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Category Archives: Friday Tip of the Week


Beyond “New York”-Style Compression

Go to the web, and you’ll see a zillion YouTube videos and web posts that all say the same thing: a technique called parallel compression (also called New York compression) uses two parallel tracks to blend compressed and dry audio. The goal is to retain a compressed sound, while using the dry signal to mix some dynamics back in.

Realistically, though, this is kind of old news. Modern compressors (like Studio One’s) often add a dry/wet mix control, which means you no longer need to set up a separate dry path. So, let’s bid a fond farewell to New York compression—and take it to the next level.

Who Says the Dry Track Has to Be “Dry”?

It doesn’t, which is helpful because there’s a problem with mixing in a dry track. Although the goal is to preserve some dynamics, much of the dry signal overlaps with the compressed audio. So while you’re mixing the peaks back in, you’re also masking the compressed signal with the dry sound. This takes away from the theoretical purpose of New York-style compression.

Of course, that’s not “wrong”—it might be the sound you want. But it’s not the sound I want, because I want to isolate the peaks more before mixing them in with the compressed sound. And I want to do it in a way that sounds more natural than a transient shaper, and doesn’t obscure the benefits of the compressed audio.

Fig. 1 shows a potential answer: Use a parallel track for compression, but instead of a parallel dry track, use a parallel track with an expander.

Figure 1: Routing for the Beyond NYC Compression effect.

The audio above the Expander’s threshold is dry, while the audio below the threshold that’s expanded downward gets out of the way of the compressed track. This lets you dial in exactly how you want to handle dynamic peaks, and the amount of unprocessed drum overlap with the compressed drums. Because the dry drum channel’s pre-fader sends to the Compressor and Expander, you can still bring in some dry drum sound if you want…but after using the Expander instead, you may prefer to leave the dry drums out entirely.

Since a waveform is worth 1,000 words, here are some audio examples.

This is the original dry drum loop. Note the gorgeous attack on the snare—we don’t want to lose this.

Dry Drums

Applying compression with the settings in fig. 2 gives this sound. The heavy squashing is typical of New York compression, because mixing in dry drums offsets the compression effect somewhat.

Compressed Drums

Mixing in dry signal gives the traditional New York compression sound. The peaks are back, compared to the compressed signal.

NYC Compressed

This version uses the Beyond NYC technique. The sound is tighter, the snare is punchier, the kick and peaks hit harder, and there’s a cleaner sound because there’s no heavy overlap of dry and compressed sound at levels below the Expander’s threshold. What’s more, with traditional NYC compression normalized to the same peak value, the Beyond NYC version is about 0.6 LUFS louder—despite having a greater sense of dynamics.

Beyond NYC Compressed

How to Adjust It

1. Set up the Compressor for the sound you like. Fig. 2 shows typical compression settings to squash your drums. These are the settings used in all the audio examples (except for the dry drums).

Figure 2: Initial compressor settings.

2. Set the Expander Threshold somewhat higher than the Compressor’s Threshold. This is a starting point, because you’ll likely want to vary the Expander’s Threshold as you dial in an appropriate setting. Start with an Expansion ratio of 1:1.

3. With the ratio at 1:1, the effect is the same as traditional New York compression. Bring up the Expander channel’s level so that the peaks start complementing the compressed track.

Figure 3: Typical Expander settings.

4. Now comes the fun part. Increase the Expander Ratio. Around 1:2, the dry sound masks the compressed sound less. Meanwhile, the Expander is preserving the peaks that fall above the Threshold.  

5. Adjust the Expander Threshold to choose the best balance (and separation) of the dry peaks with the downward expanded audio. Fig. 3 shows the Expander settings used for the audio example.

6. Choose your ideal balance of the Compressed and Expanded tracks.

Further Customizing

Return the Expander’s Ratio control to 1:1. The sound will seem looser, and less defined. That may be a sound you like, but increase the ratio to 1:4.0. Now you can bring up more of the compressed sound, yet still have a punchier, more percussive vibe from the expanded channel.

Readjust the mix of compressed and expanded channels until you find the right balance. Higher expansion ratios not only tighten the drums, but leave more space in the arrangement. Just remember that any time you change the Expander’s ratio, you’ll probably have to tweak the balance of the compressed and expanded channels.

