Scheps Omni Channel: In-Depth Tutorial with Andrew Scheps

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Watch how mix engineer Andrew Scheps (Jay Z, Adele, Metallica) uses the Scheps Omni Channel plugin to get great mixes quickly. In this in-depth tutorial Andrew demonstrates each of the plugin's controls and shows some of its 'hidden' features.

0:33 – Preamp: Saturation, Filters, Thump
4:05 – Gate / Expander
7:38 – DS2
9:51 – EQ
13:29 – Compressor
16:23 – ST, DUO, MS modes
19:44 – In/Out section
20:50 – Reordering the modules
21:23 – How to insert additional plugins into the Scheps Omni Channel
22:05 – FOCUS presets
23:21 – Parallel drum distortion

Music used in the video: Halloway, “Passerby”

Scheps Omni Channel – Andrew Scheps' Personal Mixing Tips

We've asked Andrew for a few more pointers on how to get started with the Scheps Omni Channel. Here are a few extra practical tips directly from him:

Kick Drum

  • When mixing a kick drum, you’ll usually want to start with the EQ.
  • You can get to work right away on the main interface and start with the EQ while completely ignoring the rest of the modules in the strip. Maybe boost a little 60 Hz shelf, boost 12 kHz shelf for air, and somewhere around 5 kHz to 7.5 kHz broad tone for the beater.
  • While adjusting the low shelf, you may notice it’s getting a little messy in the low end. Head over to the Pre module and dial in the HPF at 30 Hz with an 18 dB-per-octave slope to clean up the sub while keeping the boom.
  • While still in the Pre module, check out the Saturation and the Thump sections to see if either gives you more of what you’re looking for. You might find that with the Thump engaged you can reduce gain of the low shelf a bit.
  • Now that the EQ is sculpted (with some other goodies along the way), you can decide whether or not to compress with a slow attack time to bring out a little punch (quickly auditioning the three compressor types to see what suits this recording), or possibly use the gate to try to better isolate the drum mic.
  • Now, with dynamics engaged, you’re into processing where the order can really make a difference. Therefore, drag the Compressor module pre- and post-EQ and see what works better for you. You can even expand the dynamics controls and see if putting a high-pass filter on the compressor sidechain keeps it from pumping too much. You can also try smashing a little more than you otherwise would and then dialing back the wet/dry control to turn it into a parallel compressor.
  • While trying to tweak the gate, you realize that it’s working OK, but what you’re really trying to get rid of is bleed ringing from the floor tom that happens every time the drummer plays the kick drum. A gate can’t help with that, but the DS2 certainly can. Use the Ctrl modifier (Mac) to solo the sidechain while finding the trouble frequencies. Try a couple of different filter shapes to isolate the bleed as much as possible, and then use the threshold control to suck out the bleed as much as you can without taking too much tone away from the drum.

Vocals

  • Here you might reach for the high pass filter first just to control the boom of the recording and some plosives, but the first major port of call would probably be the compressor.
  • Set up a 4:1 compressor with relatively slow attack and fast release for presence and then try out the compressor types to see what works best on this voice.
  • Now it’s time for the rest of the preamp controls, using a little Saturation to add some grit and maybe even a little thump to add some body.
  • From here, as you move to the EQ, open up the top with the resonant high shelf, and try the two different midrange bands to see which the voice responds to best. Then, it’s on to the DS2. Band 1 can be set up for classic de-essing, and then dial in Band 2 in the 2.5 kHz to 3.5 kHz range and just crack the threshold to handle the increased nasal quality of the voice when the singer sings loudly.
  • Try moving the DS2 module pre- and post-compressor to see which placement handles the artifacts better.
  • Lastly, put the Expander first in the chain to help duck the headphone bleed for you automatically to cut down on the amount of fader rides you’ll need to do later.

Overheads

  • Dealing with overheads can be tricky. Every recording is different, but let’s assume this is a relatively straight-ahead recording where they’re acting as cymbal mics, as opposed to trying to capture a complete, full-frequency picture of the drum kit.
  • The first thing to do might be to put a 12 dB-per-octave HP filter on both stereo sides to take care of any sub from the kick or toms.
  • Next, let’s EQ in M/S mode. This will let you add a little low mid in the middle of the image to give body to the kit. Then add some top shelf to the sides in order to open up the cymbals without stepping on the snare or vocal. Then, in Expanded view, put one midrange band in parametric mode, link the controls, and find the harsh area around 3 kHz using the Ctrl solo shortcut, and then suck some of it out to make things clearer.
  • From here, make sure your Compressor is post EQ and start with the VCA compressor for some clean punch, or maybe the FET compressor for some dirt. Really play with the attack and release times to get the excitement that the compression can add without destroying the transients and dynamics.
  • Also, don’t forget to try the compressor in Duo mode instead of Stereo mode. Unlinking the compressors might make the drums feel wider.

For more personal insights from Andrew, watch as he shares the inspiration behind the Scheps Omni Channel plugin.

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