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  1. #1
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    Default Query: Native Effects

    Good day,
    I hope that this day finds you all very well!

    A few "leading" questions, if ya'all would not terribly mind...
    * Please forgive my neophyte-ness here - but I do believe that my questions are both relevant and justified.
    * Also, having really no prior experience with analogue/digital mixers - and if I have, such "knowledge" has only been of a "cursory" nature at best!

    Q1: If I had purchased a standalone, analogue mixer, say a Midas DM12, such units would have "onboard" EQ and compression.
    * From what I have observed in the past, I would have assumed - whether incorrectly or not, that the "engineer" would have employed the onboard EQ and compression to meet the specific needs at that moment....correct?
    R1:

    Q2: I then obtain an exact software equivalent of that Midas DM12 mixer - which in turn, replicates all of the specifics of that standalone, analogue mixer.
    * Would the "engineer" also then, employ the onboard EQ and compression to meet the specific needs at that moment - as they had previously accomplished with the standalone, analogue mixer?
    * If the onboard EQ and compression "worked" with the physical console, why would the very same onboard EQ and compression not work with the software-based version?
    R2:

    Q3: With the Midas DM12 now being software-based, this could provide the opportunity of employing 3rd party plug-ins of EQ and compression.
    * "Why would someone want to do that?" "If the onboard EQ and compression 'worked' previously, why would those same effects not work now?"
    R3:

    Q4: Apply the above to SAC - or even SAW, both applications not only come with built-in EQ and compression, but both applications also come with a second EQ.
    * In a similar manner as that of the software-based Midas DM12 - if the onboard effects "work" - why seek-out other alternatives?
    * If Bob has developed two "rather awesome" applications, would he not have put that same degree of attention into the onboard effects?
    F4:

    Thank you to all whom respond! Your time and attention to the above is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Query: Native Effects

    Q1:
    Dell, first off, if someone is using an analog board, they might also use analog effects that are not built into the board on a 'send-and-return' basis. It probably depends upon the usage. The biggest reason not to might be the hassle of carrying more stuff to a gig, for instance. Particularly when the difference might be overwhelmed by the room anyway. But in a recording environment - definitely.

    You mention EQ and compression as if each is one thing. But there is more than one kind of equalizer, and there are several types of compression that all sound different. And, in the analog world especially, the hardware often adds subtle distortion that people actually like - just like microphones. So much so that some prefer one over another and top manufacturers like Neve and API go out of their way to assure that their new products have very similar distortion to their older stuff. A good engineer can recognize the sonic effect of particular manufacturers in the music processed by them. It's treated sort of like a flavor or an aroma. You read about it especially in relation to mic preamps, but when you dig deeper - it's in everything.

    Digital processing, ironically, is much cleaner, and so mostly devoid of distortion. In theory - that's good. And some people like that better. But most miss the subtle distortion, particularly even harmonics, that the old less-clean equipment added - or, at least, the better quality stuff. So, they have to add it back in somehow. Digital effect manufacturers go out of their way to attempt to emulate classic effects circuits - down to that extra distortion. You'll have to decide for yourself how well they do. But one way to get it for sure is just to use classic analog effects.

    Q2 and Q3:
    You presume that the digital version of those effects sounds identical to the analog version. That is a large presumption. Some of the desired sound of the analog effects result from randomness - which is hard to emulate in a digital environment. And some of it is so complex that it is also difficult. Still, it's all a matter of personal taste. If you like it - it's good enough. And, again, just as in the case of the analog board - you might want a type of compressor other than the one that came with the board - even though they are both still generally called 'compression'. You have to use your ears and your heart, rather than your intellect, to discern the difference.

    Q4:
    Don't forget that Bob also built in the opportunity to plug in VST effects on purpose. And, in general, they work really well in the environment. He also built in the opportunity to send-and-return to outboard analog effects. It's a matter of palette. Maybe a 32 band graphic equalizer makes more sense than a parametric equalizer for the situation at hand? Maybe what the track really needs is the aroma of a FET compressor? Bob's built in two ways for you to obtain that: either to the actual hardware or a digital emulation of your own choice. It's all about your ears. There was no reason for Bob to re-invent access to every variation of every effect. The ones he provides are terrific - but not exhaustive. And they weren't meant to be.

    The bottom line though is still that you only need what you need. If you are satisfied with what you're listening to - why, besides curiosity I suppose, would you reach out for something else? But, if not - why wouldn't you?


  3. #3

    Default Re: Query: Native Effects

    Not trying to intimate that you can't Google the subject yourself, but here is a page describing some of the differences between basic types of compressors. There are others as well - and then there are more nuanced differences relating to manufacturer.

    https://producerhive.com/ask-the-hive/types-of-audio-compressors-when-to-use-them/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Query: Native Effects

    Good day,

    John, thanks for the follow-up...appreciated!