Sometimes, it’s worth questioning how we’ve always done something. Replacing a dry path with an Expander resulted from simply asking “what if…”. Who knows how many other techniques are waiting for us to find them?

For more tips on how to get the most out of Studio One, check out the series of Studio One eBooks that cover tips & tricks, creative mixing, recording/mixing vocals, dynamics processors, and recording/mixing guitar. Remember, just like software, eBook owners can download the latest “point” updates for free from their PreSonus account (or Sweetwater account, if purchased from there). Owners are also eligible for new editions at a reduced price.  

Super Stereo and Mondo Mono

This is my first FX Chain designed for Project page songs, although it also works for tracks and buses in the Song page. It’s based on mid-side processing. Fig. 1 shows the control panel, with switch-selectable Super Stereo (side emphasis) and Mondo Mono (center/mid emphasis). Complementary gain controls for the Mid and Side fine-tune the levels. Trim compensates for level changes caused by adjusting the other controls.

Figure 1: FX Chain control panel.

How It Works

Actually, you don’t need to know how it works—just download the FX Chain for Studio One Professional. (If you want to see an Artist version, let me know in the Comments.) For the curious, fig. 2 shows the “block diagram.”

Figure 2: Block diagram.

The Mixtool encodes the stereo signal into mid and side channels, and the Splitter splits them into two parallel paths. Each path has a 2.0 ms Analog delay, with Modulation used as a “secret weapon”—it adds an extremely subtle 3D quality on headphones. Enabling the delay in the side path extends the stereo image outward, while enabling the delay in the mid path squeezes the image more to mono.

Each path has a Gain control for adjusting the mid and side levels. Use these to fine-tune the switched settings.

The second-to-last Mixtool adds a fixed 6 dB of gain to compensate for the encoding/decoding process. The final Mixtool provides the Trim control’s ±6 dB of cut/gain. Fig. 3 shows the results of using this effect.

Figure 3: Dry audio (left), Super Stereo (middle), Mondo Mono (right).

How to Use It

This is not one of those effects that sounds best if you turn everything up full. The default has all controls flat. Start by enabling Super Stereo. Turn that off. Enable Mondo Mono. You’ll hear an obvious difference. Then turn both off, and play with the Gain controls for the Mid and Side. As to modulation, sometimes you can hear the effect, sometimes not.

Use Mondo Mono to tweak something that you know is going to play back over a mono, or close-to-mono, sound system. Turn the Side gain up all the way, then enable Mondo Mono. This mixes the sides more into mono, so they translate well in a mono mix.

In the audio example, the first half is without processing. Then the same phrase repeats in Super Stereo, with modulation up full. Both have been edited to the same LUFS value. I think you’ll hear the difference, especially if you go back to the first half after listening to the second half—which definitely “pops” more.

[insert audio example, Super Stereo.mp3]

Super Stereo

Download the Super Stereo Mondo Mono.multipreset here

For more tips on how to get the most out of Studio One, check out the series of Studio One eBooks that cover tips & tricks, creative mixing, recording/mixing vocals, dynamics processors, and recording/mixing guitar. Remember, just like software, eBook owners can download the latest “point” updates for free from their PreSonus account (or Sweetwater account, if purchased from there). Owners are also eligible for new editions at a reduced price.

Purify Your Reverb

With algorithmic reverbs (like the Room Reverb), you might be surprised at how much dry sound makes its way to the output, even with the dry/wet control set to all wet. Normally we don’t think about this—the reverb’s in a bus, it’s 100% wet, end of story. But this causes a certain lack of clarity, because the dry sound we want to hear by itself has to compete with a reverberated version of itself. Removing the last vestiges of dry sound from a reverb bus by adding a second, out-of-phase reverb in a parallel bus increases clarity, and spreads the reverb more.

Here’s the sound of conventional reverb. Even though there’s no dry sound mixed in, you can still hear plenty of piano.

Normal Reverb

Next, the sound of pure reverb. There’s less piano, and the reverb stretches out to the sides. This leaves more space in the middle for mixing in the dry piano we do want to hear.

