software ways of getting old hardware artifacts
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:31 PM   #1
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software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

I thought I would post this in this subforum because a lot of the music leading up to current Industrial will rely on some of these artifacts as aesthetic points.

Would be cool to see a tips and tricks thread happen as a result, I'll start.

Drums:

Emulating late 80's and early 90's synth pop and industrial drums... its taken me a bit to get it down, but I've found that sticking with Ableton's Drum Racks and a comprehensive set of samples is the way to go, if you're not Ableton based, than a drum sampler like Battery... or shit, any sampler will do the trick, you just want to make sure that you can re-pitch the drums and that your re-pitching is the old school either speed up or slow down method to re-pitch the sample.

I tend to build a drum racks based on need in a particular tune, but go to drum machines that have been staples for the era I'm looking to emulate, LinnDrum, Yamaha RX5, Tr707, Alesis Sr16... basically anything that has shitty samples of acoustic drums to work with.

Using a bit crusher per drum sample to bring the hits down to 12 or 8 bit can add character, especially if you are detuning the hits. better yet, create a sample bank of those same drum samples rendered down to 12 or 8 bit to save the hassle down the line.

in my experience the trick to making these old drum machine samples sound big and heavy is to treat each instrument as one would a mixer channel for mixing down an acoustic drum kit. My kick, snare and tom channels all get an EQ and compressor to find and enhance the punchy areas while trimming back the bits that create mud.

subgrouping all of your drum channels and then putting either a full or multiband comp on them will help them gel a bit and dont forget to add a bit of room reverb to make them sound as if they are in the same space, i like reverb plugins than have the option to set to hi or lo fidelity for consumption of resources and set them to low to get a real gritty verb like one might get from a shitty rack fx verb.

so yeah, thats my trick for shitty old industrial drums...

who is next????

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Old 08-24-2016, 10:30 PM   #2
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Nice.

I've put a tremendous amount of time and effort into emulating analog characteristics in the box, with mixed results. A long time ago, arrived at the conclusion that the best way to do it is to create many many layers of subtle effects stuff.

If I'm going for an organic subtle sound, I'll usually be extremely delicate with each layer of fx. I"ll get the sound I want from each plugin, and then back it off til it's barely audible. The idea is to have as many layers as possible, each one just pushing the sound a tiny bit in a positive direction.

For this reason, I like to start with sounds that are very crisp and up front sounding, as they will likely get muddled along the way. So a lot of time i'll start with synths that don't sound analog at all, like Harmor for instnace.

In general, just tiny bits of saturation, compression, very subtle modulation effects, very subtle delay, bit crushing, whatever. Frequently I will eq in between layers, getting rid of things I don't like or giving broad boosts to qualities I do like.


But I will end with this: After years of doing this, I've come to the conclusion that if you want analog, go analog. I always used to think of analog as imperfect. But now I actually think of it as sounding more perfect than digital. The stuff that digital has trouble with, like saturation and modulation, always ends up being an approximation. My old ms-20 has shown me this. The U-he one sounds good, but at the end of the day, it just seems like a plastic model of the real thing.

So, I embrace digital for what it is more nowadays. And usually end up using digital stuff for weird additive and wavetable synthesis.

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Old 08-25-2016, 12:34 AM   #3
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

I love really messed up parallel treatment of my drums.
I kinda do a crappy version of all you already mentioned but have a go to effect rack, post super mild non parallel comp (bus comp in live)
And have a bunch of saturation/ distortion and its squashed to bits, then the wet dry is cranked until I can only really hear it out of context of the rest of the mix (soloed).
But now the biggest one for me is the hardware sampler combo, they both have cool brr and srr built in, and layering!

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Old 08-25-2016, 12:36 AM   #4
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Nice topic tho, want to hear about others tricks, not necessarily pertaining to just industrial either!

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Old 08-25-2016, 12:41 AM   #5
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbvdb493 View Post
I love really messed up parallel treatment of my drums.
I kinda do a crappy version of all you already mentioned but have a go to effect rack, post super mild non parallel comp (bus comp in live)
And have a bunch of saturation/ distortion and its squashed to bits, then the wet dry is cranked until I can only really hear it out of context of the rest of the mix (soloed).
But now the biggest one for me is the hardware sampler combo, they both have cool brr and srr built in, and layering!
Ah yes.. Totally forgot.. The more parallel stuff, the better

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Old 08-25-2016, 02:49 AM   #6
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

As far as drum kits are concerned, wouldn't samples themselves pretty much get you there?

