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Can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere (signal chain question)

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  • Can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere (signal chain question)

    I'm gonna try to phrase this as best as I can.

    Basically I only just learned about using one instance of a VST rather than a separate one for every single track. I didn't realize what poor practice that was til my PC started slowing down terribly when I have a new instance of Battery 3 open for every single part of the drum track (snare, kick, hi hat, etc, so probably well over 4 different instances of Battery open at once).

    Then I found out I'm supposed to just open one instance and then I guess send it out to all the different tracks so they're all sharing it. Here's where I start to get confused.

    I want to maintain complete control over each part of the drums (volume, effects, panning) without affecting the others. So, I might want only the snare to go through an EQ and not the kick or hi hat or anything else. The only way that the signal worked for me was to send the track containing Battery to an EQ, but that way it impacts all of the drum sounds, obviously.

    What exactly am I missing here? I'm using Reaper, if that's relevant (I understand there's not proper busing or something like that, so you have to just use separate tracks for everything).

    So basically I want to send all these MIDI tracks through Battery 3 but also have each one be EQed separately. Same for any synth instrument or anything like that. What should the order of the chain be? I figured it would be just like using a guitar through a bunch of effects pedals.

    Also I've been loading Battery under FX in just a regular track. Am I supposed to pick "insert virtual instrument"? If so, what's the next step after that? Is this just some silly thing like I'm not picking the right sends or what?

    Thanks for any help in advance! Sorry for the mouthful. I'm trying my best to grasp this here.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">I once built my own robot. It fought little kids just because.</div>

  • #2
    You keep saying "supposed to". In recording theres no such thing as supposed.

    There are plenty of "I Can if you want to" options.

    What you are talking about are Bus options. You can set up a bus, route the parts to the bus and

    run a single plugin that affects anything thats globally sent to it. This may or may not work for different instruments.

    If you're wanting to EQ the drum parts separately then it obviously wont. If you want to apply reverb or EQ to the entire set it will.

    One thing to keep in mind, if these are canned drums your frequencies should be pretty close to being balanced to begin with.

    The snare should be in the right frequency bands, the kick the cymbals etc. EQ can only cut or boost whats already there.

    Bus EQing should be all that you need to get them to sound good. If you're vingto EQ then allot then I suspect you dont have

    good tracks to work with or maybe your monitors suck for mixing.

    If you're wanting to dramatically change the tracks, and in your case it sounds like you're using midi,then changing

    the midi voice or sample should be the path to gettingwhat you want. I dont use Battery, Midi, or Reaper so I cant be real

    specificon how ou would change the voices. I use ither real drums or drum machhines for the most part and

    using a drum machine I simply scroll till I find a snare or kick etc I like. For real drums its all about micing, drum tuning,

    room sound and playing technique for a sound.

    If you're having your computer slow down then thats a separate issue.

    You have a horsepower issue that involves optimizing the computer for

    optimal recording results. From what I hear reaper is very light on consuming

    resources so you must have some serious issues there you should ocus on.

    For a PC, running several internal drives usually fix the problem.

    one drive for your operating system,one for recording wave files

    one for samples and one for backup.

    The OS "C" drive should be mean and lean. No extra programs running

    that arent needed for recording, you dont wan to record wave files to it or it will slow down,

    Otimize all your settings so it runs as fast as possible without interruption.

    The wave disk has all your recordings routed to and from it by your daw program.

    this allows a whole other set of hard drive heads to work independant from your

    main OS drive. Then anoth drive for sample if you use them, and another drive for

    backing up your projects so your other drives dont get cluttered up and slow down.

    Then you defrag befor each session or after doing some major work or archiving.

    one note, when I say separate drives I dont mean partitions. you cant for example partition the C drive and run your

    OS on one partition and record your wave files to another. Your heads cant jump from partition to partition like that

    without dropping out.

    You can use a partition for storage. For example, I split my wave file drive. I use half for storage and backup of programs,

    plugins etc, things I wont use every day, and use other partition for my wave file recording tracks and it ws fine.

