Master buss processing and limiting

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YOLOTRON
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Master buss processing and limiting

Post by YOLOTRON »

Howdy wigs!
Wondering if anyone has experience or suggestions on master bus processing for live shows, specifically at clubs with big sound systems? I perform live dark techno and need my sets to slap. It seems every modular performance I see, while cool is not loud and is easily embarrassed by any dj that goes on after. I know it's not fair to compare the tracks DJs drop because they are slammed through a brickwall and professionally mastered but I want to start exploring some solutions.

Im trying to keep the performance in the euro case and not include ext mixer or outboard gear. :omg:

Normally i master tracks by some EQ (especially depending on room), compress the dynamics saturate, and finally brickwall limit up to the desired loudness.

The golden master from endorphins looks like it will check most of these boxes but I wonder if sending that through the new noise engineering Librae legio for final limiting and saturation would yield better results. Or is this overkill? Are there other solutions you would reccomend? Space is of course at a premium because this is live.
Thanks for any insights! :yay:
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Accelra
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by Accelra »

I would check out the Cosmotronic Messor stereo compressor module. Much clearer and traditional compressor layout with all the expected controls. It has side chain as well.

Great for drums. I tend to use it for glue at the end of the chain, but it would be great for a drum buss.
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Stab Frenzy
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by Stab Frenzy »

Getting a big sound live takes more than just some modules, what you need to do is work with a good live engineer who understands the sound you’re going for and have them do the processing at front of house. I’ve worked with a lot of big name artists at festivals and club shows and this is what they all do.
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Carl A
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by Carl A »

If you do not trust the in-house engineers, get something that you can trust in.

I would suggest that you would not be able to get a great sounding master processor in modular form. Personally, I would look to getting a solid piece of outboard for the task.

Do you have a budget in mind?
analogbrainsurgeon
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by analogbrainsurgeon »

Check out WMD Mscl and Sclpl; I have one of each next to my mixer to use for exactly the purpose you describe. I think other posters have laid out some of the concerns with trying to do things in a live setting without having an engineer/someone you trust to work with, but since you asked for recommendations, Mcsl and Sclpl are excellent for covering those bases in the rack.
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meska
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by meska »

Stab Frenzy wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:31 am Getting a big sound live takes more than just some modules, what you need to do is work with a good live engineer who understands the sound you’re going for and have them do the processing at front of house. I’ve worked with a lot of big name artists at festivals and club shows and this is what they all do.
+1
I have à sound système and it realy dépend of the système, the room, (or not), how the système compressor/limiter is set ect.

Quick few tips not in ordrer :

Compress! Club/freeparty music is heavy compressed, if you have some hight peak, the compressor/limiter of the systèm will do it by brickwall, sound shit.

Compart ! Compare your Last recording with record you thinck banger, found what you need exactly , more punchy kick , less overall amplitude, ect.

Remenber in club (indoor) sub and kick are louder than in you'r headphone.

In most of the case club don't have enginer and don't know how to use sound system so if you have no choice
Even a dj mixer have a 3 band eq .


(Edit) if you don't need modulation, dont buy it in modular.
Spécialy for compressor and eq rack unit is perfect.
tremblap wrote: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.
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Dogma
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by Dogma »

I just couldn’t recommend transformers enough - and proper ones like Cinemag,lundhall, carnhill ect
They have no negatives and so many pluses - they really smooth out transients and give a depth - something like a mannequins Rip with lovely Cinemag transformers
The colour format is something I’d check out too, though that’s not in your rack but they’re analog plugins - stupid value for money https://www.diyrecordingequipment.com/
Saturation is probably the best in euro as the parts or algos (if digital) aren’t very complicated
Vcas are as your friend too - what drew me to euro was it’s dynamism - I came from a production background and so sick of crushed mixes

Edit - rip Is unobtainable bit they’ve open sourced it (it’s super simple, passive actually but still nice of them)
look up!
swarlied
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by swarlied »

I would suggest working with multiple compression stages instead of a final one. That way your sound can have more details and vibe. especially the synth voices will benefit more when they can move uncompressed but anything with high gain spikes and transients can be under much stronger compression. Especially drums and their transients will steal a lot of mix headroom, therefore they need to be controlled with fast attack and gain reduction. Mixbus compression is more for the tone and movement.

WDM SCL is something I can recommend a lot! It’s grabby, has a nice movement and character. But it also steals away a bit of details when used on a full stereo mix. But if you would get maybe 2 of them and separate them out you could imitate it.

Another added method would be the use of overdrive / saturation stages which is just a different form of compression. In the end it’s all about amp envelope shaping. You can even overdrive a mixer with same results. Speaking about that the Vermona Tai 4 is a brilliant sounding interface that can saturate a stereo mix at Input and Output stage with freaking transformers! Its one of the best and lushest sounding things to overdrive, very musical and transparent (mind those details).

Maybe you can integrate such methods more into your subgroups a little here a little there so whatsoever sitting on your master does not need to work so hard.
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Polyterative
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by Polyterative »

swarlied wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:18 pm I would suggest working with multiple compression stages instead of a final one. That way your sound can have more details and vibe. especially the synth voices will benefit more when they can move uncompressed but anything with high gain spikes and transients can be under much stronger compression. Especially drums and their transients will steal a lot of mix headroom, therefore they need to be controlled with fast attack and gain reduction. Mixbus compression is more for the tone and movement.
I completely agree. Also keep in mind that saturation and distortion also plays a role in the loudness/punch/pressure game. My chain has several compressors/reverbs/saturators layered in small amounts. My final chain lives on Ableton Live's master while I love putting an SSF Autodyne as my final module in eurorack.
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Ushijima
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Re: Master buss processing and limiting

Post by Ushijima »

I'm using a Cosmotronic messor as my modular end of chain sidechained (on kick) with an Analog rytm into a mixing desk.
As someone already mentioned, audio engineer is going to be your best friend for your live act since he has lots of great tools to shape your final sound on his "presumed" digital desk (dynamic eq's, multiband compression, basic eq, limiting), sound check is crucial.

I had the experience to play with and without the sound guy, at the end it's really night and day how your sound will translate in the club, place.

I would love to have an end of chain limiter / eq for my master output in my mixing desk to glue my sound but overall I'm fine with my set-up which sound great and loud thanks to both compressors :)
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