Pure Reverb

Of course, if your productions are loaded with tracks, these subtle differences may not matter. But if  you do productions with solo instruments, prioritize vocals, or prefer minimal track counts in your own work, the purer reverb sound can improve the final mix’s clarity and space.

How It Works

We’re stealing a page from mid-side processing, without actually doing it. Instead of the usual, single reverb bus, this technique uses two reverb buses in parallel. The same algorithmic reverb, with the same settings, is in both buses (fig. 1).

Figure 1: Routing for the pure reverb effect.

The second bus has a Mixtool inserted. Its sole purpose is to flip the reverb’s phase (fig. 2).

Figure 2: Mixtool parameter settings.

That’s all there is to it. There are only a few tips:

  • Make sure the send going to each reverb is at the same level.
  • You can change the characteristics for one reverb (e.g., Length) and the common audio will still cancel, as long as the two reverbs are at the same level.
  • For this technique to work with convolution reverb, you also need to enable Swap Channels in the Mixtool. This is because convolution reverb doesn’t have the same variations as algorithmic reverb, with which this technique works best.  
  • Advanced tip: If you follow one of the reverbs with a Pro EQ, boosting within a frequency range will reduce cancellation in that range, so the dry sound will creep back in. For example, boost the highs, and the common sound’s higher frequencies will be reverberated.

Finally, let’s hear the sound in context. The main track is a dry piano part. In the first and third parts, the piano feeds a standard reverb bus, set to wet sound only. In the second and fourth parts, the piano feeds the purified reverb bus. You’ll hear that in these parts, the reverb “floats” out more to the sides, is more prominent even though it’s not louder, and the dry piano sound mixed with the reverb is more defined. For the most objective comparison, the piano is not mixed higher in the 2nd and 4th parts, so it does sound a little softer than in the 1st and 3rd parts, where the piano’s sound is inherently mixed in with the reverb.

In Context

For more tips on how to get the most out of Studio One, check out the series of Studio One eBooks that cover tips & tricks, creative mixing, recording/mixing vocals, dynamics processors, and recording/mixing guitar. Remember, eBook owners can download the latest “point” updates for free from their PreSonus account (or Sweetwater account, if purchased from there), just like software. Owners are also eligible for new editions at a reduced price.

“Pump” Your Pads and Power Chords

I’ve written about how to get that cool “pumped” drum sound using the Compressor’s internal sidechain—but I’ve never written about how to obtain the traditional, sidechain-based pumping sound that works with any sustained audio. Apologies! Let’s remedy that oversight.

If you’re not familiar with this effect, a waveform is worth a thousand words. Here, the drum track’s kick is pumping the Mai Tai synth part, which would otherwise be sustaining (like it does at the end).

Pump It (Eurosphere Mix)

The Routing

Fig. 1 shows the routing. The Drum Mix track’s signal goes through a pre-fader send to a Bus. To isolate the kick sound going through the Bus, the Pro EQ cuts off the highs, and boosts the bass. The kick signal from the Bus goes through a pre-fader send to the sidechain of a Compressor in the synth track. The Compressor does the pumping.

Figure 1: Signal flow for pumping a synth pad or power chord with the kick from a mixed drum loop.

The Bus EQ

Fig. 2 shows the EQ settings. Yes, I know it’s horribly distorted. But it doesn’t matter, because we don’t hear it. We just want a big honkin’ blob of kick energy to bombard the compressor’s sidechain…which this does.

Figure 2: Only two stages are highlighted, because that’s all we need

The Compressor

Fig. 3 shows the settings used in the audio example, but these are quite critical. You’ll likely need to tweak them for your specific musical scenario.

Figure 3: Compressor settings.
  • Lower Threshold = deeper pumping
  • Higher Ratio = more aggressive pumping
  • Higher Release = longer recovery from the pump
  • Higher Knee value = slightly less abrupt pumping
  • Auto and Adaptive = leave them off—we don’t want a natural compression sound
  • Mix = the secret weapon! Go from a hint of pumping at low percentages, to extreme pumpological action at 100%. And remember: this parameter is automatable. Just sayin.’
  • Pre-fader send to the Compressor’s Sidechain = tweak this for the most consistent results.

