In this latest instalment of PerforModule genius we present a suite of tools that split an audio stream by various methods. The primary usage of Advanced Splytterz is for the ability to apply different effects to the different split channels, but they can also be extremely useful just for soloing bands to listen to a particular channel.
E.g. you could solo specific frequency bands during mastering to uncover illicit resonances, or you could solo the side channel to hear only the sides channel audio material.
UPDATE: OCTOBER 2017
• Now includes: “CenterSides Splytter”, “Ridiculous Splytter”, “FreqSplytter 3-Way”, “FreqSplytter 3-Way MBD”
• Devices given unified layout schema
• It’s now more obvious where you’re supposed to drop effect chains in all splytter devices
• Frequency splytter devices have flatter neutral spectra
Advanced Splytterz Contents:
Splits audio into 4 frequency bands: “Depth”, “Lower Mids”, “Upper Mids” & “Brightness”
Splits audio into 5 frequency bands; there are two versions, one each for honing in on either the lower or higher ranges.
Low-Weighted includes “Sub”, Lower Bass”, “Upper Bass”, “Mids” & “Highs”.
High-Weighted includes “Lows”, “Mids”, “Presence” & “Ultra-Highs”.
(Note that the “Mids” band on both devices cover the exact same frequency range!)
Splits audio into 6 frequency bands which are calibrated to the subjective human hearing range, very useful for soloing to hear bands: “Bass&Sub”, “Low-Mids”, “Mid-Mids”, “High-Mids”, “High-Highs” & “Brilliance”.
Splits audio into 10 narrow frequency bands.
Splits audio into 16 very narrow frequency bands, sub-grouped among “Lows”, “Mids” & “Highs” meta-chains.
Please note that the filter crossovers for the above devices are imperfect, so they are best used for creative sculpting rather than for precision adjustment, due to the fact that the output frequency contours and levels will be non-neutral. For phase-perfect frequency splitting, please use the “Lo-Hi Splytter” or the “Bell Splytter”.
Behind the Back Panner
Phase-shifting panning technique for virtual surround sound or odd spatial effects.
My favourite Advanced Splytterz splits audio into a bell filter’s frequency range, and the remainder (its opposite). Any effect you drop into the bell filter band will only be affected by that frequency focus, with adjustable resonance to intensify effects, and optional envelope response if desired, providing the ability to make linear affects non-linear (example: the frequency focus of a dropped-in reverb could get responsively lower the louder the input is).
Using this, you can transform relatively simple, boring effects into wild performance flair by playing with the frequency, resonance, and envelope controls.
This is just like the MidSide Splytter, but it also splits the “side” channel furthermore into left and right, which we have dubbed the “edges” channels (example: you could do weird stuff like add reverb + distortion to one edge while heavily compressing the other edge).
This Advanced Splytterz is fun. It splits audio into two chains, one with material above and one with material below an adjustable gate threshold. Make sure to set the threshold so that the audio is flickering between both chains (solo or pan a chain to hear the gating action). You can then add different effects to each (example: add a reverb to only the gated chain; then reverb will not be triggered by the louder transients and only reverberate during the quieter moments).
Put different effects onto the left and right channels of a stereo track, should you desire to do so.
Splits audio into 2 frequency bands with a phase-perfect sweepable split point anywhere between 30Hz and 22kHz. This should be your go-to frequency splitter when absolute perfection of input-to-output continuity is required, for precision tasks (such as mastering, etc). Of course, you can always use it for crazy creative fun too.
Additional controls allow you to control level and panning of each chain as well as narrow the low chain’s width, and to select between a gradual or a steep crossover.
This rack combines L-R processing and M-S processing chains in parallel. You can choose either L-R or M-S processing only… or a gain-matched blend between L-R and M-S processing.
The M-S processing is further split into left and right edges. Different effects can be dropped into any of these 5 resultant chains: “Left Edge”, “Left Half”, “Center”, “Right Half”, and “Right Edge”.
An exotic feature is to invert the effects applied to the mids and sides content partially or completely. And of course, you can set the panning and gain for each individual chain.
You could think of this rack as the mutant superhuman love-child of the “CenterSides Splytter” and the “LeftRight Splytter”.
Put different effects onto the center and side channels of a stereo track, should you desire to do so, super easily.
Also, you can use it as an M-S encoder or decoder (pan “center” and “sides” to opposite sides).
Splits the audio into your choice of 2 to 6 parallel chains which add up to perfect unity sound pressure level. Effects applied to an active sub-chain will apply to the entire audio spectrum, but reduced in sound pressure level by the chosen divisor (for example, you could split the audio into thirds, then apply three different compressors on the three chains, which will all be working on the same material, but without affecting each other the way being routed serially would).
