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Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:44 am
by Bbd
Jeff, please explain what each color stands for at the top row. I am struggling with this. Trying to relate it to the console.
I need more coffee!
Thanks.
:?

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:39 am
by jpettit
Read page 6 of the handbook.
The two pictures there are trying to explain with pictures how mix effects can be used together.

In a nutshell a MIXFX can be stacked but not both apply to the same source.
Also see the special note in general diagram on page 2 with regards to pass through.

That is why I updated the Manual many months ago as I don’t feel that people generally understand architecturealy the MixFX are alway two components. A preamp component and bus summing component.

The bus summing side can be stacked just like plugins but the preamp component is exclusive to a source track.

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:06 pm
by jpettit
I add a Marcus's SOE 12 minute video on passthrough to the OP, which is one of the core misunderstandings.

Probably even a more fundamental miss-understanding, is people thinking a Mix-FX is a plugin that affects a signal at the point it is inserted when in fact it is a pair of processors, one at the bus and one at each and every channel feeding that bus.

Besides those two miss-understandings, the third one is simply they are mutually exclusive which means that they cannot share a source but can be stacked sequentially one as a summing process and one as a preamp process.

All this is demonstrated with diagrams on page 6 of the handbook.

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:44 pm
by Mac Money
Thank you so much!

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:09 pm
by oddie
I've not posted to the forum before but I thought that I would share my recent experience, for what it's worth. Having, in the past, used Harrison Mixbus and various Sonimus plugins for that warm analogue console / tape sound I thought I would give CTC-1 and Softube Tape a try, mainly for the convenience of the workflow of MixFX. Summary: I was very impressed by these MixFX.

Firstly, I conscientiously gain staged every track and bus to -18dB (0VU) and then made some minor adjustments to get a good balance (eg between individual drums in a kit). I had similar instruments and vocals routed to buses. This in itself produced a much better mix than I have achieved before - it really is worth gain staging!

I then routed all instrument/vocal buses to a bus containing Softube Tape, which was routed to the main outs on which I placed CTC-1. I had passthrough enabled on both MixFX.

Initially, I struggled to really hear what either MixFX was doing but by overcooking each one and then pulling back a bit I got the hang of it. I don't know whether this is the best way to use these MixFX and whether they were being fed at the best levels (the VU meter on Softube Tape registered consistently lower than Presonus VU meter (set at -18dB) instantiated on the bus).

However, here is the pay off. When I sat back and just listened to (rather than attempt to mix or analyse) the track, I realised that it sounded 'just right'. Very smooth and 'warm', perfect balance between tracks and everything could be heard clearly - possibly the best sound/blend/balance I have ever achieved.

I then realised that what I had listened to was simply the gain staged basic setup with Mix FX. I had no EQ, compression, reverb or effects on any tracks or buses and it sounded great. This meant that, for the first time ever, I could hear how I could apply those elements, as and if required, while listening to the whole mix (something I've never really managed to do before) and any EQ/compression/effects applied could be very subtle just to enhance where necessary, whereas previously I had been trying to beat tracks into submission with those tools to try and get everything to sit correctly).

Bottom line is that even if you just stick the MixFX in and not worry too much about how they work or whether what you're doing is really getting the most out of them, your mix can sound great with very little effort.

Hope people find this observation useful and I would welcome any comments on the workflow outlined above that might help me understand how to use these MixFX to best effect.

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:51 pm
by jpettit
Thanks for sharing. :thumbup:

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:22 pm
by oddie
Have been contemplating my post above.

The way I used the MixFX means, I think, that all tracks and instrument/vocal busses would get the Softube Tape treatment but only the bus with Softube Tape on, and the master bus, would be affected by CTC-1 (kind of like running a mix through a stereo summing console).

It may make more sense (or at least sound different) to reverse the MixFX so that all tracks and busses are affected by the CTC-1 and the master bus only is affected by Tape (like printing a mix to 2 track tape).

Perhaps a 'complete treatment' would be best effected by using Tape as a VST plug in on all busses (possibly all tracks) and using CTC-1 on the master so that all tracks could receive both console shaping and tape simulation.

Can a Mix FX be 'bounced' to audio (on individual tracks) so that, for example, the Tape treatment could be 'printed' and then the 'printed' audio be run through CTC-1?

Would be grateful to receive any thoughts from anyone on the above.

In the meantime I will experiment with different routings and report back my findings if they prove to be of interest.

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:22 pm
by jpettit
oddie wroteHave been contemplating my post above.

The way I used the MixFX means, I think, that all tracks and instrument/vocal busses would get the Softube Tape treatment but only the bus with Softube Tape on, and the master bus, would be affected by CTC-1 (kind of like running a mix through a stereo summing console).

It may make more sense (or at least sound different) to reverse the MixFX so that all tracks and busses are affected by the CTC-1 and the master bus only is affected by Tape (like printing a mix to 2 track tape).

Perhaps a 'complete treatment' would be best effected by using Tape as a VST plug in on all busses (possibly all tracks) and using CTC-1 on the master so that all tracks could receive both console shaping and tape simulation.

Can a Mix FX be 'bounced' to audio (on individual tracks) so that, for example, the Tape treatment could be 'printed' and then the 'printed' audio be run through CTC-1?

Would be grateful to receive any thoughts from anyone on the above.

In the meantime I will experiment with different routings and report back my findings if they prove to be of interest.