Frankly, I never get tired of this effect. I hope you enjoy it!

For more tips on how to get the most out of Studio One, check out the series of Studio One eBooks that cover tips & tricks, creative mixing, recording/mixing vocals, dynamics processors, and recording/mixing guitar. Remember, eBook owners can download the latest “point” updates for free from their PreSonus account (or Sweetwater account, if purchased from there), just like software. Owners are also eligible for new editions at a reduced price.

Multiband Harmonic Tremolo

If you’ve been following the Friday Tip blog posts, then you know two things: I actually use the stuff I write about, and ask “What if?” a lot. Those attributes come together into this post, which is more like a mod of two previous posts.

The March 26, 2018 post was The “Harmonic Tremolo” FX Chain. Unlike a standard tremolo, which does periodic modulation between high and low volume levels, a harmonic tremolo does periodic modulation between high and low frequency bands. In other words, the modulation is frequency-based instead of amplitude-based.

Then on June 3 of this year, the post was Spruce Up Your Mono Guitar’s Image. This split the signal to two Ampire graphic EQs only (no amp and no cab), with their sliders set oppositely—if one band’s slider was up on one graphic EQ, the same band’s slider was down on the other EQ. The result is a stereo image from a mono instrument like guitar or vintage synths. However, this particular effect can also impart some very interesting sounds to pads when you slow the X-Trem speed way down.

The “Aha!” Moment

When using both tips in one project, I wondered what would happen if I inserted the X-Trem from “The Harmonic Tremolo FX Chain” before the Splitter in “Spruce Up Your Mono Guitar’s Image.” Bingo! This creates a multiband harmonic tremolo that sounds pretty darn cool. Simply make the following mods in the June 3 post.

For the Studio One Artist version, which uses pre-fader Sends and Buses, insert the X-Trem into the Instrument track. Choose Pan mode (fig. 1).

Figure 1:  X-Trem settings for either the Studio One Artist or Studio One Professional version.

The two pre-fader sends from the Instrument track go to two buses hosting their own Ampires, each with the graphic EQ settings shown in the June 3 post. These then feed into the Main Bus (fig. 2). However, note that we can simplify this particular implementation, because we’ll usually want to vary the levels and panning of the Left and Right buses. For example, panning Right to center and Left to hard left spreads the sound from center to left.

Figure 2: Studio One Artist routing for the Multiband Harmonic Tremolo.

The downloadable Multiband Harmonic Tremolo FX Chain for Studio One Professional doesn’t need a control panel, because it can expose the crucial parameters (X-Trem Depth and Speed, Dual Pan Left and Right controls) when you expand the related plug-ins (fig. 3).

Figure 3: FX Chain for the Multiband Harmonic Tremolo.

The routing (fig. 4) is the same as for the Harmonic Tremolo in the 2018 post, except that the Ampire graphic EQs replace the two Pro EQs.

Figure 4: Multiband Harmonic Tremolo FX Chain routing.

That’s all there is to it. If you thought tremolo effects didn’t have any more life to them—this sucker just might change your mind! And I’ve learned that just because there’s a standard definition of what a harmonic tremolo does, that doesn’t mean we can’t invent new approaches.

Download the appropriate FX Chain for your version of Ampire:

Multiband Harmonic Tremolo.multipreset for standard Ampire

Multiband Harmonic Tremolo HD.multipreset for Ampire with the High-Density pack

Surf’s Up

The July 4th weekend is approaching, so it’s time to hit the beach—but you can’t have surfing without surf music, right? So before you start scouting for the impact zone, grab your guitar, import the epic downloadable Ampire preset, and play your guitar until you have noodle arms. Surf’s up!

The Surf Sound—Axe

It starts with the guitar, and your playing technique. Ideally, your guitar will have single-coil pickups, a whammy bar, at least .010 gauge strings (preferably a little heavier), and a hard pick to go with the heavy strings. If your guitar doesn’t have single-coil pickups, no worries—check out the Pro EQ-based Friday tip from November 2018, Humbucker to Single-Coil Conversion with EQ.

