multiband dynamics is a mainstay in many mixing toolkits because compression is not always appropriate or necessary across a whole signal - isolating separate bands is a powerful way to control the frequencies that need it & let the others remain natural. so why not other effects as well? I've made five effects racks that take advantage of this same principle for effects that are less trodden but every bit as useful.
below you can read ideas about their use & listen to examples (in each, you'll hear the dry signal, the effect applied to all frequencies, & then the effect applied only to the top or bottom). if you'd rather just try them for yourself, download them all here. just keep in mind you'll need two free vst's as well, this saturator & this chorus. enjoy!
multiband saturation is not a new idea - this is basically what an exciter does. but listen to the example & you'll hear exactly why it is important to be able to apply different amounts of distortion to different frequencies. when the effect is applied across the whole signal, it is far too dirty. when just the high end of the hammer is saturated, the attack becomes crisper & clearer. you can use this rack almost as an "advanced dry/wet", maintaining elements of the original source while blending in the new.
keep in mind you'll need softube's excellent & free saturation knob for this rack to function.
multiband pan is a little more novel. with independent control of the high end & low end, your panning effects can become even trippier or cleaner than ever. have a listen to the example - the piano is desperate for movement, but when the pan is applied to the whole signal the attack gets lost loses clarity. with the same pan applied only to the low end, the attack remains sharp but the body still has the lovely rotary effect.
just with the others, the goal here is to balance clarity & effect. it is sometimes appropriate to leave the top dry & spread the bottom & sometimes it is appropriate to spread the top & keep the bottom dry. experiment with different sound sources & see how you can push the effect harder than ever while keeping a very natural & balanced sound.
the backbone of this rack is the amazing & free TAL chorus-LX.
it's pretty common to filter a reverb. this isn't so different from that in principle, but instead of a crude cut this rack will let you dial in perfect, independent settings for your highs & lows to avoid mud & add space. listen to the example - my percussion feels a little too dry, but after I apply reverb to the whole signal it becomes too messy. by isolating the highs, I can add space while maintaining the clarity down low.
a little more experimental, this will allow you to chop & change the dynamics of your high end while preserving the lows or vice-versa. you can imagine a scenario where you want your bass incredibly tight & gated so it will play nice with the other low frequencies of your mix but let the high end decay naturally. in the example, I'm using this rack to apply a haunting, reverse-sounding effect on my percussion while maintaining the punch of the low end.
to download these racks, simply head over to the devices page.
if you find these useful, let me know o'er on the twitter//