. This may be the best forum ever and you'll be seeing lots of me over the next few years.

I should have been more clear as well. I'm a full blown audiophile nerd. I've been into playing music for 23 years now and work in the TV business.

Anyhow, got it sorted.

Burned my first track to SACD, played on my Oppo BDP95 into a Pioneer Elite SC27 and out of my BiAmped B&W 605 S2 mains. The one sound we have been discussing sounds pretty good to me. Admittedly the overall track is kind of weak. (still too embarrassed to share, but working on next track now and hope to have something I am actually proud of soon enough!)

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