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Tracking through a UBK Fatso
Old 12th September 2012
  #1
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Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Tracking through a UBK Fatso

Anyone using it for tracking using the "smooth" preset? Apart from controlling dynamics what do you feel you gain from it? I've just started using it this way and haven't fully evaluated it yet. I saw an episode of Pensado's Place where Justin Niebank talked about tracking through a UBK Fatso in "super crush mode", not sure if he meant "smooth" or "all buttons in" though.
Old 12th September 2012
  #2
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I won't bore you with my own take on the awesomeness of this box, but I'll just say that when Justin refers to super crush mode he means Glue+Spank, the last preset, the one where all 3 LED's light up. It's like a slow attack / medium release / high ratio limiter.

Also, if you really want to get every possible ounce of juice out of the unit, do yourself a massive favor and stick a gain control in the sidechain. Turn it all the way down to turn the compressor off, then dial up your input so that you get some healthy saturation and thickening, let the Comfy light blink a lot with an occasional blip of Roast. Then creep the level of the sidechain back up until you get the desired amount of squeeze.

Taking the time to do that will make you about 200% happier with the results, as you'll have maximized the saturation on its own terms rather than simply letting the compression dictate what you get on that front.

If you've got a cheap graphic eq laying around, even better. Stick that in the sidechain and pull out 6dB of everything below 300, and put a 3dB bump at 2.5k if doing vocals, or 6k if doing acoustic guitar, or 10k if doing drums. It'll change your life.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 12th September 2012
  #3
Gear Nut
 
engineroom's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Whoa... Awesome info! Thanks!
Old 13th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
I won't bore you with my own take on the awesomeness of this box, but I'll just say that when Justin refers to super crush mode he means Glue+Spank, the last preset, the one where all 3 LED's light up. It's like a slow attack / medium release / high ratio limiter.

Also, if you really want to get every possible ounce of juice out of the unit, do yourself a massive favor and stick a gain control in the sidechain. Turn it all the way down to turn the compressor off, then dial up your input so that you get some healthy saturation and thickening, let the Comfy light blink a lot with an occasional blip of Roast. Then creep the level of the sidechain back up until you get the desired amount of squeeze.

Taking the time to do that will make you about 200% happier with the results, as you'll have maximized the saturation on its own terms rather than simply letting the compression dictate what you get on that front.

If you've got a cheap graphic eq laying around, even better. Stick that in the sidechain and pull out 6dB of everything below 300, and put a 3dB bump at 2.5k if doing vocals, or 6k if doing acoustic guitar, or 10k if doing drums. It'll change your life.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Cool, thanks for chiming in (well, you definitely wouldn't bore me. You have written some really good posts already though, so I won't nag ...).

One thing, I patch my DBX 160 into the sidechain, just using the gain knob. When I turn it up It makes a huge difference (lots more compression from the Fatso), but when I turn the gain all the way down the Fatso's GR only goes from 10 (without sidechain) to about 7. In other words, I'm not able to dial in saturation without compression and then turn up the gain to get the GR exactly where I want it. Maybe I should try feeding a channel of my console to the sidechain for more control ...?
Old 13th September 2012 | Show parent
  #5
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, you need an attenuator that can take the sidechain signal all the way down to zero. A simple passive 10k pot will suffice, or (my favorite) a cheap old graphic eq with level control.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 14th September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
Yeah, you need an attenuator that can take the sidechain signal all the way down to zero. A simple passive 10k pot will suffice, or (my favorite) a cheap old graphic eq with level control.


Gregory Scott - ubk
I just realized what the problem was. When the channels are linked, the channel getting the most GR will dictate how much the other is getting; so the side chain work fine in linked mode when the gain is turned up. Getting less compression (ie turning the gain down) does not seem to work in linked mode. Only using one channel for a mono source works great even with the DBX though (-20 dB output gain)!
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️

If you've got a cheap graphic eq laying around, even better. Stick that in the sidechain and pull out 6dB of everything below 300, and put a 3dB bump at 2.5k if doing vocals, or 6k if doing acoustic guitar, or 10k if doing drums. It'll change your life.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Will a guitar pedal work for this by any chance?

Something like this?

MXR M-108 Ten Band Graphic EQ | GuitarCenter
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotsirc ➡️
Getting less compression (ie turning the gain down) does not seem to work in linked mode.

It'll work great, you just need to turn down the level in the sidechain of *both* channels, otherwise it will behave the way it was designed and respond to the louder of the two sidechains.

