Welcome to Toy Tips, a tips and tricks section for all the SoundToys plug-ins. Feel free to submit your own tips and tricks and we’ll be happy to post the really cool ones. We’ll add to this area each month unless our day jobs get in the way, or some piece of hardware changes and we have to stay up all night re-coding all our plugs. In other words, we will need your help to keep packing this area full of useful ways to get the most from your toys.
Do your virtual synths need a little more “beef”, or a little more “edge”? FilterFreak has you covered. We talked about using FilterFreak’s low pass to fatten up kicks a while back. Well this little trick goes the other way. Essentially what we do is use the high pass (HP) filter and analog mode to create a nice crunchy high end and mix it back in.
It’s fairly simple. With modulation off, select the High Pass filter on FilterFreak 1. Set it so there’s nothing left but some fizzy high end. Turn on Analog Mode and set it to Dirt. Crank up the input. Now you should have high end fizzy crunchiness. Then turn the mix knob all the way to Dry. Slowly turn it back toward wet to add in some of the new sound. It really should be very subtle. What you mostly want is just a touch of high frequency distortion. Now you can experiment with levels, frequencies, and analog mode type to tweak it some more.
If you still want to go further, jump into the tweak menu and try turning the Freq down to minimal, and add a bit of gain. Then choose a mod mode (I usually use the “Step” mode, set to 1/2 notes with a small amount of smoothing). Then turn up the mod level till it feels right. There’s really no set way to do it, and it all depends on the sound you’re putting through it as to how much, if any, you need. I find it really helps pull a synth bass out in the mix without changing the impact of the sound itself.
Check out some sound examples to hear what it’s doing. These are some “unnamed” plug-in synths getting the FilterFreak “Edgy Synth Enhancer” treatment.
Check out these audio examples. Most of them speak for themselves and they are named after the preset we used so you have a reference for your kick surgery.
What better time to talk about the new Mono-To-Stereo features than when we release the Mono-To-Stereo Preset Expander? None! OK, so we realized we hadn’t really talked much about how to get these new versions to do their thing. So here’s the scoop. In SoundToys V3, FilterFreak 1 & 2, and Tremolator now have a mono-to-stereo option in the plug-in list. (See the Preset Expander for just how cool this really is. Awesome!) The controls for these can be found in the Tweak menu on Tremolator and FilterFreak1. FilterFreak2 doesn’t need extra controls (We’ll cover more on that later). It’s all fairly straight forward, but we’ll go over them anyway.
If your kick is “lacking” in the mix, FilterFreak may just be the ticket. You can use it to beef up a thin kick, add beater noise to a soft kick, tighten up a flabby kick, completely transform into something new and more. You can also use the Analog Mode to compress, distort, or shred for more punch and then mix it back in with your original for that perfect kick.
The fastest way into this one is to start with one of our presets. Want to add some beater noise to your kick? Start with “Click Kick” or “Tight Knock” From here you’ll be tweaking threshold release, mod amount, frequency, and especially the Mix.
What is Score Control? Wait, you’ve never used Score Control? OK, basically it’s a short cut to automating pitch correction with PitchDoctor using the same automation tools you use for everything else. No freaky graphs or weird interfaces. Just Pro Tools automation.
OK, so it’s covered in the manual (We’re supposed to look at that?). In any case, here’s how to do it.
This one’s simple. Locking to a groove with EchoBoy. Locking an echo to a swinging bass, or funky drum loop can sometimes be a problem. Not with EchoBoy.
If you haven’t noticed or used them, the Groove knobs (Swing/Shuffle) and the Feel knob (Rushin/Draggin) can really make the echo sit in the pocket. Or out of the pocket if that’s what you’re after. The Swing & Shuffle are true swing and shuffle and not just moving the whole delay on or off the beat. The Feel knob IS moving the delay off or before the beat. Kind of like a Predelay for the delay.
With careful tweaking of these two knobs you can lock delays into step with even the most complicated grooves. No more muddied up tracks because the delay is straight time and the Beat is shuffling. Try some extreme stuff. Full on Rush skips the one. It’s cool. Full Drag and Full Shuffle give a kind of reverse ghosting effect. Psychedelic. Have fun and get your groove on.
It’s easy to get great classic tremolo from Tremolator, but our favorite use for Tremolator is it’s powerful auto-gating ability. This tip gives you some easy ways to dig deeper into this more radical side of Tremolator. More…
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