saturation and distortion effects are notorious for adding gain to a signal which makes it difficult to perceive exactly how it is affecting your sound. because we like things to sound louder initially, it is all too easy to misjudge the amount of saturation we actually want applied. while it is standard procedure to compensate with some attenuation after the effect is set, there is no good way to do this in real-time as the gain is generally applied in a non-linear way.
this rack aims to solve these issues and make it as easy as possible to use and hear saturation effects. a convenient effects group with 6 different saturators, all volume-compensated using a max for live device I built to give you a true idea of how you're changing your sound. each macro knob will drive its respective effect but the added gain will be compensated for by the mapME device so all you'll hear is how the timbre changes. also included in the rack is a hi and lo pass filter (almost always required after a generous amount of distortion has been applied). keep in mind that the gain compensation is subject to imperfection as it's based on "perceived" volume, but the mapME lines should be close enough to do their job.
to use this rack, you'll need these four excellent and free saturation vst's. click each picture below to be directed to the plugin's download page or click here for a bundle of all the pages.
with these and the included mapME maxforlive device in their proper location (vst's where you keep your vst's, mapME in the max audio folder), you'll be able to use the honest saturation rack to apply distortion to your tracks and know exactly how it is affecting your sounds with no fuss.
this video example demonstrates what this rack does & why it is useful. the first time through there is no volume compensation on the distortion & the sound gets blisteringly loud as more saturation is applied. the second time through the mapME keeps the output volume mostly even .
using the mapME
I like to start by jumping to the end and making the subjective, perceived volume equal to that of the dry signal. the knob in the bottom right controls the scale of the y-axis (default is -20, 20). adjust this to whatever is appropriate for the amount of gain fluctuation you'll be dealing with. then, move to each node and compare it to the dry position and move the node until the volume is equal to that of the unaffected signal. once this is done, you'll be able to add the effect without having to worry about how the volume difference are affecting your perception of the timbre.
notice how in this example both the saturation amount and the x-axis of the mapME now move together with the macro knob. the y-axis will control the amount of gain added or removed at any given x-position.