Show 160 – Vocal sidechaing trick, DIY gear and more

This week we discuss using compression to gently push guitars down to unmask vocals. We also talk about several interesting DIY gear projects.
In Rapid Fire we cover: Channel Strip plugins; the piece of gear you never thought you would own but now have; pet peeve with musicians and performers.
Joining us this week is Peterson Goodwyn of

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17 thoughts on “Show 160 – Vocal sidechaing trick, DIY gear and more

  1. Hey guys, love the show and thanks for the round table. Just had a couple positive comments this week.

    For those of you looking to get every podcast for your backlog, maybe you could just do what I did and download each podcast at the same rate you listen. Downloading 2 or 3 shows doesn’t take that long and won’t slam the servers, and as long as you’re keeping a buffer of 3 or 4 shows forward you won’t run out of awesome content.

    Regarding peterson’s comment on side-chaining EVERYTHING but the vocals, I recently did this for an intro bumper I did for my church and it got very good reviews. Links to the accepted final version and a couple other rejected options below. All of these use the concept of side-chaining everything but the spoken vocals in addition to a bit of volume automation.(feedback/criticism is welcome if you’d like, but I’m not begging for peer review or anything.)

    the one being used:

    A couple other ideas made:

    Ride the creepy velociraptor chicken!

  2. Reaper has a frequency splitter plugin that allows you to separate a track into smaller chunks based on specified crossover points. If you use this in conjuntion with a compressor, you can duck only certain frequencies of a guitar to allow your vocal to pop through instead of ducking the entire guitar track. The specifics on how to do this are in the Reaper user guide. A very helpful option in my opinion!

    Ride the chicken lightning,

  3. DING DING DING DING…THANK YOU VERY MUCH.Peterson is RIGHT!! Going to school for electrical engineering was one of the best decisions of my life. Not only have I learned how to do it! BUT I have gained the knowledge to continue on doing more and more and more( I have G.A.S. ….I will submit some pics of my most recent gear I have built..La-2a. eqp1-a, and 1176 just to name a few!

    If you take the time to learn the inner workings of all this stuff, you dont need to pay a 300 percent increase in price for something you get for so much less.. I spent 500 bucks on my 1176 Rev D…while a new one is worth 2500$..HUH…do the math people…Go to school and learn how to do it!

    Books, are what should be mentioned here…I buy as many books as I build in equipment..The books get you in the ballpark for what you really need to know when your starting out. I bought a book on power supplies, and after a year of building mulitple supplies, I have learned the dark art of power…I encourage anyone, interested in this DIY stuff…go get serious, and then put your money where your mouth is…I dont just talk…I walk

  4. The torrent for previous episodes is a wonderful idea, just one thing. It needs seeds!!!! Ryan, you need to keep your torrent client running long enough for at least one person to fully download a copy. Once I get it, I’ll see myself for a while.

    @ Kris, I think it works better as Ride the lightning chicken!

  5. Hey guys its been a while since I last commented but, I’ve listened to every show and loved it. I just want to say that when I first started listening around the time you posted show #80-something (I think) the first thing I did was to go back and listen to every show you guys ever did. Now all of the sudden everyone is doing the same thing and getting a degree for it? Where’s mine? I’m like the original D112ing gangsta when it comes to going back and listening to all the shows lol! Anyway, I wanted to ask you guys a question. I’m totally sure I’ve heard you guys answering this queston before but, I can’t remember what show or shows to listen to for the answer. I’m in the market for a “colored” mic pre. I hope to get one for around $500 give or take. I have done some research and I know there are a ton of different kinds of color but I was wondering what your thoughts on the matter would be. I would preferr 2 channels although I’m sure the quality of each channel would be less than the quality of a single channel pre at the same price. I know its all opinion and just cause one person likes it doesn’t mean its the best thing going. In the end I’ll make up my own mind. Just wanted to hear what side of things you guys would weigh in on. Also, I have the same question about compressors. Colored-ish sounding, 2 channels (although one is ok too), and just basically retro-like. Lots of beautiful uglyness. Thanks so very much for the time and effort each week. I don’t even know where to begin telling you how much you’ve helped me. In the past year alone it’s been invaluable!!

  6. Love HRS! It has been the biggest source of my recording education.

    I have a dbx 266xl that I just acquired on craigslist, and it works with a Shure SM58, but when I plug any of my condenser mics into it, I can’t get any sound out. I’m assuming it’s a phantom power issue, but I’m going from the mic into the 266 and then out of that into a Digi003. What is the normal signal chain for a compressor?


  7. TFAGS, love stuff like this. My problem is that I have literally tried to put everything I’ve learned into one mix… My bussing has throughly confused the crap out of me… How ‘complex’ are your mixes generally. I really want to try this ducking, but not sure if I really should just cause its a cool trick our if my mix needs it… This of course is exacerbated by the fact that I have no clue how things ‘ should’ sound. Either way I’m going to give it a shot, but I am afraid I may be trying to hard.

