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What's on your Stereo Bus?

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What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby _ Six _ » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:05 pm

I'm using the API 2500 and 560 EQ a lot more these days. The SSL 4000 plug doesn't come close.

I like a few of the Liquid Mix numbers and the PSP Vintage Warmer.

Softube FET Compressor on any drum bus. It sounds great!
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Zukan » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:17 pm

All softube products are pretty nice, especially the minimum phase designs
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:36 pm

A stereo fader. :P
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby * User requested deletion 2 * » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:50 pm

I got a (real) API 5500 and a Safesound Audio Dynamics Toolbox. Catchy name they dreamt up there.

The API is sweeeeeet and the Toolbox is transparent - just the way I need me two bus.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Blue Lizard » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:55 pm

Stems from the DAW into a couple of Folcroms, then through a pair of whatever preamps take my fancy for gain makeup (usually choose between Avedis MA5's, Buzz Audio Elixirs or Chandler Gernamiums).

The 2-buss then goes through a Drawmer 1968 Mercenary comp and a pair of Avedis E27 eq's before going back in the box...
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Darren Lynch » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:13 pm

PSP Vintage Warmer, only for my own 'client mix'. Would remove if going for pro mastering.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby AllyB » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:49 pm

Nothing.. It's on the mastering engineers
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Chaconne » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:06 pm

Predictably the Duende soft SSL - does what it says on the tin - yummy.
A few suitable liqiud mix emulations are nice as well.

Also the Abbey Road TG emulation. Shouldn't really, but get it right and it can really work well giving a sixties 45 feel.

Sonalksis works well to.

Prior to that a much loved Alesis 3060 - without shame.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:19 am

At the moment, folcrom...cranesong mic amps for make up gain...dramastic obsidian...anamod (usually 351 or 102 card)
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:46 am

some pensioners and half dozen school kids.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Zukan » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:27 am

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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Not For Glory » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:59 pm

idris y draig wrote:some pensioners and half dozen school kids.

Damn you! Was soooo gonna milk that!!!!
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Mixedup » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:02 pm

Zukan wrote:All softube products are pretty nice, especially the minimum phase designs

Agreed... though I wouldn't be slapping Metal Amp Room or Acoustic Feedback on the stereo buss

Would it be rude to open this thread out a bit and ask what people put things on their master buss for when mixing? Are people (those who use buss processing and don't leave the whole thing to the ME) compressing, EQing, transient designing or anything on their stereo buss or group busses? Or bouncing to tape/using tape sims? Or simply running through eg analogue compressor (or model thereof) just for the je ne sais quoi that the circuitry adds, without compressing? How do your buss decisions vary according to the material you're working on? etc etc.

It's easy to be flippant in response to the OP question, but dig a bit deeper and I'm actually interested to hear what folk here are doing...
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:11 pm

while tracking, nothing at all.


while mixing,

i have half a dozen or so "starting point" settings on a multi-band compressor , varying between very gentle and mashed... each one done in what amounts to dark, neutral, and bright, versions....


given that you can use a multiband comp ,rather effectively , as an eq as well...

I choose the one i feel nearest the target mastering job,

tweak if i feel it desperately necessary, but generally not.... if it's wrong , generally it's the mix that's wrong....



followed by a limiter, when working in Logic, i use the std adaptive limiter.... but others suffice...
the limiter is purely, and solely set to catch any overs.... NO gain whatsoever.... just set at -0.1dBfs


after getting a roughly workable static balance, i switch it in and choose the most relevant setting from my collection ....

once the setting is chosen, i get on with the job....


bypassing every so often to see what's going on.... and usually, flipping in a setting that resembles common popular radio station compression...


once i think i'm near a finished mix, i'll swap that out for a few different "classic" mastering chain emulations, and see if i like what i hear when used "in sensible moderation" and if i can bear the sound of it if it's mashed to hell and back....


T-racks3 gets used a bit then.....

when stem mixes are required, a lot of side chaining goes on to replicate buss compression on overall mixes.... Liquid mix is quite useful at that point....
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:56 pm

Everything I put on my mix bus while mixing is part of my mix. It influences every decision I make with regards to balance and frequency. At the moment I'm using a pair of Cranesong mic amps, a Dramastic Audio Obsidian and an Anamod ATS1. I pretty much do the same style of music all the time so I dont really need to chop and change my chain for different styles or anything like that.

