PreSonus Blog

Friday Tips: Multiband Processing Development System

I’m a big fan of multiband processing. This technique divides a signal into bands (I generally choose lows, low mids, mids, and high mids), processes each band independently, then sums the bands’ outputs back together again.

I first used multiband processing in the early 80s, with the Quadrafuzz distortion unit (later virtualized by both Steinberg and MOTU). This produces a “cleaner” distortion sound because you didn’t have the intermodulation distortion caused by low strings and high strings interacting with each other. However, multiband processing is also useful with delay, like using shorter delays on lower frequencies, and longer delays on higher frequencies…or chorus, if you want a super-lush sound. But there are other cool surprises, like using different effects in the different bands, or using envelope filters.

So for Studio One, I’ve created a multiband processing “development system” for creating new multiband effects—and that’s the subject of this tip.When I find an effect I like, it gets turned into a fixed FX chain that uses the Splitter module’s multi-band capabilities instead of buses to create four parallel signal paths.

Band Splitting

Figure 1: The Multiband Processing Development System, set to evaluate multiband processing with analog delay.

Start by creating four pre-fader sends to feed four buses (fig. 1). Each bus handles a specific frequency range. The simplest way to create splits is with the Multiband Dynamics set to no compression, so it can serve as a crossover.

To create the bands, insert a Multiband Dynamics processor in one of the buses, open it, and set the compression Ratio for all Multiband Dynamics bands to 1:1. This prevents any compression from occurring.

Referring to fig. 2, as you play your instrument (or other signal source you want to process), solo the Low band. Then adjust the Low / Low-Mid X-Over Frequency control to set the dividing frequency between the low- and low-mid band.

Figure 2: Use the Multiband Dynamics processor to create the individual band in each bus.


Next, solo the Low Mid band and adjust its frequency control. Use a similar procedure on each band until you’ve chosen the frequencies you want each band to cover. For guitar, having more than four bands isn’t all that necessary, so I normally set the frequency splits to around 250 Hz, 500 Hz, and 1 kHz. The resulting bands are:

  • Below 250 Hz
  • 250 – 500 Hz
  • 500 – 1,000 Hz
  • Above 1,000 Hz

Setting the Mid-High / High X-Over Frequency to Max essentially removes the Multiband Dynamics’  top band.

After choosing the frequency bands, copy the Multiband Dynamics processor to the other three buses. Solo the Low band for one bus, the Low Mid in the next bus, the Mid in the next bus, and finally, the High Mids in the fourth bus. Now each bus covers its assigned frequency range.

At this point, all that’s left is to insert your processor(s) of choice into each band. Don’t forget that you can experiment with panning the different bands, changing levels, altering sends to the buses to affect distortion drive, and more. This type of setup allows for a ton of options…so get creative!

  • Lingo Entertainment

    I would like the Templates aswell.

  • Can I have the template Please.
    Thank you.

  • Andreas

    Hello Sagi! I would also be very interrested in that setup. You can send it to
    Cheers! Andreas

  • Shine_uno

    I would like to get in that mailing list. Thank you in advance

  • Omar Kartier #ThanksInAdvance

  • laney_rocks

    Hi Sagi, Please include me on your brilliant Template, Thank you in advance :-):

  • Paul Bergren

    Very cool. I would be grateful for this template as well.

  • Andy Roberts

    May I get that template, please?

  • Nabeel Ansari

    Why is it being done with sends? Studio One FX Chains have a native frequency split option. Routing to 4 sends with solo’d multiband compressors is clunky by comparison.

    By splitting the bands 4 ways using the native splitter, you can have all of your FX for each band sitting on just one track. You can also then save it as a single chain preset to use on other tracks and projects as well.

  • Dave R

    Please share you templates!

  • Kim Baekgaard

    Hi Sagi, Please include me on your brilliant Template, Thank you in advance :-):

  • James Russell🇵🇦

    Please send me the templates @sagisinai:disqus please and thank you.

  • Joe Davis
  • Sagi Sinai

    Hey everyone, whoever left a mail here in the discussion, I sent him 2 templates – one with stock plugins, mostly based on Fat Channel, and the other template is based on Waves plugins.

    If anyone else wants the templates, feel free to leave a mail here.

  • jmorrisey79

    I’d appreciate that template as well Sagi…. thanks in advance!!

  • Joseph Mathis
  • Ben Nwani

    This is some brilliant act here. Please, consider me as well,

  • Anderton

    That is really, really clever. One of the best aspects of doing these tips is when people take them to places I’d never even considered. Well done!!

  • Chris if you do not mind :))) Would be highly appreciated!! thanks!

  • Sagi Sinai

    As you can see in the pictures, I incorporated the system with several stock plugins like the Fat channel, gate, and binaural pan.
    With this functionality, I can control each important aspect of the mix in a matter of seconds.

    Each bus have a different EQ or compressor, according to the frequency range it represent.

    For example, I use the Passive EQ from the fat channel on my Low bus, and assigend macro controls only for the low frequencies adjustments.

    In the Low Mids and Mids, I used Vintage EQ, and used only the LMF boost, and set the EQ to 360Hz and 700Hz respectively.

    If any one wish to recieve the template, just leave your mail here and I will send it to you.

  • kinectnow

    can you share that template please. Thanks

  • Anderton

    Can you elaborate some more on this? It sounds interesting and creative.

  • Sagi Sinai

    Check your Inbox mate

  • spider

    Hey would you mind sharing that template with me please

  • Sagi Sinai

    After reading this post, I created a mixing template combined with Fat channel, Macro Controls and this method. It took me JUST AN HOUR to mix an entire track with this method. Thanks!