Good Effect Work

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by alfonce, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. alfonce

    alfonce Guest

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to know if it was good practice when using an effect to have the resultant volume out matched to the volume in.

    The way I do it is on a digital desk and I send my instrument channel to an aux channel via a fader. In turn the aux channel feeds into the effect bus via a fader. The wet sound is then piped back into the mix via a volume pot.

    As it stands the aux send is at 0db and the effect return is at 0db.
    So as you can see the instruments send level into the aux strip is what adjusts the amount effect here. And it seems to be a good system.

    My query is though - should the cumilative effected sound be equal in volume to the un effected origional sound? Unless of course your goijg for something obvious like distortion?

  2. tomtom

    tomtom Guest


    Your console routeing makes sense. Open the master aux send to 0dB so that what you send from separate channels is what goes to your "effect" device. I would only lower the master aux send level if the resulting signal level from my channels aux sends would overload the input of the "effect" device. Sticking to 0dBfs also makes sense if you remix often. Unless you are very tidy, take notes and pictures of your mixing configuration, this will ensure that your dry/wet signals balance remain the same every time you recall a mix. I mean, that's one less thing to worry about...

    It does not make sense to me to try to match input/output levels, as they will greatly vary from one program setting to the next one. If you do so, you'll end with great amounts of wet signals to deal with in your mix and I bet you'll reach to your "effects" return to lower them down a great deal. The less you mess with the gain structure of your signal, the better you deal with signal to noise and distortion issues.
    Reverb algorythm I think are designed so that the signal level coming back in is consistant with what you feed it with.
    If you look at the "realistic" side of sound, how could the energy of reverberation in a room match that of the source, as it is gradually absorbed over time by air and reflections? (But if you want to be creative, you should of course break the rules)

    I only ever aligned levels of outboard reverbs, delays,... when I was woriking in the analog domain or converting. I would set the unit to bypass, feed it a sine tone at 1kHz and check that the signal coming back to the console (or DAW, or whatever) was at the same level as what I was sending out to the outboard unit. Today, with digital systems it seems to be less of a worry.

    I hope I answered your question ok.

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