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 Post subject: American EDM Station
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:26 pm
Posts: 7
After 22 months and hundreds of hours in "Extreme Tweaker" mode, here's what we've got on the air.

https://energy1019.streamops.radioallia ... ac-320.m3u

I will be happy to share the preset if there's interest, but it does use a lot of paid modules, so YMMV if you use it.

This preset goes for clarity, immersion, lots of dynamic range, wave shaping at the expense of loudness, shimmering-and-wide stereo, deep and immersive bass, and a pleasant "punch" to enhance EDM/Dance music. The idea is also to make it (a) sound good on many systems, even phones and (b) be listenable even on headphones for 6+ hours without much fatigue...at a reasonable volume level, obviously. Louder = tired faster.

EDIT: This sounds *terrifying* (in all the right ways) at high volume on my studio reference 8" monitors. It's also great on our 5" in-studio systems. In my car with subwoofer...it also works. That was one thing this was designed around: if you have a subwoofer, no problem. It will sound great. If you have one...or a decent woofer in your reference/studio monitors? Also great...prepare for a treat!

EDIT 2: Yes, the horsepower required for this is ENORMOUS. We're running 2 threads in parallel with LOTS of modules. It's on a Dell Precision T7810 Dual Xeon E5-2620v3 24-core @ 2.4GHz with 64 GB RAM, 4x10Gbps network, 2x4K@60 27" monitors, all SSD, DANTE, etc. And just to run this preset, we're at about 20% utilization, so if you want it, horsepower is required.

Some technical notes...

Expects integrated input level at -6. We gain stage down another -12dBFS for *enormous* headroom.

All our source audio is lossless, linear PCM at 16- or 24-bit. We don't have lossy material in the station apart from shows and mixes and a small number of tracks we could not source any other way.

Audio passes from playout @ 44.1@16 bit-perfect via DANTE. We run DANTE directly into StereoTool x64 (standalone), and the output goes back into DANTE. The AAC encoders are working with a FIRST generation copy (albeit with the DSP). That's something I wish more people would strive for. (I don't like hearing even GOOD presets when you can tell the source was MPEG2, and often that's not even the first generation, then it goes on some codec, THEN through DSP, then to AAC. Just...yuck. Disk space is cheap... /rant)
Code:
-> Restoration (incl. dequantizing and DeLossifier when MPEG/lossy things are playing)
-> DeClipper 
-> Noise Reduction (EDM people aren't in love with the idea of LPF'ing their elements, so this helps get rid of lots of HG "mush"/"slop")
-> Phase FX
-> AGC (1 digital band, very inactive, this is to further ensure volume going into the next steps is MORE OR LESS at maximum headroom of -18dBFS) -- I personally prefer to have AGC be a fail safe and NOT where your sound shaping and "punch" happens -- I prefers ours to always be in a "twilight" state where it's gating (but still PONDERING engaging...
kinda magical) -- I don't think you should be doing anything but "reduction" in AGC myself...I'm *against* adding volume here.  Don't believe me and do this?  Play "Sandstorm" by Darude and see what I mean...meh.  I don't like the quiet parts being made loud... /rant
-> Stereo Effect (no reverb, but don't go wild with the multipliers here -- goal is to see correlation always "flirting" with 100% on our TC Electronic Stereo M) 
-> Bass EQ (magic happens here, we love ST for this module alone)
-> Equalizer (I think some of you can guess by listening what this curve looks like)
-> MB1 (7 bands, we do 1/2 of our "heavy lifting" here -- the sound begins to take shape, including very crisp and punchy bass/presence)...a deliberate effort is made here not to make settings too hot or dense...that comes later.  FAST gates, but no clipping.
-> MB2 (4 bands, we do 1/4 of our "heavy lifting" here -- SLOW gates here, and there is clipping).  I will confess to you, these 4 bands are focused on the LF, MLF, and MF...and they really just "forgive the sins" of the MB1.  What can I tell you, I'm lazy and this was faster :)
-> Absolute Highs
-> Bass Effects (we're using them all, but nothing in legacy like DJ Bass) -- I find a lot of time is spent HERE for electronic sounds...we spend a lot of time obsessing here, and about 1/8th of the "heavy lifting" of the sound happens here
-> Single Band (we do some broadband wave shaping here, but it also helps to enhance the punchy sound of things we didn't quit "nail" in MB1/MB2/BFX...things like vocals or really midrange-heavy sounds)
-> Bass Clipper (spend lots of time here, too)
-> Advanced Clipper (the remaining 1/8 of our "heavy lifting" happens here)
I know a lot of you are going to fuss at me about AGC. I just don't think the game is played that way myself. The sound matters, and if you can get a baller sound from multiband AGC, that's awesome. Don't want to start a debate, just very active, multiband AGC just doesn't sound good to me. To each their own. :lol:

I'm just better at doing my work in multiband, singleband, and clipping. Wave shaping is my game, and "not adding AGC gain" is my name 8-)

Fun things to listen for: gate freezes. (It can freeze from AGC -> MB1 -> MB2 -> SB...it's sort of magical when it happens...love when songs have a beat of silence.) Digital silence is mediated through to the end. But if your master isn't A/S/S+, this preset will absolutely expose every...single...flaw.

Tracks with REALLY good masters sound AMAZING on this DSP. a/k/a "The strong THRIVE, and the weak PERISH."

I also encourage you to hear us at lower bitrates, too. I'm surprised at how much of the character is still left even at 128/256:
https://energy1019.streamops.radioallia ... ac-128.m3u
https://energy1019.streamops.radioallia ... ac-256.m3u

Curious to hear your thoughts. Give us at least an hour if you can before you decide. Hear the good with the bad. Remember, not all the source material is "amazing". There are varying levels of skill out there...true today as it ever was.

Thanks for giving any feedback in advance! I will try to follow, and like I said...if there's demand, we'll add this to our public GitHub (we save versions about a few times a month...yeah, we're always working on it...the war never ends...)

<3 from California


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 Post subject: Re: American EDM Station
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 5:06 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:03 pm
Posts: 180
I’m listening your station. It’s very loud but still good 👍🏼… Good work. Can you share the preset?

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 Post subject: Re: American EDM Station
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 8:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:26 pm
Posts: 7
Quote:
I’m listening your station. It’s very loud but still good 👍🏼… Good work. Can you share the preset?
Yeah, it's loud, but not egregious. It's designed for crisp/punchy sounds, but for comfortable listening over (roughly) the course of a workday.

On the preset, for sure.

https://github.com/Energy-101-9/public- ... tereo-tool

We'll probably start to save revisions there in case you want to follow the latest progress. Will also try to expand the README for the preset to explain what's going on in more detail (and why we do not use things like AutoEQ, Natural Dynamics, etc).


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 Post subject: Re: American EDM Station
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:56 pm
Posts: 3952
I can see you put some work on it, also mine. However, when i start listening, first second i hear is so bad stereo. Now, when i open preset i see why, 'stereo image'. Very bad to me, but to be honest i am very sensitive to phased sounds, especially on lows. This Stereo-Image settings also do some other nasty stuff beside stereo, adds tons of bad artifacts, you can even hear double kicks sometimes since artifacts are so loud. Again, very bad. Just disabling that brings everything to 'normal'.

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 Post subject: Re: American EDM Station
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2022 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:26 pm
Posts: 7
Quote:
I can see you put some work on it, also mine. However, when i start listening, first second i hear is so bad stereo. Now, when i open preset i see why, 'stereo image'. Very bad to me, but to be honest i am very sensitive to phased sounds, especially on lows. This Stereo-Image settings also do some other nasty stuff beside stereo, adds tons of bad artifacts, you can even hear double kicks sometimes since artifacts are so loud. Again, very bad. Just disabling that brings everything to 'normal'.
Can you elaborate on what you would change or modify?

EDIT: I may have lost sensitivity over the years, when I stop all the stereo effects, the difference is... barely able to be perceived. Help me hear what you're hearing. Now I'm interested :)

EDIT 2: It's good to hear from you, Bojcha. When we started experimenting before going on the air around ~2 years ago, I think this started as one of the Studio One presets. Now I'm not sure how much of it is left lol.

EDIT 3: For those following, when Bojcha speaks, I take that seriously. We've disabled ACR and backed off the multiplers in other stereo modules. Adding another 1 dB of headroom in gain staging for extra help in MB1+MB2, I was seeing some unwanted wave shapes and other items on the TC Electronic Clarity M Stereo (DANTE->AES input) (see [1]): that preset is now here:
https://github.com/Energy-101-9/public- ... 6-1201.sts

[1] https://www.tcelectronic.com/product.ht ... Code=P0DC8
^^ We keep this running for PROGRAM, the output of StereoTool, as well as our CODEC return. So we have 3, all powered via DANTE->AES.


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