A most zany device. It splits audio into two different chains, separated by… a time interval.
You can set the tempo-synced rate. By default, the shift is abrupt and complete, but you can implement a smooth fading between instead, if desired (example: place a glitchy effect rack on the “B Segment” chain. When you press play, the audio will play with no effects for one time interval, then every other time interval it will play through the glitchy effects rack instead).
Advanced Splytterz concludes with the three “tri” devices, which are not template splytters as the above effects are. They are instead racks filled with yummy pre-calibrated effects to immediately apply and utilise. Each of the “tri” effects is split into the chains “Low”, “Top Left”, and “Top Right”, and they each have “Split Frequency” and “Low Width” controls.
TriGlue – Triple-acting glue compressors for an easy-to-dial-in tight compression ranging from tickling to blooming.
TriTube – Triple-acting preamp with controls calibrated for optimal application of two alternate flavors: “Crunch” and “Punch”.
TriVerb – Triple-acting reverb for smooth and lush asymmetrical dimensional sculpting.
NOTE: AVAILABLE SEPARATELY – CLICK HERE
Amplitude Operands by PerforModule is an Ableton Live pack that is full of Utility presets that enable you to quickly divide or multiply levels according to Sound Pressure Level, Acoustic Intensity Energy, and Perceived Loudness Sensation.”
Designed specifically for Sound Designers and Engineers Amplitude Operands installs directly into Ableton Live’s browser enabling you to browse through the presets and hot swap them directly from the Push and Push TWO….
Sure, you could do the math yourself when needed… but having access to these makes things so much faster.
SPL Divisors – Use when you want to combine a certain number of copies of something, with the sum at the exact same level as the original copy (for example, if you had 6 copies of a guitar part, you drop one instance of “SPL ˜6” preset onto each to make all summed together equivalent to the original).
SPL Multipliers – Use when you need something to be of a loudness exivalent to a certain number of copies of itself stacked at full power (for example, let’s say you have a mix with bass, guitar and drums, and the bass and the guitar are each doubled, but the drums are not. You could place “SPL x2” onto the drum group to make it as loud as if it were doubled).
Volume Divisors & Volume Multipliers – For when you desire to increment the loudness as it appears to a human ear (double level ~10dB instead of ~6dB like SPL). Note that this does not take into account or apply any sort of equal loudness weighting EQ contour. The actual resultant decibel level will of course depend on your physical setup.
SIL Divisors & SPL Multipliers – Use when you desire to alter level based upon the physical Acoustic Intensity (aka “Sound Intensity Level”), defined by wikipedia as “sound energy passing per second through a unit area held perpendicular to the direction of propagation of sound waves”. Maybe you could use this to estimate the level of large numbers of tiny sound-generating objects (e.g. 500 crickets chirping or the patter of 1,000 raindrops).
NOTE: AVAILABLE SEPARATELY – CLICK HERE
Dephaultz Rack Pack
The Dephaultz Rack Pack now consists of 99 effect racks that give you the basic range of controls for every core function built into Ableton Live 9.7’s built-in audio effects, with relevant parameters mapped to the 8 macros to give ultimate flexibility coupled with precision.
The pack includes every single audio effect that is available with Ableton Live 9 Standard and Suite. Some of the effects have one rack which covers its complete functionality. Many effects, however, have different dephault racks to supply different primary capability types.
It is recommended to make your own set of default racks for each effect and this download saves you the grunt work with a cohesive set.
“Why are custom default racks useful? I can just save effect presets.”
1) Instant Mapped Hardware Control. You will have for each basic effect a rack with 8 macros which are easy to control with a midi controller which uses Instant Mapping (usually controllers like this have a row of 8 knobs which correspond to the selected rack’s 8 macros — whichever Dephaultz Rack Pack has the “blue hand” will automatically be controlled by those 8 midi controller hardware knobs).
For more on instant mappings, open up the help view in Live & click the “Midi Controllers” section. Then go to page 7.
To create your own remote scripts with which to make your own instant mappings, check this out: CLICK HERE
2) Parameter Clarity. Some of the devices have exotic parameters which might not make sense at first. These racks help one to understand the function of parameters by how they are mapped and named.
3) Default Macro Positions. [See the PerforModule blog post previous to this one] Set the default poitions which snap back on clicking the “delete” key to what YOU want. You can re-save the presets after tweaking the knobs to your favorite starting positions.
4) Categorization. As per the “organize like a boss” PerforModule blog post, you can make these racks appear in the “categories” section of your browser. Very useful. (if following the install instructions below, this will occur automatically)
5) Just Because. It’s nice having default racks you can drop in with sweet starting position to quickly tweak for particular results.
