Pulverisor & Distortion

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Benedict
Posts: 2747
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post 23 Jan 2015

Hi All

This may seem silly as Pulveriser is meant to be a sound destruction unit and all but in almost every track I used Pulver on an instrument (like synth brass) I found that in later listens the Pulver was the cause of some nasty distortion in loud passages. I replaced with a Scream in each instance and got far more even results.

Anyone else finding similar? Am I using Pulveriser wrongly as an instrument insert as it seems to be better suited to drums etc.?

:)
Benedict Roff-Marsh
Completely burned and gone

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FrankJaeger
Posts: 176
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 23 Jan 2015

Hey benedict,

Pulv has a lot of moving parts going on for one device. What specifically did you use on it? I use the squash for drum smashing goodness and the dirt on basses and synths for some extra grit. I haven't had the problems that you mention.

I will add though that if you're doing something like classical, orchestral or anything of the like then Pulverizer is probably a bad choice for anything other than using its onboard tremolo. It seems better for Metal, Electro, Hip-Hop, Dubstep and anything that some extra bite can do some good.
GED Aggro
Producer, Rapper, Songwriter, Worst DIY Mixing Engineer currently living on earth... :lol:

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Benedict
Posts: 2747
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post 23 Jan 2015

In most cases it was a combo of Squash, Dirt and Filter. In every case it was the loud peaky bits would just plain ugly distort and wreck the mix. Wouldn't really notice it till the track was done and listening like a proper record and there it would be.

Scream always made a decent replacement and the drive was far more even so there was not that sudden clippy thing on the best bits, but a useful tone overall.

Maybe it just isn't the unit for me.

:)
Benedict Roff-Marsh
Completely burned and gone

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FrankJaeger
Posts: 176
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Post 24 Jan 2015

One thing I can say that I'm not a fan of is the behavior of the squash knob which may actually be giving you that problem.

When turning the squash knob clockwise from 0, it continuously adds an obnoxious amount of volume up until about the halfway point and then from there on the volume comes back under control. My fix is to retard the dry/wet knob  to  about a 3rd wet and make small changes from there. If you turn the squash up enough the volume will come back down but your sound is going to be flat and lifeless which is of course undesirable.
GED Aggro
Producer, Rapper, Songwriter, Worst DIY Mixing Engineer currently living on earth... :lol:

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Benedict
Posts: 2747
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post 24 Jan 2015

I agree with you on that. It does leap straight to crush, kill... which does limit for crunching up sounds that aren't as simple as a drum loop.

:)
Benedict Roff-Marsh
Completely burned and gone

lowpryo
Posts: 452
Joined: 22 Jan 2015

Post 24 Jan 2015

The Pulverizer is like the one native effects unit that I just never touch. I'm a fan of dirtying things up, but Pulv always seems like a crappy, muffled and flat kind of dirty. On the other hand, a Scream on the Tape setting is my best friend!

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esselfortium
Posts: 1450
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 24 Jan 2015

At this point, I use Pulverizer all over the place in pretty nearly every song.

I remember when Reason 6 was first announced, I was underwhelmed with the new effects, thinking "oh, I just use Scream and the other stock devices for that, what's the big deal?", but I really underestimated them. Pulverizer is such a fun, versatile, instant-gratification effect. I use it to add comb-filter sweeps to sounds for stereo widening, I use it to beef up synths and to compress drums, etc. It's great having distortion, compression, filtering, LFO, an envelope follower, and parallel processing all in one little box.

It's actually almost too convenient -- I always used to bring out an MClass Compressor for beefing up drums, now I just slap a Pulverizer on it instead. The Dry/Wet control makes it so easy to dial in the perfect blend. I feel like I'm cheating because it's become my go-to device for so many different things.

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Benedict
Posts: 2747
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post 24 Jan 2015

This is the first record where I have used a fair bit of drive on things and while Pulv seemed great at the start I don't think there are many instances left now the album is about to get released

If you want to hear one of the offending lines (now with Scream) then the lead that lifts from 2:50 in this link. Was fine till the top notes and descending then it just splatted. Scream has more drive over the whole sound which is a little less cool but now there is no sudden clipping.

http://www.reasontalk.com/post/halo-jum ... 1285941350

I think Scream will be my go-to (Tape and Tube are great as can be the Scream glgo) and Pulv will get used for the Filter/LFO thing which is good. Sadly tho even with no Squash the Pulv will still clip at times. Maybe have to feed it very low and controlled levels which kills the dynamics anyway.

:)
Benedict Roff-Marsh
Completely burned and gone

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selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10229
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 24 Jan 2015

FrankJaeger wrote:One thing I can say that I'm not a fan of is the behavior of the squash knob which may actually be giving you that problem.

When turning the squash knob clockwise from 0, it continuously adds an obnoxious amount of volume up until about the halfway point and then from there on the volume comes back under control. My fix is to retard the dry/wet knob  to  about a 3rd wet and make small changes from there. If you turn the squash up enough the volume will come back down but your sound is going to be flat and lifeless which is of course undesirable.
Same for any distortion device, right? Scream increases volume as you increase "damage", Saturation Knob does the same, as to guitar amps. 

What IS interesting is that Pulveriser adds only odd harmonics up to around the half way point (with a typical input signal), then even and odd harmonics above that. Something to be aware of, anyway!
:)
Selig Audio, LLC

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selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10229
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 24 Jan 2015

Benedict wrote:This is the first record where I have used a fair bit of drive on things and while Pulv seemed great at the start I don't think there are many instances left now the album is about to get released

If you want to hear one of the offending lines (now with Scream) then the lead that lifts from 2:50 in this link. Was fine till the top notes and descending then it just splatted. Scream has more drive over the whole sound which is a little less cool but now there is no sudden clipping.

http://www.reasontalk.com/post/halo-jum ... 1285941350

I think Scream will be my go-to (Tape and Tube are great as can be the Scream glgo) and Pulv will get used for the Filter/LFO thing which is good. Sadly tho even with no Squash the Pulv will still clip at times. Maybe have to feed it very low and controlled levels which kills the dynamics anyway.

:)
Any non-linear device can distort with enough input level, no matter the front panel settings. It's in fact a cool trick to intentionally "over drive" effects with tons of gain (50-100 dB!) to see what happens. 

In fact, in rare cases you may NEED to add or subtract gain if your gain structure is extremely out of whack - this is the ONE case (despite what some others claim) where "gain staging" is still important in digital audio. And no, I don't mean "leaving headroom" or adopting a common audio "reference level" for all your tracks (both thing I suggest), as they are not the same thing as "gain staging", which has a specific definition from the analog domain.

As for the Pulveriser, sometimes I find that putting the filter first can control some of the Dirt issues you describe - but OTOH, if you prefer Scream then your quest is done! :)
Selig Audio, LLC

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MarkTarlton
Posts: 761
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Post 24 Jan 2015

selig wrote:this is the ONE case (despite what some others claim) where "gain staging" is still important in digital audio. And no, I don't mean "leaving headroom" or adopting a common audio "reference level" for all your tracks (both thing I suggest), as they are not the same thing as "gain staging", which has a specific definition from the analog domain.
for me gain staging is a major part of the artistic choices I make. usually there is always an input and output to a device and this is where things get interesting...so if you are really cranking the input gain to get a tone you favor, than the output most likely will have to be turned down a lot to avoid the bad kind of clipping...especially on pre amps :)



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