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87: Super Hacks – Part 2 (Mixing)

87: Super Hacks – Part 2 (Mixing)

Reason number one for doing this series of episodes: 

Malcom wanted to say "SUPER HACKS" on the show. 🤷

Reason number two: 

There are a couple of tricks that we've discovered and learned over the years, which we would actually call "super hacks", because they are really useful, speed up our workflow, solve problems for us and increase the quality of our work. Of course we wanted to share those with you!

Part 2 is about mixing "hacks". If you find these helpful and are a sucker for hacks and tricks like we are, we might even do a third one. We'll see. (Hint: Your feedback, reviews, etc. are helpful here. ;-))

Listen now, take notes and use these super hacks in your next session!

More...


This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB 87 (Automatic transcript - Not reviewed for mistakes!)

[00:00:00] Benedikt: Hello. and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host Ben at the time. And I am here with my friend and cohost Malcolm own flood. How are you, buddy?

[00:00:10] Malcom: Hello. I'm great, man. Let's just be honest. We talked about running for like 30, 40 minutes before starting this episode. I think that's good though. We got it out of the way before we did this, so they don't have to listen to it.

[00:00:23] Benedikt: I was about to say, I'm glad we did that before the episode this time, but yeah. Other than that, like other than running what I've been up to. 

[00:00:31] Malcom: I mean, yeah, let me try and keep it musical. I got an old electric guitar back then. I'm excited to play that it was lending to a friend. I've got too many guitars, so I always just lend them out to people that want to learn or whatever. And eventually they come back and it's like, oh, new guitar. That's what it feels like. So that's great. and, uh, I think that's kind of the only music news in my life other than, you know, doing some mixing for bands right now that I'm really excited about. It's all sounding great. How about you?[00:01:00] 

[00:01:00] Benedikt: I'm doing fantastic. I, what I did was what did I do? Like the, the main thing last week was to get the new coaching program up and running. I got my first coaching clients and so we, we started that and I was the building roadmaps and doing the onboarding calls and like, it's just a different type of work that I really enjoy though. Like being able to spend so much time with one person and really helping them every, every step along the way. That's been a really fun experience. And as like, as always, if you teach something and you spend a lot of time doing that, you get better at it yourself and you? discover new things and let new perspective. So That's been really fun. And then. Yeah. And the, and other than that Thomas and I like Thomas is the amazing. human being that edits this podcast as well. And the key, he and I, we worked on a couple of things. We optimized the editing, uh, for the podcast and like also a couple of other things in the studio. So yeah, it's, uh, that was mostly what whatever's was doing last week. And the next [00:02:00] couple of weeks we'll be like completely full with mixing projects. Like I had a couple of slower weeks and, and focused on the coaching thing and optimizing processes and stuff. Uh, and that's good because now I'm ready for what's to come. 

[00:02:11] Malcom: Right, right. Well, that's fantastic. It's always a good use of time investing in, you know, systems and all of that just to make the ship run smoother. So very good call, sir.

[00:02:24] Benedikt: Exactly. All right. We mentioned it in a past episode that we are gonna do another hacks episode, super hacks episode. Last time we talked about recording super hacks. This time we are talking about mixing super hex and I'm actually pretty excited for this one because mixing is what I do most of the time. And I don't know, there, there are so many tricks and like hacks and stuff you can do it's yeah. Potentially endless list. And we picked a bunch of those tricks and hacks and try to explain them on this episode today. And we'll see if we can get them all in there or if we need another [00:03:00] episode, but I'm pretty excited to talk about. 

[00:03:02] Malcom: Yeah. I want to mention that all of these hacks are really solutions to problems. And those are problems that could have been fixed in the recording process. So try and reverse engineer, why we're doing. And think about how you could avoid the us needing to do these problems in the mix anyways or deal with these problems in the mix. Because if you can do that, then, I mean, it's just gonna be that much better. Right. But these are sneaky ways to deal with common problems that we deal with when mixing.

[00:03:33] Benedikt: Yeah. With the exception of maybe two or three that you have to do anyways, all the others are really problem solvers. That's right. Yeah,

[00:03:39] Malcom: totally. 

[00:03:40] Benedikt: totally. agreed. Yeah. Let's jump right in because we've got a long list to go through and actually looking at this list, there are some things I'm curious to hear from you because I don't, I don't, I'm not sure. if I know about those things or if I understand them properly. So I'm pretty curious to hear them myself. Where do we start? 

[00:03:58] Malcom: We can just go right from the [00:04:00] top. 

[00:04:00] Benedikt: Okay. Okay. Okay. 

[00:04:01] Malcom: Yeah. So this isn't in any sort of order, we're going to be all over the map, honestly. But, uh, you'll, you'll be able to follow up. So don't 

[00:04:08] Benedikt: I think so 

[00:04:09] Malcom: Uh, so, oh, go ahead.

[00:04:12] Benedikt: no, I was, I was about to ask you about your favorite way to team high head bleed and the snare mic, because, or in drum mix in general, because that's one of the most common issues. And I remember when I was starting out, that was one of the things that annoyed me the most and that I just couldn't find a proper solution to. So what do you do to deal with with high end bleeps? Meaning the high hats being audible and loud in Mike's where you don't want to want 

[00:04:36] Malcom: Yes. So most commonly that is the stair mic is being there's too much high hat bleeding into the snare mic. That is the most common situation for that. And it can be a real problem. Generally I like to gate my snare, so the snare is being shut off, whatever it's not being hit essentially, but even that doesn't always work because sometimes when they hit the snare, they're also hitting the [00:05:00] high hat and this loud kind of like high-end high hat thing, just like burst into your snare signal and kind of makes it an unusable. And sometimes also you just don't want to gate it. You want your snare to be left open it's it's a different sound. All bleed isn't necessarily bad, so it's not like a, you always cut off everything else. Now. What I do. I mean, I don't always have to deal with this, but what I think the hack, the coolest hack is this, I kind of phase reversal thing, which is, I think what you wanted to talk about as well, Benny? No. 

[00:05:34] Benedikt: Yeah, probably, but, but you can, you can do that. I don't have to talk about it. 

[00:05:37] Malcom: cool. So I haven't had to do it for a while, but, uh, man, last time I did it, it was just a game changer. It saved, save the recording for me. Essentially, if you w what you do is you take your snare track, you duplicate it. So you've got that copy of it on a different channel, and then you flip the phase and now they're playing the same way for them, but one's completely entirely out of [00:06:00] phase. The polarities has been flipped, and that means that it's going to be play back. Silence is canceling each other out perfectly right 

[00:06:08] now. Well that obviously fixes the bleed, but it also arrests your snare. So that's not going to work very well.

[00:06:15] Benedikt: for us for a moment, I thought you like, that's it. That's the 

[00:06:18] Malcom: Yeah, that's it. That's it? 

[00:06:20] No, 

[00:06:21] Benedikt: done, you know? 

