PDA

View Full Version : What is your suggestion for order of effects?


Chazperx
10-01-2015, 03:50 AM
Good Morning:

I have what must seem like a basic question, but I’m asking because I’m not 100% sure it really matters, but here it goes.

What is the suggested order of effects for an individual track if I were using some but not necessarily all of the following:
Compression
EQ
Tape Saturation
Chorus
Reverb
Delay
Filters

What is the suggested order of effects for mix-buss or mastering if I were using some but not necessarily all of the following:
Compression
EQ
Tape Saturation
Chorus
Reverb
Delay

I welcome all opinions……Thanks in advance for your help…

Chaz

dr_daw
10-01-2015, 08:51 AM
I it sounds like you may benefit from gaining an understanding in the difference between signal processing and an effect. Gain that knowledge, then move onto understanding the difference between using an insert and using an aux send. Once you get that, you'll have a better understanding on how to set up your processing and effects.

Crash course:

Compression, eq = signal processing

Reverb, chorus, delay = effects

The key is understanding what you're trying to achieve.

musicman691
10-01-2015, 09:00 AM
You're asking one of the more dangerous questions there could be and that's because there is no generally accepted order of plugins, whether on a track or 2-buss. It all depends on what you want to achieve. For instance if you go eq and then compression the compression will fight the eq boosts or cuts. That's not necessarily bad or good; depends on what you want as the outcome. Each sounds different.

EQ and filtering are generally done as part of the same plugin.

Reverb is generally done as a send and not an insert so you can have all parts sound as if they were in the same room. To adjust the reverb on a particular track's send you adjust the send level on said track. Say you have a piano, drums and bass with sends to a common reverb on an aux track. You'd adjust each send level to give you the sound you want remembering that more reverb will push a sound towards the back of the stage and less will bring it more forward. You don't generally want reverb on both tracks and the 2-buss at the same time. That could really make the sound muddy.

Chorus and delay are essentially the same thing but with different time periods and modulation but I'd use them on tracks and not the 2-buss. And once again the order depends on what you want to have happen, particularly if you throw compression in the chain; you could come up with some wild unanticipated sounds that could go into feedback (been there and done that).

I'm not a huge fan of tape saturation plugins. Not every genre needs or wants it. IOW don't feel you need to use it because you have the plugin.

Chazperx
10-01-2015, 05:27 PM
Thank you both very much...I probably should research the whole thing more.....lol

Southsidemusic
10-01-2015, 05:37 PM
You're asking one of the more dangerous questions there could be and that's because there is no generally accepted order of plugins, whether on a track or 2-buss. It all depends on what you want to achieve. For instance if you go eq and then compression the compression will fight the eq boosts or cuts. That's not necessarily bad or good; depends on what you want as the outcome. Each sounds different.

EQ and filtering are generally done as part of the same plugin.

Reverb is generally done as a send and not an insert so you can have all parts sound as if they were in the same room. To adjust the reverb on a particular track's send you adjust the send level on said track. Say you have a piano, drums and bass with sends to a common reverb on an aux track. You'd adjust each send level to give you the sound you want remembering that more reverb will push a sound towards the back of the stage and less will bring it more forward. You don't generally want reverb on both tracks and the 2-buss at the same time. That could really make the sound muddy.

Chorus and delay are essentially the same thing but with different time periods and modulation but I'd use them on tracks and not the 2-buss. And once again the order depends on what you want to have happen, particularly if you throw compression in the chain; you could come up with some wild unanticipated sounds that could go into feedback (been there and done that).

I'm not a huge fan of tape saturation plugins. Not every genre needs or wants it. IOW don't feel you need to use it because you have the plugin.

Great Post!

All I would add is experiment to get the sound you want. If you start with the basic sound and plugin chain like Jack describes and master that to an acceptable level then you can start playing around with effects and how to accurately get good sound via Aux feeding and 2 bus routing.

