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  #1  
Old 04-12-2021, 03:56 PM
bonzerboy bonzerboy is offline
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Default auto mute channels when not playing

This is a new one for me. Someone recently said it was good to auto mute your channels when there is nothing being played like between vocals or if there is a lead so you would mute before and after. I hope that makes sense. The person who told me this said when your tracks are playing and summed even with nothing them you can get build up of noise, i think that is how it was explained? Does anyone else auto mute tracks. One more note he said because some plug ins can add slight noise and many tracks will buils up so you might get some hiss or other artifacts.
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2021, 04:47 PM
BScout BScout is offline
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Default Re: auto mute channels when not playing

If you use a modelling plugin on every track (like Plugin Alliance's console modelling plugins), yes, noise is being generated on every track.

But that's kind of the point of those plugins. If you cut them in and out (mute), then you are also shifting the noise floor which is an odd sound. A real console would be open. Gate a hiss (this is a dramatic demonstration) randomly and see if that's "musical."

As for a track with nothing on it (no console, channel strip, or tape modelling plugins), no, it should be digitally silent so it doesn't matter. There may be some dithering on the mixer but it is far below hearing level. Create 100 empty tracks and bounce a section -- see what noise is there. (You can pull the created audio file even into a spectrograph like Izotope RX.)

So overall, choppy noise floor sounds bad if using modelling plugins.
No plugins and it's digitally silent.

Here's 100 stereo tracks, 24bit 48kHz in Izotope RX8 Adv (black means no audio signal. Scale is down to -150dB which is below 24bit (-144dB)) and the waveform analysis window.



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Old 04-12-2021, 04:53 PM
bonzerboy bonzerboy is offline
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Default Re: auto mute channels when not playing

Makes sense what you are saying. I thought if you were on a analog board you would not mute any tracks
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Old 04-12-2021, 05:02 PM
BScout BScout is offline
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Default Re: auto mute channels when not playing

I've done the exact opposite before: cut and crossfaded empty "noise" from a mic to get rid of the noise-floor shifting.

Also had to do that with outboard gear that generated noise. With Ultimate, you can set matching voices to two tracks and set autofades so that it transitions to the "noise" track to get rid of the noise floor gating sound when there is no part on the main track.
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2021, 12:38 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: auto mute channels when not playing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzerboy View Post
This is a new one for me. Someone recently said it was good to auto mute your channels when there is nothing being played like between vocals or if there is a lead so you would mute before and after. I hope that makes sense. The person who told me this said when your tracks are playing and summed even with nothing them you can get build up of noise, i think that is how it was explained? Does anyone else auto mute tracks. One more note he said because some plug ins can add slight noise and many tracks will buils up so you might get some hiss or other artifacts.
Well, I'd chalk this up to psycho-acoustics(mostly). Do some plugins add noise? Yes they do, and many do it by default(what a lousy idea). Example; look at any Waves plugin that models hardware and see if it has a button labeled "analog"(which should be called noise). I went thru all of my plugins and for any that have noise, I changed the default settings to be with the noise "feature" turned off or all the way down(Slate VTM is another plugin that defaults to having noise). Once you do this, muting tracks is likely to be not needed(mostly).

For tracks with hi-gain amp simulators, Those benefit from some "help" and there are a few options(Izotope RX, mute, automated volume drops) but the one I use most often is a sliding low-pass EQ filter. I use the EQ III one-band EQ plugin(after the amp sim) and set it to low-pass, frequency all the way up and automated. The place where noise/buzz comes up most is when a note or chord fades out, so I automate the frequency to slide down as the sound fades. Doing this rolls off most of the noise without cutting off the sound(I will automate the volume down whenever the sound is not playing). I agree that using mute is going to be too abrupt and distracting
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