[00:06:22] Malcom: but what you can do is set like, uh, like a gate or an expander to, to close off that, uh, that flipped track whenever the snare gets hit. So that it's only canceling whenever the snare is not being hit. You could do that with, I mean, just the threshold or with key spikes or what, uh, kind of what be you. Um, I think some people even will do it where they are only. Like changing that like certain frequencies on that phase shifted one. And then like, so the high end kind of stays more canceling than the rest of it kind of thing. But you [00:07:00] can, it's like, you're just using the laws of audio to eliminate frequencies, uh, by canceling them out perfectly. And then you can just use, yeah. Be a multi-band compressor or expander or gate to order from a volume automation. If you wanted to, uh, to change how much cancellation is happening. Did I explain that? Well at all 

[00:07:20] Benedikt: Um, 

[00:07:21] yes, he did, but it's a completely different thing to like then what I want to, to say at this point, like I do it completely differently. So but that that's cool because then we have two, two different texts in one. So what I meant with the face trick on scenario and that's sort of, I think they are not the only people doing that. And I pick that up from, from several people, but Wilbert, shell or Nali are two examples of, of engineers mixers that you use that Drake or who have seen use, it explained that trick. And the w I think the way I've learned it from them is, and the way, at least the way I use it, and it works like a charm is I duplicate the scenario just as you said, then I high pass the [00:08:00] duplicate. So I put a low cut um, at around 600, 700, maybe sometimes hired like somewhere in the mid range, I put a low cut or high pass filter on. So that only the top end stays in there. Then I put a compressor, like a stock compressor on the track with the attack as fast as it goes and the release as fast as it goes so that every time the sneer hits, like every time there's this near hit, the compressor will heavily compress that snare. And then I flip it out of phase and I blend that in with, uh, the untreated snare. And what happens is the compressor will duck away the flipped snare, but the top end and like the top end will cancel. And the compressor will duck away the flip, the, the outer face snare. So the natural snow can come through. And the thing with the compressor is you can now use the, the the threshold, if the combination of threshold attack and release to really shape the, the attack and [00:09:00] the release of. The gating effect that you created, and it just works way smoother and better for me at least than, than a gate, because what a gate does and also like a multi-bank impression trick that you can do or expanding trick that a lot of people do, what all those things do to me is they add this little sound on every snare hit. That's like sort of annoying and it sounds unnatural. And you don't get that with that trick because the compressor is faster than a gate that opens it. Doesn't add the weird click sound at the beginning. And it also doesn't add that weird cut off symbol, whatever you still hear them in there. Because the face cancellation in the top end is still there and only the mid range and the lower part of this Neo come through. And also the, the shape of the sustain is different. You just have to try to really truly know what I mean. There is an awesome YouTube video of corporate public shell showing and doing that trick. And I'm going to put that in the show. For you to, to see, because that, that explains it perfectly. And he also does the comparison to the gating or the multi-band trick where you expanding the top end. And it just sounds so much more natural. So that's the way [00:10:00] I use it 

[00:10:02] Malcom: Cool. I, you know, honestly, I think that's what I did to. It was so long ago, this is like one of those tricks where when you need it, you need it. And I just Google it to refresh myself every time that happens. 

[00:10:13] Benedikt: Because I think if you do it with a gate, as you explained, I would have to try, but I imagine it's kind of the same as just gating the, the original signal, you know, I mean the artifacts or the thing that I don't like about gates would still be there probably, I don't know, I'd have to try, but I think the trick is really to cancel the higher frequencies and to use something super fast that ducks away the snare, and then you, and also that way you can play with the amount of compression and the level of 

[00:10:37] Malcom: Yeah. It's way more tweakable.

[00:10:38] Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. You can, you can dial in just the right amount of bleed and sustain and everything. It's just beautiful. Once you get the concept it's really, really. 

[00:10:46] Malcom: Absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:10:48] Benedikt: So there's that, other than that, what else can you do to fix that same problem? Be like, did you want to mention another one with the first? Because like, just at this first bullet point, the Hyatt blee thing, or was it just that.

[00:10:59] Malcom: [00:11:00] this is just an unorganized notes. We did 

[00:11:02] Benedikt: Okay, cool. Cool. Cool. 

[00:11:04] Malcom: two lines for the same thing, but I think the following line is relevant. And sometimes you go after high hats and other, other tracks like the overheads, for example. And really this is really simple, but a lot of people don't even know this, but on a stereo track, uh, you can edit just one side of it if you want to. So you, if you have a space pair of overheads, you could just eat the right side of post to the left. Now there is a cost to this. It usually changes the phase relationship between those two files. But it can totally be all you need to do to just carve out the offending high, high frequencies in the one side and make it sound a little more balanced. You could also, I mean, There's like anything you can do, do a mano. So you could have a compressor that is just ducking the high frequencies on one side, or there's like, you know, plugins like Sioux, as far as they're notching out. really quick. You can, you can [00:12:00] kind of chain things to wherever you need it. Doesn't have to be on both sides.

[00:12:04] Benedikt: Absolutely. And you can also just do simple things like volume automation. You can just make the parts where the high, the highest playing, you can turn those parts down and then let them come up again. If when the CR, when there's a crash or whatever, and you can also do that to one side, if you split the track and you can just turn down the volume of the, of the left track, when, when you have dramas perspective, whenever the highest playing, and then when the crash comes in, you can turn it back up. 

[00:12:27] Malcom: Yep. 

[00:12:28] Benedikt: So simple things like that, you can. Maybe make play with a panning, maybe sometimes making one little narrow and then making it wider again, can maybe do the trick, whatever it is. Just know that you can absolutely change the stereo tracks throughout the song and you can treat the sides individually. Totally. And that's necessary sometimes. I didn't realize that for a long time, but they, sometimes the overheads just don't work if you leave them static 

[00:12:52] Malcom: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Don't like, don't assume your overhead's working is the assumption that your drummer is amazing [00:13:00] and like what they played is musical in a balanced way, which, I mean, a lot of drummers are just Thrashers and it doesn't sound that musical. So, uh, they, it, it seems that, uh, it assumes the positioning was perfect as well that the engineering was done really well. So often the overheads have require quite a bit of automation and stuff to just make them sound more musical and even We said we weren't going to do this, but I had another idea that came to mind, all this. I had talk, uh, sometimes the high hat bleed. Isn't really it. Sometimes it's just getting the right high hat focus because the high hat coming through a snare mic, a high hat mic, or an overhead, or a room mic, for example, they all sound totally different. They have different vibes, like the high hat close. Mike's very direct and, and punchy and, and sharp kind of thing. Where the overhead is going to be a little bit more roomy and the rooms are going to be very roomy. So sometimes it's about trying to make it so we can use one of those as the focus cause you don't always want that very direct [00:14:00] high hat sound. For example, sometimes you want it to be more roomy. Uh, but other times you want a very roomy drum sound, but you want it direct high hat. So you have to figure out tricks to make that happen. And, uh, one thing I like doing is sending a side chain signal from the close mic of the high hat. To say the overheads to cause ducking on the overheads when the high hat is being played. And there's a plugin, which I'm going to mention a couple of times in here called track spacer, which ducks, the frequencies it's hearing. So whatever you send through the side chain in this case, a high hat, it listens to that audio and tries to dock. The frequencies is hearing out of whatever you've thrown the plug in though. So it'll try and duck those exact hi-hat frequencies out of the overhead in this case. And now you could have a very overhead heavy mix, but the high hat is kind of being removed from it. And lets you sneak up your direct hat mic closer, like for.

[00:14:53] Benedikt: Yeah. I like this idea of maybe just changing the sound or like listening if, for whether it's [00:15:00] really a volume issue issue or it's maybe just sounding weird. I really like that and sometimes just giving the Hyatt a little bit of extra definition and top end boost on the actual high head track makes it more audible on the sides and takes the attention like the focus away from the weird bleed in the middle and all of a sudden it's just not a problem anymore.

[00:15:17] So yeah, I totally, I totally love that. Cool. 

[00:15:21] Malcom: Yeah.