    Ride the (the now audible) chicken

  8. Peterson…Glad you asked, A lot of the GOOD books I can suggest can get into the Hundreds of dollars… High prices suck…but If you buy threw the HRS Amazon link…sorry…salesman took over for a minute…

    I got – The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz, Thomas C. Hayes and Winfield Hill (Hardcover – Jul 28, 1989) This can range from 50 to hundred bucks…Found my copy in a used book store for 25! Sweet deal…Plus the new edition of the book has been updated, and comes with a CD with tons of info to put on your computer…Definite must have if you want to learn

    #2)44 Power Supplies for Your Electronic Projects (Tab hobby electronics series) by Robert J. Traister (Hardcover – Aug 1987)
    *****As RYAN says…Power is a DARK ART…This book breaks it down…super easy to understand…Tihs got me from zero to hero on a lot of my projects… Learning power supplies first and foremost is the most important thing…once you have power, you cant be stopped…

    #3)The Transistor Handbook by Cletus J. Kaiser (Oct 29, 1999) -this will get you started with tranny’s..I mean transistors…

    Transistors are basically logic devices…once you understand that…then you can get into opamps and semiconductors…which is where I advise you to just buy a recent college textbook…you will be better off…believe me

    Peterson…your a great guy, and I love you site…I frequently check your projects, and I hope others get involved as I have! Spread the word JOE

  9. Hi Guys

    You run an awesome show. I can’t say I’m a long time listener, as I only started listening about three months back or so – but I started from the first one, and I have gotten to around show 143 or so. Thank you so much for all the wonderful information, silly stuff and everything else. Above all, thank you for still dishing it out! 🙂

    I have a couple of questions I hope you can help me with.

    To put it into context, I am a hobbyist/enthusiast with a very small home setup, recording just myself. I run guitar and bass through a zoom multi effects pedal (the Zoom g7.1ut) which actually has a tube in it but is still a digital emulator like the line6 stuff. From there it goes into the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP firewire interface. The drums I program in EZDrummer and vocals I record through a Focusrite Trakmaster Platinum Pro and then into the interface. Not only is this the best equipment I have, it is also the ONLY equipment I have… 😉 For recording I use Reaper (of course ;-)), and for the time being only free plugins.

    The first question is regarding outboard gear and how it can improve the sound in comparison to keeping it in the box. It is often said that you need to run the sound through outboard gear in order to get a more natural sound and for the tracks to sit better in the mix etc. But what does this mean, exactly? Is it enough to run through for instance the Trakmaster going in, or even just the preamps of the Saffire? Or is it more in summing the tracks that outboard gear is needed?

    More succintly: what kind of gear and what type of gear typically gives the desired effect, and when should it be used in the signal chain for the most effect?

    My second question is a little different. I will be looking to upgrade my drum plugin sometime in the future, as EZDrummer is fine for quick songwriting, but its limitations are becoming more obvious the geekier I get. I can’t wait to start fiddling with more knobs than my current program offers (and any misinterpretation of that sentence would be purely a product of your own imagination). I hear a lot of praise for the Steven Slate stuff, but I’m wondering if any of you have experience with some of the other stuff out there like Superior Drummer 2.0, Addictive Drums or BFD2? I’m especially interested in BFD as it is on sale at the moment, until the end of March (

    I’m interested in ease of use, the number and quality of the included kits, abilities to combine different drum sounds, library of midi grooves, effects and ability to tweak the individual sounds. Overall, it would be nice to have something that sounds great out of the box, but also something that can be experimented with and tweaked – so flexibility without having to buy expansion packs is also very desirable. Boy, I’m not asking a lot, am I?

    I can read the specs on the product descriptions, but it’s pretty hard to determine from those how the programs are in actual use, and how to weigh my individual needs against each other as I don’t have much experience with such programs.

    If you are still awake after reading all this, I hope you can help shed some light on these questions.

    Once again, thank you for a kick-ass show!

  10. Guys…great show as always!.

    I’m convinced that Peterson is my long lost twin brother as I think and feel the same way as he does so much it is scary. Wait a sec…I just pinched myself…did you feel that Peterson?.

    DIY is cool!!.

    Anyway here is a new link to the making of a Fender Stratocaster, called a Strat is born…

    I was surprised how much is still done by hand.
    I thought people who like to open up and/or modify things like guitars would enjoy this insight as much I did.

    Ride the…whatever you like to ride!.

  11. Awesome Joe, thanks! I’ll keep my nose in the air for a copy of the Art of Electronics.

    Paul, I’ve always felt the same way. It’s like we complete each others’… sandwiches?

  12. What I meant with my “Two words: test system” comment is this: instead of breaking your production setup every time you install a new plugin, DAW version and whatnot, why not setup a test system (old DAW will do just fine) where you first install new stuff, test it out, including running a couple of tunes / tracks through your mixing software? When it works, then install it on your production DAW et voilà.

    Make sense?

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