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Topic: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

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  1. #1

    BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Hi all,

    Sorry this is being posted later than I had planned.

    This is the final Episode in how I use the tools I have: BiaB, Garritan ARIA Synth and Sonar X1 DAW to put together a final mix of the songs I use for my performances.

    This final episode uses the DAW entirely to create the Final Mix. I warn you, this is the way I do these operations. It is not the right way, nor is it the wrong way, it is simply My Way (Thanks Frank Sinatra!)

    Here are the links to the files you will need:

    Episode 3.doc
    or
    Episode 3.pdf

    Example wave files:

    1 No Compression Wave

    2 Mix Compression Wave

    3 Sax Reverb Wave

    4 Final Mix Wave

    This has been a bit of work for me, but I wanted to share with this forum the few things I have learned. I hope it helps you to get a better understanding of what all these programs can begin to do for your recording projects. This is not a 'Comprehensive' study by any means. It is limited in scope and only reflects a beginners knowledge of these powerifull software tools.

    Enjoy, and I'll catch you in the listening room.

    Best Regards,
    Bill
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  2. #2

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Well worth waiting for, Bill - Thank you so much. It takes time and effort to put these kinds of things together, and I'm sure everyone who is coming across your BIAB tutes appreciates what you've done.

    Like I said earlier, you're making me want to try BIAB out for myself - I'll probably do that at some point!

    This is really good how you kept the example project simple enough so the tutorial is so clear and easy to follow. Very cool.

    For mixing a pop, rock, or jazz piece you've exactly shown the "standard approved method" which people should stick to: Start with all sliders down in your mixer, then bring the kick drum up, then balance the bass with that the way you want, then move on to the rest of the drum kit, and then the rest of your instruments. Spot on. That's the pro approach.

    There's one un-orthodox step you've taken in setting up your mix:

    --You've directed your Soloist track directly to a Reverb Bus rather than used that track's Send knob directed to that Reverb Bus. What you've done gives the Soloist a 100% wet signal, with the Reverb level determined by the Reverb Bus fader.

    --If your project had one more than one track needing reverb, and you sent the additional tracks directly to the Reverb Bus in the same way, then those tracks would also be 100% wet. If you changed the over all reverb level with the bus's fader, all instruments would be effected to the same degree. But usually, when multiple tracks need reverb, they each need a different amount.

    --The standard mixing method is to use the Send knobs on the tracks needing reverb. The knobs determine how much of the dry signal is split off and processed. The reverb plug-in inserted in the Reverb Bus is set to 100% so that the full potential level of reverb is available. But it's rare for any instruments to need that full potential. On the average, Send knobs are set so that there's approximately 80% dry signal and 20% wet signal --but of course actual levels depend on the project and the instruments in question. In this standard mixing approach, all tracks are directed to the main bus.

    --In your project with just one track needing reverb, there's no advantage of using a Reverb Bus. You could just insert the reverb plug-in directly in that track's FX bin, and use the plug-ins controls to determine the reverb level. That's rarely done, but in your case, that's all that's needed. The Reverb Bus you're using is an unnecessary mediary between the instrument track and the main bus which you call "Mix" (which is usually called the Master), unless you were to use the track's Send knob in the standard way.

    --So, in that more standard way of mixing, all tracks are directed straight to the Mix/Master, and Send knobs are used for reverb or other FX.

    HEY--you taught me something about Box! - something that must be a fairly new feature. I was surprised to see that your audio examples were .wav files instead of MP3s. In the past, Box couldn't play .wav files directly - they had to be downloaded by visitors. But your .wavs played in Box's player just like MP3s--That's very cool! Nice to have the option for posting higher quality tracks than compressed MP3s. I wonder how long Box has had that feature? Today's the first time I've seen that.

    Your audio examples sound very nice, by the way!

    Thank you so much for putting this all together, Bill. I hope you don't mind this extra info I've posted about using reverb. I thought it could be helpful to include the more standard process of adding FX in a mix, along with what you outlined.