Dephaultz Rack Pack Contents:
Amp + Cab Dephaultz – Bass / Boost / Crisp / Guitar Chug / Guitar Crunch / Guitar Roots / Guitar Scorch / Guitar Solo
Different mics and cabinets were strategically set to different amp models for a range of multipurpose flavors. Most of these will be best suited to guitar-like timbres, but the first three – “Crisp” in particular – can be beneficial on almost any type of source material
Auto Filter Dephaultz – BandPass / HighPass / LowPass / Notch
Auto Pan Dephaultz – Sync / UnSync
Beat Repeat Dephaultz – Crazy / Logical
Chorus Dephaultz – Mod1 / Mod2 / Single
A not-that-commonly-used compressor feature, frequency response, kicks in if the “FreQ Resp.” macro is moved above or below 500Hz. (Use this if you want your signal to compress based only on a certain frequency element of itself)
Corpus Dephaultz – Beam / Marimba / Membrane / Pipe / Plate / String / Tub
EQ Three Dephaultz – Rough / Flat
Filter Delay Dephaultz – Digital / Tape / Narrowing / Widening
Frequency Shifter – Synced / Unsynced
Ping Pong Delay Dephaultz – Digital / Tape
Simple Delay Dephaultz – Digital / Tape / Offsetter (great for quick and easy stereo widening)
Looper – Live Jam Dephault
Set to be able to jam on an input instrument and make a starting loop which the ableton time then matches
Phaser Dephaultz – Earth Envelope / Space LFO
Reverb Dephaultz – Entrance / Hallway / Moon
Resonator Dephaultz –
Saturator Dephaultz – Waveshaper / Analog / Digital / Hard / Medium / Sinoid / Soft
The “Saturator – Default” can choose between the different saturation types except for “waveshaping”, which has its own default due to more complex controls.
Spectrum Dephaultz – Basic (maximum efficiency) / High Frequency / Pitch / Peaks HQ / RMS HQ
The “Basic” Spectrum is set to maximum efficieny for multiple instances… go ahead and throw one on every track. The “High Frequency” and “HQ” Spectrums are set to maximum accuracy for those specific functions and therefore ideal for precision monitoring.
Vocoder Dephaultz – External (make sure to set the sidechain source) / Noise / Pitch-Tracking (best with monophonic melodics) / Self.
Vinyl Distortion Dephaultz – Dubplate / Record
NOTE: AVAILABLE SEPARATELY – CLICK HERE
Groovification 1 & 2
PerforModule locked himself away and got out his spreadsheet, the challenge to come up with a pack of grooves that can transform static boring loops and give them back their swing! Within the Groovification 1 & 2 Ableton Live Pack download, which installs directly into your library, are a wealth of groove files based around three distinct flavours:
Mathematical Grooves – alter swing timing based on 80 choice mathematical number sequences.
These grooves work best when applied to clips with straight swing (notes are falling directly on beat intervals).
They will then alter the groove in a unique manner, delaying some notes forward and some backward, with the distances based on the chosen mathematical number sequence.
Sometimes it is easier to hear the distinction between different grooves when one is applied to more than a single clip, especially with different types of audio (i.e. a drum clip + a melody clip).
It can be fun experimenting with applying different grooves to different instruments, but be careful when doing so can easily result in rhythmic chaos.
Remember to mess with the “global amount” parameter to alter overall swing intensity, and if you feel like it you can add some randomization for a more “human” performance.
BreakFill Grooves – utilise velocity ramping for a selection of 24 transition effects.
BreakFill Grooves will create patterns of velocity (volume) variation. Since the max groove level value is -0, only volume cutting is happening, not any boosts, so keep in mind that for some patterns you may want to increase the gain of the clip it is applied to for consistent average level.
Use these clips to transform a “boring” clip into dynamic movements such as crescendos, swells, etc. They are organized by timing interval. In general, the idea is to apply these to clips which are “transitionary” — either for clips which will be triggered a single time before a drop, or for looping clips during a breakdown. Either way, they are meant for “transitionary” states.
Chopper Grooves – Are similar to the “autopan chop” technique; however, they are not simple alternating on-off patterns but rather chop out only select note intervals, for interesting syncopated rhythmic variation. For example, if you have a drum clip you want to make a bit more funky, you could try out different chopper grooves on it to quickly hear what many different rhythmic patterns will sound like, and select the one you like best. Alternately, you could record the audio into another track as you swap grooves for variant patterning.
For live performance fun, drop the same chopper groove onto every clip in your set, start with “global groove amount” set to zero (mapped to a midi controller), and impose the chop groove effect when you want to, hot-swapping it for different patterns at whim.
