Author Topic: Saturation or distorted signals  (Read 1266 times)

Marrow Machines

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Saturation or distorted signals
« on: February 22, 2016, 03:06:50 pm »
A problem I noticed was that I wasn't quite getting the sounds to punch(not punchy) through and out of my speakers, unless the volume was really loud.

I was speaking to one of my friends the other day who also produces, and asked him about my basses not being "full enough". My ratio to the components in the mix sounded good, but I know that i can do a little more to get some more volume out of it (always been a struggle but now I can handle it properly).

He suggested that i use a saturation unit to bring out some of the more audible content. Also advised to have a low cut.

After experimenting, it seemed to have a very good overall result, and one that puts me where I want to be but, I have yet to dial it in.

I was wondering, after getting a satisfying mix, if by adding a controlled distortion/saturation unit on the buss(return), does that help generate a louder signal in terms of audible frequency?

And what frequency range should that bussed(return) distortion/saturation unit work best in?

Or is bussing(return) should be the technique to be best utilized?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 03:08:23 pm by Marrow Machines »
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iBow3

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Re: Saturation or distorted signals
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 05:41:43 pm »
Not too sure what you're asking but if your basses need some more girth, distortion is always helpful. Yes, you can create a return track with camel crusher/any distort plugin, have the dry/wet to 100%, and slowly add in that signal to the bass to the right amount. Low-cutting is good but for basses not as much, I would have a sharp cut at maybe ~ 100hz, cus everything below is kick and sub. Give it a little boost in the 200-300hz as well, but not too much that it overshadows the snare.

Marrow Machines

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Re: Saturation or distorted signals
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 05:53:43 pm »
Not too sure what you're asking but if your basses need some more girth, distortion is always helpful. Yes, you can create a return track with camel crusher/any distort plugin, have the dry/wet to 100%, and slowly add in that signal to the bass to the right amount. Low-cutting is good but for basses not as much, I would have a sharp cut at maybe ~ 100hz, cus everything below is kick and sub. Give it a little boost in the 200-300hz as well, but not too much that it overshadows the snare.

I was ultimately wondering how the distortion/saturation on different musical components seems to make the signal better.

Not sure if it's a loudness thing or a harmonic thing.

I was wondering what the best way to utilize the distortion/saturation unit in a specific area of the mixing board, and for what components.

What is the overall effect given the many elements that you get when applying distortion/saturation?


it wasn't specifically directed towards bass, but that's where i found the problem to be most prominent initially and then it related to the overall aspect of my leads, then I saw how those two problems, combined, created a lack of presence for my music as it's being projected through my speakers.

It was a little challenging writing the post because I just woke up.
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SKEEV_IRWIN

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Re: Saturation or distorted signals
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 07:57:38 pm »
As far as my understanding distortion/saturation is both a loudness and harmonic thing. You can't add more harmonic content and expect not to add amplitude to the signal.

Bertie South

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Re: Saturation or distorted signals
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 08:31:44 pm »

I was wondering, after getting a satisfying mix, if by adding a controlled distortion/saturation unit on the buss(return), does that help generate a louder signal in terms of audible frequency?

I'd say so, yeah. The benefits of saturation in giving something presence in the mix are the greater frequency range through harmonics, and the effect saturation has of compressing the signal. Obviously compression results in a higher average volume, without giving you the problem of peaks and clipping that just ramping up the faders might.

This is kind of a hunch but I think in a way what gives a 'bassline' presence is the frequencies higher up the spectrum than what you might truly consider to be bass.
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Marrow Machines

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Re: Saturation or distorted signals
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 09:00:31 pm »
interesting stuff.

The amplitude and harmonics correlated to loudness makes sense.

As does the presence of the distortion introduced onto the signal and the effects of what distortion being used.

I did a little bit of digging prior to this post, and found that this website offers a great example of the reasons for using different distortions.

LINK

I might need to look at the waves being effected under varying levels of distortion and send amounts.
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track7

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Re: Saturation or distorted signals
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2016, 12:51:46 am »
Regarding the buss, a few mastering engineers (or the ones I worked with) use harmonic distortion to add a little more meat to the track. It just makes things a little louder and more musical, I like using some distortion on the deeper melodic elements.. or something which just needs more grit/roughness to it.

Marrow Machines

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Re: Saturation or distorted signals
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2016, 01:01:32 am »
Regarding the buss, a few mastering engineers (or the ones I worked with) use harmonic distortion to add a little more meat to the track. It just makes things a little louder and more musical, I like using some distortion on the deeper melodic elements.. or something which just needs more grit/roughness to it.

I was considering using some bus effects like that on a master track...might be interesting to see how it plays out.


I know saturation kinda rounds out the transients.
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