How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

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El Nino
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How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by El Nino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:30 am

If you had to release a record using sunvox alone, without any other software, how would you get your modules set up properly for perfect mixing and mastering?

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queries
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by queries » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:48 am

Probably depends on the genre, and how much dynamic range is involved.

I created a utility module (that's in the 1.9.4 effects thread) called Peak Detect that you can send audio to in order to detect audio that goes out of the -1.0/1.0 amplitude. That can be useful one to send audio to from the last amplifier in your chain that comes before Output.

Genre-specific, I'm into dance music, and have been working on some templates based on some things I've learned recently about some simple ways to bus certain voices to get really good control over the frequency ranges etc.

Others have worked on templates too, in the Facebook group one or two folks have posted their mixing setups and mastering chains.

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El Nino
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by El Nino » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:44 am

Normally I would put one amp module just after the generators but before the rest of the fx chain, and one amp module at the end of the instrument and fx chain ( to act like a mixer for final volume and pan of each instrument ). Now I'm thinking each inst+fx chain should have its own EQ module and Compressor module placed before the final amp module before output as well. Sometimes, like for sampled drums, it might be good to have multiple instruments going into one compressor, then the final amp module before output. Am I doing it right? Any other tips?

Looking at peoples soundcloud songs it looks like heavy compression is necessary these days because people are listening to music on shitty laptop speakers. I mean the waveform always looks almost like a chocolate bar on its side, not many big spikes and narrow, quiet areas...almost flat all the way through. I guess that is compression followed by amplification?

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Keres
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by Keres » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:02 am

Use the distortion for a limiter

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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by Keres » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:02 am

Also ad a sample of some 2" tape hiss

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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by Keres » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:54 am

Let me be less sarcastic in this reply, because this is something that I'm sure that many musicians wonder about: Sunvox (or insert another underground app) used as a pro DAW by professional musicians. The answer is simply YES! It's more than 100% certain that any time you have an amazing music program like sunvox there will be tons of pros taking advantage. NightRadio's email contacts is prolly a treasure trove of musicians that you would recognize and even listen too. Ask yourself this: would Sunvox exist if it were not so? i'm not saying that Nightradio is racing to the bank with loads of cash from Disney and Lucas films, but honestly... don't you think that a "pro" would instantly recognize what this app is and what it can do?

as far as mastering goes, it's not really something that is too terribly important as far as pros are concerned because no label ever really trusts the musician to master up their own stuff, unless he is the guy who does all of it for the label... I can think of two right off hand where this is the case. your audio is going to get all butchered by some dude in protools or wavelab. BUT you gotta remember this: mastering in almost all cases is only to make the tune sound "the same" on any stereo system and a good mastering engineer never tries to mix your tune. 80% of mastering is track order, relative track levels and then format specific checks. For example, mastering to a redbook standard CD with relative volumes at about -6db or mastering to a 7" vinyl at -3 db where you use an elliptical EQ to make all the subs into mono. It is entirely possible to put your album in one .sunvox file and use the tracker commands to automate the compressor, EQ, Pro-filter, and distortion (which actually makes an insanely good master limiter!!!).

It is all up to you and your mind.

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El Nino
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by El Nino » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:35 am

So if I am trying to make it sound as good as possible for a personal youtube or soundcloud I should probably EQ, compress and limit ( with distortion ), but if I am going to pay for mastering then its probably best to leave those out as the mastering studio will have its own set of EQs, compressors, limiters, saturators?, monitor speaker setups, valve amps, mics and other things.

Also, I will have to be careful not to get more than one instrument mixed up in one track. They are going to need clean 'stems' without extra work separating messy things up...

I wonder what their stance on filter cutoff, automated effects and stuff like that is?

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Keres
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by Keres » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:13 am

El Nino: what i can tell you is that making stuff sound as good as possible for the internet involves a couple of things. firstly a phone to play back your master on. you can't avoid people playing your stuff through their crappy cell phone speaker so you might as well check your tracks there. secondly, laptop and tv speakers. they are pretty close, but laptop speakers seem to be less forgiving to bass heavy electronic tracks. don't neglect checking that same mix on your nice studio monitors, your uncle's "high-fi" system and your trusty old car stereo. the track should sound pretty much the same on all of them.

when you give your tracks to a label or a studio, they should be pretty much mixed down how you like it. you really aren't going to be asked for any stem files unless they intend to remix it (and i mean the traditional "remix" where they put each track on a channel in their board and adjust the levels to a new sub-master). they just take your 2 track files and apply their own EQ's and limiters. It's a ton of work to mix an entire album's worth of tracks and unless you are Stevie Wonder, a label is just gonna load your shit in audacity, apply an eq, limiter, elliptical eq (a plugin that puts all the bass in mono) and then send it to be pressed on a 7" or something.