[00:15:22] Benedikt: I wanted to add one thing as well. And that is, I think it's worth thinking about whether the high head is actually problematic or whether like maybe sometimes the crashes are the problem. Sometimes the Hyatt is played where he, well, and you just shouldn't touch it. But maybe the, the overhead mic position was a little weird and the crashes are too quiet or not explosive enough. Or maybe the drummer didn't hit them hard enough compared to the hats, but the hats are perfectly fine. And maybe that means instead of turning down or manipulating the hats or their sound, maybe you have to bring up some crashes instead. And that fixes the problem. Maybe you just have to automate some, you have to put a little [00:16:00] bump on every, whenever you first crash it or whatever, to make them sound more explosive. And if you do that, the balance is there again, and you don't have to worry about the hats anymore. So sometimes you might think the hats are too loud, but maybe it's just that it's not balanced. And the crashes are not loud enough, 

[00:16:13] for 

[00:16:13] Malcom: That's genius. Actually. I think that is totally the case. Often. It's really easy to get hyper-focused on the high hat. 

[00:16:19] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:16:20] Malcom: Quickly listing off ways to fix this in engineering. Uh, keep your high hat away from your snare. Like three inches go so far, honestly like any distance you can create there. Obviously distance and then Mike positioning, uh, so that you're trying to reject the high out as much as possible with that scenario, Mike, those are the two main contributing factors for sure.

[00:16:41] Benedikt: Yeah, for sure. Definitely. All right. Time shifting the I into ramp. That's one of the things that I was curious about what do you mean. 

[00:16:50] Malcom: So essentially, depending on I think, yeah, this is quite dependent on your interface setup, but usually when you send out of your interface and then record through an amp or whatever, and come [00:17:00] back into it, there's actually a slight timing change. So what I do is just throw a little, I use a signal generator plugin, and it just creates a little pink noise. And then I take that clip ended up so I can see it really audibly. And I throw that on beat one of the song, or just be one of a bar before the guitar part starts, for example. And then I run that out into the whole whole, uh, file out into my ramp and it records back in with this little blip at the beginning. And that blip lets me then cut it right out the transient and move it back onto the grid because there's been a slight time shift. So if you're really picky about it being the exact timing that you recorded, this is the way to do that.

[00:17:41] Benedikt: Cool. Awesome. Yeah. totally agreed. Now I get it. I had to do a similar thing when I'm lining up Mike's when, when I'm recording, I have to let guitars just make a little noise with the pig or whatever, like on the string, that's a little pink sound. And then I see the, the 

[00:17:55] spikes on the, on the, on the mix and I can align them. It's a 

[00:17:58] Malcom: I've seen people also just like pull [00:18:00] the Jack out really quickly and plug it 

[00:18:01] back in. 

[00:18:02] Benedikt: Same thing. Yeah. 

[00:18:03] Malcom: Yeah. I just, I found that I was getting with the signal generator. I was getting like a very easy, clear transient where sometimes with like distorted amps, there's all this like noise right before they hit it and it gets tricky.

[00:18:14] Benedikt: Totally. And also in ramping, it just makes sense. You can just yeah, of course. Create that in the doc. Yeah. Cool. 

[00:18:20] Totally 

[00:18:20] Malcom: with ramping. I mean like the real reason, this was an issue. Cause honestly the time shift, if you're just doing a quick reading up is like not very noticeable, almost not noticeable, perhaps. But I like to process my DUI heavily before it hits the app. That's like one of the main reasons I like to rehab. So if you're doing all this crazy stuff to it, all of a sudden there can, there can be latency that's worth fixing.

[00:18:42] Benedikt: Yeah. And then maybe you want to blend something 

[00:18:45] Malcom: Yeah. 

[00:18:46] Benedikt: with it and then it gets really messy if You don't pay attention to that Yeah. Cool. 

[00:18:51] Malcom: relationship.

[00:18:52] Benedikt: Awesome. Yeah, the next one is pretty common, but I still think it's absolutely worth mentioning in this episode because it's [00:19:00] such a powerful thing to do, and that is splitting base. There are, there are different ways you can do that. And this is not only a trick that you can use in heavy music. I thought it was, but it's actually, for me, at least now it works in almost every that Shandra. I just do it a little differently, but the principle works, even if I don't do that, like really heavy stuff. I used to think it's just a metal thing, but it's not. I think so what you do is you have a base. And then you duplicate that the eye, at least one time that you can, you can make like three identical copies, but to do the trick usually, and then you high pass one and low pass the other at around the same frequency. Usually I do the exact same frequency. Sometimes there's a little gap in between, but usually I do the exact same frequency, same filter slope, just reverse like one low cut at one high cut or high-pass and low-pass so on one track, there is only the top end and the mid range on the other track. There's only the low end. [00:20:00] Then I take the lowest. I compress it heavily, but with a very clean compressor, like, I don't want to introduce distortion as, as little as I can, like some, something like a fat filter, a compressor or a clean stock compressor. And I try to make the release of that long enough so that it doesn't distort. And I try to compress it heavily and really even it out, but yeah, without distorting it, because distortion on low-end makes it sound smaller and I want big, low end, but I want it to be very controlled. And even that's why I compress it heavily, then I take the mid range and the upper part of it, like the top end of the base. And I run that through some sort of distortion. Like this can be a guitar amp, this can be a base paddle or distortion thing. This can be anything that, that I wear, like the character of and then I blend that distorted signal or like I put them back together, basically a new bus. So I have the clean big, low end. And, but I have also all the grit and the aggression and whatever I want out of the. On the mid range at the [00:21:00] top end. And sometimes there's a third one in the middle where I would treat the mid range at the top end a little differently. So I would maybe the, the really top stuff, a little more clean and get more attack out of it. Like the pick attack and that stuff, and just focus on like the grid and all the distortion and stuff will be focused on the actual mid range. Sometimes the mid range runs through a bass amp. That's not so heavily distorted. And I have the aggressive stuff on top, like that can change depending on John HRA and what I'm going for. But that's the, yeah, that's the idea behind it. You just because if you do the whole processing, especially in having music, just on one track on one guy, the low end usually suffers a lot. You get very uneven and also small sounding low end. If you like, just the stored it heavily and put all, all, you want to do two to two bass to make it sound aggressive and cut through the mix. If you do that to the whole thing Um, I don't think you have enough low end for a modern metal production. And I find the district to be very useful in other [00:22:00] Sean's that Sean was as well, just because you have, it gives you so much control over the base. Even if I don't distort it, I just, I have control over the, the mid range grit and growl. I have control over the pick attack and then the, the fundamental notes down there and like, Yeah. it's just a very, very cool approach and the very powerful one. 

[00:22:19] Malcom: Yeah. There's like a lot of people will say in mixing that it's really easy to overdo it and that like, you shouldn't be doing a hundred different plugins and you know, all this stuff and stuff, but this is a funny one where you were actually doing a whole lot of processing in order to do less, because if you would just like try to do the same thing to just the one file you then just having to mangle it, to get the same result. You'd have to list like, go so heavy with limiting and stuff like that. And it would just be worse. Would it'd be more processed in the end. More sound, more processed at least. So this is, yeah, this is a very cool trick. Do you ever do it on amp captures as well, or just dies?

[00:22:59] Benedikt: Yeah. I [00:23:00] do. Depends. Yeah. totally depends on the source, but sometimes when people don't send media and they only have an M capture, but it just doesn't have what I think it needs to have. Then I try if I can do it with that. I just pretend it's a D I N. And do it the same, do the same thing basically. And usually that usually it works. And sometimes if there's already not enough low end because it's an amp or it's uneven or whatever sometimes blending in a little R base or like something like, uh, you know, like adding some, some extra low-end that hasn't been there and then compressing. That's the trick. I don't know. Uh, but, but it usually works pretty well. 

