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I havent yet bought soniformer, but i ve been playing with it today, and love how intuitive and powerful it is.
I'm mainly mastering breakbeat oriented music, namely; hip hop, breakbeat and drum n bass. I was wondering how to find the optimum attack and release in each style for retaining maximum dynamics, before going on to elephant for final loudness.
I read in the manual about having a shorter release time than the attack and that really sent me in the right direction, i'm getting pretty good results, with shortish attack and release, both of which get slightly longer down the freq spectrum, but with so many posible different configurations this plug could take i'm sure i can get more out of it.
I often find i have to take settings to the extremes to really hear the difference and then use that to fine tune things i cant quite hear clearly.
plus alot of my dnb material is very flat at mixdown stage, and really doesnt seem to benfit at all from multi-band compression, cause as the spectral balance is flat and smooth all that happens is the whole mix gets compressed which kills the dynamics instantly, with these tracks jus simple plain limiting for loudness seems to work better, is this right or should everything benefit from muti-comp? Obviously even the flattest tracks arent completely flat throughout the whole song, bits move around maybe peak a little, so maybe jus using soniformer subtley to keep things constistant in the time context would be best..?
sorry for the long rant, jus want to get the best out of it before i purchose.
This is so cool... I've been pondering a new post along these lines for some time. (I love Soniformer - it's the most important part of my post-mix/mastering process.)
But there's a question that has been bugging me, and it won't surprise me if someone has an obvious answer I'm overlooking (I tend to overlook the obvious sometimes).
Here's the scenario:
Let's say you are mixing a rock tune, and you are using rather longish compression attack/release times on the bass guitar. Let's furthermore say that you are taking the approach that the kick is going to sit on top of the bass (i.e. the kick will be emphasised at a higher frequency range than the bass guitar).
OK... so you finish the mix and move to Soniformer...
As a matter of theory... do I pick a frequency range in which the bass is dominant (let's say, 60-90HZ), and place compression (attack/release) settings in the center of that range to match those I used on the bass during the mix? OR - is there something to be gained from changing things (i.e. using a significantly longer or shorter attack time in that range)?
Also - is it a given that attack/release settings should progressively increase from whatever reference point you choose as you move down (e.g. a/r settings at 50Hz are longer than 120Hz), or might there ever be a reason to set them flat?
My goal, generally/fundamentally, can't be much different from anyone elses at *this* point in the game: I want a rich, powerful, reasonably "punchy" mix that gels together.
Follow up - regarding the idea of setting shorter release times than the attack times:
I've read that when using very short release times with a compressor, there is a concern about generating distortion. But I've also read that this concern is related to the lower frequencies (I think this is releated to lower frequencies moving/traveling slower).
So, my guess is that the reason this can be recommended in Soniformer is precisely because it is a very-multi-band compressor. But, nevertheless, in theory is there still a potential for distortion in the lower bands, or is this altogether mitigated by the very large number of independent compressors?
wsc, it's hard to tell which attack/release you have to use - it all depends on the program material. The only 'sane' rule is that lower frequencies have longer oscillation times than the higher frequencies. If you want to compress lower frequencies while leaving freedom to higher frequencies, then use shorter attack, longer release for lower frequencies and higher attack/shorter release for higher frequencies.
Short release by itself won't generate distortion. It generates as much distortion as short attack values. In case of Soniformer, short attack/release may generate audible distortion mainly at high ratio settings. In many cases this distortion is perceived as coloration because of multi-band nature of Soniformer.