The easiest way to do what you want is to simply 'dead patch' the second channel's sidechain insert. In other words, stick a 1/4" plug in there that's not connected to anything. That way the detector on that channel never sees any signal, so if you're linked then both channels will respond to the other channel, the one that has your gain control inserted.

Do it that way and you can have one gain control operating both channels.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmacko ➡️
Will a guitar pedal work for this by any chance?

Something like this?

MXR M-108 Ten Band Graphic EQ | GuitarCenter

I've never used a guitar pedal, so I can't say for sure. Pedals are designed to accept instrument level inputs, so it's conceivable that running the sidechain into one will distort it pretty badly. But that one does have an input control so you might be fine.

Personally, I'd look for some cheap 70's or 80's home hi-fi graphic eq so I could have two channels for dual mono tasks. I got one off of ebay for $10, and I'll be damned if it doesn't sound amazing in its own right.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 15th September 2012
  #10
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Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
It'll work great, you just need to turn down the level in the sidechain of *both* channels, otherwise it will behave the way it was designed and respond to the louder of the two sidechains.

The easiest way to do what you want is to simply 'dead patch' the second channel's sidechain insert. In other words, stick a 1/4" plug in there that's not connected to anything. That way the detector on that channel never sees any signal, so if you're linked then both channels will respond to the other channel, the one that has your gain control inserted.

Do it that way and you can have one gain control operating both channels.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Of course, very clever. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of that. But this is why I love engineering, if you follow the logic you can solve most things really. Thanks Greg!
C
Old 16th September 2012
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Stereo Insert Volume controller.

Parts needed:
1x 1/4" TRS to TRS cable (length as needed for positioning your controller).
1x 10k Linear pot (Radio Shack $3.99).

Directions:
Cut one of the TRS jacks off the cable, save (as is, this is the dummy plug).
Strip the leads on your cable, then solder to 3 prongs of 10k pot (braided shield goes on an outside lug).

Stereo controller is now built.

Insert 1/4" TRS cable w/pot into ch 1 insert.
Insert the other 1/4" TRS (the one you cut off) into ch 2 insert (dummy plug).

Works like a charm, I can setup saturation level and then adjust Stereo compression threshold.
Old 17th October 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
I won't bore you with my own take on the awesomeness of this box, but I'll just say that when Justin refers to super crush mode he means Glue+Spank, the last preset, the one where all 3 LED's light up. It's like a slow attack / medium release / high ratio limiter.

Also, if you really want to get every possible ounce of juice out of the unit, do yourself a massive favor and stick a gain control in the sidechain. Turn it all the way down to turn the compressor off, then dial up your input so that you get some healthy saturation and thickening, let the Comfy light blink a lot with an occasional blip of Roast. Then creep the level of the sidechain back up until you get the desired amount of squeeze.

Taking the time to do that will make you about 200% happier with the results, as you'll have maximized the saturation on its own terms rather than simply letting the compression dictate what you get on that front.

If you've got a cheap graphic eq laying around, even better. Stick that in the sidechain and pull out 6dB of everything below 300, and put a 3dB bump at 2.5k if doing vocals, or 6k if doing acoustic guitar, or 10k if doing drums. It'll change your life.


Gregory Scott - ubk
How would you describe the difference between tracking through the "smooth" setting and tracking through "all buttons in"/"super crush mode"?
Old 18th October 2012 | Show parent
  #13
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotsirc ➡️
How would you describe the difference between tracking through the "smooth" setting and tracking through "all buttons in"/"super crush mode"?
Smooth will destroy the transient of signals before it starts compressing the body of the signal. All lights on mode lets some transient attack through.

I personally use smooth on a "spiky" source like an acoustic guitar mic'd wrong.. Of course mic'd right no need but smooth can really chomp down on for instance a tambourine. Takes the piercing quality out of it and leaves behind just the meat. I don't find for my tastes I can let the meter go past 5db though if i want something natural sounding. This is probably just grabbing the bigger transients. This can be a great trick to getting rhythm guitars pinned down and letting drums and bass be percussive.

I like using the all lights mode for parallel stuff sometimes... I typically scroll through all the curves on any source if i'm looking for compression. They all have their own response that can work well with certain tempos and players/singers so its worth trying them all. All lights mode is very aggressive ratio wise so unless you'll looking for aggressive compression its not going to help you a great deal.

Russell
Old 19th October 2012
  #14
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Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeshorephatty ➡️
Smooth will destroy the transient of signals before it starts compressing the body of the signal. All lights on mode lets some transient attack through.

