CAS Quarterly

Winter 2017

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C A S Q U A R T E R L Y W I N T E R 2 0 1 7 45 Attack, release, threshold, depth, Q—they're all right there for you to tweak—but all those variables take time to set, and that's where the simplicity of the SA-2 shines." Summing up its purpose, he called it a "high-frequency container" where "bands are optimized for de-essing, but can quickly contain other HF messes you may be tied to." Fitzmaurice has set up a custom map on his ICON D-Control to automate the settings with ease and speed. He advises that "unless you go pretty conservative, you'll probably want to stay away from trying to 'set and forget' this one. Having said that, the algorithm has a pretty nice sound and it's easy to ride." Hearing the high praise of the SA-2, I considered adding it to my own dialogue chain. But I am a big fan of FabFilter Pro DS, and thought it would be unnecessary to add "just another de-esser." The Pro DS has really allowed me to be extremely aggressive with unwanted sibilant peaks while remaining very specific to a particular offending frequency. This allows me to let the signal remain largely unaffected and full of natural air while significantly reducing the offend- ing peaks. However, I find the Pro DS is not the best tool for that floaty, sandy, sizzling sound of RF interference, nor does it tame artifacts that appear after raising low-level signal-to-noise dialogue tracks. That creates yet another type of hissy spike, which is often more broad in spectrum and elusive in nature. In the past, I have found some relief in automating frequencies in the Pro DS, with some judicious use of DNS Cedar or WNS. To echo Fitzmaurice, it's a detail that can be achieved, but tweaking does take time. After just a few mixes, I found that the McDSP SA-2 solves many of these problems wonderfully and quickly. It took me some experimentation to discover the SA-2's beauty, but now I really adore what it does for my dialogue. I have placed it as a mastering plugin on my dialogue chain downstream from my Pro DS. While I still use noise-reduc- tion plugins in-line for multiple reasons, including particu- larly active shifting RF interference, the soft, elegant touch of the SA-2 has made a huge difference in the sound of my dialogue. It smooths the sharp spikes and is especially helpful in adding a gentleness to dialogue that has been noise gated or noise reduced and heavily gained due to low record levels and broadband noisy floor noise. Its ease of use is deceptively tricky at first, but with an afternoon of investigation, you'll come to realize, as I did, how valuable a tool this can be in your chain. You can down- load a demo version at • INTERNAL BACKUP RECORDING capture quality back-up audio in the most hostile RF environment ZHD MODULATION a 50 KHz wide signal spaced as close as 100 KHz apart with outstanding transmission distance 100 MHZ WIDE-BAND DIGITAL RECORDING WIRELESS TRANSMITTER TRXLA3 QRX200 200 MHZ WIDE-BAND RECEIVER WITH ENHANCED RANGE AND AUTOMATIC TRACKING FRONT END FILTER DIGITAL MODULATION 100% digital modulation for superior quality ENCRYPTED AUDIO keeps transmitted audio private | 973-835-5000 THE STANDARD IN SOUND, EVOLVED THE ULTIMATE IN RECEIVER FLEXIBILITY C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Zaxcom_TRX-QRX_HR.pdf 1 5/9/16 11:17 AM

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