Grammy-winning mixer Andrew Scheps (Adele, Metallica, Jay Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers) shares the inspiration and ideas behind the Scheps Omni Channel and walks you through the unique features of this channel strip plugin.
When designing the Scheps Omni Channel plugin, Andrew says, he had several goals in mind:
- Finding the tools he’s always wanted and displaying them all on the screen at the same time;
- Making the channel strip flexible enough to adjust to different workflows;
- Combining the best aspects of analog and digital audio mixing methodologies; and
- Choosing tools – compressors, EQs, mic preamps for saturation, etc. – that impart character and color when needed.
But more than that, Andrew wanted to find the perfect sweet spot between modular channel strips, which he says, might end up being “mostly about a checklist of things they have to include” but “don’t necessarily sound like ‘something’” – and straightforward channel strip hardware emulations, which might end up “going too far in the direction of sounding like ‘something’” and might therefore limit how you can shape your sound.
With the Scheps Omni Channel, Andrew explains, the goal was to create the perfect balance between the color and character of traditional hardware consoles, and the flexibility of modern modular channel strip plugins. On the one hand, the plugin offers a diverse array of compression, EQ and saturation colors, based on Andrew’s favorite processes that he developed over many years of mixing, with each module containing “at least two or three choices as to the color it’s going to impart.” On the other hand, Andrew made sure that “all the combinations work perfectly together,” so you don’t end up with a patchwork of processes that don’t belong together.
Here is how Andrew describes the plugin’s modules:
EQ: “Each band has choices. You can go fully parametric, or you can choose different EQ colors which are reminiscent of familiar analog EQs and sound very musical. This provides a wide palette of EQ colors, with the ability to mix and match per band.”
Compressor: “You get three very different compressors, all built into one module with a consistent control set and with consistent levels and gains. Just dial in your settings and then toggle between the characters to find what fits your taste.”
DS2: “This unique module expands the idea of a de-esser – hence ‘De-Ess Squared’! It includes two full-frequency range de-esser circuits, so you can focus on two different ranges simultaneously, with a choice of filter types. For example, you can have one de-esser unit handle the ‘boom’ of an acoustic guitar, while the other takes care of pick noise on the strings.”
Pre: “Here you get a choice of three totally different types of built-in harmonic distortion. Just bring up the saturation knob and you will get the color you are looking for as long as you are in workable range.”
Insert Point: “When you need one more EQ, compressor or any other mixing tool – either from within the plugin or from outside – you can just add it in to make the channel strip even more powerful.”
“You can also re-order the modules in the channel strip to any order you want to design your own signal flow.”
MS/Duo processing: “You choose the point in the signal flow you want to ‘go in’ to Mid/Sides or Duo processing, and where you want to exit it and go back to stereo processing.”
Watch the Scheps Omni Channel in action.