I personally use smooth on a "spiky" source like an acoustic guitar mic'd wrong.. Of course mic'd right no need but smooth can really chomp down on for instance a tambourine. Takes the piercing quality out of it and leaves behind just the meat. I don't find for my tastes I can let the meter go past 5db though if i want something natural sounding. This is probably just grabbing the bigger transients. This can be a great trick to getting rhythm guitars pinned down and letting drums and bass be percussive.

I like using the all lights mode for parallel stuff sometimes... I typically scroll through all the curves on any source if i'm looking for compression. They all have their own response that can work well with certain tempos and players/singers so its worth trying them all. All lights mode is very aggressive ratio wise so unless you'll looking for aggressive compression its not going to help you a great deal.

Russell
Thanks, great answer! I'm still curious as to what Justin Niebank gains from tracking through the all lights mode. He claimed it does something no other compressor does.
Old 30th October 2012
  #15
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🎧 10 years
I'm currently using mine to track rhythm guitar lighting the bottom 2 lights, no trafo and its getting hit about 15 db. It sound full and totally clear!! It's eating the highs just a bit. It is a simp;y amazing sound in and out of the mix!
Old 31st October 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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Musician's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeshorephatty ➡️
Smooth will destroy the transient of signals before it starts compressing the body of the signal. All lights on mode lets some transient attack through.

I personally use smooth on a "spiky" source like an acoustic guitar mic'd wrong.. Of course mic'd right no need but smooth can really chomp down on for instance a tambourine. Takes the piercing quality out of it and leaves behind just the meat. I don't find for my tastes I can let the meter go past 5db though if i want something natural sounding. This is probably just grabbing the bigger transients. This can be a great trick to getting rhythm guitars pinned down and letting drums and bass be percussive.

I like using the all lights mode for parallel stuff sometimes... I typically scroll through all the curves on any source if i'm looking for compression. They all have their own response that can work well with certain tempos and players/singers so its worth trying them all. All lights mode is very aggressive ratio wise so unless you'll looking for aggressive compression its not going to help you a great deal.

Russell

How can one go back one setting ? If eg. you heard a nice setting but accidentilly pressed the button one time too much?
Old 31st October 2012
  #17
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Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Googlyman ➡️
How can one go back one setting ? If eg. you heard a nice setting but accidentilly pressed the button one time too much?
You can only go "clockwise" so you press the button until you've gone all the way through and end up where you started, if that makes sense.
Old 31st October 2012
  #18
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🎧 15 years
yes i click through all settings sometimes multiple times while working the input a little to see if one of them works well with the source. no way to go backwards through the settings to my knowledge.

Russell
Old 4th December 2012
  #19
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DavidKmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Just got my UBK Fatso! Mainly got it for the 2 buss but now I'm really looking forward to exploring tracking with it. So, would a stereo 31 band graphic EQ be the most versatile tool for the sidechain? If so, would this be the appropriate cable for each channel? (the EQs I'm looking at do have balanced jacks)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/IPTBQXFXM5
Old 4th December 2012 | Show parent
  #20
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maxy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
I won't bore you with my own take on the awesomeness of this box, but I'll just say that when Justin refers to super crush mode he means Glue+Spank, the last preset, the one where all 3 LED's light up. It's like a slow attack / medium release / high ratio limiter.

Also, if you really want to get every possible ounce of juice out of the unit, do yourself a massive favor and stick a gain control in the sidechain. Turn it all the way down to turn the compressor off, then dial up your input so that you get some healthy saturation and thickening, let the Comfy light blink a lot with an occasional blip of Roast. Then creep the level of the sidechain back up until you get the desired amount of squeeze.

Taking the time to do that will make you about 200% happier with the results, as you'll have maximized the saturation on its own terms rather than simply letting the compression dictate what you get on that front.

If you've got a cheap graphic eq laying around, even better. Stick that in the sidechain and pull out 6dB of everything below 300, and put a 3dB bump at 2.5k if doing vocals, or 6k if doing acoustic guitar, or 10k if doing drums. It'll change your life.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Killer tips! Thanks
Old 4th December 2012
  #21
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DavidKmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Nobody can help me on the cabling question? 2 posts above.
Old 4th December 2012 | Show parent
  #22
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidKmusic ➡️
Just got my UBK Fatso! Mainly got it for the 2 buss but now I'm really looking forward to exploring tracking with it. So, would a stereo 31 band graphic EQ be the most versatile tool for the sidechain? If so, would this be the appropriate cable for each channel? (the EQs I'm looking at do have balanced jacks)

Pro Co IPTBQXFXM5 (5') | Sweetwater.com
Ya, the Insert is wired Tip Send, Ring Return, so that cable will work to insert an Equalizer that has XLR I/O.

