Apply effects pre or post record?

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Member Since: Jan 07, 2007

So, I am wondering what common method should be observed when you have outboard effects. I like the verbs and delays I get from outboard toys and could send this wet signal to the tracks.

As a newbie, I'm sending only dry signals to all tracks thinking software effects added later will be more controllable. This works and is fun to tweak.

Seems more experienced recordists only apply EQ and compressor/limiter gear ahead of the channel preamps?

It's probably all subjective to the user but I can't tell if software effects are as good or better than let's say a Lexicon processor?

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Since: Dec 11, 2006

Feb 17, 2007 03:12 pm

well i would say obnly put on compressors and such like you said before it hits the unit, the idea of doin studio recordings is that u get it under the most controllabe situations. basically you want the cleanest sound you can get, so try not to add any effects such as reverb until you get a good clean recording, try to stay away from any signal altering things other than a compressor or eq.

this tho mostly pertains to things like vox or acustic guitar, once you get to midi keyboards and electric guitar, then its pretty safe to say its ok if ur amp has reverb on it and ofcourse distortion;)

i hope this helps you out a bit atleat ;)

and i dont think i ever personally welcomed u to HRC ;)


welcome ;):P

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Feb 17, 2007 09:42 pm

I do it but is becoming much less common with me these days. I mays till on occasion fly a track or two out through a rack processor but it is rare now. The only processing I do now before the audio enters the PC is compress vocals and sometimes a drum. Otherwise is is done mostly in the PC now.

Since: Jan 07, 2007

Feb 18, 2007 02:48 pm

Sorry, sort of shotgunned my questions.

It's the "digital world" thing, there are so many ways to work the signal chain.

To my ear the software effects seem near quality to rack products. I wondered if rack gear is ever preferred? Spying on typical home setup photos I see many curious boxes. I guess few try franken experiments. Dry-in prevails reading your replies.

How about Sun studios sticking a mic in an outdoor water barrel with a guitar amp at the bottom to get that reverb twang? And I'm worried about a digital effect chain? We got it rough.

Cone Poker
Since: Apr 07, 2002

Feb 19, 2007 04:06 pm

I do both... mostly post record though. I will go in rather clean, just using the mic pre and compressor, and then apply either a vst effect or route it back out to the rack for more compression, a bit of chorus, or reverb or something (when the damn thing works)

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Feb 19, 2007 09:06 pm

I have stuffed guitar amps and mics in the most bizarre places to get odd sounds. Freezer's, Oven's, dishwasher's, bathtub's, shower's, car trunk's, a 400 gallon steel vat. Nothing is off limits and has probably been done at least once by someone. You just need to experiment and find out what each thing can do.

Since: Jan 07, 2007

Feb 19, 2007 11:38 pm

Thanks, I thought some cardinal rule may apply to record-in methods. Running a track back through gear and re-recording sounded like a signal killer. Have to try that trick, sounds useful. Good patch cords right?

Since: Aug 17, 2004

Feb 20, 2007 01:21 am

Sometimes you can get vocalists and some really good guitarists to play/sing a tad harder if you shove a bit of compression pre MTR. Give them the right headphone feed and when they sing louder the comp'll knock a couple of dB's off making them think they're not playing/singing as hard as they usually are.

If I'm going to mix In The Box I might do a little bit of pre MTR comp/EQ otherwise I don't think its worth it unless you really know what you're doing. And I don't :-).

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