Old 05-20-2018, 10:05 AM   #1
sjs94704
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Default I got a question about my Music BUSS

In a previous conversation on here there was a consensus that several people put NO FX on the master track and focus on FX on each individual track.

With this in mind, in my project I have 9 instruments all being routed to a music BUSS. There are also Vocal Tracks that are NOT routed to this BUSS.

Would the same concept apply in respect to EQing each instrument and not putting any FX on the BUSS?
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:34 AM   #2
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Here's how I think of it:

1. Do you want the same effect on multiple tracks? Vocals don't need the same EQ as kicks, or guitars, or even backing vocals a lot of the time. Use buses for things that are being processed the same.

2. Will your plugins react differently when you jam multiple signals through them together? EQ won't - a 2kHz boost will sound the same whether you do it on a buss or on twenty source tracks. A compressor, on the other hand, is entirely dependent on the level hitting it. What sounded good for just a kick isn't going to work if the guitars are going through it too.

People usually suggest "don't put FX on the master track" because putting them there is both the easiest place to mess up your whole mix, and the hardest place to actually adjust individual instruments.
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sjs94704 View Post
Would the same concept apply in respect to EQing each instrument and not putting any FX on the BUSS?
If you have determined that the FX you put on that bus works well with all the tracks you send it, then why not?

But the chances 9 instruments needing the same exact FX are extremely slim. Well unless the bus is actually a reverb and the bus is actually a sub-bus for sends from the 9 instrument tracks.

For myself, I try make each track sound good by itself before I do any more to it.

I should add, I mainly work with acoustic type instruments, so depending on the type of projects you work with, I could be wrong.
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:43 PM   #4
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At one point in the process the vocals will come in together with the rest of the instruments - If I understood what you're doing correctly you have vocals separate?

When that moment happens (i.e. vocals meet to ensemble) you may need to have some FX processing to properly blend them in the instrumental mix. Maybe not, if, somehow you stumbled on some really magical combination. I tried doing that a while back - I thought I would mix all the instruments together and then sit the vocal on top of that mix ; it did not turn out good. The could not get the vocals to blend.

And so you may need to consider having a 'GLUE' that you can use to blend the vocal with the rest. This glue can be compression and/or a room reverb that everyone is sharing together. I like to think of it this way: in the real world all the members of the band are in the same room - and therefore share the sonic characteristics of the room. Unless you want a progressive modern mix - then no rules apply - anything goes.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:34 PM   #5
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Default Here is the layout I have for one song ....

This song is 'True Colors' by Phil Collins:

Track:
  1. Lead Vocal
  2. Vox Delay
  3. Vox Reverb
  4. Music BUSS
  5. Drums
  6. Bass
  7. Electric Guitar
  8. Piano
  9. Synthesizer
  10. Synth Pad
  11. Strings
  12. Bagpipes
Track 1 has 2 sends. One to track 2 and the other to track 3.

Tracks 5 - 12 are routed into the music BUSS (Track 4). One of the main reasons I do this is for overall music volume control. When the song first starts it is at one volume. Then just where I start to sing I bring the volume down gradually so not to drownd out the sound of my voice.

So, as I was saying, in the other discussion, most people agreed that they did not put any FX on the MASTER track and so, I was just wondering if the same holds true for the Music BUSS as well ??

I have pre-recored music and what I have found is that the way I get each track is what I will simply call 'Flat'. When I apply some EQ to each track, doing that makes each instrument really POP and sound good!

The comment that was made previously about putting FX on the master track is that it could potentially defeat all the effort put into EQing each individual track.

So, what do you think?
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:32 PM   #6
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That description helps to understand your work flow better.

I would say yes to having FX on the MagicBuss. The FX would 'glue' all the instruments together, and perhaps deal with a few nasty peaks along the way so you can mix a louder song.

What is unclear is how you are dealing with track 1, track 2, and track 3? I know you are sending track 1 to T2 and T3, but what is going on for T2 and T3 (as well as T1).

Am I correct to assume that T2 and T3 (delay and reverb) are WET fx only?

If it was me, and this is very relative, I would put the Magicbuss on top and have it as track 1 (it doesn't really matter what number it has - it is just for practical psychological reasons). Then I would have everthing go to it - all the other tracks including the vocals and the WET reverb and WET delay. I would make sure that only thee MAgicBuss is going to the MAster Track Reaper bus, nothing else.


To be honest, I probably would of set the MAgicBuss as a folder with everything inside it. That way nothing is going to the MAster Track Reaper Bus, except for the top folder. I would probably also have folders inside folders to contain things that are more similar - treated the same.

I hope I'm not confusing you?

Something like this:

REAPER MASTER BUS (final mastering FXs if needed)

1. Magic Buss (fx = bus compression + peak limiter if neeeded)
__2. DlyVrbBus
_______3. Delay (100% wet)
_______4. Vocal Reverb (100% wet)
_______5. Room Song Reverb (100% wet)
__6. VocalBus
_______7. Main vocal (Comp - EQ) ----> send to Delay + Send to Vocal Reverb
_______8. Back vocal#1 (Comp - EQ) ----> Send to Room Reverb
_______9. Back vocal#2 (Comp - EQ) ----> Send to Room Reverb
__10. InstrumentBus (glue compression?)
*** volume envelop *******
______11. Drum ----> Send to Room Reverb
______12. Bass ----> Send to Room Reverb
______13. ... ----> Send to Room Reverb
______etc. ... ----> Send to Room Reverb

* Notice that the ____ represent levels of folders within folders.