Graphic EQ are usually pretty cool to use for this application. Though you might want to sweep around with a parametric sometimes.

Zall pretty fun
Old 4th December 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell ➡️
Ya, the Insert is wired Tip Send, Ring Return, so that cable will work to insert an Equalizer that has XLR I/O.

Graphic EQ are usually pretty cool to use for this application. Though you might want to sweep around with a parametric sometimes.

Zall pretty fun
Thank you!
Old 4th December 2012
  #24
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BradM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Speaking of graphics...is anyone besides API and Purple making any cool graphic EQ's these days? Any sleepers out there? Not grungey stuff like the old Urei boxes, but something modern and hi-fi.

thanks,
Brad
Old 4th December 2012 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Greg -

Any reason that you can't do the same this with an output channel from a DAW? I've tried patching out an aux send from my Ensemble into the sidechain - seems to work and you can add an EQ as needed.

Thanks,
Fred
Old 5th December 2012 | Show parent
  #26
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by flwehr ➡️
Greg -

Any reason that you can't do the same this with an output channel from a DAW? I've tried patching out an aux send from my Ensemble into the sidechain - seems to work and you can add an EQ as needed.

Thanks,
Fred
You can certainly do this in mixing and I have to great effect. The latency makes it impossible for tracking.

Russell
Old 6th January 2013 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
Yeah, you need an attenuator that can take the sidechain signal all the way down to zero. A simple passive 10k pot will suffice, or (my favorite) a cheap old graphic eq with level control.


Gregory Scott - ubk
i think i'm gonna get a fatso soon, and definitely wanna take advantage of the "trick" to hook up a graphic eq w/ level control to the sidechain.
looking up eq's on ebay, i'm encountering two questions:
1) most of the level controls on graphic eq's can only attentuate -12 or -15 dB. will that be enough to obtain full control over the comp's threshold?
2) if it's a cheap old eq, most likely the level knob won't be very precise to operate.. it will be hard to perfectly match the left & right levels. does the "link" mode on the fatso also couple the (left) sidechain signal, thus solving the problem?

this eq might be good as the level control ranges till -infinite ?
http://medias.audiofanzine.com/image...400-142630.jpg

thanks for any recommendations!
Old 6th January 2013
  #28
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Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernst Eiswürfel ➡️
i think i'm gonna get a fatso soon, and definitely wanna take advantage of the "trick" to hook up a graphic eq w/ level control to the sidechain.
looking up eq's on ebay, i'm encountering two questions:
1) most of the level controls on graphic eq's can only attentuate -12 or -15 dB. will that be enough to obtain full control over the comp's threshold?
2) if it's a cheap old eq, most likely the level knob won't be very precise to operate.. it will be hard to perfectly match the left & right levels. does the "link" mode on the fatso also couple the (left) sidechain signal, thus solving the problem?

this eq might be good as the level control ranges till -infinite ?
http://medias.audiofanzine.com/image...400-142630.jpg

thanks for any recommendations!
I use a DBX 160x, it says -20 dB on the gain knob, that's been enough for me. Just put a dummy plug into the right channel (and the eq into the left) and link the channels. This way the left channel will be the master and the right channel will get the same gain reduction.
Old 12th January 2013 | Show parent
  #29
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernst Eiswürfel ➡️
1) most of the level controls on graphic eq's can only attentuate -12 or -15 dB. will that be enough to obtain full control over the comp's threshold?
2) if it's a cheap old eq, most likely the level knob won't be very precise to operate.. it will be hard to perfectly match the left & right levels. does the "link" mode on the fatso also couple the (left) sidechain signal, thus solving the problem?

Good move, it's gonna change your life! To answer your questions:

1) It won't give you 'full' control, but it'll get you most of the way there. If you slam the inputs of the Fatso, you may still get compression even with 15dB attenuation in the sidechain.

2) The sidechain signals and the Bypass button are the *only* things the Link button links. Everything else --- input, output, comp preset, warmth threshold --- remain independent.

Enjoy!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 1st March 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Greg,
With the the sidechain trick used to get maximum compression/minimum sat, could the Fatso (UBK) work extra as a clean-ish limiter ("smooth" setting) for speech recordings? Or is that just madness?
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