Quantize Grooves – impose your choice of 6 hard quantizations.
And finally the Quantize Grooves will snap notes to the nearest selected timing interval. You can use them to quickly clean up imperfect timing (using the “global amount” parameter to set the correction amount). You can also experiment with imposing different quantizations upon audio quickly and easily. All without the need to painstakingly manually select notes or use undo actions to return to the original feel (as would be required if editing quatization in the clip note editor).
NOTE: The best way to quickly audition different grooves is to use the “hotswap” function in the groove pool, which will apply the swapped grooves to all clips a groove is placed upon. This way, you can apply the same groove to a bunch of different clips, then hotswap them all simultaneaously.
- Enhance harmonics based on a selectable focus frequency
- Affect upper or lower partials
- Various different methods to add subtle harmonic saturation
- Sculpt even, odd, and individual harmonic nodes
- Add “richness” by extending the harmonics of MIDI instrument melodies
Harmonicality Colorizer – Utilizes various methods to enhance harmonics, focused on the frequency of choice. Excellent for adding 3-dimensionality, crispness, and vitality to dull stems and mixes. Can be fine-tuned very carefully for precision timbre adjustment, from adding a touch of extremely subtle refinement to an obvious, brazen excitation. Indeed useful both for individual elements, subgroups, and full mixes.
Overtone EQ (Even & Odd) – Designed for enhancing or attenuating upper harmonics based on your choice focus frequency, with separate manipulation of even and odd harmonics.
Overtone EQ (Even vs Odd) – Similar to Overtone EQ (Even & Odd), but it either boosts even harmonics while attenuating odd harmonics, or vice versa. Useful for quickly discovering how each type of harmonics affects the source’s character.
Overtone EQ (Sculptor) – This one gives individual control of the harmonic partials two through seven, so can choose the exact harmonic response.
Undertone EQs (Even & Odd), (Even vs Odd), (Sculptor) – Exactly like the above devices; however, these affect LOWER harmonics instead of UPPER harmonics (not as common of an operation).
Can be extremely useful for sculpting the low frequency register in a natural, musical manner.
Included MIDI Devices:
Harmonicality Chord Presets – These are simple chord presets which generate additional notes based on harmonic intervals. Includes:
- 2nd Harmonic
- 3rd Harmonic
- 4th Harmonic
- 5th Harmonic
- 6th Harmonic
- 7th Harmonic
- 8th Harmonic
- Harmonics (Coarse) upper partials 2-7
- Harmonics (Perfect) upper partials 2,3,4,6 & 8
- Harmonics (Undertone) lower partials 2,3,4,6 & 8
Note: the 5th and 7th harmonics do not naturally land on perfect chromatic tones; however, they are very close, so their given interval is rounded to the nearest semitone.
Harmonicality Extender MIDI Racks – Generates additional melodic instrument tones (velocity-scaled) based on harmonic intervals.
Note: works only with polyphonic MIDI instruments which have velocity sensitivity enabled (without which all added notes would be way too loud). Keep in mind that polyphony voices must be high enough to be able to simultaneously play the extra generated notes (e.g. if playing a triad while adding 2 extra harmonic bands, you would need a polyphony of at least 9). The extra voices will definitely use extra CPU! Track freezing is your friend.
Since the added tones are scaled quite low in velocity, they provide the effect of added “richness” and can also have somewhat of a chorusing effect, as opposed to giving the feel of playing intervals.
This can be a great way to add “richness” “vibe” and “mojo” to melodic MIDI instrument parts before you even apply any automation, EQ or compression.
Note Range Setters
The Note Range Setters by PerforModule are a suite of midi racks within an Ableton Live Pack which filter incoming notes for an assortment of instrument & vocal ranges, plus tools for making custom note ranges. Implement a note range simply by dropping it before any instrument…
Template Note Range Setters
With these, you can quickly define and save your own custom note ranges.
Note Range Setters (Absolute) – Set minimum and maximum notes each by # value (“60” = Middle C).
Only plays notes within the set range.
Note Range Setters (Relative) – Set minimum value, then set range by distance (starting from minimum value).
Only plays notes within the set range.
Note Range Blocker (Relative) – Set minimum value, then set range distance (starting from minimum value). Only plays notes *outside* of the set range. Use instances of it if you need to create “holes” in a note range.
Note: when creating your own instrument ranges, keep in mind that Live’s midi octave value is shown at -1 compared to the standard notation value… e.g. C3 midi note in Live = physical note C4.
