Academy Dashboard Forum Production Production Techniques Saturation - When/Why/How? Reply To: Saturation - When/Why/How?

Niki Pichler


    for me saturation is another powerfull tool if used correctly. i have a little bit of it on every track (virtual tape emulation (slate) on the 16 track setting on every track and the 2 track setting on the master bus) but i just use it as an analog vibe tool. (for me it smoothens out my mixes as some people before me already stated that it gives a bit more smoothness to everything) another tool i'm using is in the virtual mix rack (slate) the fg-73 (it's obviously a simulation of an 1073). i use it often on kick and snare and everytime on bass and vocals. sometimes it is also on some guitar or keyboard tracks if i want to have more grid to the tone.

    on kick and snare, i use it to get rid of some really hot peaks without using a compressor as it is a more easy way because i don't have to fiddle around with attack or release times to get it right. sometimes i also like to go more into the red on the snare for sound reasons as an distorted snare can fit in some arrangements.

    on bass i have 3 different tracks normally (DI, DI Distorted and Amp). DI is with a low pass on around 200, DI Distorted is with a high pass around 300-400 and the Amp is with a high pass at the same spot as the DI low pass (typical the trick warren's using nearly every time). sometimes i use a second amp for the distorted signal and if i don't have an amp i use amplitube 4 with an amp from my ampeg package for the amp track. the saturation part is the distorted one, i distort the DI (or amp) with the free tse bod plugin and saturate this signal even more with the fg-73 on maximum (this is a really disgusting sound) and blend it in with the rest (normally between 14 to 18 dB quieter than the other 2)

    on vocals i use it first on the vocal directly second in the chain after the tape emulation if i want to get a dynamic influenced distortion on the vocal and the other track i'm using it to the max is the distorted part of the vocal (separate track) which is blend in really low in the mix.

    sometimes i use it on room mics or overheads if they have too much fuzzy highs but more often i use a deesser for this applications.

    this is my usage of saturation =)

    cheers, Niki