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CLA Chaining Multiple FX to a single AUX?
Old 12th September 2012
  #1
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🎧 10 years
CLA Chaining Multiple FX to a single AUX?

So I came across an interview w/ CLA in which he describes his FX chain as follows:

CLA: "But then I also use an AMS reverb, the Ursa Major Space Station, which is not really a reverb, but somewhere in-between. And then there is also the Eventide SP2016. They are all chained together, all getting used. Sometimes I am using 4 or 6 of them at the same time. They are all on their good settings, and sometimes I just adjust the times. "

Interviewer: If you are using up to 6 reverbs on the drums, I can imagine that you can do the same for the vocals...?

CLA: "The vocals have their own line of delays. The vocals have 6 delays that I can use, and in 4 different channels of slap that I can use as a package, and then vocal doubles and then specific vocal reverbs. They have their own arsenal of stuff. Between the vocal reverbs and the drums reverbs, that covers everything."

I'm curious how this would work. I work on a Calrec quite a bit which has the most Aux sends (1 stereo, 5 mono) of anything I'm usually in front of and I always run out by the end of a usual mix. What I can't wrap my head around is if the reverbs are chained together, then no unit after the first would be able to process a dry signal since the 1st reverb as affected it and would be the only unit to see a dry signal. Unless they are all chained together and he's using the wet/dry somehow, but this doesn't seem right.

I know he has all the returns hardwired to the desk, so is he multing the Aux with a parallel on the jack-field or something before sending to several units? The main question I guess is if the fx units are in series or parallel before returning to the desk? Also, if he's set up for Aux1 (for example) to be all the common perc fx (short rooms, white rm, gated plate, etc) and AUX2 (again for example) for all vocal delays and longer verbs? If so, that's kinda genius.

Hoping someone, perhaps an old assistant, can shed some light.
Old 12th September 2012
  #2
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RusRant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't think he is running all the reverbs in series. I think, but may be wrong, that he has all those available. I believe he is using the SSL bussing for EFX,
Old 12th September 2012
  #3
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
I believe he is using the SSL bussing for EFX,
Yes, I wasn't thinking of the ssl buss routing option. That makes a lot of sense. That means the desk is set up so that the bussing choices are already there and he just pushes up the faders returning to the desk if he wants to use them. Can anyone confirm this theory?

Also, this comes from a bit earlier in the interview:

"I try the least amount first, and add just a little bit at a time. A lot of it is how much room or reverb I am using. I have 6 different reverbs and I just feather them in to taste. It’s not like I : β€œ Ok, I am going to use this reverb on this snare drum”; it’s more : β€œI am going to use these 4 reverbs on the drums or these 6 reverbs that are just on one send.” It’s a palette. I have 14 different reverbs set up - in total - and I will just push those returns up and see which ones"
Old 12th September 2012
  #4
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
im stillhaving trouble grabbing the concept of this

ok his second bucket of the ssl are 8 stereo channels dedicated to reverb returns.

Chris Lord Alge at Mix LA 195 ssl console | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

A ?
B EMT (EMT 246)
C 251 (EMT 251)
D SONY (SONY DRE 2000)
E BRIC (BRICASTI M7)
F MARSH (MARSHALL AR-300, 15ips) -- vocals
G H3K (EVENTIDE H3000, 423 VOC DOUBLER BC) -- vocals
H REV-5 (YAMAHA REV-5, SETTING 5) -- vocals

his 14 reverbs that are currectly racked are:

1 AMS RMX-16
2 BRICASTI M7
3 EMT 245
4 EMT 246
5 EMT 251
6 EMT 252
7 LEXICON 224
8 LEXICON M300
9 LEXICON 480L
10 QUANTEC QRS
11 SONY DRE 2000
12 SONY MU-R201
13 URSA MAJOR SPACE STATION SST-282
14 YAMAHA REV5

his delays are:
1 LEXICON PCM 42 (2x)
2 LINE 6 ECHO PRO (2x)
3 MARSHALL AR-300 (2x)

since i dont have an ssl its hard for me to understand where those reverb and delay returns return on the board, since his ssl has with the exception of bucket 2 (stereo returns), other duties
Old 12th September 2012
  #5
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shortstory's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think you may be forgetting he has all his small faders as well. So if he has an 80 input SSL for instance then he has an additional 80 small fader inputs/returns.

I would think he uses the discrete busing as a quick way to assign or try any given verb or effect. He can have them patched and then just hit the bus to try each as well as any combination.

What I'm not sure of is how he chooses to automate his effects. He can automate any large fader returns but not sure about sends or small fader.
Old 12th September 2012
  #6
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
all his small faders are set to 5 with a ruler
Old 12th September 2012
  #7
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Joe Haze's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I work this way. Have a buss for each fx unit then throw from the small fader. You end up throwing the same fx level to all of the units, so you adjust the input gain of each unit then return them on the desk (apply eq, compression as needed).
Old 12th September 2012
  #8
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
yea bout how does he return 14 reverbs and 4 delays with only 8 stereo reverb channels?
Old 13th September 2012
  #9
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Joe Haze's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Are you sure he is only returning 8ch?