Specific Note Range Setters
Used to immediately set the standard, definitive note range for select instruments. Great for drafting orchestral compositions. Another idea is to use these for digital synths, to deliberatly limit their ranges and avoid overlapping frequencies between instruments. Only insturments with generally well-accepted ranges are included, otherwise there would be thousands of presets (which would be a bit overwhelming). Some instruments with identical ranges to ones already-included are also deliberately neglected to avoid redundancy. Some instruments include “amateur” ranges which estimate the capability of a non-professional player.
Keep in mind that most instruments have many different models crafted by many different manufacturers, and individual pieces are likely to vary. These given ranges are the generally accepted orchestral standards, erring on the side of usually including optional notes.
Brass Category – Euphonium, Flugelhorn, Horn (4 Types), Mellophone, Trombone (9 Types), Trumpet (13 Types), Tuba (5 Types), Wagnertuben (2 Types)
Exotic Category – Hydraulophone (2 Types)
Guitar & Plucked Category – Balalaika (7 Types), Bandura, Banjar, Banjo (4 Types), Banjorine, Bass Guitar (7 Types), Charango (4 Types), CharangÛn, Domra, Gravikord, Guitar (9 Types), Guitarra de Golpe, GuitarrÛn, Harp, Kora, Mandobass, Mandocello, Mandola, Mandolin, Mandora, Mountain Dulcimer, Ronroco, Tambur, Tar, Ukulele (7 Types), Vihuela, Walaycho
Mallets Category – Chimes, Cimbalom, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Orchestral Bells, Santur, Vibraphone, Xylophone
Percussive Category – Timpani (5 Types)
Piano & Keys Category – Celeste, Harmonium, Harpsichord (3 Types), Minipiano, Organ (Manuals & Pedals), Piano (4 Types), Spinet, Toy Piano
Strings Category – Cello (2 Types), Double Bass (4 Types), Erhu, Octobass (2 Types), Viola (4 Types), Violin (2 Types)
Voices Category – Alto (4 Types), Baritone (6 Types), Basso (4 Types), Contralto (3 Types), Countertenor (3 Types), Mezzo-Soprano (4 Types), Soprano (4 Types), Tenor (6 Types), Treble
Winds Category – Accordion (4 Types), Bansuri (2 Types), Basset Horn, Bassoon (3 Types), Clarinet (13 Types), Cor Anglais, Danso, Duduk, Fife (2 Types), Flabiol, Flageolet, Flute (13 Types), Harmonica (5 Types), Heckelphone, Lupophone, Musette, Ney, Oboe (6 Types), Piccolo (2 Types), Recorder (11 Types), Saxophone (13 Types), Sheng (2 Types), Siku, Tonette
A Few Ideas for Using Note Ranges
- Make up note ranges for all of your own physical instruments, to be able to draft midi parts for them when you don’t have them at hand.
- Make up singing ranges for your own voice, one for the absolute full range you can feasibly reach and one for your comfortable range, to be able to draft midi vocal melodies and harmonies for songs. Make up singing ranges for all your singing friends so you can draft parts for them, too.
- Make up a “virtual orchestra” of your favorite synth patches, limiting each to a different instrument range. Compose only within these ranges and help pre-avoid problems with masking due to overlapping octaves. This is also an interesting way to force yourself to be more creative with melodic composition.
- Randomly automate the “Note Range Blocker” on a long, complex midi part to randomly drop out random notes as it plays.
NOTE: AVAILABLE SEPARATELY – CLICK HERE
Testy Matering is a single Ableton Live rack that can be used for test mastering or pre-mastering, as well as a rack for adding dynamics to over-mastered material.
- A super-rack comprised of 6 sub-modules used for complete pre- or test mastering.
- Includes template set for immediate mastering including slots for reference songs.
- Robust tutorial in the lesson view giving workflow example to walk you through mastering.
- Polish your mix up for soundcloud, the club floor, or for your mastering engineer.
- Dial in a respectable final loudness level which doesn’t over squash natural dynamics.
- Discover flaws in your own process. Learn, refine, and grow.
- Also includes dynamic-contrast-increasing “unmastering” rack.
A rack for test mastering and pre-mastering, loosely based (as close as is possible using Ableton-only devices) on Animus Invidious’ “Tasty Mastering” workflow, allowing for complete, high-quality mastering (if you dial in settings carefully). This is not an “automatic” effect, so is good to learn to use in-depth. Therefore, we have here provided an example workflow for the entire mastering process. Use this rack to quickly make a mastered version of your track for upload to soundcloud, or even to master loops and stems individually and polish them up for compositional usage. Not only does it help your audio, but it also helps you to learn how to become better at sculpting sound surgically (unlike using an automated mastering service).
Drop the Testy Mastering rack onto the master channel in a blank set which is only playing your mixdown file (or use the template which is already set up).
