Slate Digital: Buss Comps / Virtual Console Domination!
I’ve been getting a question here for whatever reason the past three or four weeks. A couple of people wanting to know how I’ve been using the — some of the plugs from Slate Digital. Specifically, VCC and the buss compressors, and just thought I would show you guys a session here I did recently.
I’ll kind of show you how I’m using those plug-ins. I’ve got a tune, it’s a country tune. It sounds like this.
Right? Pop/country tune. I mainly use VCC and the buss compressors on busses, and a lot of it stems out from my five main groups stemming into my mix buss. If you’re not familiar, I’ve got five groups here.
Group one is drums and bass, group two is all guitars, so acoustics and electrics, group three is keyboards and synths, group four is vocals, and group five is all of my delay and reverb effects. Anything like that gets sent there.
So each one of those gets a VCC channel, and then the mix buss has the mix buss plug-in for VCC, and they’re all grouped, and usually what I do is when I first start the mix, I will kind of — depending on the tune and how much grit or dirt or whatever, I’ll pick between — I’ll just kind of throw it on a console.
So like, I’ll say, “Oh, I’m just going to put this on the SSL” or whatever. Then once I get the mix to a point, like 75-80% there, or maybe just like half way there, once you kind of start getting a good feel for what it’s going to sound like in the end.
Then I’ll kind of start playing with actual settings and flipping this thing around between the API, the Neve, the 4k or the Trident, or the RC tube. On this tune, I just settled for the Neve and it’s all subjective. I just liked the way it sounded as opposed to the others.
At that point, I’ll also kind of play with drive and input and all of that stuff, but you know, I feel like it makes a decent amount of difference in the sound.
Let me bypass this stuff on and off a little bit here, and you can sort of hear what it’s doing.
Again, this is really subtle stuff. You probably want to be listening on headphones or your studio monitors. Put the video in 1080p. You know the drill.
Here we go, let’s bypass it on and off.
[mix, with and without VCC]
Definitely adds some body, some low end magic. There’s a lot of mojo going on.
Let me do that one more time.
So that’s VCC. Small part of the puzzle. Definitely helps mixing in the box. I highly recommend it.
Moving on to the buss compressors though, the mix buss, FG Grey, which this is an SSL with I believe Neve transformers is what I’ve read and heard on the web, and there’s going to be — let me pull the gain down a little bit, and then I can bypass it and it should be a little even.
[mix, with and without FG Grey]
And this thing just sounds awesome. A lot of that round, full, mojo. It darkens things a little bit, but not really. At least to my ears. Maybe I’m weird and hearing that. But I like it a lot. It definitely has a great vibe to it. A great color to the sound.
As far as settings go, four to one ratio, fast release, medium attack. On this tune, I put the high pass filter at 75Hz, so it’s not compressing anything below 75. A little bit of makeup gain, mix is 100% wet. This is probably my favorite of the three.
On the group busses though, I use this FG Red. These aren’t doing a whole lot. If you watch the needles…
It’s really just kind of a tone thing. Saturation thing. It’s just kind of hugging the sound just barely, barely touching the transients.
Three to one ratio, you can see the attack and release settings. I really like the color of this FG Red. It’s got a great sound to it, and it’s pretty damn close. I was using one of these — a real Focusrite Red compressor the other day — three or four days ago — and I remember I left the studio and came back to my place and threw this plug-in on, and I swear, this thing sounds pretty damn close, if not exactly the same. They did a pretty amazing job with this plug-in I think.
I like to use this on the groups. Again, it’s a subjective thing. Let me bypass all of these on and off. This may be kind of a weird — there’s definitely probably going to be some gain difference here, but whatever. We’ll just see what it does.
Uh, one more time, and I’ll pull VCC out and the buss compressors and bring them all in and out.
Try these things out. They’re really musical. They’re great sounding. They’re really authentic and genuine sounding as far as compressors go. As far as plug-ins that emulate actual compressors go, I think they’re great.
So yeah guys, that’s it. Let me know how you guys are using VCC and these Virtual Buss Comps in your projects. If there’s any special places you like to use them, leave me a comment down in the description.
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I will see you in the next video. Thanks guys, later.