Tips & Tutorials | January 18, 2017
Ozone 7 Vintage Bundle brings you three vintage flavored processors for coloring your mix and instrument busses—Vintage Tape, Vintage EQ, and Vintage Compressor. Try out these tricks to liven up your mixes.
In the low shelf section of the Vintage EQ plug-in, you can apply up to 15 dB of boost or cut at any of the 5 fixed frequencies. You can also boost and cut at the same time, which may seem counterintuitive at first, but is a classic gesture on the original Pultec EQ, and a go-to trick for adding low frequency punch to drum busses.
Set the frequency center set to 45 Hz and apply a generous boost. Notes that while this has increased the low end impact, a little bit of ring from the toms (and some muddiness) may come along with it. To handle the ring in toms, try using Low Cut which simultaneously adds a gentle dip right around the often muddy region between 200-300 Hz.
Using just the cut without a boost will result in the kind of roll off commonly expected from a low shelf. It’s only when the boost and cut are applied together that we hear the effect that makes the sound of a Pultec so special. A little goes a long way with these broad shelf filters, so start by adjusting small values between 0 and 1, and listen to the effect it has on your audio.
Vintage Tape faithfully replicates the frequency coloration, saturation, and phase response of a classic tape machine and half-track head stack. This makes it a great tool for warming up and adding color to your instrument busses! One of the keys to fine tuning the color is adjusting the Bias.
The Bias control gives you the option of customizing the distortion curve and high-frequency response of the machine. Adjusting the slider in either direction will reveal more distortion. A negative bias value will push more energy at the higher frequencies, just like an under-biased tape machine, while a positive bias value will attenuate some of the higher frequencies.
For warm, thick drums, try running your drum bus through Vintage Tape and push the Input Drive. With a positive Bias, you’ll achieve a warmer, darker sound, while a negative Bias will result in a brighter, more aggressive sound. Adjust your low end punch to taste with the Low Emphasis slider, which adjusts the resonant peak of the reproduce tape head bump. Finally, to warm things up even more, try adding in some even order harmonics with the Harmonics slider. Make sure to always listen to how these changes sound within the context of your mix!
The Balanced mode excels at both glueing together and leveling your mix due to the Vintage Compressor’s feedback topology. In feedback compression, the output of the compressor drives the amount of gain reduction rather than the input, a technique common in vintage analog compressors, but very rarely found in the digital world.
For a smooth, leveled, but vibey sound, try adding Vintage Compressor to your master bus. Try using a 2.0:1 ratio with a slower Attack (try ~35ms and adjust to taste) and Release around 100ms. For a smoother sound, boost the Peaking filter of the Detection Filter by ~8dB at 3kHz—this will trigger more compression when things start to get aggressive. Finally, pull down the Threshold until you’re getting 2-3dB of gain reduction.
If you want a little more pumping, pull back the High Pass Filter to get the compressor to react more to the kick drum.
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