Play the song, letting the output analyzer collect the peak history (when using any of the built-in analyzers, you can click on the Toggle Display Location button to be able to see it while scrolling to other parts of the rack to adjust).
Testy Mastering is designed to master using a combination of analytical process and by ear.
It is made up of subracks each with their own set of controls to apply. These subracks are “Filtering”, “Surgery”, “L-R Groove”, “M-S Groove”, “LCR Saturation”, and “Serial Limiting”. Not every module is always necessary for a great mastering job.
It’s recommended to LU-normalize your track to -16LUFS prior to mastering. However, this is by no means a requirement as the process is designed to work with any initial audio input level.
Contrary to popular mythos, it does not necessarily matter if you use effects on the master channel of your mixdown pre-rendering (including compressors or limiters) or what the final peak and rms values are. We assume what you mixed is how you want the song to sound, so that is what we want to polish and present. That said, it is usually not encouraged to completely smash your mix to oblivion… it is preferred to leave a healthy amount of natural dynamics intact.
The first module, this is designed to cut away unnecessay ultra-low and and ultra-high frequencies, provide transparent clarity and focus to the essential program material, and rebalance overall stereo width.
Double click on “Filtering” to unfold the rack. Click on the Lowband chain and adjust “Low Cut Position” until the low cut filter frequency matches the loudest low peak of the song. Adjust “Low Bump” by ear. For the High Cut, set “High Cut Position” to the last slope where the upper frequencies begin to fall off completely towards nothing. Adjust the “High Bump” to increase air, but not so much that the resultant frequency curve slopes upwards. Unfold “M/S Analysis” to see how the frequencies of the sides channel are different than the center, to make educated decisions about the “Bottom Width”, “Main Width” and “Top Width” controls. The final control “Focus Sauce”, is also the most powerful. It applies expansion to the midband, based on the high and low cuts, which tends to juice up clarity and cohesiveness. Settings below half are subtle and good for general nice-ifying. Higher settings become progressively more perceptible, until at maximum the background sustain is really pulled forward. Settings between one half and three quarters are generally recommended, but the sweet spot will be different for each piece. Try slowly increasing it until the change becomes obvious, then rolling it back off a little.
This is the main tone-sculpting module. EQ ranges are deliberately limited in scope to avoid over-EQing, minimizing phase issues.
Double-click on the “Surgery” bar to unfold the Low and High Surgery racks. Set the “Lowshelf Freq” near the upper corner of the slope of the lowest main transient (kick drum or sub bass, usually) if you want to boost or cut it in relation to the rest of the spectrum. If there is sub material there which could use to be either curtailed or brought up, alternately set the lowshelf to boost or cut the material below the lowest main transient. Set the “Low”, “Low-Mid”, and “Mid-Low” each to frequencies 4k and lower which might benefit from gentle boosting or cutting. Set the High Shelf anywhere between 4k and higher at a point where you know everything above it should be softer or brighter and likewise the “Mid-High”, “High-Mid”, and “High” each to frequencies 1k and higher which might benefit from gentle boosting or cutting. The Q values of the boosts and cuts are non-adjustable, letting the user focus on sculpting the tone with precision quickly. If you really need to, you can unmap ranges or enable additional bands, but if you find yourself needing extreme EQ fixes at that point it’s probably best to go back and adjust within the mix.
Surgery EQ Tips:
Shelves: keep in mind everything above or below a given shelf will be affected. The selected frequencies are the corners, and are affected by the “Bump” controls.
Bell Bands: look for specific frequency bumps or gashes in the spectrum which seem out of balance, either too low or too high.
If boosting, try setting the exact HZ to match the lowest waveform crest near the place you want to boost. Likewise, if cutting, try matching the band HZ to the highest waveform valley in the area you want to curtail. Matching boosts to crests and cuts to valleys helps avoid deformation of the natural waveshape of a mix.
This module is designed to solidly balance the left and right channels between each other while opening up a bit of headroom for maximization.
