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How do you route/bus with many vocal tracks?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by GuitarMaestro, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. GuitarMaestro

    GuitarMaestro Member

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    Hi there!
    I have thinking about this for some time and wonder how you do it.
    When mixing vocals I usually end up with at least 10 channels of vocals.
    Now I usually put all plugins individually in each channel and route them to one vocal bus. Additionaly I set up a vocal verb bus and send each track to it as much as needed/wanted.
    With this approach my cpu is fully loaded with vocal plugins alone which forces me to mix the instruments in another project and add the vocals later because my cpu cannot handle all at once.
    Usually I have the same plugins on every channel, but I still don't thinks it's possible to put that stuff in the Vocal bus, as compression/eq has to happen on each channel seperately. Otherwise you cannot really set volumes for each channel, because the comp sitting on the bus will neutralize them....

    Any ideas? How do you save cpu in this case?
     
  2. o-dog

    o-dog Member

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    try and find a channel strip plug-in that you like. it might be less taxing on your cpu. they usually have eq, comp, and gate all in one plugin. you may just need to add a de-esser to your channel strip.

    if you are talking about a bunch of efx on your vox i would print the efx to different tracks.
     
  3. 2012

    2012 Member

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    10 channels for Vox?

    What is going on that you need 10 independant channels?
     
  4. GuitarMaestro

    GuitarMaestro Member

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    Thanks for your answers.

    I already do that. Usually I end up with voxformer....

    If you have a chorus with 4+ different voices and verses that are doubled you already have 6+ channels. And then I usually have some special channels for other stuff like whispers, distorted screams, etc. Sure I could reuse some channels with automation but I avoid it as much as possible -> too much hassle....
     
  5. o-dog

    o-dog Member

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    well to get that many tracks with all different efx you really don't have any other options. you are probably doing it the best way. if you are happy with the end result the only thing you can do is wait until you can get whatever the fastest computer out is and you should be able to run tons of plug ins.
     
  6. 2012

    2012 Member

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    Ok. I'm not sure I follow: 4+ different voices in the chorus?

    What does that mean? 1 Lead Vocal + 3 BG Vocals? 1 Lead Vocal + 1 Double + 2 BG Vocals?

    If you give me specific examples of tracks and what you have on each I can give you some suggestions.
     
  7. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    combine the tracks to stereo
     
  8. GuitarMaestro

    GuitarMaestro Member

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    Thanks guys! I figure there is no better solution as o-dog said. I thought you have no control over send volumes, etc. if you freeze tracks in Cubase but I found out that it only freezes the plugins themselves so freezes work great for me in this situation.

    1 Lead + 2 Double + 1 BG

    Aren't 2 plugins in mono = 1 stereo plug in terms of cpu use?
     
  9. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    Try and use less-taxing plugs (like the eq and compression that are included with your DAW software) for bg's and most of your chorus tracks.

    Most of the stuff that I produce or mix has anywhere from 12-24 tracks of vox. Chorus tracks (often referred to as "the hook") are just that - chorus tracks. There's no "lead" or "bg" tracks on the chorus, just chorus vox tracks.

    What's the point of the "vocal buss"? You wanna keep your vocal tracks separate or comp (edit together) them if multiple tracks are used to create a single take. Otherwise, keep them separate. Use dynamics on the inserts of each track (de-esser is not required unless you need it to fix something), but don't use your efx on the inserts unless it's for something special. Create fx channels and use the sends on your vox track to route to the fx channels. This will greatly decrease your cpu usage, and that's how you'd do it on an analog mixer.

    I think that you're doing most of that already, so you probably just need a better cpu and more ram.
     
  10. scorpio01169

    scorpio01169 Member

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    what i would do if you can is automate the plug-ins, yeah it's time consuming but when you are in the verse part of the song turn off the chorus and vise versa. also

    actually in an analog mixer mostly you only wanna use a aux bus when two or more are going to be using the same efx's, however if each channel is using a different settings specific to that channel then you would use the channels inserts
     
  11. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    Ummm...no. I've never or ever seen anyone stick fx on an insert when using a console. Not anywhere. I mean..there are no rules in this, but 99.9% of the time channel inserts are used for dynamics processing - not fx. I didn't say anything about "aux busses", either. Never even heard of that specifc term to be honest. I said "aux sends". You can use busses for fx sends, as well. I tend to use them more for triggering fx via the "float" button on the small faders of an SSL or just to make it more convenient to control the send levels with automation.
     
  12. elmuchoescadawg

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    Its not an uncommon term (in my experience) Auxes, groups and the L+R are all busses as they can all be used to sum signals. The only exception I can think of is VCAs.
     
  13. Jevil

    Jevil Pro Evolution Fucker

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    That's what I do, I always have 2 main vocal tracks (mono) and then combine backing vocals or choir in stereo channel.
     
  14. GuitarMaestro

    GuitarMaestro Member

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    Thanks for your answers!

    I'm doing it exactly like that. The reason I route all vocal tracks to a final vocal bus is just for being able to change the loudness of all vocals in relation to the other instruments without having to change each channel individually.

    Thats a good idea, but freezing is working fine for me and sort of does the same thing.

    Why?:loco:
     
  15. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    I know they're busses technically, but the common term is "send" or "return". A VCA doesn't sum anything, that's why it's not a buss. The VCA provides a way to have automation without having motorized faders.
     
  16. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    Ideally, you don't want to do that.
     
  17. 2012

    2012 Member

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    It sounds like you've developed a workflow that works for you using Cubase's freeze function. I don't use that many doubles or vocal tracks in my sessions, but that's your aesthetic. I feel that using doubles throughout a song takes away some of the character of the vocalist.

    I would suggest you start automating things, especially vocals. It makes the difference between a dynamic and exciting mix and a mix that's just flatlined from all the compression.

    There's nothing wrong with using an aux buss fader for the vocals. It is done all the time to print/render stems, but if I were doing that I would use two busses, one for lead and one for BG.

    Other than that, it sounds like a faster CPU is something to save for. The new 8-core designs are ridiculous in terms of plugins and track count.
     
  18. elmuchoescadawg

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    The way Ive always thought of it were both right. The send is channel specific and sends it onto the buss. VCAs are basically a remote control. Were pretty much on the same page just different terminology.
     
  19. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    Just about every major production has a shitload of vocal tracks. Vocals are the most important aspect of modern music. Doubling thru a whole song doesn't always work, but sometimes it's what the song needs.

    Absolutely. That's exactly why I told him not to buss all the vox to one fader.

    No it's not. Usually just soloing the channels is the way to go for making stems. And again, it's not called "aux buss" - it's a send or return!!! Show me one single board where the manufacturer has printed "aux buss" on the damn thing, and I'll eat my words.


    Some of you guys could do yourselves a HUGE favor and actually learn how signal flow works on an analog console. All DAW's are based on them, and it may help reduce some of the nutty "methods" that I see a lot of young dudes doing these days.
     
  20. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    Just to be clear...A VCA is just an amplifier. On a SSL without moving faders, you buss the signal to the group faders, and a VCA built into the fader will control the volume level after you've written the moves to automation. It doesn't do anything besides that.
     

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