    Applause, Bill!

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    There's one un-orthodox step you've taken in setting up your mix:

    --You've directed your Soloist track directly to a Reverb Bus rather than used that track's Send knob directed to that Reverb Bus. What you've done gives the Soloist a 100% wet signal, with the Reverb level determined by the Reverb Bus fader.

    --If your project had one more than one track needing reverb, and you sent the additional tracks directly to the Reverb Bus in the same way, then those tracks would also be 100% wet. If you changed the over all reverb level with the bus's fader, all instruments would be effected to the same degree. But usually, when multiple tracks need reverb, they each need a different amount.

    --The standard mixing method is to use the Send knobs on the tracks needing reverb. The knobs determine how much of the dry signal is split off and processed. The reverb plug-in inserted in the Reverb Bus is set to 100% so that the full potential level of reverb is available. But it's rare for any instruments to need that full potential. On the average, Send knobs are set so that there's approximately 80% dry signal and 20% wet signal --but of course actual levels depend on the project and the instruments in question. In this standard mixing approach, all tracks are directed to the main bus.

    --In your project with just one track needing reverb, there's no advantage of using a Reverb Bus. You could just insert the reverb plug-in directly in that track's FX bin, and use the plug-ins controls to determine the reverb level. That's rarely done, but in your case, that's all that's needed. The Reverb Bus you're using is an unnecessary mediary between the instrument track and the main bus which you call "Mix" (which is usually called the Master), unless you were to use the track's Send knob in the standard way.

    --So, in that more standard way of mixing, all tracks are directed straight to the Mix/Master, and Send knobs are used for reverb or other FX.
    Randy
    You are exactly right, Randy. I forewent (is that a word) that process since I was only sending one instrument to the reverb. If I would have added the Melody line/instrument, I would have done it from the track's FX bin. But, I didn't want to complicate the example. Maybe another episode for the advance techniques should be offered. I will think on it. I am at the point where I am in Undiscovered Country (Thanks Star Trek). I do use the method you outline when sending more than 1 instrument (actually, I use your method all the time). I did this to simplify the explanation.

    For others, let me know if you'd like a tutoral on using the effects through the tracks effect bin.

    Thanks Randy for an informative discussion.

    As always, Best Regards,

    Bill
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  4. #4

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Quote Originally Posted by wrayer View Post
    ...If I would have added the Melody line/instrument, I would have done it from the track's FX bin...I do use the method you outline when sending more than 1 instrument (actually, I use your method all the time). I did this to simplify the explanation...
    Hi, Bill - I appreciate that you're so patient with me adding to the discussion on your tutorial threads.

    Maybe since I can easily confuse myself, I always work the same way, no matter how simple the project is. I always set up me Master bus, Reverb Bus, and group instrument Busses. I was just confused when I saw you not using a Send in your demo project, negating the need for a Bus.

    In the quote I pulled out above, you have two different methods listed for adding reverb to more than one track - But I understand you to mean that you usually use Sends going to the Reverb Bus, with all tracks going going directly to your Mix/Master Bus. I think?

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    In the quote I pulled out above, you have two different methods listed for adding reverb to more than one track - But I understand you to mean that you usually use Sends going to the Reverb Bus, with all tracks going going directly to your Mix/Master Bus. I think?Randy
    I am on uncharted territory, but I do use the track(s) Fx Bin to send to a reverb bus that allows me to control the amount of reverb I use in the output. I will have to create a little visual to show what I mean. I just didn't want to complicate matters for a beginner - which I am close to being myself.

    As always, your insights help others to see what is important in mixing and I always enjoy your input.

    I would caution all readers that there are many ways to accomplish these tasks, it's what sounds good and is easiest to repeat (as in other mix-downs) that is important.

    Please, other readers, tell us how these tutorials have helped you. The more we here other points of view, the more we can understand the process and incorporate new ideas.