Double-click “L-R Groove” to open it. With “Wet” at maximum, increase “Groove Push” until the threshold in the gain reduction view is below the tops of peaks but not below the bottoms of valleys. Adjust “Smooth” while listening carefully to hone in on a timing which pulses and grooves with the song pleasurably. For the “Ignore Frequencies”, find two frequency points which could use more emphasis in the spectrum and set the ignore amounts so that those frequencies punch through slightly more. This will result in the left and right channels being compressed slightly differently in a way that organically reacts to the music for a richer stereo depth. If the stereo balance is already perfectly cherry, set the “Ignore Frequencies” to the same exact Hz. To further adjust the stereo reactivity, the “Stereo Link Inversion” dial can be used to set how much each compressor is affected by the detection circuit of the other. At 50%, each compressor is equally affected by its own detection and that of the other channel (“full link”). This is the default setting for when you don’t want the stereo balance or width altered. 0% will mean that each compressor is affected by only its own input signal (“full unlink”), meaning that say for example if the right channel has a loud hit, it will compress only that channel, resulting in the stereo balance narrowing and tilting to the left for that moment. Using stereo unlink can be useful when you want to contain and curtail errant width and keep everything more tight. Increasing Stereo Link Inversion above 50% will make each compressor react more to its companion’s detection signal than to its own (100% = full inversion). This will also result in stereo balance shifting, but in the opposite directions, and leading to wider sounds. Boosting can be excellent for naturally enhancing a track’s stereo width, but hard-panned loud transients might cause unnatural balance shifting with settings too close to 100%. After providing all of the other settings, reduce the “Wet” to reintroduce dry signal. A setting around 50% is usually a good call.
This module is designed enrich groove sensation and ambient density.
Unfold the subrack and solo the “S Groove” channel to listen to only the sides signal with “Attack” at minimum and “Release” at maximum. Push up “Sides Push” until it’s constantly “swimming” in gain reduction. Try the three different ratio settings to determine which you prefer. Ratios of “4” and “2” will require less to result in the same amount of gain reduction, so be sure to adjust “Sides Push” with each for an accurate assessment.
Once you decide upon a ratio, decrease “Release” until the GR needle is falling down to 0dB (or close). Then increase “Attack” until it’s only causing a dB or a few of gain reduction and match “Sides Makeup” to the highest GR it hits. This is a fairly consistent workflow for determining decent timings for material. Now solo the “M Groove” channel and use “Center Push” and “Center Ratio” to dial in a couple dB of GR on the center channel, and recover that with “Center Makeup”. If the “Push” or “Ratio” control for either channels differ it will result in a subtle organic stereo width movement. Un-solo M Groove and turn the rack off and on to make sure you prefer the difference. It should sound more 3-dimensional with it on.
M-S Groove Notes:
When pushed harder it is more in-parallel, to always retain organic punch. For a more “tight” or “strict” sound, try using a higher ratio (which has less knee) on the center than on the sides channel. This will result in more initial transients cutting through retained in the center while the sides are allowed to be more “floaty”. To make your mix more “warm” or “vibey”, try the opposite with a lower ratio on the center.
[av_toggle title=’LCR Saturation’ tags=”]
This module includes a more abstract and optional process than the others. The idea is to dial in extremely subtle distortion which adds a microscopic hint of colored presence, also enhancing stereo separation. If you push it so hard it’s ever obvious, it’s probably too much and should be dialed back.
Unfold and enable the rack, then solo the “Edges” channel. Turn “L or R Edge Dirt” all the way to maximum while looping a main song section. Adjust its “Frequency” to somewhere that you hear a distinct color being sizzled in. Try to set the saturation to be triggered by an instrument timbre which is hiding perhaps a bit clouded in the mix and could use a little extra pizzazz.
It will sound ugly at this point, so drop “Dirt” to half of where it’s at (i.e. hearing distortion start at 94 on the dial = set it to 47). Repeat with the other side. After those are set solo the “Spine” channel, increase “Spine Dirt” to maximum and adjust the Frequency to taste. Spine Dirt is fuller-range (less focused) than the Edge Dirt is, and more subtle, so you may have to listen quite carefully to detect the coloration. Likewise, reduce “Spine Dirt” after dialing it in. When switching the rack on and off, the 3 subtle process combined should result in a slight but tasty increased sense of clarity and separation between elements in the mix.
The final process, spreading the final limiting responsibility between several devices. By using different processes to curtail peaks, an ultimate loudness level for any genre of music can be honed in on with confidence. The idea is not to smash stuff 3 times as hard, but to smash stuff one third as hard three times, resulting in a more sophisticated algorithm which handles complex material less crudely than a single processor.
Unfold the final subrack, Serial Limiting. Loop your loudest song section. First increase Push1 until you see the Peak Limit gain reduction meter start to flicker (if it’s already flickering, drop Push1 to 0 first, then increase). Then slow down (increase) “Attack” until it only occasionally flickers. If there’s no GR even with Push1 at max, instead quicken (lower) Attack until it begins to flicker. Secondly, decrease or increase Push2 until the Clipper’s soft clip indicator flicks slight yellow about once per measure. Thirdly, adjust Push3 so that the Finality Limiter’s gain reduction meter only very occasionally filckers. The second-to-last process, “High-Frequency Limiter”, requires no specific adjustment, being based on the other module settings.
