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Author Topic: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12  (Read 808 times)

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Offline celticray

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Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« on: February 27, 2020, 11:49:52 PM »
Im using SoundForge Pro 12 and Fab Filter plugins
Id like to get some feedback on workflow.  Ive searched but cant really find a sequence that includes eq/multiband compressor.  I like what the Fabfilter MB does to the recordings.   The below may change depending on the recording but....
Using Pro-MB I would typically use the "4 band punch and balance" preset but Band 1= +.25 dB @56.391 Hz, Band 3 = +.33 dB@ 356.65 Hz, Band 2 = 0.0 dB @3286.3 Hz, Band 4 = +0.2 dB @16432 Hz.  I dont touch the default compress attack/release etc.. settings and leave them at default
My main question is should I use FabFilter MB before or after I normalise?

My workflow
1) edit out clappers/clicks
2) Normalize to -0.3 dB
3) add Fab Filter plugins to 1) Pro-Q 3 as a low cut filter 6db slope@50hz 2) Pro-MB to use a very slight 4 band "punch" 3) Pro-Q to do a "stereo Enhancer"
4) Resample from 88.2khz or 96khz to 44.1 khz
5) Convert from 24 bit to 16 bit with dither

Please let me know what you think
Thanks!!!

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2020, 07:04:07 AM »
Normalizing should be the last step before all the converting
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Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 10:26:01 AM »
Normalizing should be the last step before all the converting

Yes, definitely EQ before normalizing. Otherwise, if you raise levels (which you shouldn't do, only cut from my understanding) you risk clipping.
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Offline wforwumbo

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2020, 09:15:03 AM »
If you are doing anything more than the low cut, I’d suggest putting Pro-Q 3 after Pro-MB. A low cut makes sense in front of it, but if you want to actually equalize the mix you’d want that EQing to happen after compression.

As stated, normalization should happen after all your eq + compression.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2020, 07:31:17 AM »
If you are doing anything more than the low cut, I’d suggest putting Pro-Q 3 after Pro-MB. A low cut makes sense in front of it, but if you want to actually equalize the mix you’d want that EQing to happen after compression.

As stated, normalization should happen after all your eq + compression.

I disagree. EQ should always come before compression. You don't want to be compressing based off of information that will not make it into the final mix.
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Offline wforwumbo

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2020, 11:23:25 AM »
If you are doing anything more than the low cut, I’d suggest putting Pro-Q 3 after Pro-MB. A low cut makes sense in front of it, but if you want to actually equalize the mix you’d want that EQing to happen after compression.

As stated, normalization should happen after all your eq + compression.

I disagree. EQ should always come before compression. You don't want to be compressing based off of information that will not make it into the final mix.

EQ CAN go before compression, but the impact is different.

Compressors are not linear operators. This means that compression > EQ sounds different from EQ > compressor (as opposed to two linear processors, like EQ > sample delay where the order there won’t matter).

The practical difference in using EQ before compression is that EQ boosts will kick a compressor harder (causing it to clamp sooner, and depending on ratio you set the compressor at this changes the compressor’s clamp non-linearly). This can be useful when used with cut filters - a low cut before a compressor helps prevent bass from “mushing up” the compressor, and such a signal path is frequently used as a side chain input like on API’s “thrust” control. In the boost case, this can be useful as getting the compressor to “pump” more based on a certain frequency region dominating the compressor’s triggering.

Putting EQ after a compressor means that the compressor does it’s non-linear gain business first, and any changes to equalization map to a linear boost or cut.

For the thought experiment, imagine you have a band pass filter with 6 dB of gain at 1k with a Q/resonance of .707, and a compressor with a 4:1 ratio. Assuming the signal is 2 dB above the compressor’s threshold, Putting the EQ before the compressor means the compressor will be doing 32 dB of gain reduction; in the reverse order, the compressor is doing 8 dB of gain reduction, with a 6 dB boost at 1k after that fact.

Both methods have their utility. In general, EQ before compression is to color the compressor’s response; compression before EQ is using the compressor to reduce volume spikes, with EQ then used to balance the mix.