Lots of videos free on Youtube and the Best ones IMHO are from :

Groove3/Pensado/Fab Dupont and his Puremix series.

Carl Kolchak
10-02-2015, 08:37 AM
What is the suggested order of effects for an individual track if I were using some but not necessarily all of the following:
Compression
EQ
Tape Saturation
Chorus
Reverb
Delay
Filters




Adding to the advice given above, one thing you may, or may not realise that you hit upon in that order of plug-ins list, is that whilst effects such as reverb, and delay, tend to be applied in parallel (via sends, and aux returns) the signal that they receive has already been processed by the processing inserts (EQ, and compression).


It's worth taking some time to think about what it is you're trying to achieve with the plug-ins you are using :

If you're trying to replicate a traditional analogue workflow, you might want to consider if the source you are recording is external, and being captured by your own pre-amps. It might be an internal source, such as a sample based VI (whereby the samples were recorded through high quality pre-amps, and perhaps already processed using highly desirable hardware), or if it is a synthesis VI that is not passing through any sort of pre-amp (you may want to consider using an emulation plug-in).

You might then want to consider using the same EQ, and Compressor plug-ins across every channel that represents your virtual mixing desk (perhaps you are trying to emulate a specific make, and model).

You may want to limit the number of effects you have available, regarding reverbs, and delays, sharing them with multiple instruments via sends, and aux returns.

You'll want to think about whether the signal is then fed to a tape simulation (and whether that includes the effects returns, or if they are sent directly to the mix bus), and then back in to the desk for summing, before being fed to the mix bus, and perhaps ultimately to another tape simulation - or whether you go straight to summing, and perhaps one tape simulation on the mix bus.


You may find you have a DI of a clean guitar, and in that case you can think of effects such as distortion, delay, chorus etc as pedals (to be used in series, as inserts on that track, as opposed to a shared effect using sends and a return aux), before running the signal through an amp & cab simulation.




Or you could say "To hell with it : this is the digital age, and I can use any plug-in I choose, in any order I like, and as many instances as I see fit, to solve the problems I need to solve, and achieve the result I desire".

NealMiskin
11-13-2015, 08:04 PM
There is no standard order for plugins. But here are a few things that I have learned over the years:

1. Gates/expanders tend to work better if inserted before a compressor/limiter rather than after. This is because gates require dynamic range, and compressors reduce dynamic range. So putting a gate on a signal that is already heavily compressed will make it a lot harder to set the gate, as there will be less difference between the quiet parts that you want the gate closed and the loud parts where you want it to open.

2. If you're using EQ to attenuate problematic frequencies, put it before any compression. Because compressors can be triggered by the problematic frequencies, and this doesn't usually get the desired result. If you are using EQ to boost frequencies, it can work before or after the compressor, just be aware that the boosted EQ frequencies, if the EQ ids ahead of the compressor, can affect how the compressor responds.

3. Reverb, delay and other time-based effects plugins tend to work best when inserted on an aux track and receive their signal via a bus. There are a number of advantages to this, for one, balancing two faders is more precise than a wet/dry control typically is, secondly this allows you to apply different EQ or other processing to your effect returns than on the dry track, and finally it allows you to send multiple tracks to your effects without using a separate instance of the plugin for each track.

4. Everything boils down to a matter of personal taste. For example putting a modulation effect ahead of a delay sounds different than when you put it after, but neither is any more "correct" than the other, it's all about what sounds right for the project you're working on. Experiment and find out what techniques you like and what ones you don't.

NealMiskin
11-13-2015, 08:27 PM
Also worth noting is that with regards to processing on the 2-bus (compression and limiting especially) less is often more. Many mastering engineers will advise that you send them mixes with no processing whatsoever on the 2-bus.

I won't go so far as to say don't ever process your 2-bus, but when you do process your 2-bus subtlety is your friend. Especially if you are planning to send your project to be mastered by someone else.