“Testy Mastering” may not be able to get as mega-loud as some other maximizers or limiters available, but that is not the point here. If you set it so that each process only occasionally limits less than 1dB, you can dial in a respectable final loudness level which retains healthy dynamics without having to stress out about wondering how much GR to go for. If you applied the other other processes subtly as well and didn’t overdo it, you can then consider this file the “premaster” to send off to a mastering engineer to really pump up, with more professional tools.
If you simply want more loudness goshdarnit, you could add one more final, studio-grade, true-peak limiter after the Testy Mastering rack, and push into that by a few dB. This will almost certainly sound much better than just pushing into that limiter by itself to the same target loudness. OR… consider going back to the mix and adding some density (reducing dynamic range) there, then re-rendering.
Be sure to check the dialed-in settings on the whole track and keep your eye out for any unnatural spikes in gain reduction.
Lastly, compare the pre-mastered to the mastered version by turning “Testy Mastering” off and on. Make sure to pick your jaw off the floor. Don’t forget that there is no audio law against using automation during mastering, say for example to push compression and EQ more during chorus sections of songs compared to the verses, or to adjust the EQ curve over time. Just keep in mind and honor the original intention of the arrangement.
TESTY MASTERING TEMPLATE SET
The Testy Mastering pack comes with a template set you can use to start up fresh mastering projects. Double-click on the Template Set in the pack browser to open it. Drop your mixdown in the track labeled “To Master”, reference tracks into the “Reference 1-4” channels, and a pink noise loop or generator into the “Pink Noise” channel. To do comparisons, turn on the track activator for the desired reference channel and swap back and forth by alternate presses of “[” and “]” (which are keymapped to the crossfader. You can remap this to different keys or to a controller if desired).
WARNING: The reference tracks are sent directly to your audio output, bypassing the master channel, so make sure not to play more than one at the same time!
Be sure when rendering your master that you have the crossfader assigned to A.
If you want to use additional effects prior to the Testy Mastering chain, please apply them on the “To Master” channel. You can also do mixdown track or panning automation here if needed. If you’d like to apply some effects in parallel (such as a “Dirt” or “Space” auxilliary buss) you can create a Return channel, place effects on it, solo it, send some signal to it from the “To Master” channel, tweak, reduce the level to silence, unsolo, and then blend the Return channel’s level with the main signal feed going into the mastering chain. This is a way to carefully add flavour effects without destructively altering the original signal’s integrity (but make sure any parallel effects used are properly phase-aligned if using this technique).
Rendering Guide, pre-mastering:
Rendered Track: Master
Render as Loop: Off
File Type: either
Bit Depth: 32
Dither Options: No Dither
Convert to Mono: Off
Rendering Guide, final mastering:
Rendered Track: Master
Render as Loop: Off
File Type: either
Bit Depth: 24 for web, 16 for cd
Dither Options: POW-r1 for most material, POW-r2 for dirty, heavy music, POW-r3 for classical & film score work, rectangular for chiptunes
Convert to Mono: Off
A standalone effect rack which attempts to alleviate some of the uncomfortable side effects of over-compression and over-limiting. It can breathe a little life into material which has been squashed to be too flat by increasing natural dynamics, or help to liven up uninspiring stems. It combines fullrange and multiband anticompression (expansion) so you can quickly but carefully dial in more exaggeration between the peak and rms levels. Note that certain effects often applied during mastering (such as saturation) are pretty much impossible to undo with this method, so your ability to “unmaster” an overly-mastered piece has inherent limitations.
NOTE: Testy Mastering is also avaialable as part of the PerforModule Mega Pack the Clinicality Collection – CLICK HERE
NOTE: AVAILABLE SEPARATELY – CLICK HERE
TranzMuterz & Electorz
In this TranzMuterz & Electorz Ableton Live Pack, PerforModule presents a suite of template racks which are designed for easy creation of your own custom multi-instrument and multi-effect “selector” racks. With automatically disablement of unselected chains for maximal economization of cpu at all times. Each rack has a master macro knob to switch between chains; the other 7 macros are left blank for you to map connecting to enclosed devices, if desired.
Each of the TranzMuterz & Electorz racks are very carefully gainstaged to crossfade between effect chains with utmost consistency of level.
Electorz – racks which switch abrubtly between chains…
4, 8, 16, 32 FX Electorz – Cut like a badman between your FX…
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 64, 100 Instrument Electorz – Do you need any more options??
Tranzmuterz – racks which fade smoothly between chains.
2, 3, 5 FX Tranzmuterz – A Better Home for your ONE KNOB WONDERS you’ll not find…
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 16, 28, 32, 42, 50, 64 Instrument Tranzmuters
NOTE: AVAILABLE SEPARATELY – CLICK HERE