Now, if you’re talking about peak limiting that’s a different story, but why you’re peak limiting then normalizing is a bit head-scratching.

Lastly, I’d avoid broad generalizations such as “EQ should always come before compression” as there is so much more nuance to it than such a statement offers. These are tools, and knowing how to use them means familiarity and creativity - breaking the rules a bit can be useful. And this is ignoring the studio world, where if you made that claim you’d be fired on the spot from the vast majority of productions for saying so. I don’t intend to beat you up about this too much, it’s coming more from a place of “I too am guilty of making broad generalizations, and it tends to bite me in the ass more often than naught”; I’d rather offer you some insight into how I think about these things, so we can both improve our craft.

For some context here, I have spent nearly half of my life doing studio production, I hold a doctorate in audio dsp applied to binaural hearing theory and room acoustics, and am currently a high-level filter designer for a certain fruit-named tech company; by the corollary, I am still very green to taping, and I’ve learned more from tapers such as yourself and in the trenches battling wooks than I have from the majority of my former professors. I just love all things sound and talking about them, and it seems you do too  :cheers:
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2020, 12:32:35 PM »
I'd echo wforwumbo here, there's no *always* in audio, especially in AUD tapes which have such unique challenges and benefits.

I'd add normalization to the list. When I begin to assemble 6 channels into a stereo mix, I'll normalize each pair before dropping them into the DAW. Gain staging is so much easier, and it comes together faster.

There are lots of ways to increase and decrease gain and dynamic range.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 01:49:49 PM by noahbickart »
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Offline morst

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2020, 03:26:37 PM »
I'd add normalization to the list. When I begin to assemble 6 channels into a stereo mix, I'll normalize each pair before dropping them into the DAW. Gain staging is so much easier, and it comes together faster.
And I would NEVER do that. I adjust gain per channel in the workstation (Audacity), based on peaks, but I don't prefer to work with a processed track when I can work with a master.
Like they say - more than one way to skin a cat.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2020, 05:02:17 PM »
If you are doing anything more than the low cut, I’d suggest putting Pro-Q 3 after Pro-MB. A low cut makes sense in front of it, but if you want to actually equalize the mix you’d want that EQing to happen after compression.

As stated, normalization should happen after all your eq + compression.

I disagree. EQ should always come before compression. You don't want to be compressing based off of information that will not make it into the final mix.

EQ CAN go before compression, but the impact is different.

Compressors are not linear operators. This means that compression > EQ sounds different from EQ > compressor (as opposed to two linear processors, like EQ > sample delay where the order there won’t matter).

The practical difference in using EQ before compression is that EQ boosts will kick a compressor harder (causing it to clamp sooner, and depending on ratio you set the compressor at this changes the compressor’s clamp non-linearly). This can be useful when used with cut filters - a low cut before a compressor helps prevent bass from “mushing up” the compressor, and such a signal path is frequently used as a side chain input like on API’s “thrust” control. In the boost case, this can be useful as getting the compressor to “pump” more based on a certain frequency region dominating the compressor’s triggering.

Putting EQ after a compressor means that the compressor does it’s non-linear gain business first, and any changes to equalization map to a linear boost or cut.

For the thought experiment, imagine you have a band pass filter with 6 dB of gain at 1k with a Q/resonance of .707, and a compressor with a 4:1 ratio. Assuming the signal is 2 dB above the compressor’s threshold, Putting the EQ before the compressor means the compressor will be doing 32 dB of gain reduction; in the reverse order, the compressor is doing 8 dB of gain reduction, with a 6 dB boost at 1k after that fact.

Both methods have their utility. In general, EQ before compression is to color the compressor’s response; compression before EQ is using the compressor to reduce volume spikes, with EQ then used to balance the mix.

Now, if you’re talking about peak limiting that’s a different story, but why you’re peak limiting then normalizing is a bit head-scratching.

