Saturation and exciters

I am looking for some advice in regard to saturation. I made this track and used the ozone 7 exciter quite heavily on the master. It sounded really full on my speakers and several other systems, but when I played it out in a small dive bar it sounded really harsh and shrill. Can you over saturate a track? would anyone know why my songs with heavy saturation using ozone do not translate well? Thanks!

I am just at the point of getting better saturation, but the straight answer is ‘yes’! Especially in effects like oZone. I am using multiple saturation on the same signal, but little by little. It is really warming things up, but nicely. Go analog saturation all the way too… hope that helps.

Are you checking your gain structure before decapitator? And the obvious one’s like are you pushing it too hard through decapitator (drive)? I do find that even without the punish button, if you overdo the signal or drive, it can get quite gritty. What other saturation do you have?

Before the course I only had soundtoys and Cubase stock ‘datube’, and even then didn’t really understand them. I now have slate and what a difference. For $15 per month it has made a huge difference. Then just follow the MMWA channel strip. Seriously, it works. I am now starting on UAD but that stuff doesn’t come cheap. Again though, it does work.

As for other systems, this is one of my pet hates. You try to get the optimum monitoring environment, or buy really expensive monitoring headphones and yet still the true test is when you get in the car or on your phone with ‘regular’ earphones etc. I did think or wiring a car stereo up in the studio, but even then it wouldn’t work because of the room! Think for now this is one we have to live with. You did say though that it sounds great on everything you had tried except the dive bar. In the same way we use reference tracks in the studio, what do other tracks sound like in the same venue? Is it the venue system generally, or the mix when played on lower quality systems?

Again, hope it helps. Because the question was around saturation, I have jumped in on it being a saturation issue. Remember, it may not be. I would definitely check gain structure too. Regardless of how good/safe it sounds when monitoring, unless you want the overdriven effect, just watch the needle on the saturation and keep it out of the red. Even if that means having 2 or more instances of decapitator after each other (probably using a different mode like A and then E). That is if you are just trying to warm things up, not burn them for effect… after all, some people like black toast!

I just ordered the slate…can’t wait to try it out.

I may not have been using the ozone exciter the right way.

One thing I am thinking I could really use in addition to mix master wyatts ultimate channel strip is to know the minimum system and recommended system requirements for running a session with all of these plug ins. I myself am using an iMac quad core i7 but am starting to see some spikes in CPU already and I don’t even have half of these plug ins on each channel strip.

I’m sure he’ll go over this in the class.

Thanks a lot!

Ozone Exciter can sound harsh on some mixes, remember to de-ess near the end of your chain.

I think it is more of an issue with DAWs not optimising multi-core support rather than individual plug-in developers. I have a 12-core Xeon Mac Pro with 64 GB RAM and experience CPU spikes in LPX, as DSP hungry plug-ins (synths in my case) are loaded/stacked on one core.

Yes, that does help, especially for internal DAW processing but it doesn’t always work well with third party plug-ins, It could certainly be optimised.

I do find Slate good on CPU compared to some other stuff. Can’t believe one of the DAW companies hasn’t devised a way to add CPU/DSP like UAD do, but locked to their DAW and for using any plugin. they would suddenly get a lot of market share as we all have the same issues at some point…

My friend swears by Cubase and says that his CPU levels are never maxed out…he is also working on a pc.

I wouldn’t say I have never maxed my CPU out, but one thing that did happen a lot was the ASIO performance peaking. it took me a while to realise that this wasn’t actually the CPU. In Cubase you have a ‘meter’ at the side of the control bar and this is ASIO, not CPU.

Right now though I am running 40 channels with the full on Danny special channel strips on everything and I have only had to freeze (bounce) the bass tracks and I’m not sure why these 2. They have the same channel strip but for some reason are playing weird at CPU hog. Without actually counting, that must mean I have over 300 instances of Slate running amongst loads of other stuff (Fabfilter, iZotope, Soundtoys etc). Can you imagine how much that would all cost in hardware!! Remember, this is mixing though. If all those channels were VST instruments, the ASIO would have seriously kicked off by now without a lot of bouncing I think…