Taking each of those in turn...

The mic amps are providing make up gain for my summing network. They certainly have a sound which affects the mix. They're coloured but not heavily so. They smooth the top end a little. Like all Cranesong stuff they have a tendency to sound 'silky'.

The Obsidian is a bus compressor. It changes the balance of the mix, brings it together slightly more easily and moulds the track around the drums a little more. Kick, snare and bass seem to come forward when it's in circuit. It's not dissimilar to the roll music compressor...cleaner than an old SSL or Smart, and without the high mid emphasis, while allowing the bottom end to remain. So it's less band-limited than those compressors.

The Anamod is a tape simulator. It's also affecting the balance of the mix quite a bit. It compresses and changes the frequency response.

The point is that each of these things profoundly affect the decisions that I make when I'm mixing. They will directly alter the balances and frequency response. So applying them after the fact could only mean that the balances and frequency response of the mix were not right. The idea that you 'leave things to the mastering engineer' is bizarre. If you know that a process which is going to completely alter the relative levels within your mix will be applied once you're done, what's the point of you making those decisions in the first place?

Now obviously a mastering engineer may decide that balances and frequency response NEED to change and apply processes to do that. But that's not the point. As a mix engineer your job is to deliver a great mix, not a mix that requires a lot of alteration after the fact. You should deliver that mix in the firmly held belief that it's a great mix. Not a mix in need of rescue by someone else.

Bus compression and eq are entirely the domain of the mix engineer. Those processes are not applied to maximise levels. They are there to change the way the mix comes together. It is a common misunderstanding that these processes are somehow the responsibility of a mastering engineer simply because it happens that a mastering engineer may well use those same tools in their role. The mastering engineer has his/her hands tied to a large degree. For example. when they apply a compressor to your mix they may often find that while it provides punch to the drums, it changes the bass or the vocal in way that doesn't work. They will often have to compromise to achieve the result they want. As a mix engineer such compromises don't exist. If compression helps the mix, it's your reponsibility to apply it and to work the balances within that compression to best effect.

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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby narcoman » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:51 am

various things - but I tend to follow the likes of Moulder and Wallace..... valve EQ and a compressor of some sort.... varies depending on mojo needed....

Generally a Massive Passive and a Roll music buss compressor. When I'm feeling naughty a Chiswick Reach stereo valve compressor. For orchestral a tiny tiny amount of STC8.

Sometimes a 5500 though - fekking ace. Using the Portico stereo editor sometimes too - even doing "nothing" it's amazing. Mix down to half inch at 30ips.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Stan » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:05 am

narcoman wrote: - even doing "nothing" it's amazing. Mix down to half inch at 30ips.

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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby NF Audio » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:56 am

The Gyraf 'GSSL' compressor mixed down to Studer 1/4" @ 15ips if I feel the track needs it
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Mike Senior » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:32 am

URS Console Strip Pro most of the time for its Pultec EQ emulation. Sometimes also use the compressor and input-conditioning, but I'm also partial to an SSL buss-comp clone for pop/rock work.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Mixedup » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:42 am

Jack Ruston wrote:Everything I put on my mix bus while mixing is part of my mix. It influences every decision I make with regards to balance and frequency... So applying them after the fact could only mean that the balances and frequency response of the mix were not right. The idea that you 'leave things to the mastering engineer' is bizarre.

Well put. It ('leave things to the mastering engineer') does get said around here a lot though... something of a perceived wisdom. I think it stems from a misunderstanding of eg the Bob Katz stance on 'loudness wars'. It's fair enough to leave any level maximisation to a ME, and to leave them with some headroom to do what they need to do. But not stuff that directly affects mix balance decisions.

In terms of what I use on the mix buss, I occasionally look to hardware, but less so than I'd like, as I like the instant recall of software. Generally use one of the UA compressors - 33609, Fairchild or Precision Buss Comp mainly, though sometimes the 4k (I tire of that sound very quickly though and wish you could use a lower ratio). Also the Waves API. Which one I pick depends on the material.

I also like to use a nice EQ eg UA Precision, and depending on the material possibly a tape sim of some kind. Recently have been using the Sound Skulptor STS hardware for this, which I like.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby narcoman » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:53 am

Stan wrote:
narcoman wrote: - even doing "nothing" it's amazing. Mix down to half inch at 30ips.
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kiss kiss
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby The Korff » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:15 am

narcoman wrote:Using the Portico stereo editor sometimes too - even doing "nothing" it's amazing.

