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Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

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Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Still Vibrations » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:04 pm

What would these effects be used for? The guitarists I work with use their own effects and are experienced at getting the sound they want. However the demos for these effects seem to show mainly drum processing, yet I have rarely heard such distorted drums on recordings. The endorsements for these two products in particular seem to suggest they can be used in more subtle ways.
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby desmond » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:30 pm

Well, anyone can use these things for anything they want, but as a general summary:-

Trash is generally less used as a subtle effect, and more for extreme distortion. Popular for EDM stuff to dirty up synths, vocals etc. It didn't really do much for me.

Decapitator though is great, and can be used for subtle colouration and warming, through to more extreme analog distortion.
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby ore_terra » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:58 pm

Still Vibrations wrote:What would these effects be used for? The guitarists I work with use their own effects and are experienced at getting the sound they want. However the demos for these effects seem to show mainly drum processing, yet I have rarely heard such distorted drums on recordings. The endorsements for these two products in particular seem to suggest they can be used in more subtle ways.

You probably have rarely heard obvious distortion on drums, but subtle distortion is used very commonly in drums, vocals... you would be surprised!
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Wonks » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:12 pm

Often used on multed (duplicated) tracks, where one track is kept clean, the second given a fair amount of distortion and then the two track levels mixed to still give a clear sound but with the distorted track supplying a bit more 'beef' to the sound and adding some high frequency harmonics for interest.
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Still Vibrations » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:51 am

Many thanks for your replies, now I understand and it has given me a new technique to use. I had never thought of using distortion this way. although I have done this with compression. I used to overdrive a Mackie desk channel for a hardened sound, maybe I will start with that.
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:28 pm

I have both of the above mentioned plug-ins, and would agree with everyone else's opinions on them.

In fact I was experimenting over the weekend with more subtle uses of Decapitator, as like a lot of musicians I'd assumed by its bundled presets that it was primarily intended for extreme distortion.

However, having spent a few hours with it I'm now getting more experienced at creating more 'boutique preamp' sounds, and am likely to use it a lot more in future as a result :thumbup:

The main secrets are to keep the drive levels low, and the Mix control fairly dry.


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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby CS70 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:54 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
The main secrets are to keep the drive levels low, and the Mix control fairly dry.

It seems a common theme with Soundtoys, also with Echboy, while the default patches are pretty heavy, you can do marvelous things by having the wet/dry control almost all dry, for example on a guitar or vocal line
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby blinddrew » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:44 pm

CS70 wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:
The main secrets are to keep the drive levels low, and the Mix control fairly dry.

It seems a common theme with Soundtoys, also with Echboy, while the default patches are pretty heavy, you can do marvelous things by having the wet/dry control almost all dry, for example on a guitar or vocal line
I'd agree with this, it's definitely true with Devil Loc as well. Crank up the effect and then mic to taste. :)
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:18 pm

In my experience, Devil Loc (and the Deluxe version) need very subtle settings of everything before they get too 'crunchy' for general use.

However, Little Radiator is good with more extreme settings, such as Bias on, Heat around 50% and Mix to taste.


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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby blinddrew » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:33 pm

Yep, taste with Devil Loc can frequently be around 5%. I just find it easier to get the effect i want that way rather than trying to do tiny nudges on crush and crunch.
I do like the little radiator as well, i fear i may be using it a bit too much on my current project though...
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Still Vibrations » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:13 pm

I decided to try these ideas and used the 14 day demo of UAD's Thermionic Culture Vulture. Once I realised the overdrive switch was on, and I turned it off, it worked brilliantly so immediately bought it. It is probably the strangest plugin I've got - it had to be based on British hardware. Hugh Robjohns wrote a comprehensive and interesting review of the hardware version.
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:48 am

Still Vibrations wrote:I decided to try these ideas and used the 14 day demo of UAD's Thermionic Culture Vulture. Once I realised the overdrive switch was on, and I turned it off, it worked brilliantly so immediately bought it. It is probably the strangest plugin I've got - it had to be based on British hardware. Hugh Robjohns wrote a comprehensive and interesting review of the hardware version.

Over-egged presets seems to be a recurring theme here ;)

TCV is claimed to be the Holy Grail by quite a few people, and yes, more subtle settings are often more useful with it than extreme ones.

And yes, I remember Hugh's TCV review, and it was indeed fascinating! Here it is for anyone that missed it back in SOS August 2003:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/th ... re-vulture


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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Still Vibrations » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:06 am

Martin Walker wrote:TCV is claimed to be the Holy Grail by quite a few people, and yes, more subtle settings are often more useful with it than extreme ones.

And yes, I remember Hugh's TCV review, and it was indeed fascinating! Here it is for anyone that missed it back in SOS August 2003:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/th ... re-vulture


Martin

This quote from Hugh's article sums it up:

"Unfortunately, the machine is not particularly logical to operate, most Drive and Bias settings being found more through serendipity than science."

When I first started using it, on one setting I moved the drive control from 0 to 4 and got a smooth, gradual increase, then as it was moved towards 6 the distortion and volume increase was so extreme that it was as if I were using a different plug-in.
The plug-in version is excellent, just remember to keep the volume low when moving the controls as it can go from comfortable to deafening for no apparent reason.
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Zukan » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:08 pm

I use Decapitator on rap vocals or anything that needs an edge....

I don't always use effects for what they were intended for. Why would anyone want to limit themselves like that?
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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:47 am

Zukan wrote:I don't always use effects for what they were intended for. Why would anyone want to limit themselves like that?

Quite!

Over the years I've actually surprised a few software developers by sending them a few plugin presets I created during an SOS review - they tend to be SO close to the design process that it can shock them when the various parameters get pushed in a direction they hadn't anticipated, ending up with an unexpected (yet desirable) sound ;)


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Re: Question about effects such as Decapitator and Trash 2

Postby Still Vibrations » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:15 am

Interesting points Zukan and Martin. I have an old Sony HR-MP5, I can't imagine many guitarists using the distortion, but it is the only distortion I have found that works on synthesiser chords.
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