DynaMixing Five includes a suite of eleven Ableton Live effect racks brand-new for 2017, each designed to provide a specific useful tool for production & mixing, both surgical and characterful in style.
Auto-magically sculpts the input source with 16 bands of dynamic EQ. All you do is turn up the knob to enable and calibrate it, while it does the work of listening to the 16 bands and adjusting them in real time under the hood. You can also adjust the output level to match the original density. The audio material itself is not split, only massaged, which helps to avoid phasiness. Used moderately this can be great for pre-sculpting (pre character and effects processing) of individual stems, or subtly for final mastering (pre-limiter) of a mix.
You can also use it to assess where it thinks your material needs to be cut or boosted, to then adjust with your own favorite static EQs. For example, you could place it on your mixbuss to see which frequency it attenuates the most, figure out from which instrument that frequency is primarily originating, and then adjust that instrument’s level and tone. Please note that this rack requires MaxforLive to function.
A different but cool way to highlight a particular tone in an audio source. If plain ol’ EQ and compression isn’t giving something the zing it needs to poke out in a mix, try this trick.
To use it, first choose a Focus Frequency and turn up the OffBand Amount control to bump it up using a smooth parallel bandpass bell peak. The catch though is that you have separate delay controls for the Left and Right channels, allowing you to stereo-widen that enhanced tone bump as well. By listening extremely carefully coupled with a good goniometer you can adjust the phase of each side (via the delay ms) exactly where is most beneficial. You can further refine the enhanced parallel tone with shelf morphing and add nonlinearity with optional envelope and LFO modifiers.
Implements functional bass widening of stereo tracks which emulates the way our human ears actually hear low frequencies emanating from live instruments in a physical space (which is de-emphasized when transferring mic recordings for direct playback via speakers). Try it out on a mix of acoustic instruments and you are likely to be pleasantly surprised.
Tip: You can combine this with the common practice of low bass “monoification” by placing Bass Shuffer first to enhance low-mid bass, then use your bass narrowing afterwards to tighten up the low bass and sub.
Use it for creative experimental psychoacoustic sound-sculpting. What it does is split up your audio source into a bunch of different chains, each based on a human body part, and each loaded with effects carefully plotted to emulate and alter physical characteristics. They split into one master rack & three main racks worth of macros to sculpt the resultant output (20 controls total). You can alter the person’s Girth, Height, and Symmetry in the main rack. In the “Head” rack grouped inside that you can alter the shapes of the head, neck and mouth, set the sensitivity of the eyes, ears, and nose. “Appendages” lets you open or close your arms and hands, determine how wide your stance is and set the angle of your feet. Clicking on “Torso” reveals the controls to adjust how sharp your shoulders are, how puffy your chest, the shape of your hips, how well your blood flows and even how prominent your booty. Please note that this effect is never neutral; its default state is provided as close to neutral, tone- and level-wise, as is practical, but will never provide a flat output (whereas most PerforModule racks are perfectly neutral at default settings).
A gnarly beast of a compressor, utilizing 6 serial compressors each with very specific settings to react and compress in their own particular way. The sum of all 6 is a supernatural megacompressor which seems to cheat, working to bolster any type of audio material without having to dial in any settings other than its intensity. At subtle settings, it will seductively tickle; at moderate settings it will arrogantly encourage; at high settings it will crush with baleful impeccability.
Simply implements a scalable frequency curve which was determined based on the analytical average of thousands of tracks of all genres and eras. Moves any audio more towards what the human ear considers “pleasing” with an extremely smooth slope boost while cutting extraneous ultrasonic and infrasonic content.
•Loudness Contour Enforcer
Implements a scalable frequency curve based upon the human perception of loudness, boosting the frequencies we naturally hear louder. You can set the SPL to match the decibel level to alter the contour (for example, at higher decibel listening levels, low bass seems louder). One use would be to get more apparent loudness out of something without removing all available headroom.
•Loudness Contour Fader
Similar to the Loudness Contour Enforcer, but instead of arbitrarily imposing the loudness contour, it ramps it up as you fade down in volume. This can be a really awesome way to preserve the perceptual clarity of instruments as you automate their levels. Just use this in place of a normal volume fader after all other effects in a track’s processing chain.
Implements a classic effects chain often used in analog setups which serves to “bump up” the bass end of an audio source . You can set the frequency to match your main low thumpy transient to “burl it up” while minimizing boost of the transient itself (keeping headroom more manageable). In addition, we also added in a harmonic dirt control to spice in a touch of enhancement tingling the harmonic above the selected focus frequency, which can help the bass come through on small speakers.
This unique rack serves to attempt to isolate the “background space” element of an audio source, bring it out artificially, and then scrunch it, if desired. This can quite interestingly alter the resulting output. You can use it subtly on an instrument recording to enhance its natural room reverberation, or you could use it on a duplicated track with extreme space isolation to generate a very nice source for parallel reverb and delay effects.
Pure surgery here. Hone in on and scoop down a problem frequency using a morphable phase cancellation filter. Just choose the frequency you want to focus on and the amount of reduction. For extra fun, automate the “morph” control.
Remember, you can always open racks and study the way they are assembled to understand why they work the ways that they do, modify and save your own versions in your User Library (Live is awesome like that). Or if you just want to focus on intuitive mixing and don’t care about the technicalities, just twist the knobs and enjoy!
Click here to get DynaMixing Five for Ableton Live 9 Suite.
Stay cool, everyone.