Primary Source Expander – Plugin Tutorial

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Learn how to use the Primary Source Expander (PSE) plugin in a live show to prevent stage noise and get maximum gain before feedback from your microphones, without affecting your source’s pure tone.

Basic operation:

  1. Insert PSE on the desired individual channel within your mix. Note that PSE is off by default.
  2. Raise the Threshold fader so that the Threshold meter is solidly blue during sung or played phrases. Between phrases the meter should drop to orange. Use the + and - Threshold buttons to fine-tune the Threshold point.
  3. Set the Range somewhere between -6 and -8 dB, meaning that between musical phrases (for example when the singer is not singing) the level can be reduced by up to -6 or -8 dB.
  4. Set the Release initially to SLOW, to avoid cutting off the ends of words.
  5. Turn PSE on. Pay attention to whether it seamlessly reduces the level. If everything sounds smooth you can increase the Range slowly, up to -12 dB, to maximize feedback and noise reduction – but be gentle to achieve natural results.

Tip: Play with the Release radio buttons to match the source signal. More “legato” sounds will need the SLOW mode, while “staccato” sounds will work better with the FAST release time.

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