[00:23:34] Malcom: Cool. Yeah. I, I usually, it's a, it's a little different for me. I actually, it almost always is kind of split, but not split onto two different tracks. It's just a plugins that I end up using generally allow for it in the plugin kind of thing. But yeah, just normally I'm trying to grid up my mid range and, and even out my low end that's, that's kind of the typical goals.

[00:23:57] Benedikt: Yeah. To plugin examples. So that would be [00:24:00] parallax by neural DSP, an amazing plugin that lets you do it in one plugin. And another example, that's a little different, like parallax does pretty much exactly what we just described or what I just described. And, but you can do similar things with something like Saturn fed filter, where you just saturate the mid-range at the top end differently. I don't know how you even out the low end because it's not really clean compressor, but at least you can do the partial saturation distortion. 

[00:24:25] Malcom: Yeah, it has that dynamics knob, which I find useful. It's pretty heavy-handed though. So you have to be 

[00:24:31] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, Yeah. Okay. And think basis is one of those things as you described it. I think you're totally right, where I really do a lot of steps in order to make it sound more natural in the end and like fit in there, uh, better. And it doesn't even stop there. Like I do the splitting thing, then I combine it back to a bus. Then I process that bus pretty heavily. So sometimes I run that through another compressor. Um, Sometimes I, I like when you distort heavily, sometimes the low mid range just crawls up and it does [00:25:00] that after every processing stage. So I find myself using two, three Q sometimes like notching out some 200, 300, 400, whatever, uh, especially in, in heavy genres. I think that this part of the spectrum like gets just annoying very quickly. so I like to clean that up in multiple places in my chair. Then I have, sometimes I have a base crush that I use in addition, and then there is a base bus at the end where I do where I might throw another multi-band compressor on and compress the low end again separately or something like that. So it can be a ridiculous amount of steps, but in the end it just, it's just what, what it, what I need to do.

[00:25:35] Malcom: so hold it. Yeah, that's great. That's totally great. 

[00:25:38] Benedikt: Yeah. Okay. cool. Yeah, your turn again. Pitch, shift the eyes. 

[00:25:43] Malcom: Yeah. So I got this off a spirit box. They got this song called holy roller and the guitar sound just ridiculously huge. And, uh, it turns out I had actually done it before, like years before on, on a song. But. Pitch shifts the wrong thing. So, uh, but what they [00:26:00] did is they, they took their DTI, dropped it down a full Okta and then ran an app SIM on it and blended that in with their, their usual octave guitars. And it just sounded huge. There's only really works well on like monophonic stuff where it's like one note at a time. And in this song it worked like just insanely. Cool. And I've since got to use it a couple of times and it's just like a fun little size ad or it really grudges it up. So definitely not something you're going to use 99.9% of the time, but, uh, definitely a hack,

[00:26:30] Benedikt: Love it. You can, by the way, try this a similar thing with vocals. Sometimes you can just yeah, pitch shifted. Yeah. Create a fake low octave and do whatever you want with it and then blend it in. Uh, sometimes that does the trick with the vocal sounds a little thin or relax the body. And sometimes that's just the cool thing you can do. 

[00:26:50] Malcom: Absolutely. Yeah. It's, it's amazing that little ultra boys that mentioned on our list here. But 

[00:26:54] Benedikt: That's right. I think we mentioned it in the didn't we mentioned it in the recording hacks 

[00:26:59] Malcom: [00:27:00] I'm sure we did. Yeah.

[00:27:01] Benedikt: in one of the last episodes we mentioned is 

[00:27:04] Malcom: Yeah. 

[00:27:04] It comes up all the time. I think.

[00:27:05] Benedikt: yeah, yeah, yeah. I think. so. All Right. The next one, I don't know if you do that as well, but I think I consider that a super heck because I do it all the time and it just, once I discovered that it made everything a lot more musical for me and a lot easier, and that is before I use a compressor on certain things, I insert a limiter and tame the peaks. I don't do that on everything, but I explain a second why I do that and what's the idea behind it. So the thing is whenever I use a compressor to add movement or groove, or like enhance the groove, like on a drum bus, or, you know, there are elements in a mix. I just want them to pump a little more, move a little more, and the compressor is set in a way that it works well with that group. So that would be, for example, the drum has compressors the prime example for this, but like any, any time I want to have like a musical compression that, that [00:28:00] flows with the group, the problem is when there, when you do that, whenever I'm allowed, hit comes in or just allowed a part or whatever it is, the compressor will react to that. And the group will be, will like for a second, it will just be, it will throw you out, but we will throw you off basically. So the compressor will react to those peaks and it will take another hit or so until it's back to the rhythm that where it was before. So what I like to do is I put, for example, a fat filter limiter or something, clean, something that can take off two, three to be without really like artifacts or anything at all. Sometimes it can be a clipper. I like to put that in front of the compressor so that the compressor sees a more even signal and can react to that in a very musical way. So that way my drum bus compressor does like whatever I said it to one and a half, two or three DB or whatever I've gained reduction all the time. When every kid kid on every scenario hit because the exceptionally loud ones are already taken care of by the limiter. And now the drum compressor can just move and, and mangle the drum kit really in a musical way. That works with other stuff as well. [00:29:00] It's the same thing on vocals. If you put a very fast compressor or eliminator on a vocal to take, take off, shave off a couple of DBS, and then you follow that with a slower, more musical compressor that slower compressor can do its job way better because it doesn't have to react to those peaks anymore. 

[00:29:18] Malcom: Yeah. 

[00:29:18] Benedikt: that is something I do on almost every bus. And definitely every time I use a compressor to, to enhance the, the rhythm and the group. 

[00:29:27] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. I, I do the same usually with a clipper, but sometimes the limiter, for sure. There's a rule, a fake rule that mixing where people say limiters are the last thing to go under the chain. Like that's where they live. It's just the last plug-in on your master bus, but that is not the case. It can be used all over the place. Use them on base, use them on guitars. Use them on vocals. Now use them on drums.

[00:29:48] Benedikt: Yeah. I want to throw in a little loudness hack. That's more mastering than mixing, but maybe still relevant for people's still self mixing and it's, it's relevant to this bullet points here because what you can do is, and I think that's the key, at least to me, that, [00:30:00] that that is the key to the transparent limiting and like increasing the volume on the, on the mix bus or master bus. If you want to do that with Clippers and limiters, because that's not the only way you can add, you can make things louder, but let's, let's pretend. So the. To that is, to me is to put a limiter first, shave off a couple of the bees, make it more, even follow that up with the bus compressor to just make, like, make it a little more dense and glue it together and like create the what, what bus compression is supposed to do with, I guess, glue. Yeah, then follow that with a clipper and then add another limiter. So basically the thing is the sandwich of like two limiters with a clipper in between. That's what works really well for me. So I start with a limited, don't go too heavy on that. Like, let's get the drum comparison for now. Then I follow it with a clipper because that's a different way of dealing with that same problem. And then I followed with another limiter and each of those just does a little bit. And in the end I get this really loud thing. That's still very transparent. [00:31:00] So that's what I, what I like to do. And that's not the only way you make things loud and it starts with the mix. And I think. The real key to loudness is the queue, but like, you know, but when you want to make, you want to make the things loud, quickly and easily, I think the sandwich works better than just smashing everything into one limiter. 