Indeedy! Pure lusciousness and depth. It's not subtle though... I find I barely need to move the controls more than a few degrees from unity/normal stereo; much more than that and I find it becomes too obvious. The one-band EQ is useful though.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby tomafd » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:12 am

+1 on whatever being on the mix buss being part of the mix, not a separate process - though obviously there are times when I give older mixes a bit of a shove if they're in the bag for possible use for a client and I think I can get them to sound a bit better.

Generally- Oram Hi-def eq and/or Avalon 2055 eq and/or Avalon compressor, if I'm looking for a bit of colour or valve, if I'm after transparent it's usually the Flux set of 'mastering' software (Epure, Solera, Limiter) which sound remarkably good for the price. Multiband compression only if the tune needs serious attention- I don't usually like what they do (maybe it's me...) but I have sometimes pulled a tune back from the dead this way, if remixing wasn't an option (if I need multiband ... it really needs remixing)

(btw - for those of you still paying Wave their annual fee so you can blast things to pieces with L2 - check out Voxengo's Elephant. Does the same thing but does it a whole lot better- and cheaper)
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby The_BPP » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:31 am

On the last track I did, I had the following...

UAD Studer A800 Tape Emu
UAD Manley Massive EQ
SSL Duende Buss Compressor
UAD Limiter
T-Racks3 Metering (for the Loudness meter)
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby narcoman » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:10 pm

how did you find the tape em?
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby The_BPP » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:35 pm

narcoman wrote:how did you find the tape em?

It makes everything easier to mix.

I treat each track with it prior to mixing (i.e. destructively, like real tape... no DSP usage). Then, I pop one on the mix buss, as previously discussed. (As if mixing down to two-track.)

The results sound professional, in a way that I imagined tape would sound. It takes that final realm of "digititus" away from the DAW.

I don't know how it compares to the other tape emus on the market, but I am mightily impressed with it. Each track has a subtle difference, but the mix is night-and-day better, in my opinion.

Do you own a UAD? Have you tried it?
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:49 pm

Stop tempting me BPP.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby The_BPP » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:16 pm

Honestly, it's the best thing UAD have come out with in a while... It's amazing how much the tape saturation will make everything sound more professional/musical.

Everytime I treated a track to the A800, the effect was "oh, yeah, THAT'S what it's supposed to sound like(!)".

In some ways, I wish it was rubbish, 'cause I really don't wanna shell out $350 (not sure what that is in real money), but after using it for four days solid, I'm just gonna have to stump up some cash.

(that didn't help, did it?)

If you wanted me to send you some mixes I've treated with it (from tracking to mastering), I'd be happy to do that.
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby * User requested deletion 2 * » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:48 pm

BPP - are you mainly using the UAD on loud sources / stuff with a lot of high transients, and using the mild compression / saturation effect that tape brings to the party? Or is the process noticeable on more easy going sources too?

And is it more of a culmative effect, i.e. stick it on 4 tracks and you're not really going to get the benefit, but stick it on all 24 tracks of a mix and then you're cookin'?
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Re: What's on your Stereo Bus?

Postby The_BPP » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:56 pm

reid wrote:BPP - are you mainly using the UAD on loud sources / stuff with a lot of high transients, and using the mild compression / saturation effect that tape brings to the party? Or is the process noticeable on more easy going sources too?

And is it more of a culmative effect, i.e. stick it on 4 tracks and you're not really going to get the benefit, but stick it on all 24 tracks of a mix and then you're cookin'?


You can hear the effect if you put it on the stereo buss only, but, to my mind, it works best when treating the tracks, as a cumulative effect.

Yes, the difference is subtle, but as you say, cumulatively, it's quite apparent.

The amount of harmonic distortion I get is dependant on how hard I push the input. Using it "clean" still adds tape character.

In answer to your other question, I have used the A800 on vocals/piano/drum buss/guitars (acc & elec)/and orchestral tracks. Most of the tracks peaked around -9db.

There are plenty of good presets provided, including an excellent 60's style lo-fi option. (really does sound like authentic tape distortion - think Duffy, that sort of thing)
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