Usage tips & examples

Tips & tricks, working results, technical support
Brian
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Usage tips & examples

Post by Brian » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:57 am

I thought I'd start a thread for people to share their experience and tips for using pEArL. After using it these past few weeks on several mixing and mastering projects, I've realized it can do some unusual things due to the possibility of large band overlap in the mids, and very wide boosts or cuts.

In general for mastering so far, I've found the 12kHz shelf very addictive and nice. For recordings that are too bright and harsh, sometimes attenuation between 3-6kHz or 3-8kHz with the mid band allows you to push the shelf more. In most cases, I preferred the 12dB/oct slope.

For the lows, the 45 and 90Hz bands can add something very nice in terms of weight at 12dB/oct. Going higher up with the 6dB/oct slope can be good for very anemic or thin material.

It's easy to add fullness or warmth with the low mid band from 112 - 200 or even up to 400Hz.

I find the 180 or 250 positions very effective for clearing out muddiness even with just 1-2dB reduction.

Has anyone tried making the mid bands as wide as possible and gently boosting?

The highest low shelf (710) and lowest high shelf (2.8k) on gentle boosts also sound interesting.

After dialing in the response, it is probably worth some time looping the loudest or most transient-heavy section of the song and increasing the trim to drive the preamp to different levels. Even with minimal EQ adjustments this can bring something really nice to the overall tone.
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AndreaZanini
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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by AndreaZanini » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:06 pm

Nice insight. We will include some new content regarding both Pearl and Ultramarine in the near future in our Mastering book. Pearl works in a very particular way. It is a great product.

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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by Brian » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:48 am

Great, looking forward to it. It's quite fun to learn Pearl, as it definitely operates differently than any other EQ I have. I'd be grateful to learn more from people who have more experience with the hardware or plugin.
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AndreaZanini
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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by AndreaZanini » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:44 am

With Pearl the experience correlates with the willingness to experiment. It can produce extremely musical results even when pushed very hard since it actually influences the response of the upper harmonics very much.

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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by Brian » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:49 pm

The high shelf works very well on vocals at 8 or 12kHz, too.

Sounds great on a drums or drum/bass buss for bottom and top and preamp drive.

I'm experimenting with more radical settings as well, for very extreme mid boosts and near bandpass type settings for lofi or filtered sounds.
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AndreaZanini
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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by AndreaZanini » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:08 pm

I suggest you try this: Overdrive Pearl to its limit on a drum bus, then try stripping on Titanium 3B and Peak/compress the upper range while reining in potentially stray low end frequencies. I have managed to get some wondrous results doing this. This is more of a mixing thing though.

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SWANG
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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by SWANG » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:19 pm

AndreaZanini wrote:I suggest you try this: Overdrive Pearl to its limit on a drum bus, then try stripping on Titanium 3B and Peak/compress the upper range while reining in potentially stray low end frequencies.
thanks for this tip. followup question: "reining in low end frequencies" = cutting using pearl or compressing using titanium? sorry if it's a dumb question. :?

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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by AndreaZanini » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:58 pm

No dumb question here, you are right, I omitted that you should make Titanium work in the low end. Overdriving Pearl will inevitably beef up the low end too without necessarily intervene on the frequency controls themselves. Titanium will work as a HF peak compressor for sure but try not to overdo with it in the low end not to loose punch. That was what I was trying to say. :)
The interesting thing is, on some material, this usage of Pearl will incredibly clean up things probably, and most likely because of it carving out some very narrow resonances while, at the same time, emphasizing the right harmonics. Of course you will get some significant dynamic discrepancies as a collateral effect that you want to control with Titanium. This is one of those cases where you use an EQ before a Compressor for creative purposes. I personally tend to do the other way around in mastering but in some genres like dance music this technique can do wonders. I hope I answered your question and keep them coming!

Andy

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SWANG
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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by SWANG » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:03 pm

^that clears it up for me. i'm gonna make note of this technique and give it a try. admittedly this approach will also take me out of my comfort zone as when i mix (i do not formally master my mixes), my workflow tends to be "compress-before-eq" much like you described. but of course as we know, there are no hard and fast rules.

keep you posted on how this works out for me. thanks again... :)

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Re: Usage tips & examples

Post by NoNameComesInMind » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:49 pm

Pearl is more or less a compressor i think, it's like a vari-mu, it's hard to beat Pearl into sounding bad cos one way or another some dynamics will always be present very clearly, as for personal usage i'd only replicate the source on my mixbus as much as i can while keeping the trim aligned with the nominal, this i find - is usually the best way overall for nebula since it'll operate within the range of both low/peak extremes.

Pearl is woody like a N*ve pre but has vari-mu movement so it sounds very lush, i usually start with
- mid/high-mid > high > low-end > low-mid when working with these kind of tones, to ensure you get a good dry knock that sounds like your source and then tune in my low-end to reveal it's potential, this way is also a nice way to measure the limits of the actual unit, since units with dry tones usually don't make up for a fat low, whilst units with fat lows smears transients in the mid-high range - usually.
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