[00:31:18] Malcom: yeah, yeah, totally. I'm definitely with you. It's funny that again, another little mixing myth is that, uh, they don't overcook things everybody's worried about over compressing or over limiting and, and is kind of scared to do too much. But I would say when I get stuff to master that it's way more common, that things are way too dynamic, like way too dynamic opposed to not enough dynamics like that problem rarely actually happens. So, uh, you've got room to play, dig in a little.

[00:31:47] Benedikt: Agreed. All right. So yeah, I mean, if the next one is one that I use, I dunno. Do you do that or, 

[00:31:55] Malcom: Oh, yeah. oh, yeah. 

[00:31:56] Benedikt: okay. so so maybe you maybe you start because maybe you might have a [00:32:00] different way of doing things. And then I explain what I meant. 

[00:32:03] Malcom: Okay. Essentially delay is cool. Reverb is bad. It's alive. River is also cool, but, uh, I love delays and delays can do the same job as reverb in so many. And, uh, and, and a better job at it too, I think. 

[00:32:18] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:32:19] Malcom: But, uh, yeah. Um, So our note here says stereo slap instead of reverb on vocals. And that is the first thing I reach for when I'm wetting up a vocal is, uh, I've got a couple different slap delays, kind of ready to go. And I mess with the speed a little bit mess with the tonal characteristics of it a little bit, and try and create a little bit of space around the vocal. And that can be anything from a noticeable, but it does something, uh, all the way up to like very wet flappy sounding and affected and kind of like, you know, he was like a character move. This is intentional. But, uh, that stereo slap can be the most important part of my vocal sound sometimes for sure.

[00:32:59] Benedikt: Totally [00:33:00] agreed. Yeah. same here. What it does to me is it puts. The vocal into the mix a little bit more. So if I add a stereo slab, which just means one repetition on each side, like one delay throw basically a very short delay throw on each side and with a little different Yeah. little different timing. And then what it does, it, it doesn't sound like a river because it's not, it doesn't have to reverb tail, but that one reflection just creates a little ambiance around the vocal and puts it in into the mix. It just fits into the mix better. I don't know, but it's, it's just way more transparent than having that reverb tail, because reverb is essentially is just a very dense, a row of, of like reflections of delays basically. And in this case, we are only using one and that is often enough to just create that sense of ambience and depth and put the vocals into the mix a little bit more. And yeah, that's what it does. And you 

[00:33:52] just have to try 

[00:33:52] Malcom: ends up a little bit cleaner, I think, 

[00:33:55] Benedikt: yeah, exactly. 

[00:33:56] Malcom: I, I often end up using both reverb and delay, [00:34:00] but, uh, that I like in my list of priorities, that that slapped delay is so important to me. Also, I don't know why, uh, if you ever do this, but sometimes I'll go with a motto slap, 

[00:34:10] Benedikt: well sometimes yeah, 

[00:34:11] Malcom: yeah. 

[00:34:11] A motto slap, and then I'll use stereo reverbs, like, like that's got a cool sound for sure. Just did that on a mixed yesterday or no, not yesterday. It's Monday. So two days ago,

[00:34:21] Benedikt: yeah. Agreed. Yeah. I th the only thing I knew I want to add here and that's totally Shondra dependent, but I don't really like it when usually it, at least I don't really like it when it sounds like an obvious slap delay. I just wanted to have that depth and like ambience sort of sound. I want it to sound like a room reverb thing, like, uh, yeah. Uh, but I don't, I don't really want it to sound like an obvious slap delay, like not an Elvis sort of 

[00:34:47] Malcom: Right, right. See, I'm, I'm kind of getting back into that. Like the killers is like a vocal sound that I've been really digging where it's like, instead of a vocal, double, they've got a slap delay. And I think that's like a pretty cool thing, but again, yeah, very specific to the [00:35:00] song and John rhe and style 

[00:35:02] for sure. 

[00:35:02] Benedikt: yeah, I like 

[00:35:03] Malcom: very much a statement. 

[00:35:04] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, totally. I like it as well, but on the, on the stuff that I work on, most of the time it's just not appropriate, but if the song allows for it, I totally go for it and love it. Yeah. 

[00:35:12] Malcom: Cool. Now, how do you hide it? How do you sneak it up there loudly, but keep it invisible. Do you have tricks for that?

[00:35:19] Benedikt: Okay, so you, can you cue it? I like to keep, I like to make it dark. So the key to hiding it, I think is to get rid of the S's and T's and that sort of stuff, especially with the stereo slap when you have the S from the sides all the time, like that's, that makes it obvious to me if it's darker you can, Yeah. it can make it louder and like kind of hide behind the guitars and symbols and stuff. That's one thing then also, I think the longer you make it, the more obvious it gets. So I try to keep it as short as possible, but still long enough to have that effect that I want. 

[00:35:50] Malcom: Yup.

[00:35:50] Benedikt: And that's basically those two, like usually it's make it sort of, low-fi sounding and try to make it as short as I can get away with it, unless I wanted to sound like a slap delay. But if [00:36:00] I just want the depth and ambience, I create this lo-fi thing, that's very short. And then I just blend it in. 

[00:36:07] Malcom: Yeah, so that, that kind of hits another point on our list here, which was DSE in the effects ends on vocals, especially, uh, where you just don't need, like these siblings, like things that jump out of your speakers to be coming at you from all these different channels. That's unnecessary. Honestly, we just needed it on the one vocal up the middle and take it out of everything else.

[00:36:25] Benedikt: yeah, 

[00:36:26] Malcom: So I, I heavily DS like all my reverbs and delays and backing vocals most of the time, and that really cleans things up for me and creates the focus on the lead vocalist up the middle. And yeah, that helps hide the fact you can kind of sneak more in there without it becoming like too noticeable and distracting. I also, the only thing I would add to what you were saying about kind of keeping it invisible is, uh, saturating it. I find kind of like blurs it up a little bit more as well. So just like kind of distorting the facts sense. So it's like more muddy sounding than the lead vocals.

[00:36:58] Benedikt: Yup. Yup. Agreed. [00:37:00] Cool. Awesome. 

[00:37:01] Malcom: All right. So our next one is also kind of helpful with this. I think.

[00:37:05] Benedikt: yeah, I think. so too. And there's probably different approaches as well to this. And that is ducking the vocal delay. What I mean by that is you put it in late on the lead vocal, like a scent and return setup. So you'll send the lead vocal to an ox where you have a delay, like the standard usual setup for. And then you duck that delay with the same lead vocal. So you set up a side chain in the D like a side train compressor on the delay return. And to that side chain, you also sent that lead vocal. So whenever the, as long as the vocalist sings, like as long as the lead vocals going, the delay will be quiet. And when the vocal stops, the, the delay comes up. So that way, especially in faster and faster parts or parts where the, the lyrics are really important, or like, you know, you just, the delay just doesn't get in the way of the actual [00:38:00] vocal and then at the end or in between words or sentences it kind of creeps up and that way. Yeah. I just love that. I love that sounds sort of an auto mix thing that I use a lot, because I think making the delays as loud as I want them in the breaks all the time, it's just too much. 

[00:38:17] Malcom: Yeah, cause what happens is they start overlapping each other. Right? So you're hearing the singer saying something, but his last words are like echoing over top of them and it gets really muddy, but you want those long delay throws perhaps in the, in the breaks where he's not singing. So, you know, you hear that word echo back kind of thing. And everybody's heard that it can be the perfect effect, but having it ruin the rest of the vocals, not worth it. So yeah. Having a duck out while they're singing and that is the phrase. It is awesome. And yeah, that, that side chaining trick is like the most common way I'll go about it too. Uh, there are certain plugins that have a built in now, which is really great. I definitely a big fan of that being a feature in plugins. I think it should be a feature in a lot of plugins. That's make ducking happen. Uh, but the other [00:39:00] way, which I actually, you know, what I might do this just kind of 50% of the time as well is just using volume automation on the sand. So you've just got, you know, a full blast vocal delay ox, and you're just automating the volume up and down wherever you want it. But honestly that side training thing does the job very well.

