How to Tame Harshness in a Mix with oeksound soothe

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How to Tame Harshness in a Mix with oeksound soothe

Hey guys, Ian Vargo here with The Pro Audio
Files, and masteringinthebox.com.

I wanted to show you a plugin that I’ve been
using lately.

It’s called, “Soothe,” from oeksound.

It is a self-described dynamic equalizer with
self adjusting bands, and I find myself using

it on individual tracks, busses, and even
a little bit during mastering.

The track I’m going to be using is Something
Blue by the bad Gilded Lows.

Make sure to check them out on iTunes, Spotify,
and other places you can stream music.

Alright, let’s get in here.

Okay, so let’s have a listen to the entire
mix with the vocals in context, and then I

will solo the vocals and insert Soothe on
them.

[mix]

Okay, so I found that there is some harshness,
particularly in the lead vocal.

This is what Soothe was made for.

Alright, I’m going to solo this lead vocal
right here, and what we’ll notice is this

is a really beautiful, clean, colorful interface.

Nothing distracting at all, and all of the
parameters and controls are laid out in a

really intuitive, yet simple way.

I can’t say enough nice things about how this
plugin looks.

Let’s talk about how it sounds though.

So we have these individual bands, okay?

And as I move up and down the individual bands,
you will see that the sensitivity becomes

greater or lesser, and as I move them to the
left or right, the frequency changes.

Okay?

We also have bandwidth control, so if you
want a tighter Q, you can do that.

We also have a global wet/dry control, a couple
of other things that we’ll talk about shortly,

but for now, I’m just going to hit play, and
I want you to see what happens in the plugin

interface.

[vocals]

Okay, so if we look down here at the bottom,
we see 250, 500, 1kHz, all the way up to 16kHz

and above.

What’s happening is as Soothe, dependent on
its own algorithm, but also how I use the

bands, as Soothe detects harshness, it will
attenuate harshness, but it does it in a really

interesting dynamic way.

If there aren’t inherently harsh frequencies
occurring in the vocal, then it will not be

affecting the vocal at those times, but once
it detects it, it will bring it down, and

that’s what we’re seeing here when we have
the grey area take over the blue.

Let’s play it one more time.

[vocals]

And now I’m going to use this delta mode,
which is really interesting and helpful.

What this is going to do is essentially solo
what Soothe is attenuating.

[vocals, Soothe solo]

Amazing.

So these individual controls here, frequency,
bandwidth, and sensitivity, you have per band,

and again, visually, it makes a lot of sense.

We click on this purple circle, and we see
it reflected over here in the knobs.

So right now, I am controlling the frequency
at which this band starts working, bandwidth,

and sensitivity.

We also have these controls over here.

Depth, sharpness, and selectivity.

Depth is essentially going to tell each band
to work harder, and make a more drastic attenuation.

If you go to high, it will give you sort of
a strange, hyper de-essed sound.

You have to think about Soothe as a really
powerful, robust de-esser.

I’m going to turn it up all the way, just
so you can hear.

[vocals, extreme de-essing with Soothe]

So the depth of attenuation is turned down
as you turn down the depth.

Makes perfect sense.

We also have sharpness here.

We are going to see the little individual
nodes that are being attenuated become sharper

or broader as I turn up the sharpness.

[vocals]

And we also have selectivity.

Let’s go ahead and hit play and show you what
that does.

[vocals]

As we turn up selectivity, it seems like the
overall controls are a little bit more sensitive,

and it’s going to attack more individual frequencies
of the sound.

We also have an oversampling option.

This can prevent aliasing and distortion,
and a resolution option as well.

This is of course, a very complex process,
so you might find your CPU struggling a little

bit if you have numerous instances of Soothe
all the way on ultra, but in this session,

I only have a couple, but my point here is
that yes, it works great on vocals, but I

am also using it on the drum buss.

So let’s go up here and take a listen to what
it’s doing on my drums.

[drums]

Alright.

Really subtle.

Really interesting.

We’ve got a lot of hi-hat, a little bit of
the snare, and then especially as it approaches

the chorus, we’ve got that big hi-hat hit,
and the cymbals, and Soothe is just detecting

some harshness, some unwanted frequencies,
and attenuating them as it sees fit, depending

on how I have the individual bands set.

I even found Soothe to be helpful when mastering.

I chose this ear friendly on top master preset.

It comes with a bunch of great presets, and
then altered it of course dependent on my

needs, and really, it’s just going to focus
on everything 2kHz and above.

Let’s listen.

[mix]

Let’s go into Delta mode so we can hear what
Soothe is doing.

Alright, so there’s just a little bit of extra
harshness in the snare, the cymbals, the esses,

that Soothe is really gently massaging, right?

We see this is -6dB.

We are hardly ever approaching that.

In some cases, we’re doing little increments
of decibels, and it is just an incredibly

smooth and transparent and natural plugin,
and I have found myself using it again on

individual tracks, busses, and now mastering.

Guys, make sure to check this plugin out.

It is special.

Again, this has been Ian Vargo with The Pro
Audio Files and masteringinthebox.com.

Do yourselves a favor and make sure to look
into Soothe by oeksound and Gilded Lows.

Thanks!

How to Tame Harshness in a Mix with oeksound soothe

http://masteringinthebox.com // A video on using oeksound soothe to tame vocal harshness.
Learn more: https://oeksound.com/soothe

About The Pro Audio Files

Tutorials on mixing, mastering and producing music in Pro Tools with plugins from Waves, FabFilter, SoundToys, Softube, Sonnox, PSP, Slate Digital and more. Learn how to mix using EQ, compression and effects like reverb, delay, saturation and distortion on vocals, drums, guitar, bass and more.

How to Tame Harshness in a Mix with oeksound soothe

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