Mixing with Channel Strip Plugins: Brainworx bx_console & Waves Renaissance

Mixing with Channel Strip Plugins: Brainworx bx_console & Waves Renaissance

http://theproaudiofiles.com // A video demonstrating mixing a song with the bx_console plugin from Brainworx and the Renaissance Channel strip plugin from Waves Audio.

Transcript excerpt:

Hey guys, this is Eric Tarr for theproaudiofiles.com.

Recently, I picked up this plug-in from brainworx called the bx_console. It’s a model of a Neve desk.

In my workflow, I like to use channel strips for basic processing. Whenever I need to do some simple equalization, compression, or expansion, I like to pull up a channel strip where I’ve got all of the parameters and controls in one place that I can quickly dial in the settings and move on to more important things in my mix.

So in the past, I’ve used basically two tools and gotten really familiar with those. Waves Renaissance channel, and the Waves SSL desk. When I saw this plugin come out, I got interested in it, and thought, “Is it time for me to replace my old tools with some new technology, and some new software?”

So I’ve picked this one up and I’ve been playing around with it for a couple of weeks. What I decided to do for this video is mix a song using this plugin exclusively. No other plugins are used on this multi-track session. Just the brainworx console. So I’m not even using any spatial effects or anything like that, it’s just equalization, compression, and expansion.

Then what I did was I created another multi-track session where I’m just using the Waves Renaissance channel. My idea is not to do one-for-one parameter matching or anything like that, the idea is just to look at my results of what I would get just by using this plugin in the mix. You know, things — impact, you know, the choices you make, like the metering you see, and the sounds that you’re hearing from the equalizer, and that kind of stuff.

So what I’ll do here is play you this track here to begin with. This is a song by the band Lines in the Sky called Parallel Travel. It’s kind of a heavy rock sort of sound, and I’ll A/B it, turn it on, turn it off so you can hear what the plugin is doing, and then I’ll open up the other session, do the same thing, let you hear the Waves Renaissance channel in the context of the mix, and then I’ll come back and I’ll dig deep into a couple of the plugins and show you some unique situations and how I’m using it. How I’m using the routing and all of that kind of stuff so you get a better idea about how to use it.

So here’s the song. You can hear how it sounds and how the processor is affecting the overall mix.

[mix, with and without bx_console]

Now, here’s the same song in a multi-track session where I’m exclusively using the Waves Renaissance Channel.

[mix, with and without Waves Renaissance Channel]

The next thing I’ll do is play the mixes side-by-side and crossfade back and forth so you can compare them for yourself.

Now, to my ears, what I hear is with the brainworx plugin, the results I ended up getting sounded a little bit smoother in the mid-range and crisp on the top end, whereas the Waves Renaissance Channel sounds almost brittle on the top end. Now, that might have been a result of the mixing choices that I made, but I’ll let you decide for yourself here.

[mixes, alternating between brainworx and Waves]

So there you go.

Another thing that I hear when playing them side-by-side is my drums really came out punchy with the brainworx plugin. I didn’t really achieve that with the Renaissance Channel, even though I was stacking plugin on top of plugin, and trying to emphasize that, it just didn’t come out as good as it did with the brainworx plugin.

So why don’t we look at individual instances of the plugin and I can show you how I’m using. Here’s the one that I’ve got on my kick drum. In this case, I’ve got the gate engaged, fast attack, fast release, really tightening things up.

Then I’ve got the compressor with a pretty high ratio. Slow release and slow attack. The idea here is to compress more of the sustain.

I love on this plugin how you really just have two choices, either fast attack to compress the transient, or slow attack to let the transient go through. On the EQ, nothing fancy here. Beef up the bottom end, roll off some of the boxiness, and find some of that snap on top.

So that’s the kick drum. On the snare, I’m doing two kind of things side-by-side. First up, I’m just — EQ, nothing going on here. I’m just using a fast attack to control level of the snare drum, and then in the second instance, this is where I’m using the gate to tighten things up, pull off the cymbals and bleed from this track and so on.

Video Rating: / 5

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M-Audio M-Track MKII Two-Channel USB Audio Interface with Waves Plugins

M-Audio M-Track MKII Two-Channel USB Audio Interface with Waves Plugins

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  • Powerful two-channel interface transforms computer into a digital recording studio
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The M-Track MKII interface from M-Audio transforms your computer into a digital recording studio with plug-and-play simplicity. A single USB cable provides both power and a data connection to and from your laptop or desktop computer. M-Track offers the right connections for any instrument, from an electric guitar to a professional condenser mic; phantom power is provided. With an all-metal chassis, and low-profile form factor, M-Track delivers professional control in a robust portable packag

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