I get the part of bit crushing, distortion, and saturation, but I've come across many nice sample collections in Maschine Expansion packs that already have that grit built in. I can't recall any track as of recent where I didn't separate out each individual piece of a drum kit

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Old 08-25-2016, 05:00 AM   #7
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

IMO, no, samples won't get you there.

If you've ever worked with some analog gear, you might become aware that there is a certain way in which those different electrical signals push at each other. I think that analog mixers are actually one of the biggest components to the analog sound. there are so many components in an analog mixer, and they are all wobbling a little bit. Cumulatively, it creates a different sound. Plus I really think analog summing sounds different. Although a lot of people would call me dead wrong. Ultimately I trust my ears, and working on a buddy of mine's analog desk convinced me.

So in the case of drums, you have a lot of different signals mixing together. Also when you hit a channel kind of hard with some percussion, it creates saturation. And then there are the eqs on a mixing desk. They sound way different from software eqs to me.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just crazy. I want to believe that digital can sound the same. But time and time again my experience does not support this.



But to sum up (heh), it's not just having the elements sound right from the source, it's the way they interact with all the analog components on a moment to moment basis IMO.

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Old 08-25-2016, 05:08 PM   #8
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquid_air View Post
As far as drum kits are concerned, wouldn't samples themselves pretty much get you there?

I am rarely if ever happy with a sample just as is unless its something specific, like a Simmons set of samples or a Roland CR78, where the idea is to have the sound be a bit thin and toy-ish.

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Old 08-25-2016, 05:14 PM   #9
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
IMO, no, samples won't get you there.

If you've ever worked with some analog gear, you might become aware that there is a certain way in which those different electrical signals push at each other. I think that analog mixers are actually one of the biggest components to the analog sound. there are so many components in an analog mixer, and they are all wobbling a little bit. Cumulatively, it creates a different sound. Plus I really think analog summing sounds different. Although a lot of people would call me dead wrong. Ultimately I trust my ears, and working on a buddy of mine's analog desk convinced me.

So in the case of drums, you have a lot of different signals mixing together. Also when you hit a channel kind of hard with some percussion, it creates saturation. And then there are the eqs on a mixing desk. They sound way different from software eqs to me.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just crazy. I want to believe that digital can sound the same. But time and time again my experience does not support this.



But to sum up (heh), it's not just having the elements sound right from the source, it's the way they interact with all the analog components on a moment to moment basis IMO.

SoundToys Decapitator is a great way to get some of that feel ITB. That said, yes an analog mixer is a good thing to have around as well!

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Old 08-25-2016, 05:30 PM   #10
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Massive users:

Turn your global CPU use to "Economy" to get some top end artifacts out of the synths Wavetables. Nice way to quickly and easily "lofi" your Massive patches.

Great way to make Massive a little less "shiny and modern" sounding.

alternately, you could follow it with a bitrate reducer thing.

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Old 08-25-2016, 05:42 PM   #11
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Not quite sure that this would achieve the artefacts you'd be looking for, but I've found that Modelled Plugins (or just a very decent visualiser) early on in the Channel's FX Chain can assist in getting a desirable colour to the sound that you want to drive it through. Like running BitSoniq Tube Virtualiser followed immediately with Waves NLS on a moderately High Drive value as an example.

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Old 08-25-2016, 06:04 PM   #12
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Theres this neat thing in studio one 3 that they use on buses that emulates bleed over and drive of analog channels in an analog mixer. Anyone hear of anything similar for live?

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Old 08-25-2016, 06:15 PM   #13
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Can be done with the Waves Nonlinear Summing device plugin. There is nothing that I know of Natively or with Max4Live that does it though. Could be wrong.

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Old 08-26-2016, 12:30 AM   #14
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

Oh one thing I like in the MPC, but is easy to do in drum racks or Kong or any other software drum machine.
Take a clap, add a bit of time stretch (or a lot!). Then fade the attack so you don't hear it, and chop off or steep fade out of the end of the decay as well.
Layer the result to a (or 2 because why not) snare mix to taste. It creates a fake gated reverb effect sans actual effects. Then resample the result and a bit of srr and Robert is your fathers brother.

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Old 08-26-2016, 12:52 AM   #15
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

thats a good one!

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Old 11-26-2016, 03:33 AM   #16
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

I would look for torrent downloads of the original samples made for or from these machines.
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:21 PM   #17
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Re: software ways of getting old hardware artifacts

TAL Sampler has an internal emulator of the different DAC's of old samplers like s1000, Emax II, etc.

Just load drum samples in, choose your sample model, and tweak the settings -- there's your old school sampler grit, easy!

I recommend it highly.

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