    I was actually looking for a much simpler response. Thus, I will ask the question in this manner,

    "Are the EQ and Compression that are currently part of a SAC|SAW channel strip good enough to meet the needs of most [simple] folk?"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Query: Native Effects

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_es335 View Post
    Good day,

    John, thanks for the follow-up...appreciated!

    I was actually looking for a much simpler response. Thus, I will ask the question in this manner,

    "Are the EQ and Compression that are currently part of a SAC|SAW channel strip good enough to meet the needs of most [simple] folk?"
    Yes.
    ---------------------------------------
    Philip G.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Query: Native Effects

    Philip,

    "...Yes..." ....Philip...curiously...this happens to be
    just the answer that I was looking for!!



  7. #7

    Default Re: Query: Native Effects

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_es335 View Post
    Good day,

    John, thanks for the follow-up...appreciated!

    I was actually looking for a much simpler response. Thus, I will ask the question in this manner,

    "Are the EQ and Compression that are currently part of a SAC|SAW channel strip good enough to meet the needs of most [simple] folk?"
    What you ask is akin to asking if the one shade of red that came with a paint set is sufficient for your needs. It's a fine shade of red. And yet, sometimes 'candy-apple' is not the shade one is looking for. It's a matter of palette.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Query: Native Effects

    John,

    Granted....all that you are stating is true and, I am sure, relevant!

    However, and this is an important however, over the past months, I have observed and visited a number of local "venues" who are currently employing either analogue or digital consoles.
    * In total, I visited 23 venues [live shows, smaller pubs and smaller churches]

    When I have had the opportunity, I first observe what the "engineer" is doing and then I ask them if they employ the on-board EQ and compression or if they employ out-board equipment.
    * Interestingly, most employed on-board EQ and compression - with an external EQ employed for "room acoustics"...with mainly churches whom were employing the latter.
    * I never queried them on what the external EQ actually did...as such usage was not in my purview.

    Being both a neophyte...and poor - I have been told by many that I should opt to employ plug-in EQ's...as the on-board EQ are not all that good.
    * When asked what is meant by "not being all that good"...I have not once received what I would refer to as a satisfactory reply....maybe because there is
    simply NO answer to such a question.

    Anyhow, I have opted to learn the SAC EQ's....and simply to leave it at that.

    PS: Maybe, I should have asked, "How many SAC|SAW users only employ the on-board EQ and compressors?"


  9. #9

    Default Re: Query: Native Effects

    I'm surprised that a lot of people told you that the onboard EQ is not good. Back when I started using boards, a multi-band parametric EQ was like magic - if you could afford it. The EQs I had access to were all graphic instead. If you don't know, graphic EQs divide the entire spectrum into frequency slices. Think of it like tone controls on your stereo. Except, instead of low, mid, and hi - there are many more ranges. And there are very good things about graphic EQs. But whenever you raise or lower one of the slices you are stuck with changing all of the frequency swath that it represents - when maybe you only needed to modify a portion of it.

    Parametrics allow you to set how wide a frequency swath you want to adjust, where the center of that swath is located (frequency-wise) and how much it will be raised or lowered in volume. So they're great for things like room feedback because you can tailor what is adjusted precisely - only as wide as is absolutely necessary. Graphics are blunter tools - but there are usually a bunch of
    (static) frequency ranges, whereas there are usually only 5 or 6 (adjustable) frequency ranges to a parametric.

    So, if you want to kill that upper mid range mic screamer without simultaneously ruining someone's guitar or voice - parametric is your friend. But, if you are attempting to bring an entire room closer to flat - there's nothing like a 32 band graphic EQ (32 bands means each band is a third of an octave wide).

    Still, in a pinch, either is serviceable. And, as you point out, there's a perfectly good one built in.

    But a great thing about SAW/SAC and VST is that there are multiple free versions of VST multi-band graphic equalizers out there for the download for free - and more for next to nothing. So, you don't have to choose between types or economize if you don't want to. You can easily use both for what they are best at if you choose to - although you do have to understand what they do and how to operate them.

    A 3 second Google search yielded this free 32 band graphic EQ VST. I haven't tried it and although it looks OK to me, if it's not - there are others.

    https://plugins4free.com/plugin/3794/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Query: Native Effects [RESOLVED]

    John,

    Thanks for the follow-up...and the link...very much appreciated!

    And thank you to those that replied...also appreciated!

    PS: I consider this matter resolved!
    Last edited by mr_es335; 02-13-2024 at 08:22 AM. Reason: Update

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