Transients...

jibberer

Jibbering Wreck
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What are they? I hear a lot about them, especially as regards kicks and basses. It always seems to crop up when talking about compression, so I'm assuming it's something to do with amplitude changes. I read it's important not to interfere with them, and to be carefull with the attack settings, so what should I be looking for to avoid this and why? Cheers!:ismile:
 

soliptic

whirling mathematician
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basically they're the very short bit right at the start of sounds.

kinda bad explanation but there you go.

there's a lot of pyschoacoustic importance to them, for example if you chop the transients off, say, a flute and a clarinet, or even a violin(!), it can be remarkably different to tell which instrument is which. (because the brain uses the breathy attack of a flute vs the bow-on-string attack of a violin to distinguish, more than it uses the timbral difference of the main sound. the upper register of the oboe is technically more similar to a flute than it is to the lower register of the oboe, so it is only the constant characteristics of the attack transient which allows us to recognise an oboe as an oboe regardless of register, and not suddenly think its a flute when it goes up the octave)

on a similar 'random transient trivia' note, there's a very interesting tip in stav's "mixing with your mind". he suggests mixing backwards! cos when you mix forwards, your brain is caught up processing the transients of everything, and therefore is busy and 'misses' the body of the sound. when things are backwards there are no transients as such, just abrupt ends to sounds, so your brain can really tune into the body of each sound. apparently when he mixes backwards ("mixing" meaning eq, comp, etc as well as just panning and levels) and then flips it the right way again, the bodies of the sounds come out much more nailed.

never tried it tho... its kinda hard to do it when you're not on tape!
 
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