[This letter is in response to Dave Foxx’s Production 212 article from last month. We received Dave’s response in time to give you both Michael’s questions and Dave’s answers below.]
Michael: About the Production 212 article. Would Dave be able to better clarify if he puts his effects (L1, Metaflanger and Q10) on separate aux tracks then busses his tracks as needed via aux sends or if he puts those 3 plug-ins into each track as needed as inserts.
Dave:First, thanks for taking the time to read the article, and for responding with questions. That’s what makes writing this column fun for me. I’m sorry to realize I wasn’t clear enough. The L1, MetaFlange and Q10 all go on separate aux faders. Then, each track is routed directly to the aux fader that is appropriate to that track. For example, “Man On The Street” clips would go straight to the L1 aux fader, as would any movie drops or ‘alternate’ VO. The main VO (the station voice), spread over two or three tracks would go to the MetaFlange aux fader (and from there, on to the L1 aux fader.) The sound effects (natural or electronic zaps), again spread over three or four tracks, all go to the Q10 aux fader.
Michael: I use ProTools and Waves plugs and have a great understanding of routing within the software, but I didn’t think that the article was very clear on that. Also, if Dave routes each track via aux sends to separate aux tracks with individual SFX inserted on them, does he still send the original dry track to the master or does he disable the outputs on those? One last question, he mentioned that he leaves any music he uses free of effects to maintain the studio mix as on the CD that he got the tracks from. He then mentioned that he uses an L1 on the master set to -6db. Won’t that type of compression have an effect on the original mix of the track?
Dave: I apologize for this not being more clear in the article. The output of each track is routed to the appropriate aux fader. I am not using sends at all. That is something I saved for the August column. And finally, regarding the Master fader L1, if you read a little more closely you’ll notice that I also set the gain on the Master fader to -6db. This negates the L1 acting as a compressor and makes it only limit the peaks of the piece, without affecting the overall dynamic range. Strictly speaking, the L1 is actually only a limiter and NOT a compressor. However, if you set the input of the fader to parity, with the plug-in set to –6db it will bring up the floor by 6db, effectively making it a compressor. Since I duck the RMS peaks of the mix to –6db, the overall effect is to simply control those pesky spikes, while the overall signal gets boosted back up to parity.
I hope this clarifies things for you. If not, feel free to write again and I’ll take another run at it. Thanxx for reading!