* Notice that I also grouped all the vocal in Bus so they can also be subject to group treatment (FX, volume automation, etc).

* Notice that I'm sending almost everything to the wet delay and wet reverb, but that does not mean everything is getting delay and the same amount of reverb. You can choose the amount that each track is getting by setting the faders in track 3, 4, and 5.

* Notice that I have a Vocal reverb and a Song Room reverb. This is because many times the vocals have a very distinct reverb compared to the rest of the instruments. Here I am assuming also that the entire song will have a little bit of room reverb - which can often act like a glue and make the song sound more realistic - like you are hearing it for real in a 'room'. You can send all the instruments to the room reverb and adjust the amount with the faders in the settings of track number 5. To hear the result you SOLO track number 5 and listen to the mix of the room reverb - essentially you are mixing your song into a 100% wet reverb and then you are going to add a little bit of that room verb into the mix - just a little bit. The Vocal Reverb will also be mixed into the song.

* Note - the delay and reverb are also in a bus folder so that you can easily change the amount with one fader - solo and / or mute. You can also put an EQ and COmp to change the color of the reverb and delay (some people like to highpass and lowpass the REverb, for example).

Gosh, I hope I'm explaining this well? The work flow I'm proposing is not a universal recipe by all means - and many other detail can be added. Perhaps it is just a bit more efficient for doing various things. This will be even more useful once you start having many more tracks (if you had kick, snare, hihat, etc - you would add a Drum bus folder and have all the drum parts inside, etc).

I hope this helps?

But short answer is yes you most likely will need some Fx (compression for example) in your MagicBus.

Last edited by RDBOIS; 05-20-2018 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:18 PM   #7
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Default GREAT! Thank You and a follow up question ....

Thanks for your detailed reply. I will try it out and see what happens.

I have Melda Productions MTurboReverb. One of the effects is call 'Cathedral'. Naturally, it makes it sound like you are signing in a cathedral church.

I see that you have a 'room reverb'. BUT, if I was in a church signing, both the instruments as well as my voice are being effected by the cathedral sound. I might be mistaken here, but it sounds as if you are suggesting to have different reverbs for both the music and vocal. Am I understanding that right or is there some other point your trying to make?

Music sounds like it a church, vocal sounds 'flat'? Stands to reason that both would the same effect !!!

What track would you put this effect?
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sjs94704 View Post
Thanks for your detailed reply. I will try it out and see what happens.

I have Melda Productions MTurboReverb. One of the effects is call 'Cathedral'. Naturally, it makes it sound like you are signing in a cathedral church.

I see that you have a 'room reverb'. BUT, if I was in a church signing, both the instruments as well as my voice are being effected by the cathedral sound. I might be mistaken here, but it sounds as if you are suggesting to have different reverbs for both the music and vocal. Am I understanding that right or is there some other point your trying to make?

Music sounds like it a church, vocal sounds 'flat'? Stands to reason that both would the same effect !!!

What track would you put this effect?
Hmmm... You are not wrong with the church signing analogy. If this is what you are aiming for, then by all means only use one reverb for everything. However, note that Cathedrals were not designed for DRUMS - these sound rather nasty in cathedrals. Cathedral reverbs make a powerful statement that you must control very well - or else it comes out as a big messy wash.

What I was referring to is more modern forms of music production, where the vocals are coming out of the mix with a different type of reverb - sometimes a longer tail that extends in time. In these situations the mix is glued with a room reverb (normally Room verb simply means a more subtle reverb) and then the vocals are giving something to make them more dreamy and long lasting - sometimes thicker, sometimes predelay to have a dry in your face followed by a long tail, etc).

It really depends on the mood you want to create.

I'm not a big fan of super huge reverb on anything - this is why a mentioned just a little room verb on the mix and a bit more on the vocals. I'm not familiar with the MTurboReverb. But, just be careful with adding large amounts of Cathedral reverb. Unless you really want to hide some vocal defects and don't mind people complaining that your songs have too much reverb?

Vocal reverb and vocal delay is an art form - especially in a song that has the space to receive them well. This is the case with True Colors by Cindy Lauper - or Phil Colins who did a remake. Lots of space to create a dreamy sonic experience.

Listen to Cindy Lauper's version on Youtube. Notice right from the start how the drums have reverb - followed by synthesizer with reverb, but when Cindy starts to sing -- WOW! You have a very dry vocal with an added long tail of reverb. This is very well done - mix of instrument reverb with magic vocal verb. The dry and long tail can be a composite of several tracks or reverb with predelay. When she sings the words "True Colors", just before "are beautiful like the rainbow", you can hear some delay ON the reverb. Check it out - we are talking about delay action on the reberb!!! And this is automated - so it is only happening in this very specific area/ set of words.

Gosh what a fantastic sonic experience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPn0KFlbqX8

See how complex things can get? I have learned how to do this in Reaper by automating the delay and other strategies. This takes time to learn - be patient and start with small simple steps - never going crazy on the amount.

Now for Phil Colins version:

It is more dry overall. Less vocal reverb and I can't really hear any delay action. It has more, back vocal support in certain areas. There is no Cathedral here to be found!?

If you like more reverb in your songs - then I suggest you use Cindy Lauper's song as a reference. Myself I like her version much better than Phil's...
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:39 PM   #9
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Default OK, I will try Cyndi's version. BTW .....

I'm listening to it now and can appreciate what you mean ......
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:03 PM   #10
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Default 'True Colors' by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kenrick!

I just heard this version and love it lots!

See it here:
http://www.karaoke-version.com/custo...ue-colors.html
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