He could be combining some pieces at the patch bay?
Old 13th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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RusRant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Haze ➑️
Are you sure he is only returning 8ch?

He could be combining some pieces at the patch bay?
Yeah, the 14 reverbs may not all being used at once either.
Old 13th September 2012
  #11
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shortstory's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel ➑️
yea bout how does he return 14 reverbs and 4 delays with only 8 stereo reverb channels?
Maybe I'm misunderstanding- but he can have 24 discrete busses feeding his effects all the time; then by simply punching that buss (or two for stereo) he sends that channel to the chosen effect. He then has 80 small faders that he can return to without taking up any of the large faders. This on top of the FX returns he has.

I have never worked on a 4k so I can't answer whether the small faders are auto arable or not.
Old 13th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel ➑️
yea bout how does he return 14 reverbs and 4 delays with only 8 stereo reverb channels?
Hi there. I don't know how CLA likes his SSL layed out, everyone I've assisted during the years have had the SSL setup slightly different from each other, and I have found a way that works best for me. If you've never worked on a SSL before it might be slightly confusing.

When it comes to reverbs, on an E series you have one stereo Aux, and 4 Mono aux sends on each channel (the knobs under the eq's). They are in most cases normalled to the most used reverbs in the studio, and they return in the center section of the SSL, where you have basic eq and additional level control over the aux sends. The aux returns on CLA's console is above the stereo compressor on the desk (to the left of all those guitar picks above the computer screen).

In addition to those aux sends, you can use your small fader as a fx send to as many of the additional 32 groups (SSL term for busses) you would like. So a simple example would be, Large fader channel 1 (lets call it lead vox channel) and use the small fader as a send to -> group 1 -> mono tape delay -> large fader channel 49.

So the 8 "reverb channels" on that picture is just 8 normal stereo channels on the desk. The SSL routing is very flexible. On an 80 channel desk, you've got 160 inputs. So you can put your multitrack outputs, reverb and echo returns, paralell compression, drum buss compression etc on what ever fader, big or small, you want on a SSL.

It's a bit late, so I hope I didn't confuse you more. It would be a lot easier to show you how it works, then to write it down. If you ever feeling really geeky, the SSL manual explains this much better then I ever could.
Old 13th September 2012
  #13
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RusRant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
On top of that, CLA's SSL has been modded, as has Clearmountains as well to allow better emplimentation of busses for EFX. So who know's how this also changes the workflow to better suit him. BC has a basic outline on the Mixthis.com site, but who know what beyond the G series mods CLA has had done for sure.
Old 13th September 2012
  #14
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🎧 5 years
Yes, you can return the fx via the Tape returns (small fader) no eq or compression. I love the SSL!
Old 13th September 2012
  #15
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Rick Carson's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
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How can you return into the small fader when your using it to send to the busses?
Old 13th September 2012
  #16
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Joe Haze's Avatar
 
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Sorry, that is the trade off.

I am 99% sure you assign the small fader to one function. So yes, if you are using the small fader as a "return" then yes you will have to throw from the large fader pre/ or post

Flexible routing... I love that about the SSL. I typically use 24 channels to return fx.
Old 13th September 2012
  #17
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Some G-series SSL's have a mod that was later incorporated into the K-series design. It allows you to "float" the aux send from the channel, and send it to the buss routing matrix. On a K, it's called the EFX buss. So, for example, on a particular channel, you can make the Aux 2 pot (for example), feed the buss routing matrix, and not the Aux 2 master send.

So, then you can have a large fader to mix, small fader as reverb return, the regular auxes going to their respective aux masters, and the "EFX" aux going to the routing matrix for sending to outboard. Super flexible. On a K, switching on/off can be automated for the auxes, but I don't think that's possible with a modded G-series, at least, not that I know of.
Old 13th September 2012
  #18
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Jules's Avatar
Thanks Adrian!

Hope all is well. Long time no see.

Old 13th September 2012
  #19
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🎧 15 years
Hi Jules! Yep, all is well, keeping busy with work and family. Hope all is well in your world!

I was interested in this, so I just checked out the Clearmountain mixthis.com website, where he has a little diagram of his "Bluestone" mod. It's not clear whether it's just Aux 5 that has this "float" function, or all of the auxes, and whether it's just buses 25-32 that the aux can be routed, or any of the busses.

Anyway, I would imagine that CLA's SSL has been modded in some way. Any former assistants or SSL techs know about this?
Old 13th September 2012
  #20
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G-Spot's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
From what I understood he has a batch of reverbs dedicated to drums and a batch of reverbs dedicated to vocals (as also delays) and they are always on...

Than lets says he has AUX 1 going to the patch bay multing it in parallel and feeding the first batch of reverb units. The same with AUX 2 for second batch of reverbs. All the Reverbs are dialled and fixed to the preferred preset and leveled at appropriate i/o volume, and then connected to the desk (Large or Small faders is now irrelevant). So he sends the Vocals to AUX 1 and immediately he can listen to which of his many reverbs (or combination) better fits the song, just by raising the desk faders. This way you don't have to think, just listen

That's what I understand from this: β€œI am going to use these 4 reverbs on the drums or these 6 reverbs that are just on one send.” He has two batches, and he uses one or the other for Drums & Vocals defining different/not common spaces for those sections.

