How to Use Antelope Audio Effects in Your Workflow
There's an old battle over which is more important - the craftsman, or his tools. In audio production both can be equally devastating, or equally beneficial to the final results. A producer with years of experience and rich taste in aesthetics provided with the most basic tools like a stock EQ, Compressor and a Delay plugin will most probably create better results than a beginner level engineer. However, if you supply the beginner with some of the most legendary audio equipment there is a good chance he/she will have better results.
Gear can really be a game changer. It helps you achieve great results, while it also gives you a simpler approach to how you should treat your signal. We've all been at the stage where we put 18 bands on our suspiciously downloaded EQ Plugin, helplessly looking for the resonance frequencies. We then saw an experienced producer make a vocal sound 10 times better by simply moving 4 knobs on an EQ.
There's some pieces of gear that have been so consistently and widely used, that they managed to reshape our aesthetic perception over entire music genres. A couple of models of well-known British Channel Strips and Consoles have shaped the Radio Sound Standards for decades. A 2 band EQ where you cut and boost a certain low frequency has been a go-to for countless bass and drum players whenever treating their signal. A pair of compressors - one with inverted knobs, and the other one without any way of controlling the attack and release times have been shaping almost all Pop Vocals for the last few decades.
All those have simply reshaped the sound of music. No other way to put it. That's why our engineers have always aimed at modeling some of those legendary pieces of equipment with the highest possible precision and attention to detail. Each one of our FX was modeled carefully and put side to side with the Analog piece of gear at all time with the only goal of making the differences between the software and hardware unrecognizable. We want to help our customers to be less distracted by buttons, numbers and visual information and more involved in simply creating art and using the software fast, easily and effectively.
We try our best at giving everybody a set of tools that is rich in both Quality and Quantity, and also supply different ways of integrating those tools, depending on the type of work you're doing.
Check out this video from James Ivy on our Synergy Core platform, which is the engine behind all our FX.
Using FX during a Recording Session
During a recording session you could either Monitor from the Control Panel of your Device, or from your DAW.
We'd recommend using the Control Panel's Monitoring Capabilities, as you have separate mixers for different outs and everything is latency free.
That allows you to monitor the signal with effects without recording it with effects. This might be useful in situations where you want a clean recording, but a nice sound for the Monitoring purposes. Simply make sure to select the Source you'd like to record (Ex. Preamp 1, Line in 9, ADAT In 7 etc.).
If you're using a Complex Control Panel - Send this source to both a Computer/USB/TB Rec channel and to an AFX In channel. Then - Send the corresponding AFX Out channel to the HP Outs/Line Outs/whatever out you're trying to monitor. In this way - you will record the dry signal while Monitoring the Effected Signal.
In this situation you can also record both the dry and the processed signal within your DAW and listen only to the processed one during recording.
Any Recording Engineer would benefit from a great preamp. The 5 different preamps we have are enough for almost every sound source out there.
Use the VPA76 on female vocals. It feels like it gives a "proximity effect"- type edge to the Vocal, and opens it up. It's also great on Strings.
The BAE-1073 is ideal for Male performers with a wider dynamic range.
Most stronger male vocals might benefit a lot from the RD-47. So can synths. Try feeding some more intense signal with the Voltage Gain button and then subtract using the Output Trim button.
The BA-31 and the Gyratec IX are also great on Drums, Keys and Female Vocals/Brighter Male Vocals.
Check out This James Ivy Video on our Preamps
Find Recording Engineer Darren Jones Go In Detail on Vocal Tracking with Antelope FX
Using the FX while Mixing, or Mastering
We also offer wide variety of EQs, Compressors, Mic Modelling Software, Modulation Effects and Spacial Effects suitable for every recording situation. As an addition to the Control Panel usage - all our FX can be used in the afx2daw AFX2DAW Control Panel Bridge Plugin. It allows you to open an extension of your Control Panel - the AFX channel strips within your DAW and build your own FX chain on a channel that you're using. It requires TB Connectivity for all devices except for the Zen Go USB and the Zen Q USB. Click on the link above to find out all details about the afx2daw.
Make sure to have your session running at a higher buffer size and export in Real-Time. If you do not want to use the afx2daw - then you can loop the signal through the Control Panel and then print it back in your DAW. Keep in mind that you will have to reprint it every time you'd like to make a change.
Using the AFX while Performing Live
All our devices have a vital function remember the state that they were set in the last time you made any changes to your Control Panel - meaning that when you power them, their Routing, Effects, Levels, Pans etc. will be in the last configuration that you've created.
Simply configure the routing during your final repetition with your band, then plug it in at the gig and connect its Outputs to the stage mixer. If you are a band - you most probably own a bigger device with Internal Mixers, which you could send to different Outs in to save some I/O space.
Using the AFX while Producing
When making instrumentals, you might love distorting and coloration - regardless if we're talking about distorting our guitars, totally smashing our bassline, or just wave shaping your kick into a Mini-Nuclear Bomb. On top of that - we tend to EQ and Compress more aggressively when producing, rather than when mixing, as our critical listening is focused on other details. We want to experiment around with different Modulators and Tremolos, we want to get creative and we want to see what will happen to a certain sound after heavily overprocessing its original tone. Those aggressive changes require good sounding Software, as otherwise the overall quality of the signal will drastically change. Luckily for you - we've got you covered on all aforementioned fronts.
Let's discuss our EQs. Some of them are originally designed by us, while most of them are modeled after some iconic hardware devices.
A few of the notable ones are:
Our originally designed ClearQ Parametric EQ - great for surgical EQing if you'd like to start clean
The Brown and Black 4K EQs are just amazing on whatever you put them on. They sound rich and tight.
Check out the VEQ-1A on Low End instruments and on your Mix Bus.
The MG4+ is a magical EQ that you can feed your High End with. Try applying it between De-essers on Vocals and boost the High End above 20kHz-25kHz. Also - boost above 30kHz on your Mix Bus.
Let's talk about compression. Some of the most iconic ones that we have are:
The FET-76 - We all know it for the inverted controls and its ability to totally make magic in almost any situation that you might imagine. It’s great for Vocals, Bass, Drums, and in Parallel.
The Tubechild 670 - sounds great on Buses, Drums and Vocals.
The Comp 4K Strip - a Magical VCA Strip which makes everything sound Tight, Heavy and Open.
Check out our Original Stay-Levin Compressor - a great Vari-Mu Compressor.
We also offer a great number of Modulation effects like the Instinct Synergy, the BBD Chorus, the Space Flanger, our Tremolo and many more!
We've also got a nice Master De-Esser - a really strong tool when it comes to taming high end.
I've tried to keep this article as an interesting read, rather than a strictly tech related one.
In order to find some more information on the specifics we’d recommend checking out our Tutorials Playlist on The Antelope Audio's Youtube Channel
If you're trying to find out details about a specific device's Routing, check out the device's respective User Manual under the "Support By Device" section in the Support Webpage.
Check out all our effects in our official Software Store. Keep an eye out for Promotions and Special Offers - there's a Software Sale going on at almost all times - nothing more satisfying than buying a great Bundle of effects at a great price.
Check out This Video on the Complex Control Panel Routing
Check out This Video on the Simple Control Panel Routing