Lastly, I’d avoid broad generalizations such as “EQ should always come before compression” as there is so much more nuance to it than such a statement offers. These are tools, and knowing how to use them means familiarity and creativity - breaking the rules a bit can be useful. And this is ignoring the studio world, where if you made that claim you’d be fired on the spot from the vast majority of productions for saying so. I don’t intend to beat you up about this too much, it’s coming more from a place of “I too am guilty of making broad generalizations, and it tends to bite me in the ass more often than naught”; I’d rather offer you some insight into how I think about these things, so we can both improve our craft.

For some context here, I have spent nearly half of my life doing studio production, I hold a doctorate in audio dsp applied to binaural hearing theory and room acoustics, and am currently a high-level filter designer for a certain fruit-named tech company; by the corollary, I am still very green to taping, and I’ve learned more from tapers such as yourself and in the trenches battling wooks than I have from the majority of my former professors. I just love all things sound and talking about them, and it seems you do too  :cheers:

hah I shouldn't have said always. Sometimes I (I think we all do it) forget to specify 'in my opinion,' but that's generally my process, particularly with taping-style live recording (also spent a good chunk of my life in studios and post-production and have a masters in audio technology.)

I had a whole thing typed up, but decided it wasn't really worth arguing the semantics. Suffice to say that my preference is currently EQ before compression and while everything you said is true technically, I think that EQ before compression often gives me a better and more musical result.
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Online aaronji

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2020, 08:01:47 PM »
Now, if you’re talking about peak limiting that’s a different story, but why you’re peak limiting then normalizing is a bit head-scratching.

I do this pretty often, to be honest. For many shows that I record, there are a handful of peaks (exuberant rimshots or bass slaps usually) that are several dB above the surrounding peaks. I shave these off with the limiter prior to normalizing so that I normalize to the "normal" peaks and not those few that are way louder. I tend to avoid compression in general, as I like to preserve the range of dynamics that I heard live (with that limited exception). What is the preferred way to handle this type of situation?
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2020, 11:25:51 PM »
Now, if you’re talking about peak limiting that’s a different story, but why you’re peak limiting then normalizing is a bit head-scratching.

I do this pretty often, to be honest. For many shows that I record, there are a handful of peaks (exuberant rimshots or bass slaps usually) that are several dB above the surrounding peaks. I shave these off with the limiter prior to normalizing so that I normalize to the "normal" peaks and not those few that are way louder. I tend to avoid compression in general, as I like to preserve the range of dynamics that I heard live (with that limited exception). What is the preferred way to handle this type of situation?

Generally when using a limiter, you set an out ceiling and then add gain until the track hits the out ceiling (threshold) the desired amount, so if used properly there shouldn't be a need to normalize post limit. Set out ceiling to -0.1db or whatever and then push the gain until you get the desired amount of reduction.
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Offline morst

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2020, 11:53:00 PM »
I do this pretty often, to be honest. For many shows that I record, there are a handful of peaks (exuberant rimshots or bass slaps usually) that are several dB above the surrounding peaks. I shave these off with the limiter prior to normalizing so that I normalize to the "normal" peaks and not those few that are way louder. I tend to avoid compression in general, as I like to preserve the range of dynamics that I heard live (with that limited exception). What is the preferred way to handle this type of situation?
I prefer to burn no dynamic headroom before its time.
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I also don't mix with fancy plugins. I save the fancy plugins for 2-track work, so that my work files are smaller to archive and faster to clone and faster to work with in real time.
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Online aaronji

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Re: Post Processing work flow Fab Filter/Sound Forge Pro 12
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2020, 10:32:06 AM »
Generally when using a limiter, you set an out ceiling and then add gain until the track hits the out ceiling (threshold) the desired amount, so if used properly there shouldn't be a need to normalize post limit. Set out ceiling to -0.1db or whatever and then push the gain until you get the desired amount of reduction.

Yes, sometimes I do that, but usually I use the limiter more "surgically", with different thresholds for different parts of the recording, often at a point where it may be lower than the overall maximum of the whole recording. For peaks during a song, I will usually set it so that the aberrant peaks are limited to the level of the surrounding peaks; if it is a quieter song, that may be quite a bit lower than the levels of a loud song. For applause, I often will limit it to a level a little below the music peaks. This makes it much more difficult to set an output ceiling than if limiting the entire file.
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