[00:39:16] Benedikt: Yeah. Agreed. Cool. Now the next one, I don't know. Again, this, uh, I'm just curious about all of these. I learned so much with these episodes. If you, when you explain your way of doing it. So the reverb on uncompressed vocals is I haven't done that in a while actually, but I want to do it again because I remember it being really, really cool. And I liked it, the concept of it it just lends itself more to softer things, I think, and with the more heavy stuff that I did lately I, I didn't get to use it. What it is is when you have a really dynamic vocal, like in a song with very soft parts and very loud parts. You want to, like, I love to send the uncompressed raw vocal. That's very, very dynamic to the reverb. [00:40:00] Instead of the actual, like treated compressed vocal. So the way you can do that is you just make a duplicate and you turn down the fader completely to zero on that untreated and like uncompressed vocal. And you just have a pre fader send to the reverb, or you can send your vocal to a bus and treat it on the bus and leave the actual vocal Trek untreated and send that to the river. Like whatever you want to do, just make sure that not both vocal tracks go to your actual mixed bus and make sure that just the treated one goes there. And the untreated one only sends to the reverb. And the reason you want to do that is that way in quieter parts, the reverb also stays quieter. And when the singer really goes loud or like hits a high note, very powerful part comes in. The reverb gets louder as well. In that way, it's just this, the room and the size of everything just increases with the volume, which is what happens sort of, if you were in the room with a person. It just follows the natural dynamics so beautifully. And if you send, if [00:41:00] you compress the vocal first and sent that through a reverb, it's more or less the same reverberation all the time. And I just like the quiet parts to have a little less reverb and be more intimate. And then really everything like blows up when it, when it gets loud. 

[00:41:15] Malcom: Yeah, a quick little simpler way to do the same thing I think is to duplicate the track. Like you said, Butlin just throw the river plugin right on it and keep them mixed a hundred percent wet. And then it's just that as your new sand kind of thing easier to manage, uh, you can even just commit it and then you can see the reverb and like the different volume sizes in the wave form, which is a really nice trick as well.

[00:41:35] Benedikt: Yeah. And what it also does is I think if you really compress the vocal a lot and you feel like you lose some of the dynamics, but you like the. Of course you can automate more dynamics back into the vocal, but I think doing that trick alone gives you the impression of more dynamics, even though there are no. So like you have this very compressed vocal, it's very static, very consistent, but with that reverb going up and down, you sort of feel the [00:42:00] energy more in the louder parts and you can get away with a less dynamic vocal, I think. 

[00:42:05] Malcom: Right. Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think you're right. That's yeah, that's definitely a cool trick. 

[00:42:10] Benedikt: Yeah. All 

[00:42:11] Malcom: And I do want to say that we don't do all of these all the time. Maybe the exception being stereos left 

[00:42:17] Benedikt: yeah, 

[00:42:18] Malcom: it for like it's, these are all, we're calling them hacks for a reason. You remember you, you're never meant to do anything in a mix, unless there's something you want to hear that like these nothing's automatic, it's always a reaction to what you're hearing.

[00:42:33] Benedikt: Yeah. Agreed. Agreed. All right. The next one is multi-band compressor and expander to even our Q kits. I want to explain that real quick and that that's a quick one. If you have a drum like a natural drum kit, what happens with a kick drum usually is that louder kick hits tend to have more top end and less low end and quieter kid kits are a little more Boomi and have less top end. So if you think of a drummer doing a very quiet [00:43:00] kid kit, it makes with not a lot of top end, whether it's allowed kid, kid makes like this, you know, like this heart attack sound with less low and. If you want to, even out a drum performance, when that dynamic, when those dynamics are too much for the mix, you can throw a multi-band compressor and expander on it's. Something like the pro MB by fab filter that can do both. And what I like to do is I like to have two bands, one for the low part, one for the upper part of the spectrum. And I like to set it so that on the, on the loudest kick hits it ducks down the top end, it like controls the top end. So it makes it less clicky. And at the same time increases the low end. So every time a very loud hits hit comes in, it makes this sort of tilt the cue where it makes this move. Like if you're watching the video, you saw what I just did. It's like it ducks, like it reduces the top end and increases the low end. And Yeah. and that just does the trick for me. That just makes those loud. Kick kids stand out less and less, even out the whole [00:44:00] performance. And the, I just liked that and I can dial in more top end, overall to make up for the quieter, less punchy hits without making the louder ones too cliquey. 

[00:44:10] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. That's very cool. I don't think I've ever done it quite like that, but I, I really like that idea. That's awesome. Again, the solution here, listeners for the engineering side of this is all in the tremor. You need a drummer that can hit very consistently to avoid that problem, which honestly is like the most important thing in a studio. Drummer is consistency.

[00:44:29] Benedikt: Yeah, totally. Do you do the next one? It's also related to kick drums.

[00:44:34] Malcom: Yeah, I do. Sometimes I don't actually have to deal with that much double kick cause I'm, I'm more in rock than metal. 

[00:44:39] Um, 

[00:44:40] Benedikt: me too. But no. 

[00:44:41] Malcom: uh, when it, when a double kick comes in, there's some drumming sounds for you. It's really quick, right? And all of the low end that you've painstakingly built into this kick, you've made this huge sounding massive low-end kick. When that happens, it's [00:45:00] just like way too much information for your speakers to deal with. They can not move fast enough to reproduce the speed of the kick and Jack to that low end. So what we'll often do is just like you could there's there's multiple ways. You could just have like a duck come in like a shelf or something that cuts the low end. You could have. Uh, uh, high pass filter that just cuts out and filters out low end when that happens, there's really, you could use yeah. Automation or like a pro MB could probably be used again. Effectively, I would think as well, too, just to when it gets really fast, like that, it cleans it up and, and then when it's slower, it doesn't do it. And you've got the, you've got time for the speaker to do his job.

[00:45:48] Benedikt: Period. 

[00:45:49] Malcom: Yeah. Period. 

[00:45:51] Benedikt: Totally. 

[00:45:52] Malcom: I honestly, I think that's like almost essential for really fast stuff. It's like, that is a, an every time or when, [00:46:00] when that stuff comes up from.

[00:46:01] Benedikt: yeah. And it's a, it's a pretty common rookie mistake as well. A huge, so many metal mixes from, from people mixing at home, especially when they don't have like really good monitoring or a good room where every time a lot of low end energy happens, like as like, like these double kick drums, double kick drum parts, or blast beats, where with a very low base note and then fast runs and whatever. It's just way too much. The low end is just way too much and like overloads everything. And the, the master limiter starts to distort and it's just getting muddy and it's a pretty common rookie mistake. And the trick is to just control that low end and only have it, have it really big in parts where, where the song allows. 

[00:46:41] Malcom: Yeah. Uh, there's I think a tendency when you're making drums and, and you're recording drums again, especially without the music, the context. Cause drums often go first. You you're trying to elongate things. You liked big decays, cause they sound, sounds massive and rock and roll, you know? But in fast music, [00:47:00] a lot of what we do is actually shortening things. We're trying to control the decay times because there's so much information that has to happen and everything has to be out of the way before the next hit. So we're using compressors and transient designers, gates, and all sorts of stuff to make things shorter. And that can be taken into tracking. If you know, a song's going to be fast, try, you know, throw a moon gels on or whatever to make things dampen out quicker. You know, maybe don't use a super ambient room because that decay time's going to bite you. Cause they'll just be muddying up your whole mix.

