Working with session templates is a way to maximize your output without setting up tracks and routing every time you want to produce a new piece. So it’s an essential way to go. But theoretically this means that every material has always to be equal. At the practical side of things, this is not possible though. Your VO talent for example is not a machine: there is a natural variation, which can’t be covered by template settings.
So there is a possibility that your mix sounds harsh or muddy, even if you painfully set up the original template. We just found a plugin by oeksound which might be a saver in this case.
Soothe is basically a dynamic equalizer. Okay, we’ve already heard of such tools, so what is makes difference with this one?
Soothe does the job in the background. It analyzes the signal and adjusts the bands according to resonances and problematic frequencies. So you just need to set up a frequency range, maybe some fine tuning, which means you don’t have to manually notch disturbing frequencies.
In the following video I set up three different eqs with nasty peaks to see how soothe deals with resonance problems in various frequency ranges.
This was an excessive test, and you won’t have that hard peaks in reality. But this gave me an insight how this thing works.
My impression was, that soothe reacts much better in a higher frequency range. Trying to smooth out peaks in low and mid range ended up in a dully and unnatural sound, while the high frequency peaks were treated pretty nice!
So when and how to use soothe?
Think of your vocal bus. You set up EQ, compression and Deesser in your template, but in this specific week your VO sounds different, so resonances and sibilance sounds are too present. Maybe your VO talent changed his or her settings or they have a cold. Anyhow, you have to deal with it. Drop soothe on your vocal bus. Select the appropriate frequency range and turn up the depth knob. If you set up the right frequency range, you will hear a difference. You can also think of adding it to your template, adjusting the threshold in case the the original chain does not treat with it.
This works for a various range of problems, especially when it comes to harsh and bright soundings.
I like that soothe operates pretty intuitive. Selecting frequency range and bandwidth, then use threshold and depth and you are ready to go.
Check out oeksound’s webpage for a soothe demo!