Oh yes, my friends, give me the weekend..... There WILL be a blog........... Feel free to start without me......
I guess the pictures didn't post..... Waves new "Vocal Rider"
"Vocal Rider is the first of Waves pioneering new series of Mix tools. Simply put, Vocal Rider rides the levels of vocal tracks, automatically.
Instead of manually riding the physical mixing console fader, or tediously drawing in each individual level change on a DAW track, Vocal Rider does it for you, making it a true timesaver.
All you need to do is set the target range of the vocal level in relation to the rest of the mix. Then, Vocal Rider compensates for all deviations from the target, intelligently raising or lowering the vocal volume, instantly. And unlike everyday compression, Vocal Rider adds absolutely no additional coloring to the track."
So much for the art of mixing.......... Like I said, give me the weekend.........
OK Guys.... I don't want to turn this into a WAVEs bashing post, not my intent. It's just getting to the point that we are letting the numbers getting crunched in a computer is mixing the music for us. To me, old school and all, there is nothing like the feel of riding that vocal through an analog console with a fader, not a mouse drawing lines in. The actual feel of pushing something up or pulling it back and the way that it affects the summing busses..... The way it hits the two-mix compressor..... The organic feel of a mix....
Waves makes some great and useful plug-ins, some of which I use, but just because you CAN automate a task doesn't mean you SHOULD. There is no steadfast rule that says results are better through robotic automation. On one of the most commercially successful records I ever mixed, the computer based automation went out on the console, so I had to set up a mix, mark the moves on console tape next to the faders and the artist, producer and I would run all the moves for each mix. Not only was it a lot of fun, but the mixes were truly the result of all our artistic effort. And to top it off, it didn't really take all that long, at least we weren't constantly going back and "tweaking" things.
Funny.... My first few years of engineering was sans-automation. We'd run a half dozen passes and then pick the best one. OF course, they all sucked anyway. But hey, it was a bunch of 18 year olds learning on extremely out of date studio equipment. The kind we all want these days.
Oh, on another note, I'VE NEVER drawn in automation with a mouse. Is that not artless also? I'm with Mark, even though I'm riding a fader on my controller. I just like feeling it. I'd love to have the analog console too, but alas, my wife would kill me if I came home with one.
I found this plug-in surprisingly useful for mixing comped-up vocals when placed before the vocal limiter and tweaked to just do enough to reduce the amount of limiting required. I then hand-ride a fader after the compressor for my final balance.
Back in the analog world we had to ride a vocal as we tracked in order to keep the noise down. Then we rode it again during the mix. This thing doesn't replace riding vocals but it has sure cleaned up some stuff I've mixed!
I agree but disagree..... Bob.... Yes to keep the noise down, but I remember watching Pat McMakin when I was an intern at Tree, mixing a Vern Gosdin album and he would ride the individual words up and down. Compressing/limiting without the effect of it.......
That's exactly what you do that nothing can automagically do. When vocals aren't assembled from dozens of takes and the gain was ridden during the recording it's a lot easier to hang on to. The vocal rider is just a very slow automatic gain control with a colorful interface. I was surprised by how useful it turned out to be. It still doesn't replace riding the fader in a mix.
Didn't you know that mastering is really just a multi-band compressor, ProTools replaces the need for a recording studio and sequencers replace musicians who can actually play?
Lets face it, musicians, engineers and producers have been in direct competition with the software industry for over a decade. The thing that blew my mind was when software copy protection was praised in the very same Electronic Musician editorial that condemned copy protection on CDs and DAT machines.