make an exciter: get your high end sounding tight

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The Phat Conductor
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make an exciter: get your high end sounding tight

Post by The Phat Conductor » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:51 pm

an exciter is a nice effect that is usually used at the mixdown stage of producing, it adds harmonics to the high end by distorting it a little, making your mixdown all hot and tight.

you can make one in ableton VERY easily.

1. make a new fx return track, and knock out the low end with a nice gradual high pass on the eq4

2. add some saturation to taste

3. send anything you want to sound tight to that fx return track

***for drums it is sometimes nice to have a little compression on your exciter

send your drum bus, your shakers and hats, and all of your fx and vocals and such.

it's one of those 'where have YOU been all my life' kind of tips.

seriously, go try it.

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ill gates aka the phat conductor
producer, performer + ableton/music teacher

http://www.illgates.com

wavejumper
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Post by wavejumper » Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:53 am

cheers mate, that sounds interesting, will definitely try it out

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:01 am

wow, such a simple fx chain really adds alot to the mix. unless my ears are just retarded... but I think it sounds fantastic.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

John Sweet
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Post by John Sweet » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:42 am

I've had luck with sweet reverbs on the extreme high end before, too. Thanks for the Saturator tip.

rwright
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Post by rwright » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:44 am

cheers mate, gonna try it out tonight!

ethios4
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Post by ethios4 » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:36 pm

Beautiful!
Thank you for sharing the knowledge!

second sight
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Post by second sight » Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:33 am

you fucken rule phat conductor!!! :D :D :D

thanks for all the help

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Sat Jun 17, 2006 8:37 pm

interestingly enough I tried the exact opposite of this too, drop all the highs off all the way as low as eq4 will go which is like 30hz or something like that and then add distortion and send your basses to that and it'll really boom it up. a sine in operator sounds incredible doing this and then if you add some grit to the operator patch using one of the other osc and send it to both the high pass send and the low pass send then you've got a booming synth bass that also has enough presence to punch through your mix.

:)
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

The Phat Conductor
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Post by The Phat Conductor » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:14 am

yep. distortion bussing is where it's at.

i find it's especially nice for unifying disparate elements into one 'easy to listen to' part. it's really easy for electronic music to become too 'high tension' (ie unnaturally placed) on the mixdown, and grouping things with busses is a really easy and fun way to take care of that and make things easier to process/group for the listener.
ill gates aka the phat conductor
producer, performer + ableton/music teacher

http://www.illgates.com

register
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Post by register » Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:19 am

cool man, using exciters do wonders for a mix.
Another thing I've done... I wanted a part to sound much bigger than it did... however the part was low pass filtered, by very subtly adding a high passed white noise gave it much more presence. Filtering usually to at least 18KHz And again, I used operator to create a very very low frequency sine tone, to fill the sub harmonics. These tricks can help if your original audio lacks low and high freqs and you want to make it all sound bigger / tighter.
It kind of gives the impression of something being played live, at loud volumes. When listening to loud, live music, your hearing flattens out frequencies

shapshankly
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Post by shapshankly » Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:52 pm

good tip, been using isotope trash on a send for a while. makes things smack!!

emcee_dynamic
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Post by emcee_dynamic » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:11 pm

Thanks for the tip, Phat! this sounds dope can't wait to try it out


(I caught you at Higher Ground in Kelowna last year...(or two) props.)

Jimbo_38
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Thanks for the tips...

Post by Jimbo_38 » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:44 pm

I put my a bass line through the fx returns and added a nice bass boost of eq around 80- 120 hz only (cut the rest out with the eq curves) then added a warm setting on the saturator around 460 hz for nice results... :lol:

Voodu
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Post by Voodu » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:01 am

This could be a rather dense question, but by send it to a return track, do you mean route it with the "sends only?" I've been trying this mixed with the original signal (Just using the send knobs) with very nice results!! Thanks for the tip!!!

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:55 am

well ever since this tip came up I've found that using distortion and eq on my return tracks has added alot of good stuff.

recently what I've done alot on drums:

on a return saturator/eq4/reverb

set the saturator to hard but don't touch the gain, set the eq4 to cut off everything below 4khz or so, then turn the reverb alot the way to wet and cut the decay down real low. this makes your drums sound very tight but also gives some roomy type sound without making them sound all fake and reverby. I use this alot on my kicks.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

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