The Surf Sound—Amp

As luck would have it, Ampire has exactly what we need (fig. 1). Surf music wants a clean amp (well, maybe just a hint of distortion), lots of treble, and spring reverb. Tremolo is optional. I also use a compressor before the amp, to bring up decaying strings after playing with the whammy bar.

Figure 1: Ampire in all its surfer dude glory. By the way…is it my imagination, or is that background a pipeline?

Check out the audio example, I think it nails that mythical guitar sound. And just to be clear, this isn’t about cultural appropriation of surf music, nor is it a parody. This is a tribute—my high school band opened for the Ventures, and I still think the surf guitar sound represents a unique moment in time. Have fun!

Surf’s Up.mp3

Download the Ampire preset CA Surf Music.preset

Play Faster with Tape Stretch

How to Play Faster—By Playing Slower covered how to slow down tempo of non-MIDI based music without changing pitch. This allows playing a difficult part at a slower speed, and then speeding the part back up to the desired tempo. However, this method may produce artifacts, because time-stretching algorithms aren’t perfect (yet…).

With tape, musicians used variable-speed recorders to implement the same technique. However, because this approach locked pitch and tempo together, slowing down the tempo also lowered pitch. So, you’d need to learn the song in a different key, or retune your instrument to match the lower pitch. Speeding the tape back up to its original tempo sped up the slower overdub, and raised its pitch as well.

Studio One’s “Tape” stretch mode works the same way as variable-speed tape, and unlike other stretch methods, produces zero artifacts. You still need to learn the part in a different key, but sometimes this is a good thing. When you play along at the slower tempo and then speed the part back up again, the instrument’s timbre becomes brighter—which might be just what a song needs. Similarly, you can record at a faster speed, and then slow back down for a sound that’s more like downtuning. What’s more, with stringed instruments, it’s possible to record with a different voicing that might be more effective, or provide additional contrast if you’re layering parts.

How to Do It

1. Rather than try to slow down an entire Song, position the loop markers at the beginning and end. Choose Song > Export Mixdown to create a premix of the Song. Under Export Range, choose “Between Loop.” Under Options, check “Import to Track” (fig. 1).

Figure 1: Export the premix.

2. Mute all Song tracks except the imported premix.

3. Select the premix, and open its Inspector (F4).

4. For Timestretch mode, choose “Tape” (fig. 2).

Figure 2: Inspector settings for the premix.

5. Further down in the Inspector, locate the “Speedup” parameter.

6. Enter a Speedup value that “lands” on a key, as shown in fig. 3. For example, a Speedup setting of 0.89089 slows the tempo to 89% of its current value, and transposes pitch down 2 semitones. Enter all 6 digits for correct tuning, even though Speedup displays only 3 digits (Studio One knows the extra digits are there). Hit Return.

7. Create a new track, and record your overdub at the slower tempo, in the different key.

8. When you’re done, make sure your overdub extends to the song’s beginning. If there’s a gap, use the Paint tool to create a blank event that extends from the song’s beginning to the overdub. Select the blank clip and overdub, and then type Ctrl+B to turn them into a single event.

9. Click on the overdub event, and set Timestretch to Tape. transpose it up by as much as it was transposed down. For example, if the track was transposed down 2 semitones, enter a Speedup time of 1.12246 to transpose it back up two semitones. Hit return.

10. Done!

Figure 3: Speedup parameter values for different transpositions.

That Vintage Airy Sound

…as in, 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love.” Back in those days, to minimize tape hiss, noise reduction compressed and increased highs when recording, then expanded and reduced highs on playback. Many recordings of that era enhanced the highs on some tracks (especially vocals) by using noise reduction when they printed to tape, but then they didn’t “undo” the sound on playback. Once you’ve heard that sound, you’ll recognize it—a present, bright, yet not overbearingly trebly sound.

You may remember the “cassette,” a primitive form of audio recording invented over half-century ago, and intended for dictation. If so, you may also remember that when you turned off noise reduction, the cassette sounded brighter and more present. It’s the same principle.

How It Was Done

The early days, “studio standard” noise reduction was a broadband unit that applied the noise reduction process in four separate bands. The “hack” was to disable two of the bands, and use only the high bands (basically, shelving EQ around 3 and 9 kHz) to compress and increase highs.

