Now available for our mixing and mastering service the sound of the historic EMI/Abbey Road sound from the late 60s realised by Chandler Limited®’s hardware and reimagined for a modern studio context.
Units used on modern classic records by Beyoncé, The White Stripes, and Lady Gaga
A powerful and musical modern channel strip with the unique vintage sound of Chandler Limited®, the Zener-Bender combines the crisp and colorful character of the Curve Bender Mastering Equalizer with the big, punchy Zener Limiter to bring class, history, and most crucially of all, a phenomenal sonic impact.
Tracing the heritage of the Chandler Limited® Zener-Bender is like discovering an imperial family tree. Its roots are in EMI consoles, used atAbbey Road from the 60s onwards to record some of the most seminal albums of all time, by the likes of Pink Floyd and The Beatles. And right up to the present day Curve Bender and Zener Limiter are being used in both hardware and plug-in form by top producers and engineers across records by world-leading artists such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, The White Stripes, Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift, and more. The influence of the Chandler sound cannot be overstated. It shapes the world it rules.
I often received poorly recorded bass-guitar to mix. More and more people are simply recording their bass via DI Box, or straight into a sound card.
Today like we used to do in the past we can reAmp the bass into virtual amps to obtain a good sounding bass guitar and the result is phenomenal.
There are lots and lots of amp simulation plugins out there, but the one that I keep going back to is the emulation of the Eden WT-800 Bass Amp, done by one of my favourite company Softube. If you haven’t tried it yet, get an account at Softube and download a free 20 days trial and fell in love as I did. For me, this is truly the best sounding emulation plugin of a bass amp. This plugin is also licenced to Universal Audio and available as UAD Plugin.
Developed by Softube, the Eden WT800 Bass Amplifier plug-in is fully endorsed and authenticated by Eden and is an exacting emulation of this industry-standard bass amp.
Eden WT-800 Bass Amp pro favourite
Innumerable pro players, including Mike Rutherford of Genesis and Mike Gordon of Phish, have come to treat this amp as essential. It’s great for the grungey dirty vintage sounds, of course, but for the heft and clarity required by modern hip-hop, R&B, pop, metal, and jazz, there aren’t many that can compete.
That modern hi-fi richness comes in part from the extraordinary quality of the amp itself, but also partly from the additional features in the side-panel: the classic microphones, expertly placed, the easy bi-amping, and the intuitive mixer.
KNOWLEDGE Re-amping is a process often used in multitrack recording in which a recorded signal is routed back out of the editing environment and run through external processing using effects units and then into a guitar amplifier and a guitar speaker cabinet or a reverb chamber.
This is my showreel of mixture between indie, pop and soul bands. High profile artists and other genre can be checked on Spotify, including: Peter Gabriel, Robbie Craig, Romina Johnson, Porcelain Raft, Jocelyn Brown, Dino Lanni, Barbara Tucker, Angie Brown, Kym Mazelle, Taka Boom, Brian Allen and more
There are lot’s of quality virtualisation of Tape Machine, but no all sounds the same and no all of them have the character I’m looking for.
Tape Machines can be used for recording, mixing and mastering. The aim is to add the warmth signature of analogue sound to the digitally recorded and mixed sound.
What tape machine does to the sound is really complex, but can be mainly seen as saturation, compression and harmonics enhancer.
In my mix and mastering, I use two tape machines. For minimum colourisation, I use Tape from Softube. This plugin often goes on every channel or at least on every bus channel. I used it as everything is recorded on tape. This plugin is light on the CPU and does a good job.
But my real favourite Tape Machine in the virtual world is the simulation of the Ampex 350 – Reel to Reel Tape Machine. This machine records on 1/4″ Tape. Ampex 350 is a two-speed audio recorder. Its ideal use is on Bass, Drums, Synths, Vocal but I love how it sounds on the program material.
Waves makes a phenomenal plugin version of this Tape Machine, the KRAMER MASTER TAPE. It was developed in association with producer/engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones).
With adjustable tape speed, bias, Flux, wow & flutter, and modelled noise, the Kramer Master Tape provides comprehensive control over the contours of your sound.
The two parameters that makethe difference here are the Input and Reproduce, and the Flux.
Input and Reproduce When recording to tape, two monitoring modes are available. Input monitoring lets you hear the signal as it reaches the recording head, including tube and mic-pre saturation. Repro monitoring lets you hear the output of the repro head just like normal tape playback, meaning that tape speed, bias, Flux, wow & flutter, and noise, in addition to the tube and mic-pre saturation, all affect the monitored output.
Flux Flux is the term used for the level of magnetic radiation emitted from the recording head on to the tape, commonly referred to as operating level. Measured in nano Webers per Meter – nWb/m, flux is essentially a gain factor reflecting a higher level passed onto the recording head. While older tapes are designed to handle lower flux levels, modern tapes could withstand much higher Flux before distorting, resulting in relatively lower noise.
No one can best explain how to use this plugin than Michael White. Check his tutorial:
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The classic sound of the SSL 4000 is expansive, punchy, deep and assertive character that has made it an industry standard of modern recording. The SSL 4000 is famous for being the console employed on more Platinum-selling records than any other. Now this sound mixed with the advantage off the fully recallable settings are available at the CNXL Studio.
Console 1 brings the tactile experience and performance into mixing. Macking the mix more alive and allows faster mixing session at a higher quality. Find out more at Softube.com
By the way, if you get it before the end of August you can take advantage of the free extra plugins they offer, worth $400.
Mastering is the process used to fix/improve the final mixed music. Usually is done by adding the right amount of EQing, compression and a Limiter. Mastering is also the process where we get sure that your music sounds at the right level on the different media, radios and streaming platforms.
Now that most of the people listen to music via streaming platforms, (Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube and iTunes) as mastering engineer, we need to consider and follow those Broadcast Standards.
For streaming, there are different guidelines for music, movie, podcast, and if the podcast is in mono or stereo.
The standard Spotify uses for mastering and loudness is called ITU1770, the file format they prefer is FLAC, but they also accept WAVE at 44.1KHz. The level to which the music needs to be is at -14 LUFS (LUFS – Loudness Unit Full Scale, which allows the measurement of the loudness of a piece of audio without a reference).
The way a mastering studio produce the right mastered music is by, first of all, make the music sound great but also by meeting the required LUFS.
Matching those standards appears pretty complicated but resolved the war of loudness we had in the past where music was getting more and more compressed to be louder than the competitors. Now we can go back to have dynamic within the tracks and have quality sounding records over the painfully and almost distorted loud sound.
Here are the playback levels for the different streaming platforms. (2019)
Set the true peak at -1dBTP dBTP stands for decibel (dB) True Peak (TP)
(CD mastering are around -8LUFS with the most compressed one at -6LUFS)
CNXL Studio uses an advance metering system to meet these standards whatever they are. For this job, my audio metering of choice is the Waves WLM Plus Loudness Meter plugin which provides precision loudness measurement, metering, correction and adjustment tools for broadcast, music, movie trailers, games, packaged media and more.
Here a nice tutorial I’ve found on youtube on how to set the Waves WLM Plugin.