Good point on the swap Mix-FX idea.
If you read the manual here you will see it is an either or situation even with pass-through on.
Good question on the ability to print one of the Mix-FX in order to apply both to each individual channel.
As you see by this Signal flow diagram viewtopic.php?f=153&t=8684 you would get the Master Mix-FX + the Sub Bus Mix on a Track Stem render and only the Subbus Mix-FX on a Channel Stem render. Of course, you would want to do this printing before added Insert FX into the mix and turn off your second layer Mix-FX crosstalk if applying it to all individual channels with the printed Mix-FX's.

Worth giving it a try.

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:11 pm
by oddie
Thanks for preparing that signal flow diagram. I'll print it out and study it!

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:05 pm
by oddie
I've done a test using the following settings:

1) Tape MT on sub-bus and CTC-1 on master
2) CTC-1 on sub-bus and Tape MT on master
3) Tape VST on buses and CTC-1 on master
4) Tape VST on tracks and CTC-1 on master

I tested these settings twice, once with conservative settings and once with more extreme settings for Tape and CTC-1.

Results (to my ears and on one particular song!):

On gentle settings the difference between 1) and 2) were negligible, 3) and 4) were warmer and more compressed with greater effect on 4).

On more extreme settings the difference between 1) and 2) was quite noticeable. Tape first generally provided more warmth/compression and CTC-1 first provided more bite/presence (using the Tube Console). The differences between 3) and 4) were less noticeable with extreme settings.

I didn't try printing the Tape MT for individual tracks. I'm sure this would provide similar results to Option 4) but complicates the workflow and reduces flexibilty so I didn't bother.

What is the best routing? Seems to be 'horses for courses'. Whichever effect you want more of (tape or console) should go first in the routing. I suppose, there is no reason why you couldn't use Tape VST as well as Tape MT (eg by putting Tape VST on the master bus).

Option 4) probably provides a workflow most similar to recording to multitrack tape (although it would have gone through a console before it gets to the tape!) and then mixing through a console but this needs to be traded off against the simplicity of using Tape MT, or Tape VST on buses only. I think, although it is somewhat less convenient, I will plump for primarily using option 4 as I prefer the sound this produced generally, and it provides maximum flexibility of use for both Tape and CTC-1. I may well vary this on particular songs if they need a different feel (eg Heavy Metal would probably benefit from the additional bite of the Tube Console).

The ideal situation, for convenience, would be if two, or more, MixFX could be run in series on an individual bus and I would certainly use it in this fashion if it could. Is there any chance of this workflow on a future update? Is it worth starting a feature request for this?

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:56 am
by brettgoodkin
jpettit wroteAttached please find a five page manual explaining the MIx FX Flow and Presonus's console emulation plugin offering. It is merged/normalized content from all known sources (article or videos) of data on the topic.
I addition it includes Presonus vetta diagrams to explain the signal flow logic in simplest terms.
Update 1.21 Includes stacking of third party and Presonus Mix FX and Softube Tape Multitrack paramater discription, and fixes to pass-through logic.
Image

Enjoy
Version 1.0 (1.38 MiB) Downloaded 179 times
Version 1.1 (1.63 MiB) Downloaded 91 times
Studio One Pro Mix Engine FX and Plugins Explained 1.21.pdf

Here Marcus explains the passthrough option on Mix FX in a 12 minute video.
This is often miss understood and is the point of version 1.21 of the handbook.
Put simply Mix-FXs are mutually exclusive. The source process component of the MIx FX cannot coexist with another Mix-FX source processing. They can be stacked at the bus channel so Mix-FX can be stacked but not run concurrently on the same source track.
This is shown in all the flow diagrams but explicitly called out in the flow diagrams on page 6.

phpBB [video]


JP,

Where is the mix fx taking signal from each track... Pre or post fader?

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:14 am
by jpettit
The pre amp component is Pre everything in the channel.

But there is also a summing part the is pre bus fader. So that one is in essence post everything coming to it.

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:01 am
by brettgoodkin
jpettit wroteThe pre amp component is Pre everything in the channel.

But there is also a summing part the is pre bus fader. So that one is in essence post everything coming to it.


Thx!!

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:27 pm
by stephenkorst
oddie wrotewhereas previously I had been trying to beat tracks into submission with those tools to try and get everything to sit correctly).


I think we've all been there...I know, I certainly have!

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:36 am
by darrenporter1
This is a fantastic resource! Thanks so much for creating and maintaining it JPettit.

A quick question... is anyone aware of any new Mix Engine FX plugins either from PreSonus or 3rd parties in the pipeline?

And hey PreSonus, in the unlikely event you are listening, Don't you think it's about time for a 50%-off promo for CTC-1? ;)

Re: Mix FX and Console Plugins Explained

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:02 pm
by petarsakic
Hello!

I recently bought Softube Tape and Ive been using it only on master channel as mix fx in latest version of Studio One Pro. I have two problems with it:

1) when I add Tape to mix fx on master channel, I can see those little orange boxes on some instrument channels (which indicates the channel is processed by mix fx), but I dont see orange box on all channels/instruments? I tried with passthrough and without it, always the same, Multi Track Tape mix fx doesnt process all instruments/channels as it supposed to. Any solution to this problem? To me it looks like it picks random channels, a bug...Couple of busses go through mix fx tape (orange light), but some dont, why? :/

2) cpu usage when using Softube tape on mix fx master channel is crazy, around 25 to 40%, depenends on the size of the project. And my pc is okish for todays standards: i7 7700k, 32 gb ram, RME Babyface Pro running on 88.2 khz @ 256 buffer. When not using Tape as mix fx on master channel, I usually have no problems at all with any projects and full mixes, but with Tape, sometimes it starts to crackle. Can this be optimized?

Thank you!