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Gain staging / trim plug / printing to wav across board

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by LeSedna, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    Hello,

    I was wondering, is there any reason not to print a trim plugin before you start working on a project ?

    Example :

    - You receive a full project in .wav tracks and load them up
    - You use a trim plugin (which by definition only affects the volume of the input) to get to your gain staging sweet spot so all your faders are at zero and the trim plugins prepare your whole project to have enough headroom and/or to hit 0VU = -18 dbFS before they enter the first plugin which could be for example VCC or a tape emu plugin
    - You want to print those trim plugins to get new .wav files that are gain stage-ready

    Is this process fully transparent and equivalent to just leaving the plugin, or is there anything going on in terms of samples and noise that would make it not recommended ?

    From what I can guess, volume shouldn't affect in any way the position in time of any sample individually, however I am not too sure about what would be going on with 32 bit floating / 64 bit calculations within the DAW, and if that wouldn't be adding up noise in any way ? I remember years ago people telling me not to print anything, but maybe that was snake oil from the same people who said "Pro Tools sounds better than Cubase" ?
     
  2. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    What is the purpose of printing and not just leaving the trim plugin? Seems like a lot more work for nothing. Looks like you have a good workflow/gain staging going on though. Cheers.


    Wanted to add that lately I've been using protools eq instead of just the trim, just lowering the input/trim , then I'm also able to high pass if needed or make any notches/fixes before sending into vcc. This is especially helpful on an amp sim' guitar track where some notching may be needed before sweetening.
     
  3. abt

    abt BT

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    It shouldn't make any difference but would take up a lot of time.
     
  4. Terminus

    Terminus Member

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    Whatever works for your own personal workflow. I don't see a problem with it.
     
  5. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    Yeah no problemo but just seem to be unnecessary. I always use trim on my projects instead of using the volume on each individual track so before automation all meters are on 0. Much more easier on the eye and it prevents you to fukk up settings from song to song. But whatever works for you :)
     
  6. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    ^ unless I am mistaken, my DAW reaper does not have a trim function, you have to manually add any kind of trim plugin in order to do that. I was therefore wondering about it since I would like to clean up my project by printing the plugin output to the tracks !
     
  7. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    It is true I could simply run my workhorse Eq on every single track, however I would like to have the choice and it just raised a question :) also sometimes I don't need EQ (for example DI going to a bass amp sim) so the processing power would be wasted

    EDIT : actually since I'm systematically running a high pass filter, it is true I shouldn't need a trim plugin !

    I like this cheap trim plugin which displays a classic VU-meters with very simple options, and nothing else, though. Visualizing "the track goes into the hot red" while it is staged before an analogue emulation makes sense to me. That is why I am getting used to run it anyway.
     
  8. Vice//Versa

    Vice//Versa Dude among dudes

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    I think Blue Cat Audio has a free gain changing plugin. I normally trim the volume of tracks by changing the clip gain on Pro Tools 11 (it's one of the features I really like because it allows for automation before and after my plugin chain).
     
  9. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    Yes that is one of the little things I think pro tools has right, the ergonomics and analogue integration seems to go well together.

    I actually bought a little plugin just for that, when I find the host website I will post it here.

    I was just wondering now, I in fact never process the DI and always wait after the amp cabinet to apply any processing, like a hipass. Am I missing some magic processing worth doing on DI ? I know of match EQing bass, but except that ? Sorry for going out of the initial question but oh well :)
     
  10. Andrasia

    Andrasia New Metal Member

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    Hi,

    In fact reaper has a trim plugin its call Js Volume.
    And if you file are consolidate you can change the clip volume it will work like a trim as the clip\enveloppe volume work in prefader!
     
  11. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder The Truth Is Out There

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    Pretty much.
     
  12. chrisjmp

    chrisjmp Member

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    One reason I can think of not to print the trim plugin across all your tracks, is that you'll basically be doubling the size of your project with all the extra wav files.
     
  13. Machinated

    Machinated Member

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    Do whatever helps your workflow. Production involves an impossible amount of decisions so the more you decide on something and commit, the better. If printing early in the project means it helps you concentrate on other things later, then 100% do it.

    General current thoughts slightly OT to the original thread:

    I'm really going against the idea of mixing projects completely from raw, it makes no sense to me. The only time it's useful is when whoevers recorded it has absolutely fucked it up and made awful decisions. A lot of the time, processes that are done in mixing are really part of the production more than the mix. If something should be EQ'd or compressed a certain way, why take it off and leave the mixing engineer to guess what should be done? Get your guitar tone working early, mould your drum tones to what you want, make things as good as possible early on and steer your song in the right direction.

    So yeah, printing is good as long as you are improving what you're working on. Whittling down your options to a manageable amount is crucial.
     
  14. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    You mentioned wasting processing power, the cpu hit on 30 instances of avid eq3 uses roughly the same as 30 instances of avid trim. Both use fuck all. I've also compared between using the eq3 and trim just for lowering input levels and they sound identical.
     
  15. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    I know that but I thought there was a trip button right in the protools GUI ? Or if not then it's the same indeed.


    I have found this plugin which might look like a waste of time for other people, but for me it is just so convenient. I had tried to modify the main VUmeter in reaper myself to make a real VU and not dbFS meter, and to add a volum fader to it, but I found that 8
     
  16. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    I think it is pretty standard that DAWs have a cleaning project folder function. It takes me 2 click to remove anything that is not used from the project folder. The annoying thing is wav files would be re-named maybe !
     
  17. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    I was mentioning it in the case where you are instanciating your main EQ by default, which usually takes a lot more power than your stock EQ. Of course in your case it shouldn't matter !

    Sorry for the multi answers, I am on my phone and I didn't find the multi-quote function on Tapatalk !

    EDIT : I just did (under "PLUS")
     
  18. Jordon

    Jordon Member

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    I don't see any issue with printing. I usually normalize my tracks to get my gain staging set up for the mix. I'll also print vocal chains and the like, so as to cut down on processing and to force me to commit to a sound and stop constantly tweaking.
     
  19. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Can you elaborate on your normalizing method. I've often thought about just normalizing all the tracks at a specific rms (-18rms etc.) but I still use a trim/eq on each track. Are there downsides to normalizing vs manual trim? Thanks man.
     
  20. Jordon

    Jordon Member

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    I normalize to peak, as RMS can react strangely with certain types of audio, at least in Pro Tools. Using clip gain or trim yields similar results, I just find normalizing to be quicker and less fiddly. Normalizing vs. trim vs. clip gain has completely nulled when the phase is flipped, in case anyone is concerned about adverse effects to the audio. I don't remember my starting settings for the normalize plugin in PT, as I saved it as a preset long ago and don't usually pay much attention to it. I played around with it until it gave me results that, on most of what I work with, it's close enough to the sweet spot for me. For very dynamic drums, I nudge things in and out with clip gain.

    I'm not sure if everyone knows this, but in Pro Tools, you can control clip gain instantly with the mouse: Select the audio clip, hold (on a Mac) Shift + Control and use the scroll wheel on the mouse. You can set the clip gain nudge value in Preferences. I usually keep it at .1db.
     

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