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Re: Happy Tones

> Does anyone have any tips on how to arrange a multi input software 
> looping set up so each input is distinct and sounding decent at least 
> (without buying new gear if possible).

One factor that is often over looked in building a clean mix is getting 
all the gain stages set properly.  If you have changing impedances and 
gain structures in the path, the resulting audio can get pretty degraded 
unless you are very careful to ensure the proper level at each gain 

I notice you are passing from VG8 to Mixer and then onto effects via the 
aux send before going into the sound card and off to mobius (presumably 
via a plug in Ableton)   Thats a long daisy chain--- a heck of a lot of 
gain stages to get right.   Are you certain that you have phat signal at 
each gain in the chain?   Thats the first thing I would check.  Start from 
the beginning of the signal path and  ensure that every gain stage has a 
hot, but not clipping, signal.  There is no shortcut for setting gain in a 
long signal path.  Get each stage right before you move onto the next one 
and your gear will sound like it was spec’d to.  Get it wrong and no 
amount of EQ or Dynamics processing will help. 

Another possible source of mud and masking is collapsed stereo inputs.   
Are you sure that you are preserving the stereo panning of all stereo 
pairs that come into Ableton/Mobius?  Mono collapse of lush stereo guitar 
effect can create the kind of murk you are describing. 

Of course, there is EQ and Dynamics..   but this is the last place I would 
go.  Tweak this stuff only when you have given due diligence to the gain 
stages and routing in the signal path.   If the sound coming out of the 
looper is murkier than the sound going in, then something is wrong in the 
gain stages or you have some plug running on the looper output channel 
that is modifying the audio in some way.   If you have your gain stages 
set properly throughout the signal path, you should not be able to hear a 
substantial difference in input and playback and as you add new voices, 
slight eq should correct for any masking that emerges. 

Another possibility comes to mind…  Be careful setting effects levels with 
headphones on.  Headphones deceive us into thinking that all that reverb 
(or chorus/ delay / what ever) sounds really great.    And it does, in the 
tiny box that is strapped over your ear.  But once you combine all those 
lush effects with other heavily effected voices you begin to get a lot of 
masking.   Similarly, when you send the same signal into a room via PA, 
the reverb is suddenly too long and too wet.   In general, less is 
waaaaaaaay more with time and modulation based guitar effects.  

Two cents and bag o chips.
On Jul 9, 2014, at 3:06 PM, Kevin Cheli-Colando <billowhead@gmail.com> 

> Okay, so I'm going out here to confess that I need help.  I'm playing a 
> Godin guitar synth into a VG8 into a Behringer mixer where I use the FX 
> send to process the signal through a Boss VF 1 and a M9.  This goes into 
> Live on a MacBook Pro through a Presonus FireWire input.  I'm also 
> running bass directly into the Presonus as well as an iPad which all get 
> looped in möbius.  I have to use headphones with this rig as a joy of 
> apartment living.
> What I need to know is if anyone has any tips on how to optimize the 
> sounds of the instruments as they go into the soup of live.  
> Individually everything sound acceptable but as soon as I begin playing 
> it devolves to a thick murky soup of a sound way to quickly.  I'm sort 
> of at a loss as I've already EQd all the tracks to try to carve space 
> out for each and it sounds better but still goes to soup.
> I'm not expecting pristine audio but I would like to hear the individual 
> inputs with at least a little definition.
> Does anyone have any tips on how to arrange a multi input software 
> looping set up so each input is distinct and sounding decent at least 
> (without buying new gear if possible).
> Thanks as always for being such a splendid group of people,
> Kevin 
> -- 
> Till now you seriously considered yourself to be the body and to have a
> form. That is the primal ignorance which is the root cause of all 
> trouble.
> - Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)