[00:47:31] Benedikt: Yup. Yup. Absolutely. All Right. The next one is above guitars. We didn't talk a lot about guitars other than the pitch of the ice thing. So I think the queuing guitars can be oftentimes necessary, but also pretty dangerous because if guitar sound to me is a mix of the fundamental note or the root note of the chord and then the harmonics and the pick attack and all these things. And it's, especially with distorted guitars, it's a very [00:48:00] dense signal. and, and different parts of it live in different parts of the frequency spectrum, like different character traits of a guitar sound sort of speak, like live in different parts of this big, uh, spectrum. So if you eat Q aloud and you'd take something out that that is annoying, or maybe masking something else in the mix, it could be that you also change. And you're pretty likely to change the internal. Relationship between root note and harmonics and all that, that happens within the guitar tone. So it's, it can sound drastically different and just feel weird and unbalanced, if you cue guitar too much, at least that's my, uh, in my experience, that's often the case. So what I like to do is I like to start very, very broad and try to keep the balance within the tone intact. So that means, uh, instead of boosting low end or boosting top end at a certain frequency and doing like, if I have to do a lot of it, I just think about it. Like, is this too dark? Or is this [00:49:00] too bright? That's the first thing I think about, like, I think about, and then if it's too dark, I just use a tilted cue. That shifts the whole thing more towards the upper part of it. Like the, the upper mid range and the treble and the decreases the low end at the same time. And it leaves sort of the, Yeah. the relationship between the, the root notes and the harmonic. Intact. And if it's too bright, I just do the opposite. I do a tilt Q where the low end gets boosted at the top end gets controlled a little bit more. And sometimes that does the trick or that's the first thing I do in, I have to do less of everything else. And then the second thing I use instead of a hue of like classic IQ moves is saturation. Because sometimes instead of trying to fill a hole in the spectrum by boosting cue, you can just saturate a part of it, a part of the spectrum with a multi-band saturating saturated or whatever. And that way you kind of fill up, that's the way I think about it. You kind of fill [00:50:00] up those gaps or those holes in the spectrum by adding information that hasn't been there before, like you saturate the mid range and then above of what you just saturated, like new harmonics appear and fill up the holes. And sometimes if you have a really nasty sound. Um, Distorted guitar with a lot of like resonant peaks and these things that you would want to notch out sometimes saturating that, evens that out because instead of notching out those nasty frequencies, you add new stuff in between, and those peaks are not as annoying anymore. That's the way I think about it. Like, I make it more dense in order to make it less annoying. And the more you saturate guitars, the more to attempt to sound like white noise, basically. And that's just because you're adding more and more frequencies to it and it gets this really, really dense thing, but that can make It sound more pleasant than the less the sort of thing. I don't know if that makes any 

[00:50:53] sense, 

[00:50:53] Malcom: of the bat. Yeah, it does. I think yeah, guitars. It's always, it's always different. You just [00:51:00] have to like, you'll, you'll start building a little toolbox of tricks, just like Benny was going through there and, and you'll start to instinctively know which one you need to reach for the deal with whatever tones on the desk for the day. Yeah, till TQ though, that that is a, just a super hack in itself. The most underused DQ move for sure. That, uh, that is a unbelievable trick. I got to use a hardware, one, there's a company called buzz audio that I just absolutely love. And I guess like a few years back now, they made a tilt. EEQ I'm actually with my old boss, the guy I interned under, he helped design it. Uh, but having one of those in the studio, just to, you know, you throw up a mic, that sounds good. Tilt it a little light, a little brighter. Boom. And it's like the most natural shift ever. It was like, it felt like I was moving the microphone. Just being able to be like brighter, darker. It was great.

[00:51:47] Benedikt: Yeah. I totally agree. Especially hardware shelves and tilts and like that can really sound amazing. That's the one thing that I think hardware accused do really, really well compared to plugins these like backs EQs or abroad shelves or tilt [00:52:00] accuse, I think. I mean, it's not, it's not a matching thing that plugins can do that, but I don't know. There's something about the way, especially high shelves or top and boosts in general, sound on a hardware queue that I just prefer over plugins. I don't know. And a great tilt ACU is, is, is amazing. They Told Lux also made an amazing one. Yeah. But even if you just have to stock plug-in or a fab filter, whatever tilt, tilt, the move is just such clean. Great way to, to change the darkness or brightness of something without messing up the signal. 

[00:52:30] Malcom: absolutely. 

[00:52:31] I'm with you. 

[00:52:32] Benedikt: And then I want to give you one plugin that I want to recommend you. for the saturation thing, because I really think it's like, it's just magic. I don't know what it does. But it's, it's incredible. And that is Stan cornice implement what is, what is called amplified instruments 

[00:52:44] Malcom: AIP.

[00:52:45] Benedikt: called AIP.

[00:52:46] Malcom: The amplified 

[00:52:48] instrument 

[00:52:49] Benedikt: that thing is so amazing. And honestly, the one rep button in the middle of it, that's all I needed. And even this plugin, it's just pure magic on guitars, because that does exactly that if you push [00:53:00] that button, which is the analog circuitry modeling thing, if you set that to tube and you push that button, all of a sudden, all those nasty things that, that annoyed you about your guitar tone just are so much smoother now. And the gaps are being filled up, as I said, and it just makes it more three dimensional and it just, I don't know what it does. It's just awesome. It makes things a little more fuzzy and, but in a very, very cool way. And it just takes the digital edge off in a way that is just amazing. 

[00:53:27] Malcom: It is. Yeah, it's a great plug and I love the Q on it as well. The compressor works really good as well. It's just a good, good unit. I, uh, I use the top one, I click the red button and then I go to the top and it sticks like the most mid range, heavy one. I don't think it's tube. Which I use all three, but, uh, that top one. And then there's that little like, uh, darkness knob on the right of it. So you can make I go with the mid-range heavy and then I darkened it up and find my sweet spot there usually. I can't remember what it's called though, but anyways, Dan, if you're listening, make a plugin, that is just that red box, 

[00:53:58] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:53:58] Malcom: Joe. I'll buy it again.[00:54:00] 

[00:54:00] Benedikt: Yeah. I think even, even just the default setting, just turning that thing on would be worth the small one button plugin. I don't know. It's like, it's just magic. 

[00:54:09] Malcom: Totally. Totally. I love it. okay. So the next one is I think of it as like a more modern mixing technique, but it is using key spikes to do all sorts of stuff. We we've talked about in the past for sure, or wherever we're using it to trigger gates to happen. We're using it to trigger a multi-bank compressors may be the duck low end or boost high end, all sorts of stuff. But the, the hack, I think really is just in the placing of them. And it's doing it by hand is the only way I think, I mean, checking it by hand, you use a tool to place them, and then you check that they are all phase aligned and that is, uh, I think the, the secret to good gating and to good samples to making drum samples work and sound awesome is, is just making sure that those key spikes are in the exact perfect.

[00:54:57] Benedikt: Yeah. Agreed. The, the difference, I think, [00:55:00] between your approach and mine is I just do that with mini notes and you create actual audio key spikes, right? 

[00:55:05] Yup. 