As it was said already he could also be using a small fader (or even a large fader like Joe Barresi) to "throw" to one of the 32 tape buses that would be than multed to the effects.

(Barresi does some sends to effects with large faders so he can use the SSL automation to send - throw - level to the FXs... this is particularly useful for vocals for ex. when you want to have the reverb or delay lower while singing but louder at the end of the sentences...)
Old 13th September 2012
  #21
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Joe Haze's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Just more reasons to buy a K series!
Old 13th September 2012
  #22
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atticmike's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd love to know the description and application of his 48 channels on the console! Most of Brian A Petersen's shots how a great amount of insight on what the channels's purpose are but half of the information is still left in a dark corner :D

Anybody?
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Haze ➑️
Just more reasons to buy a K series!
I like K series SSLs, but doubt CLA would touch one with a 10 foot pole.
Old 14th September 2012
  #24
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Joe Haze's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I think the whole CLA obsession is way overrated. They guy knows what sells, has a process and knows how to make happy clients. (I would kill to actually own a J or K !!
Old 14th September 2012
  #25
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Rick Carson's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aidyhall ➑️
Hi Jules! Yep, all is well, keeping busy with work and family. Hope all is well in your world!

I was interested in this, so I just checked out the Clearmountain mixthis.com website, where he has a little diagram of his "Bluestone" mod. It's not clear whether it's just Aux 5 that has this "float" function, or all of the auxes, and whether it's just buses 25-32 that the aux can be routed, or any of the busses.

Anyway, I would imagine that CLA's SSL has been modded in some way. Any former assistants or SSL techs know about this?


I went to mwtm in France and the Ssl at studio xxx had the clearmountain mod. It's from the 5th aux only and it only feed busses 25-32. It also had some sort of from and back panning on the fifth aux that had something to do with 5.1
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Haze ➑️
I think the whole CLA obsession is way overrated. They guy knows what sells, has a process and knows how to make happy clients. (I would kill to actually own a J or K !!
CLA likes to create a mystery about his workflow, when there really is none. the famous bass reamp myth for instance. yes he has got a pair of JBL PRX518S but he uses waves plugins to achieve that sub since a long time because its faster. high pass filter - rbass - l1.

its all about client impressors. tons of hardware with all the lights on. a huge console. and a 90% finished ITB mix hitting the board when his clients enter the room for mixtime.

as he would put it "its part of the gig"
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #27
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Hyder boy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel ➑️
CLA likes to create a mystery about his workflow, when there really is none. the famous bass reamp myth for instance. yes he has got a pair of JBL PRX518S but he uses waves plugins to achieve that sub since a long time because its faster. high pass filter - rbass - l1.

its all about client impressors. tons of hardware with all the lights on. a huge console. and a 90% finished ITB mix hitting the board when his clients enter the room for mixtime.

as he would put it "its part of the gig"
Here we go, conspiracy theory. I suppose you think we never went to the moon either?
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #28
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RusRant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel ➑️
CLA likes to create a mystery about his workflow, when there really is none. the famous bass reamp myth for instance. yes he has got a pair of JBL PRX518S but he uses waves plugins to achieve that sub since a long time because its faster. high pass filter - rbass - l1.

its all about client impressors. tons of hardware with all the lights on. a huge console. and a 90% finished ITB mix hitting the board when his clients enter the room for mixtime.

as he would put it "its part of the gig"
I can't disagree with you. I think he has the gear because it keeps it interesting. But yeah, seems most processing is done in PT and then color is added at the console.
Old 14th September 2012
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
From what I understood he has a batch of reverbs dedicated to drums and a batch of reverbs dedicated to vocals (as also delays) and they are always on...
This is what I took from the interview as well. My main curiosity is not so much CLA specific (although he's great) as the concept of it all.

I'm sure we all have our "go-to" presets and EFX, so the idea that there was finding a creative way different than the ol' Aux Send>EFX>Desk channel. For example, the mix I'm gonna sit down in front of in about 10 minutes has Aux 2 (mono) going to a 2290 pre-delaying an EMT 140 on the left and a Space Echo panned right returning to the desk. Leveled at the units and controllable by just one knob, and it makes life faster and easier.
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #30
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyder boy ➑️
Here we go, conspiracy theory. I suppose you think we never went to the moon either?
GRAMMY-Winning Engineer Chris Lord-Alge Mixes the CLA Song Competition Winner - YouTube
3:50

"i use that to generate the extra octave and ive been using that for a while"

i could recreate that effect with RenEQ HC around 100 - Renaissance Bass freq around 50-60 gain around -5/6 with an intensity around 5 - and a L1 limiter adjusted to taste.

yes we've been to the moon, watch the videos, as i recommend you to do in this case and hear it from the man himself
πŸ“ Reply

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