Signal Follower + Hydra + [Secret Sauce]

A little QuickTime video to start off the discussion:

No sound because I couldn’t be bothered, but the visual shows I am using: [Signal Follower + Hydra + Gainer & Filter]

I think the [Signal Follower + Hydra] is novel because it allows you to build your own unique Sidechain Compression device. I’ve used in with compressors, distortion, etc.

Are you using Signal Follower + Hydra? If so, how?

i use Signal Follower > Gainer and Signal Follower > Filter, but never combined the two, for which i of course should use a Hydra. i’m free the coming week so i’ll be sure to experiment some more.

If you want to effectively change the Threashold level try a Noise Gate before the Signal Follower (will have to be in its own (Send) Track if you also want to hear the audio of the source track.)

Not sure how to fake Attack and Release settings (Reverb may work to give a Release and Signal Follower has Look Ahead so this may be a solution.)

A De-Esser would work by filtering/EQing the audio before the Signal Follower.

standard stuff; signal follower + hydra combo on a kick track to duck a bunch of gainers on other tracks, maybe linked an occasional ‘wet’ parameter from some vst as well.

It would be cool if we had native oscillator devices which could turn the signal followed values into frequencies (dunno if it is possible to emulate through the ringmod/dc offset trick).

Sidechain Compression is usefull in a dance-music type mix (example, the compression threshold of a lead is modified by the incoming signal of a kickdrum).

But I’ve most used it when I wanted to lower the sound of a background muzak when I was speaking with my line-in microphone.

For now I used :

  • line-in device (microphone)
  • noise gate
  • signal follower (targetting a SENT track called AUX next to the master track)
  • filter : 24db moog, low shelf, cut-off, (0.30Hz), -24dB gain, with an intertia of 70%,

Notes :

  • I didn’t used the hydra device, since I had to filter most of the music and did not need more precision. So I’ve simply added a SEND device (targetting AUX) in the end of each rack I want to filter when I speak.

  • When filtering, the 24dB moog is the best choice. Because the curve is “sweet” enough to let the background music pass behind the voice that has a better presence in the front-line.

  • Defining the right “inertia” (70%) is important : forget this parameter and the result isn’t the same at all.

How about doing the reverse connection: a Hydra device controlling a Signal Follower?
Well, not directly of course, but I often hook up a hydra to control stuff like cutoff and volume of a VST instrument - the higher cutoff, the lower volume. Which in turn would affect the overall output from the instrument, which could be picked up by the signal follower, which…well, insert your own idea.

It’s the cutoff frequency that is the major point here. Having a Hydra device that lower the instrument’s volume when the cutoff is going high is just compensation, since I hate shrieking high frequencies. It could also be realised with an EQ (or for experimentation, any other DSP which would subtract from a signal’s strength). Simularly, with a third Hydra parameter controlling something like a Mixer EQ one could remove the worst bass rumble when going very low. Combined with the different parameter ramps (exponential/logarithmic/etc) and a bit of finetuning, you basically could end up with a “magic” slider that sound great no matter how you tweak it!!

Then it’s just a matter of adding a signal follower to the source instrument’s track. And since a high-pitched signal has much less power than a low-frequency sound, the signal follower would have plenty to work with - wouldn’t be much fun to use if the signal strength didn’t change.

I just saw this thread and thought I would give the signal follower a shot. For frequencies you can run signal follower -> Hydra -> LFO. I guess typically an LFO controls a hydra but this seams perfectly nice to me. I had the hydra controlling the LFO ‘amount’. But this didn’t really give the effect I wanted. In the end the chain I had was this:

Signal Follwer (In snare track) -> Hydra Device (in hihats track)

Hydra Control Device:
-> track panning to the right
->bus compressor threshold on hats
->bus compressor makeup on hats
->send device from hats to a left ear predominant delay/chorus effect

I tried playing with the signal followers settings and found a middle range sensitivity with a high ceiling knee and low release worked nicely with this really snappy snare I had the thing on.

Hope that’s interesting for someone.