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  #1  
Old 12-01-2021, 01:01 PM
noiseboyuk noiseboyuk is offline
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Default HEAT in 2021

There's a good thread on HEAT (if you will...) but in the 2019 subforum so it doesn't get much passing trade - http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=404921 . 2 years later, thought I'd start one here.

I just got it as a perpetual license-holder having just paid my annual tax. To save any other newbies my fumbling first steps:

1. No software to install, you get a license in your iLok account.

2. Enable HEAT in Options, and you can visually see what's happening in Mix Window View (and you can manually bypass or set to pre-fader for each channel).

3. For the global options, it's the tiny tiny bottom right sideways arrow in the Mix console.

The first obvious thought I had is - bloody hell, can't they volume compensate this? It makes everything LOUDER. That's a PITA. So I played around, read the other thread - several people saying drive at -2 and tone at +1 works well, printed a version of a mix with and without HEAT, volume compensated the HEAT version (it was -3db for those settings) and then cut them randomly into one another to get a proper A/B.

Gee, I dunno.

It feels like one of those that by the time you can hear it doing its thing, you've overdone it, and I've never been very keen on stuff like that. 98% psychology and 2% actual difference. On the above settings, the vocal sounded noticeably distorted in a few louder and exposed sections... honestly on the track I had it wasn't really a pleasing subtle effect, it was "urgh, that vocal sounds distorted". The levels in that project are very conservative too, the LUFS are -21db before I do the final gain compensation on the printed track, so I'm not pushing it wildly or anything. If I want that effect on anything I'll use a saturator / exciter / tape emulator either on the whole mix or just the instruments I need

So I'd need to pull the drive back to -1 I think, or leave it off the vocals. And the tone... well yes, it sounds a bit brighter. But I'd do that in the mix if I wanted it. At which point... is really doing anything useful for me? Honestly, I dunno.

Anyway, what with all the other tools that are out there now, does anyone here still find it useful? If so, what's your settings / workflow?
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2021, 02:11 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

Hmmm, I can only give my own opinion on this, so here goes....
I like and use HEAT quite a bit. I do hear a slight volume increase, but maybe(speculating) you operate too close to the top? I suggest this as I had(and still have) the habit of operating right at the ragged edge, and beyond. My own solution is to use the TRIM plugin in the last slot of every audio and instrument track set to -8(I keep this built right into my templates with all the TRIM plugins in bypass. When its time to mix, I take them all out of bypass with the option command and the entire mix drops 8db, but relative mix stays the same). Of course, if you use lots of routing AUX tracks or Track Folders, those would also not need the TRIM plugin.

Another thing to consider; Does HEAT increase the volume on the meters, or is it a perception? Of course, going "too far" is always too far but on the average pop/rock/country mix(my field), running the HEAT knobs at 1-2 o'clock just makes things "better"
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Old 12-01-2021, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

HEAT process is after reading audio file and its volume automation, before p.ugins. So TRIM has no effect on how hard HEAT is working on the track. You need to use Clip Gain instead. Try to lower your tracks' levels hitting peaks of -10dBFS without plugins, then activate HEAT and start mixing.
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2021, 06:27 PM
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Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

A trim affects it in "post" mode but not "pre." I use clip gain to reduce everything to -20 to -22 = 0VU anyway so that I can use "analog-modeled" plug-ins.
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Old 12-01-2021, 06:38 PM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
A trim affects it in "post" mode but not "pre." I use clip gain to reduce everything to -20 to -22 = 0VU anyway so that I can use "analog-modeled" plug-ins.
Even better, but most like to mix hotter than hot, and as far as converters are concerned -10 is enough headroom. Though -20 would be perfect. Assuming your monitor controller has volume knob
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2021, 04:10 AM
noiseboyuk noiseboyuk is offline
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

Interesting - my own gain reduction I have at group (aux) stage. On the loudest parts of the track I demoed, some tracks hit -5db on the meters. However I hear vocal distortion (the not pleasant kind) below that point. Presumably the effect of my gain staging is that HEAT is more aggressive as it's inserted in the audio tracks not auxes (and post-fader), not that it sounds different per se - essentially it's turning up the drive and tonal effects.

So. I moved the gain reduction from auxes to the audio tracks and repeated the exercise. First to test the LUFS on both mixes. With HEAT - -17.9db. Without - -21.1db . So as before, the mix needs to be knocked back about 3db. Interestingly, my first pass with HEAT when the channels were running hotter had LUFS at -18.4db - so something about changing the gain staging has had on overall effect. Still, both HEAT versions are within 0.5db of each other. [EDITIED THIS INFO]

The good news - the unpleasant distortion has gone. But the bad news - EVERYTHING has gone. I've spend ages A/Bing - closed eyes / open eyes to see the edits - and honestly I don't know if I can tell any difference with these settings. I don't know if I'm imagining it, but it's just possible there's an incredibly subtle increase in presence in the vocals, but I might be kidding myself. I'm going to test it on the singer who is super-sensitive to hearing variations in her voice, and see if she notices anything.

I've noticed this effect a lot with saturators. If you start to hear the effect, the LUFS will have increased. When you knock it back to compensate - as every streaming service / broadcaster will do - the A/B difference almost vanishes. Yes, you can of course make it sound more saturated by pushing it further, but you'll always take a LUFS hit. Oxford Inflator is exactly the same.

So I remain in the unconvinced camp at the moment...
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Last edited by noiseboyuk; 12-02-2021 at 05:08 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2021, 09:53 AM
Rectifried Rectifried is offline
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

Heat only works on audio tracks… So if you were in a lot of virtual instruments it’s useless until you commit those to Audio also it doesn’t work on ox tracks so if you cut routing of groups I guess it doesn’t work there either

The concept is cool i used to own Phoenix and I liked it but in today’s standards Dave Hilll‘s refusal to open that up to other platforms earlier or price it more competitively have made it more of a rearview mirror plug-in
It was TDM only for years so when I went native I sold it but then he finally reversed and made it native

Cranesong as a company and philosophy is always subtle at best Dave Hill is definitely a brilliant brilliant analog and digital guru
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

Ox track is likely aux track. If so, you can replace it with audio channel with same routing, then set it to input monitoring (or record it when your f.ex drum kit is done)


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  #9  
Old 12-02-2021, 10:10 AM
midnightrambler midnightrambler is offline
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

@noiseboyuk Ha yeah I hate it as well, mainly for the reasons you've described -

1) F*cks up a balance, unless you start with it on

2) Doesn't do VI instruments, so it's only doing half a mix anyway

3) Can easily end up double- or even triple-process depending on your routing

4)Never heard a mix that sounds better with it on (once they're level matched)
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Old 12-02-2021, 11:44 AM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: HEAT in 2021

To be clear, I am not using TRIM to compensate for HEAT. Simply to lower a complete mix while keeping relative balance.
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