AudioTechnology App Issue 6

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STRIPPING THE CHANNEL Recreating traditional analogue paths is easy in-the-box, you’ll be surprised at what you can do. Tutorial: Dax Liniere

Let’s take a moment to think outside the box about the big-budget productions we’ve grown up loving. Historically, most have been recorded through an analogue console to multitrack tape, then mixed down through an analogue console to two-track tape. The choices of console and tape type are often different for each role. One of the accepted classic combinations is tracking through an old Neve (for the harmonics generated by their transformer-based designs), recording to two-inch Ampex/Quantegy 456 or 499 tape stock then mixing on an SSL (for midrange focus) to ½-inch tape. Signals travel from the console input preamps, through EQ, plus any outboard equipment used, to tape. This process is repeated during the analogue mix process — with the addition that it’s summed at the console master bus — for a double dose of analogue saturation. But by comparison, a ‘digital-centric’ production is

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likely to miss several of these key opportunities to impart saturation and colouration. These days, you can recreate this path with plugins for a fraction of the cost of even a single piece of hardware. Especially when you compare the purchase and maintenance costs of a console, tape machine and tape stock to inserting multiple instances of a plug-in you paid for just once. This affordability means you can own more than one virtual console or virtual tape machine, and it’s a great way to bring variety to your colour palette. CONSOLE EMULATION

First, let’s set about recreating the analogue signal path. You have two options: As discussed in the last issue, you can get the majority of your colouration via master bus processing, or you can use saturators on every channel. The second approach is more faithful to mixing Outside-TheBox (which is not to say it is more effective) and there are several plug-ins which will lend colour to your mixes.

Mellowmuse CS1V (US$79) VST/AU/RTAS CS1V has two modes: A and B. The former is a vintage mode and the latter is a more open, modern mode. I found that the vintage mode was too closed for my liking, though I could definitely see it working well on more mellow genres like folk or even soul and rock ‘n’ roll. The modern B mode adds quite a bit of top-end sparkle which, if used judiciously, is a lovely touch. I also found CS1V to be one of the more dynamic sounding options.

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