[00:55:05] Malcom: Yep. Yep. But for the same purpose

[00:55:08] Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. I just use mitigates or like processes that can take as many notes in the side chain. So I just sent the mini notes to the gate to, to control it. It's the same thing. And I just trigger if I use trigger it by slate that the trigger plugin, you can trigger that with media notes as well. So I don't, I don't bother making like actual audio key spikes. But it's the same principle, the same 

[00:55:31] Malcom: yep. The exact same principle. 

[00:55:33] Benedikt: I think that the advantage of the audio key spec is that you can see the phase relationship compared to the actual scenario, whatever you're using. Maybe, maybe because with the Medi, I mean, you see it as well, but you just see the mini note. You don't see the actual wave form that lines up with whatever. I mean, that could be an advantage. I don't know. I just, I just use 

[00:55:50] Malcom: That's another video I 

[00:55:51] need to 

[00:55:52] Benedikt: and then line it up. 

[00:55:53] Malcom: Like, I feel like I've got the perfect process right now for how I do it. And I need to make a little video showing how I did it. Cause it took me a while [00:56:00] to kind of like really hone in and make it fast. But uh, yeah, it totally recommend doing it. I know a lot of people that just throw trigger on and trust its detection circuit to work. But in my experience, that's going to lead to 10% bad snares.

[00:56:13] Benedikt: Absolutely. And the perfectionist that I am, the reason, another reason why I want to make it with why I just do it with media is because I printed anyway, and then check the, the phase relationship of the printed sample with the original, because that's the only way I can really know is correct. So I don't even trust the key spike and then the trigger in real time, I want to see the printed thing. I want to make sure it's F it's the same, every time I hit play, because that's not the case. If you just leave, trigger on. And then I want to just align that with gates is a little different. And I can totally see the KeySpan thing worked there. I dunno with everything else, I just print the sample and then align it. 

[00:56:52] Malcom: Yeah, essentially the hack here is it's worth it not being lazy.

[00:56:56] Benedikt: Absolutely. Absolutely. Whatever technique you use, keys bikes are key. [00:57:00] 

[00:57:00] Malcom: Yeah. And so that really brings us to our last one, which is like the auto mixing stuff that has become available in the last few years really. Which is just so, so amazing. And we it's, you know, we were like referring to it as a genre of its own as auto mixing tools, but they're not really auto mixing. They're auto intelligent, but you still have to tell them what to do and keep an eye on them. So there was the key specs we mentioned where we're ducking using like a mini note or a little audio blip to side chain. Something to dark or a frequency to boost or whatever. That's very cool. There's also stuff like Suze and all that can be side chain now, I think as well. Uh, my favorite one, I think I mentioned earlier in this episode is a plugin called track spacers that I'm really loving and it docks whatever it's hearing. So this is a really cool hack, I think, where I could throw it on my instrument bus and send it the lead vocal information. And it takes the, you know, the IQ curve of what it's hearing from the vocals and just removes it from all of the. [00:58:00] Evenly kind of thing. So it creates a little EEQ hole for my vocal to sit in and you can vary how much of that's happening and the speed of it. And all like that. It's kind of like got the usual, uh, like attack settings and whatnot. And that is pretty cool. You can make it like really transparent and just, you know, keep your vocal, honestly, lets me keep my vocal a little bit quieter and lets me, uh, limit things a little bit louder, which is nice as like really for me, it's like a loudness tool. But it's yeah, I heard of all sorts of cool tricks with this. Like you could use it to take the snare out of your overhead. If you want, like a really direct sounding snare, you can throw the, send your close mic, two tracks spacer on your overheads and it removes the frequencies whenever your snare hits and, uh, that, so it's like, you're just hearing close mic only when that happened.

[00:58:50] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, totally. I mean, I have to get into drug space or more. I love some of the other like autumn mix plugins out there, but honestly, like that's [00:59:00] one part, like I haven't, I have to experiment more with, with those types of things. Uh, black Friday is not too far away, so maybe that's time for me to, to get some of these because there are so many great tools out there that I have on my list, but haven't really tried. Rackspace is one of them. I haven't, I have tried it, but I don't have it. golf. RCI, exactly. Golfers things like master rebalance. The, I think it's, it's it's this also? No, no. Where is 

[00:59:25] this? 

[00:59:25] This is a module and ozone 

[00:59:26] Malcom: Yep. Yep. 

[00:59:27] Benedikt: where you can like, essentially, if you just mastering, you can just make like the vocal louder in a weird way. Like, 

[00:59:34] Malcom: Yeah. I haven't got to try it yet. And uh, like when I first saw it, I like, I chose not to upgrade from my ozone nine or whatever, to whatever they're on now. Like, I'm not sure what the numbers, but, uh, that was like, the new feature was like, oh, here's this new plugin that lets you just, you know, choose, I want the vocal and it's louder, or I want the bass guitar and it's quieter. And you can just like, it's just like a click fader adjustment. And I was like, well, that's impossible. So this is a gimmick that's stupid. And then I've heard so many people I trust [01:00:00] and respect talking about how much they love it. And I'm like, what? This thing works. How's that possible?

[01:00:04] Benedikt: yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. I gotta get into that. And then there's a couple more of this, the neutron or whatever it's called. And like, there's so many of these intelligent tools out there now, and I don't think you should use them in a lazy way. So don't, don't think you can use those tools and then you don't have to do any work anymore, but I just think they can really, they allow for stuff that wasn't possible before. Like you can just make things even better now, but your ears and your skills are still required. It's just, 

[01:00:33] Malcom: Yes. 

[01:00:34] Benedikt: there's just so much potential to up the overall quality of audio production with these things, because we don't essentially, we don't need things like side chaining, kick drums to bass and stuff like that. We don't need that anymore. Really with stuff like tracks based for men, you can still do it and this stuff still works. But those tools do it way more accurate and, and just in a different way. And I think the overall quality will of audio production can benefit from that if we still use our [01:01:00] years and don't be lazy. 

[01:01:02] Malcom: Yeah, it can speed up our workflow and keep our ears fresh, which is amazing. And it can do things that humans can't do. Like a human can, not IQ like sooth can. Um, But Suze also can't eat you like a human can, 

[01:01:13] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[01:01:14] Malcom: uh, you know, a suit doesn't know what sounds good. It's pretty good at finding what's bad though. Um, And, uh, yeah, so it's like, the human part is, is totally still needed, but it we're, we're getting help. Like we've like from like a robot army now. It's just amazing. I love it. And yeah, I mean, there there's unlimited applications as well. And again, these are, they're not getting thrown on it. It doesn't mix a song for you is getting thrown on to fix a specific problem, you know, it's, it always is. There's a purpose behind grabbing the tool.

[01:01:44] Benedikt: Yep. Agreed. All Right. That's it for today? Uh, we could go on and on, but I think this is plenty for this episode. Maybe we will maybe we'll do another one. I don't know. But I, I really liked this. I really think episodes like these. [01:02:00] A quick win for a lot of people can be a quick win and I would have loved to have stuff like that when I was starting out. So I really hope you enjoyed this episode and you get to try all these things and let us know if you like them. Like if you're watching on YouTube comment below, if you are listening to the podcast, let us know in the community. We'd love to hear about that. And also as always, if you have any hacks that you use and stuff that we didn't mention here in this episode, let us know as well. We love to learn about that stuff. And like, nothing, like, there's nothing more, uh, exciting to me then than like a new hack that saves me time where it makes things easier and better. And like, I really love those things. So. 

[01:02:36] Malcom: Absolutely. Yeah. And this is a, it has been fun. We're learning ourselves. So it's a very enjoyable time.

[01:02:43] Benedikt: Exactly. Cool. All right, so next time. 

[01:02:46] Malcom: See you next week.


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