Buss & Master processing

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stevemac
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:57 pm

Buss & Master processing

Post by stevemac » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:29 pm

Hi guys,

Question about buss vs channel processing.

For a little while now I have 2 main buss groups (Beats & Sounds), each have Slate VCC and a very small amount of tape saturation.
The master has the same plus a small amount mojo from a vintage EQ plugin (N.I. Massive Passive) to add a little extra zing.
Every plug adds a very small amount, but combined is very pronounced when turned off.
I'm pretty used to working this way and I'm getting very good mixdowns. On a side note, It's worth noting that the multiple saturation stages means I'm doing A LOT less compression than in previous times and I'm getting better results.

Having said that, I'm on a mission to get GREAT mixdowns and I want to explore my process.

Not that my sounds are 'turd', but the old saying about 'you can't polish a...' holds true. Therefore, long term, is it better to focus on channel processing more and rely less on the bus mojo?

So I suppose, are lots of individually processed channels leaving in a very 'finished' state, (generally) a better process than less processed sounds that use a lot of bus manipulation??

If it sounds good then that's all that matters, but before I start completely changing how i mix for a few weeks, just wanted to see if there's a general concencus / age old wisdom.

cheers!

Airyck
Posts: 726
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Buss & Master processing

Post by Airyck » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:38 pm

I don't know about age old wisdom but Buss vs Channel processing is on a case by case basis. Just do whatever sounds good and only what is needed to make it so.

I think Buss processing is good as it gives cohesion to a set of sounds and channel processing helps individual sound sit better with others in the group. I really believe both are just as important. Deciding what things need to be in a particular group or not can be challenging too, especially when doing buss processing.

Since it looks like you have NI Komplete or at least the Tube series make sure to try Varicomp on a mix buss as well (master or drums or whatever) I use it in compression rather than limiting mode. I think it sounds pretty good that way in small amounts.
http://www.soundcloud.com/airyck-sterrett
Ableton Live 10 Suite / Push 2 / Max 7 & 8 /
2016 Macbook Pro 15"
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Angstrom
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Re: Buss & Master processing

Post by Angstrom » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:14 pm

Received wisdom is rarely widom, just knowledge.

I know that Michael Brauer uses a system which uses 4 compressed busses because he says he prefers working with bus compression as it is post fader, while insert compression is pre. I think he has fucktons of compression on sends too. All high end gear of course, but my point is - if it works don't change it. Just tweak it until you get your sound as you want it.

Heres an old article
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov08/a ... brauer.htm

stevemac
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: Buss & Master processing

Post by stevemac » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:21 pm

Yeah, I just find that I focus on purely EQ for each channel now (both digital subtractive and analogue boosts) as I know the processing is already going on in the background... helps me focus I suppose.

I also like that you don't get any surprises at the end like if you then decided to slam on some tape or alike after

The main worry is that a lot of ummmph is coming from when it gets somewhere, rather being that way when it went in.

Decision made - backing off a little with the bus and doing more shaping at channel - I'll meet half way :)

EDIT: Just saw the other post, will take a look at that article ;)

Airyck
Posts: 726
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Buss & Master processing

Post by Airyck » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:38 pm

I see where you're coming from and I've had similar thoughts. It's like worry that the real oomph of your track comes only after mastering it.
I think you shouldn't worry so much and just take whatever route you need to get there in your current situation.
As you use buss compression to get those tracks where you think they need to be you'll slowly start to understand why you need to do the buss compression to get it 'there'. Eventually you'll come up with changes to the individual tracks where buss compression isn't needed as much. The best thing you can do is just to keep doing it so that you start to understand 'why' you need to do it to make your tracks sound right. Ultimately, the less processing you can do the better (aka less is more).
http://www.soundcloud.com/airyck-sterrett
Ableton Live 10 Suite / Push 2 / Max 7 & 8 /
2016 Macbook Pro 15"
Too much hardware to list

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