    If you're using a laptop with a single drive you're pretty much screwed.

    An external drive is only good for backup. All your recording tuuff has to be done on the C driv for maximum speed.

    If I had to work that way, I'd strip it down and remove all programs but my audio programand raw Operating system.

    I'd strip off all internet, antivirus, and shut down all startup programs and services that arent essential so I have the smallest

    operating system footprint I could get.

    Then I'd only work on one project at a time. When I was done I'd backit up to an external driv and erase/delete all

    the wave files fromthe C drive and defrag before starting another project. I have three DAWs in towers so this isnt an issue

    for me. I had to larn the hard way what works best and what doesnt.


    • #3
      There's nothing wrong with having a vst per drum part... just make use of the freeze feature. Once the midi is set, freeze that track and apply all your post effects to the frozen track.

      I just use one instance because it's simpler for me. In Reaper, I put the drum vst in one track and make it a folder by adding 8 tracks beneath it. Then in the parent, I just route the output of different channels coming from the vst to the appropriate child track. I then make a template of this parent track so I can reuse it across projects. This assumes your drum vst has support for outputting to separate channels... most do.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Well, I suppose you could practice it, but I don't. It just developed naturally — sort of like a rash. <br />
      -- Nigel Tufnel on intonation and rhythmic synchronization.<br />
      <br />
      <a href="http://soundcloud.com/clickonce" target="_blank">clickonce tunes</a></div>


      • #4

        Quote Originally Posted by clickonce
        View Post

        I just use one instance because it's simpler for me. In Reaper, I put the drum vst in one track and make it a folder by adding 8 tracks beneath it. Then in the parent, I just route the output of different channels coming from the vst to the appropriate child track. I then make a template of this parent track so I can reuse it across projects. This assumes your drum vst has support for outputting to separate channels... most do.

        I agree with this. Some DAWs and some drum instruments make it easier than other, but there should be an option to output individual instruments from a single instance of the plug-in. Crack the manual or look for videos on Youtube.

        Also, don't forget to dig into the options that are in the instrument itself. Typically, you have control over parameters like tone, pitch, attack, release, etc. for each individual drum. Sometimes you even have EQ, compression, or saturation right in the instrument.


        • #5
          No rules, but the more common approach is to use single instances of reverbs and delays for multiple tracks (using them on a bus with a "Send" from each track), but to use eq's and dynamics processors as "Inserts" (one instance per track).

          The idea is that often you apply the same reverb to many tracks.

          You can certainly bus multiple tracks through an EQ or compressor and sometimes this will yield results you can't get using the effect as an insert. But as you note you give up some control.



          • #6
            If Battery has the option, you can solo each individual drum, and bounce each drum to a single track. That way, on one track, you would have Kick, on another you'd have Snare, on another you'd have Hi-Hat, etc etc. I use this technique with DFH 2 and it gives me a lot of flexibility, plus once you finish composing the drum track, you can freeze or disconnect the synth, saving you CPU usage for other stuff on the project.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><br />
            <b>Amps:</b><br />
            Fender Performer 1000<br />
            Marshall JCM900 Cab<br />
            <br />
            <b>Guitars:</b><br />
            Fender Deluxe Player's Stratocaster<br />
            Custom homemade (by PedalPat) Wolfgang<br />
            Carvin DC700m 7-string<br />
            Ibanez AW50 Acoustic<br />
            Parkwood PW 560 Acoustic<br />
            <br />
            Other:<br />
            POD x3 Live<br />
            </font><br />
            <a href="http://facebook.com/mavtunes/" target="_blank">MAV</a> (solo project)<br />
            <a href="http://www.angelfire.com/indie/matthewallen/music/podxtlive.html" target="_blank">POD patches</a></div>


            • #7
              I use one MIDI track for a drumset, and one instance of a drum VSTi.

              The VSTi I open in the "VST Instrument" slot, not on the track.

              Then render the individual drums to single channel (mono), that's what the mixer wants in order to sculpture a mix to his liking.