    The teacher in me has spoken,

    Bill
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  6. #6

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Hello again, Bill - I'm with you - I hope other readers come on with some replies too!

    People always develop their own ways of working, after they've learned the basics of how their software works, and about the standard ways pro engineers work. Something great about good DAW software is that's a collection of tools that are flexible in how they're used. We're given a big open work space, a bunch of tools, and we can go about our work in whatever way occurs to us and that works!

    Quote Originally Posted by wrayer View Post
    ...I do use the track(s) Fx Bin to send to a reverb bus that allows me to control the amount of reverb I use in the output. I will have to create a little visual to show what I mean...
    Now, that's interesting!-- When you have time for a screenshot about that, I'd appreciate seeing it. There aren't any Sends available from the FX bin of a track, so I don't understand what you mean.

    In the interest of making the standard method of using reverb clear, here's a bit more:

    The Sends I'm talking about are the ones you get when you right click in the middle area of a channel strip in the Console view. You click where you want the Send to go (Reverb) and that activates the Send. The default level of the knob is at "O," which doesn't mean the same as "-INF" (no signal), but rather, it means optimum level. You can go above that level with the Send knob to add an unusually large amount of reverb.

    The knob controls what amount of the signal is split off and sent to the Reverb Bus. The reverb plug-in is in the Bus's FX bin, and nothing is placed in the track's FX bin. The reverb unit needs to be at 100% wet.

    Now when you use the Send knobs for each of your tracks, you can mix in varying amounts of reverb for each instrument.

    The tracks are directed to their appropriate group Bus, or to the Master, like the Reverb Bus.

    Hopefully that makes the standard reverb mixing process more clear. It's not advanced stuff, it's really just Mixing 101, so I felt it would be good to have it included on this discussion thread.

    Here's a screen shot of Sonar 8.5's mixer, with some of the project's tracks and busses visible on the screen. Just slightly above center, you can see the activated Sends for the tracks. The green VU meters indicates the Sends are on. The amount of Send used doesn't effect the over-all volume of the tracks, so those volume faders don't have to be adjusted:



    Thanks again for the tutes, Bill.

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Looks right. Maybe, just like what I do, different verbage. I will take a screen shot and show you when I have a chance.

    Thanks for the info, this has been fun.

    Bill
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  8. #8

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Hi Bill,

    I just want to add my thanks as well for the great work you have put in to bring us these very clearly explained BIAB tutorials.

    It's good to have the uncompressed wav and then compressed one for comparison. When used well, it really can bring a track to life. Much more dynamic and punchy.

    Great work Bill and thank you.
    yjoh

    Music... A Joy For Life.

  9. #9

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    You are most welcome, Yjoh.

    Bill
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  10. #10

    Re: BiaB/Garritan Exercises: Episode 3 (Final)

    Hey, Bill - Looking through your thread again, I think I spotted a cause for a bit of confusion that came up earlier.

    When you said you "...use the track's FX Bin to send to a reverb bus..." I didn't understand, since there are no Sends from an FX Bin. So I posted a screenshot of Sonar's Console View that shows the track Sends going to a Reverb Bus. After seeing that, you said it's what you usually do. I think earlier you had typed "FX Bin" when you actually meant the Sends.

    The FX Bin is that empty black box right above the Send areas in the channel strips. You can insert FX directly there, and that cause's that track's signal to run completely through it, 100% processed. That's why we use the FX Bin in a Reverb Bus instead, and use Sends to branch off only part of a signal to the Bus, getting complete control over how wet/or dry each track is, with each track having a different amount of reverb.

    A good example of wanting FX directly in a track's FX Bin is when we use an Amp Sim for an electric guitar. We need the guitar to completely pass through the amp, just like a real guitar. We certainly don't want any other instruments in the project to go through the amp, so there's no need for a bus, since buses are for handling multiple signals. We just strap that amp which is unique to the guitar track, directly in the track's FX Bin.

    There - I get the conversation better now. Hope that was helpful!

    Randy

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