Order of links in the audio chain

Hookin up those Audio Boxes without gettin yourself Perplexed.
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JJ2013
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:16 pm

Order of links in the audio chain

Post by JJ2013 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:36 am

Hi y'all!

OK, I've been reading postings on a ProAudio files web site and, granted, these guys are faced with a different set of challenges and they're NOT addressing this from an eSSB angle. However, I would be curious to get some of your thoughts on the correct order of links in the audio chain bearing in mind what Randy Coppinger wrote in a piece about EQ and "mixing vocals." See excerpt from Randy's piece below the ***** signs.

With what Randy writes in mind it would seem like I may want to (it may fail miserably in producing great audio, but hey, this is about experimentation and pushing the envelope) rearrange the chains in my audio chain to something like:

PR40->MIC2200->1124DSP(Left channel Input, put all "cuts" here)->1124DSP (Left channel Output)->MDX2600 Compressor/Nois Gate Expander (Left Channel Input)->MDS2600 (Left channel Output)->1124DSP(Right channel Input, put all "boosts" here)->1124DSP(Right channel Output)->EX3200 (both channels used with the VooDoo "trick" on the way left and right channels are connected together)->Jensen Audio Transformer->ACC2 of TS870

Right now, the chain is:
PR40->MIC2200->MDX2600 Compressor/Noise Gate/Expander (Left Channel Input)->MDX2600 (Left channel Output->1124DSP(Cuts/Boosts both put here, using just the Left Channel)->1124DSP(Left channel Output)->MDX2600 (Right Channel Input)->MDX2600 (Right Channel Output)->EX3200 (both channels used with the VooDoo "trick" on the way left and right channels are connected together)->Jensen Audio Transformer->ACC2 of TS870

Would be curious to learn your thoughts about the two sequences above?!

Cheers!

JJ


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I seem to boost frequencies after compression, rather than before. Because when I EQ after, boosts work more intuitively.

Boosting EQ into compression can make the compressor more responsive to the louder frequency range. And since compressors fundamentally reduce gain, boosting into compression can have the opposite effect sometimes. When I boost after compression it feels normal, natural, and obvious.

Conversely I like to cut before the compressor so it doesn’t respond to undesirable stuff. Sure there are times I may break these norms, but it’s pretty rare.

JJ2013
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Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:16 pm

Need true VoooooDoooooo advice on this one!!

Post by JJ2013 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:18 pm

Hi y'all (and certainly VooDoo Guru, please !),

Like I wrote in a previous posting about "links in the audio chain," I am wondering how we should take what this studio recording pro wrote (see below the ***** signs)? VooDoo Guru wrote in Feb 2005 that EX3200 would probably need to go after the EQ so that EX3200 "does not have to add effects to frequencies that you didn't want. It is more effective after the EQ." And, place the compressor after EQ and EX3200.

Now, should I pay any attention (yeah, I know, we need to experiment and as that is the only way to make discoveries and this is eSSB not recording studio audio stuff!!) at all to what this studio recording pro writes that when he "boosts AFTER compression it feels normal, natural and obvious?" He cuts frequencies BEFORE a compressor so it doesn't respond to undesirable stuff (this kinda seems to make sense though....).

NOW, if I were to take heed any of the recording studio points it would suggest that the EX3200 is the last link in my audio chain and would come AFTER the compressor!! I appreciate VooDoo Guru's advice and given his experience and perspective on eSSB the ordering of the links in my audio chain should NOT be as per this recording dude says......The compressor being the last chain in the audio chain will enable control of potential sibilance and ALC will remain under better control too.

Yeah, I know, I am lost deep in the VooDoooooooooo netherworld somewhere and need someone to throw me a compass or perhaps a VooDooesque GPS enabling me to emerge eventually .

Would really value pointers on the order of the links in my audio chain!! Actually, right now, I apply very soft compression (2:1) BEFORE the EQ and 4:1 compression AFTER the EQ and the EX3200 is also the last link in the chain.......I am getting great unsolicited reports from guys with flex receivers (SDR) that can get wide enough on receive, but perhaps I put the EX3200 in a different spot and BEFORE any compression takes place.

I wouldn't mind partaking of great VooDoo wisdom pouring in at me from several quarters :=)

Cheers!
JJ
NI2M


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I seem to boost frequencies after compression, rather than before. Because when I EQ after, boosts work more intuitively.

Boosting EQ into compression can make the compressor more responsive to the louder frequency range. And since compressors fundamentally reduce gain, boosting into compression can have the opposite effect sometimes. When I boost after compression it feels normal, natural, and obvious.

Conversely I like to cut before the compressor so it doesn’t respond to undesirable stuff. Sure there are times I may break these norms, but it’s pretty rare.

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Post by Voodoo Guru » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:27 am

Howdy JJ,
Well it all depends upon what you are after.

Compression can be used in allot of different ways and in allot of different positions in the mix. It can be used for smoothing, tonal adjustments, sibilance, and many other types of dynamic control.

This goes hand in hand on what type of EQ'ing you are using as well. We're of the persuasion to try and cut the frequencies for spectral balance and do not like to boost anything unless absolutely necessary. So we're in agreement with what the author is proposing of cutting first then boost last. We actually do that for the high frequency pre-emphasis used on the AM Mode EQ curve.

But, this is done BEFORE the multi-band compressor. It really depends upon what your mixing the audio for as-to how the compressors and EQ are set up. If you have a limited bandwidth rig and are trying to push the high frequency transmitted audio envelope with EQ'ing, then you have to have the compressor after the EQ "boosting" to control sibilance.

On the other hand, If you have a transparent Transmitter capable of transmitting 6kc + for true eSSB, then this is not an issue as you do not need to boost any high frequencies so the compressor for de-essing is not necessarily needed.

So it all boils down to this,
Try it both ways and see how you like it! :D

Take Care,
Voodoo Guru
From Deep in the IDD of the Sub-Harmonix Realm

JJ2013
Voodoo Audiophile
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:16 pm

Post by JJ2013 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:19 pm

Howdy VooDoo Guru!

I have a TS870 that I am feeding through the ACC2 (cap mod done).

Presently the chain looks like this:
Behringer B1 condenser mic (I use the PR40 too with different EQ settings)
Behringer MIC2200
MDX2600 (left channel) for soft compression only at 2:1
DSP 1124P EQ
EX3200
MDX2600 (right channel) for 4:1 compression
Jensen Transformers ISO-MAX (audio isolator)
TS870

Tried the EX3200 immediately after MIC2200 as well but I like the order above better......

At best my TX bandwidth according to a ham with an SDR is around 3.5kHz wide so I guess there is really nothing I can do to get wider whatever I might try with the EQ!!

I am starting to warm up to a condenser as I don't have to stay "riveted" to the mic and can move my hear around a little more making speaking more natural, further adding to the quality of the audio (whatever that may be). Both mics sound fairly similar actually depending on the EQ.

Cheers!

JJ

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