But the reason why this worked so well is because lower-level, high-frequency signals were compressed the most. The higher the level, the lower the compression ratio. This is why the treble increase wasn’t overbearing when you used noise reduction to enhance the highs. Amazingly, we can obtain a very similar effect with stock plug-ins.

How to Do It

We’re not constrained to trying to sound like the original hardware unit, so we can optimize our approach for musical applications in Studio One instead of noise reduction with tape recorders. The Multiband Dynamics plug-in is well-suited for the “more-compression-at-low-levels” trick (fig. 1).

Figure 1: These Multiband Dynamics parameters give the fabulous airy sound. Only the High band is active. Everything else is muted.

As the curve shows, there’s a lot of compression at lower levels, but as the input gets higher, the ratio approaches 1:1. That’s exactly the effect we want. A maximum Knee setting makes for a smooth transition along the compression curve.

These are not necessarily the optimum settings for your application, so feel free to experiment. My intention was to create settings that avoided having too much or too little of a compression curve.

The Mix control determines the amount of the effect. Note that the Low Threshold, High Threshold, and Ratio controls all interact. The settings shown (which are also used in the downloadable preset) worked for me and give a pretty obvious effect. For something more subtle, set the Ratio to 3.0:1, and the Low Threshold to around -63. As to the preset, after downloading, import it into the Multiband Dynamics, or just drag it on top of the plug-in’s interface.

Anyway, hearing is believing, so listen to the audio example. I’ve added a fair amount of the effect so that it’s obvious. In a full mix, you might use less. The following audio demo alternates between an unprocessed version and processed version. The sounds are choir, 12-string guitar, vocal, and piano. I dug up a scratch vocal with loud sibilants because it really gets the point across—the sibilants are not more pronounced in the processed version, even though the overall sound is much brighter. Also, the piano is interesting. The portions with soft dynamics still have increased brightness, but the brightness doesn’t get out of hand when the dynamics hit hard (which even when unprocessed, are brighter anyway). You can hear the music these came from at youtube.com/thecraiganderton.

Vintage Airy audio example

So download the preset, drag it to your Multiband Dynamics, and…be happy you didn’t have to buy a piece of hardware to get this sound!

Download the CA_Vintage Airy preset here!

5 Mai Tai Tips & Tricks

We already covered Mai Tai’s FM synthesizer secret identity—but that was the start of “fun things to do with Mai Tai,” not the end. Here are five more Mai Tai tips, along with a couple bonus presets you can import.

1. The Character section. If you didn’t get into this feature, maybe it’s because you tried the top three options, thought “whatever,” and moved on. But this section doesn’t start hitting its stride until you get to CharacterSaw, Subvox, Talky, and Voxil, with honorable mention going to the bottom five options. The associated Sound and Amount parameters are the key to creating versatile variations (the effects are most pronounced with Amount between halfway and all the way up). Do yourself a favor: loop a big fat sawtooth chord, and play around with the Character section controls to hear what they do.

2. Random Phase. Enabling RP emulates the analog synth characteristic where an oscillator doesn’t always start from the same point when you press a key. With the two oscillators panned to center, this produces some mild timbral differences—but the magic happens when you enable RP for both oscillators, and pan them hard left and right. Put on headphones, and the slight differences between the two waveforms create animated psychoacoustic motion inside your head.

3. Hard sync. The Sync button in Osc 2 produces this classic synth effect, but be aware that:

  • Osc 2’s Octave range must be equal to, or higher than, Osc 1.
  • For the smoothest sync sweep sound, modulate Osc 2’s pitch with an envelope rather than modulating the Semi control.

Import the preset CA Hard Sync.preset (fig. 1), which is just waiting to be customized. Change the Osc 2 octave, edit the Env 3 shape that goes to the Osc 2 Pitch, try different PWM settings, see what else the Character and Filter sections can do…there are a lot of options.

Figure 1: Settings for the CA Hard Sync.preset.