I'ts actually not a bad idea to "pre-master" your tracks, but if you do so i would advise just using the pro-filter for the EQ, then a DC remover, then a compressor (or 2) then the distortion as a limiter. and a note about the distortion as a limiter. you aren't going to change the noise, sample rate and bit depth (unless you are a psycho). all you do is add a slight boost and decrease the output volume (sliders 1 & 3). the style of limiting depends on the track. a noisy rock track will sound better with a hard limit, and a soft techno might sound better with a soft clip... depends. the main thing is that you want the level meter in the center right (just after the volume slider) to never go red.

oh... the Pro-filter has a 2 wonderful mastering tools... the low shelf and the high shelf. you adjust the frequency, q and gain. you would use that say, if you test your track on your killer 8" studio monitors, then go to your car and it sounds all rumbly... then you gradually cut the lows before it hits the compressor... using a smooth and slight cut of course.

it's all up to your ears. the main thing is to listen to the master ALL THE WAY THROUGH. thats what a good engineer always does.

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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by hseiken » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:54 am

Your question is a bit like, "Using acrylics, how can I make a good painting?"

Study mixing and then apply that knowledge how it works best for your style and preferences towards sound qualities in Sunvox. There's no answer to give you to this question because it has no meaning. No software or tool does any work for you. Some will provide better or more suitable tools to your style or workflow, but no tool will replace study, knowledge, exploration and experience.
WARNINGThis angry old nerd may rant about modern computers or computer culture! It is not directed at you 99% of the time! Ignore it if it seems silly or personal!

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Keres
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by Keres » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:35 pm

If you had to release a record using sunvox alone, without any other software, how would you get your modules set up properly for perfect mixing and mastering?
Lets rephrase the question: "How do artists who are INSPIRED to release Sunvox only tracks get such great mixes?"

You know what they do? They bang out the best track they can possibly make dry with no effects, then they add the best plugins and synths that any digital software ever had.

PS: They might add some first, second and third order harmonic distortion to the mastering chain ;p

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Keres
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by Keres » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:05 am

Here is a simple multi-band compressor. The reason I put a master bypass is that it is post input attenuation. The limiter has 3 separate lookaheads for each band (yeah, i know but it was fun to experiment making it). The bass channel can be put in mono and the mids and highs have an individual stereo separation. Probably not the best mastering plugin in the world, but I wouldn't say it's not useful if you play with it a bit ;P

cheers!
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El Nino
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by El Nino » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:24 am

Thanks Keres. Detailed and helpful

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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by hseiken » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:28 am

I personally make my own meta modules which combine the building blocks for mastering already inherent in the system. Filters + compressors + distortion as limiter = everything you need for multiband compression. With multiCTRL's attached to the vital editing points, you can make anything, really. I even made a beat-timed 'remixer' using an echo and amplifier.

Get creative, understand what the things you want to copy are doing then build them. While I think it's nice to be 'lazy' by just using plugins and the like with VST supporting systems, I personally like the idea of building my own instruments because that's *MY* sound. That reflects what *I ALONE* can do. Take pride in your efforts, learn to love the craft of building and you will produce anything you want at any quality you want. Everyone 'loved' Reason when it was new and Sunvox can literally do more than it can in terms of building new things. Reason was used on plenty of professional records even at version 1. No one asked silly questions and it was years before they put in things like the mastering suite. We've got everything we need right now, it's just matter of putting in the time, love and craftsmanship.

Good luck.

If you want to know how to build a simple multiband compressor, my latest video has me building one from scratch in about 5 minutes before I continue on with making my track.

https://youtu.be/7u_2Jkx1XOo?t=680 <-- here's the timestamp for the compressor. Trust me, there's no magic, just knowledge and knowhow. The more you learn, the more you look like a magician or 'elite' because you took the time to learn. Never stop learning.
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SawZer
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by SawZer » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:02 pm

Doesn't using distortion as a limiter decrease your bitrate to 16?
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hseiken
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Re: How to do professional mix and master sunvox only?

Post by hseiken » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:36 am

If you can't hear it, then it doesn't happen. ;)
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