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In this mastering tutorial video, Joshua Casper shows you how to use Fabfitler’s Pro-MB multiband compressor to sidechian a sub to a kick drum on a premaster!
Usually, this type of external sidechianing is done in the mix process when you have full access to both the sub bass and the kick or drum channels. However, if you are sent a premaster that didn’t sidechain or didn’t sidechain enough, you can use Pro-MB by Fabfilter to do it in the mastering stage.
You will want to add a compressor band and solo it. then move it to where the subby / muddy low end is. Then hit the “expert” tab in the compressor menu and switch from “band” to “free”. This will allow you to select a different frequency range of the audio to trigger the compressor of that band. Once enabled, you will want to hit the “audition” button to hear exactly what’s in that second trigger frequency range, then move the position and size values until you’ve focused on the fundamental peak frequency of the kick.
Finally, all that’s left to do is make the attack time as quick as possible, reduce the release as well, making sure you’re only carving out the sub when the kick is happening. then adjust the rest of the compressor settings to taste.
You can also crank up to “lookahead” parameter to get an incredibly fast attack time. This introduces latency, but as this is a mastering situation, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Pro MB Key Features
Up to six processing bands, freely placed anywhere in the spectrum
Bands can be easily snapped together to form a traditional crossover system
Unique Dynamic Phase processing mode featuring zero latency, no static phase changes and no pre-ringing artifacts
Excellent Linear Phase processing mode, eliminating audible artifacts when quickly changing crossover frequencies
Minimum Phase processing mode
Handles any form of dynamics processing, from highly transparent compression, limiting and expansion to pumping upward compression and punchy gating
Fully customizable per band: threshold, range, attack, release, output gain, ratio, variable knee, lookahead (up to 20 ms), variable stereo linking, mid- or side-only processing, external side chain input, triggering on a separate frequency range
Steepness of each crossover slope can be freely adjusted between 6 dB/oct and 48 dB/oct
Intelligent, highly program- and frequency-dependent attack and release curves
Global dry/wet mix from 0% to 200% to easily scale the total effect of the plug-in
Unique interactive multiband display, designed for an optimal workflow
Accurate and smooth real-time frequency analyzer with pre- and post-processing options and ‘freeze’ feature
High-quality audio processing algorithms with 64-bit internal processing where needed
Up to four times linear-phase oversampling
Band solo/mute and bypass options