4. You can automate almost anything, including the effects. Automating the Character section’s Sound and Amount controls can add ever-changing timbral variety, although it also reminds me that I really wish Studio One’s Paint tool could draw smoothed random waveforms. However, I do like to use the Paint tool to draw square wave modulation, and automate the Osc 2 Semi parameter when doing hard sync. This flips the sound between two timbres, like a crazy sample-and-hold.

5. The Modulation Matrix. My “Faux Feedback” preset (fig. 2) depends on the modulation matrix, and emulates what happens with electric guitar as feedback starts to build up.

Figure 2: The CA Faux Feedback.preset.

The interesting programming aspects are:

  • Osc 2 is tuned an octave and fifth above Osc 1. This produces the feedback “whine.”
  • To bring in feedback as the note develops, Env 3’s slow attack increases Osc 2’s Level. If you’re impatient and want the feedback to come in sooner, shorten the attack time.
  • Env 3 also applies vibrato to both oscillators as the feedback comes in. Guitar players often add vibrato as the string sustains.
  • If you want manual control over vibrato, the Mod Wheel introduces vibrato in parallel with Env 3’s delayed vibrato.

Import the CA Faux Feedback.preset, and play slowly at first—hold the note until the “feedback” appears, because this will give you a feel for how the sound develops. Don’t forget to include a lot of pitch-bending action when doing single-note solos (although the preset also sounds good with chords). And there are plenty of opportunities for customization…so have at it!

Download the CA Hard Sync.preset

Download the CA Faux Feedback.preset

Spruce Up Your Mono Guitar’s Image

Almost all guitars, and many vintage keyboards, have mono outputs—but when it comes to recording and mixing, it’s a stereo world. Ooops. Although you can always follow guitar with a stereo effect (like reverb or chorusing) to create a stereo image, the guitar itself is still mono. You can also do tricks with time delays or phase changes, but these usually produce comb filtering, and don’t collapse well to mono.

So, here’s a solution for giving your guitar a stereo spread that collapses back into mono without any problems. As a bonus, once you’ve converted the guitar to stereo, you’ll also get the most out of any stereo effects that follow it.

The Secret Sauce

This technique works in Studio One Artist, but at the end, we’ll also cover a tidier alternative for Studio One Professional. The stereo image comes from splitting the guitar into two parallel Ampire Blue EQs. The EQ sliders are set to equal and opposite positions so that when one EQ’s band is boosting, the same band on the other EQ is cutting, and vice-versa (fig. 1). Panning one Graphic EQ to the left and the other to the right splits the frequencies into different channels, which creates the stereo image.

Figure 1: Graphic EQ settings

If all you want is the stereo image, bypass the Ampire amps and cabinets. But wait—there’s more! If you set up different amps and cabs in the two channels, you’ll have a gorgeous stereo “stacked’ amp setup. Note that the graphic EQs will affect the amp’s tone; you’ll have a different sound depending on whether the EQs precede or follow the amp+cab. See which option you like best.

Routing and Setup

Referring to fig. 2, the guitar track has two pre-fader sends, which send the guitar’s audio to two buses (these buses become the left and right channels). Each bus has an Ampire inserted, with the graphic EQ settings shown in fig. 1.

Figure 2: Routing for Studio One Artist

The two buses go through their own pre-fader sends, with one send panned left and the other panned right. The sends end up at the last bus in the setup, which provides the final stereo guitar signal.

Note that with this setup, you can also “weight” the stereo image more to one side. For example, pan the left channel’s send left, but the right channel’s send to center. Now the guitar will sound like it’s coming more from the left channel. Because the panning isn’t acting like a typical stereo pan control (which is really a balance control), both channels are equally prominent—they’re just mixed together.

Studio One Professional Version

With Professional, you can build all of this into an FX Chain (fig. 3) that inserts in your guitar’s track.

Figure 3: Routing for Studio One Professional

The Splitter, in Channel Split mode, splits the guitar into left and right channels. Each has the same Ampire setup described earlier (only graphic EQs, or graphic EQs with amps and cabs). The Dual Pan is optional. Because we’re not using pannable sends, the Dual Pan allows the kind of weighting described previously, where you can tilt the image more to the left or right side.

And now, guitar players of the world—go forth and stereo!