Throughout the vinyl era, the original Fairchild 660 and 670 compressors were ubiquitous: From the recording studio to the record lathe, the Fairchild was renowned for its advanced compression techniques and incomparable sound. We’ve collaborated ...
Mentioned by FOH engineer Dan Green in this *AudioTechnology* magazine article about the Ghost Stories Tour. > AT: Could you run me through Chris Martin’s vocal chain? > > DG: It starts with a Shure SM58 radio mic which he just loves singing into — the sound and the weight is just right for him. It goes to the Neve 1073 500 series module, and into a channel on the SD7. Then I just use a little bit of channel EQ to clean up the low end, to avoid pumping the compressor unnecessarily — the stage volume is blisteringly loud up there from PA spill, so there’s always going to be some low-end filtering. And then it goes into one of the Waves Puigchild 660 plug-ins. From there, into a Waves H EQ for some general EQ’ing. I really like that EQ for its visual feedback — the spectrum analyser is really handy to quickly pinpoint any frequencies that are poking out or not quite right. Then it finishes with the Waves C6 multiband compressor, which is the most incredible plug-in. I really rely on the C6 for the sound of Chris’s voice because when he’s getting into his low register, his voice is very bassy. But I find if I take some of those overpowering low frequencies out with a regular EQ, when he goes up to his falsetto voice, it sounds a bit thin. With the C6, because it’s a dynamic EQ, as soon as he hits his falsetto voice, all of those rich lows return. Effects-wise, I’ve got an old TC 2290 delay which is MIDI’d up to be part of my snapshot automation. I really like it because it’s hands-on. Saying that, after it’s set up the only control I touch is the tap tempo button. Finally, I have a Bricasti M7 reverb, which I prefer to a Lexicon for its character. The PuigChild 670 comes in a bundle with the 660. The 660 VST is actually just the left stereo processor of the 670.more
The PuigChild 670 was used on Cardi B's vocals for "Bodak Yellow", as mentioned by mix engineer Evan LaRay in this February 2018 *Sound on Sound* interview. The "ELR" settings can be found [here](https://dt7v1i9vyp3mf.cloudfront.net/styles/news_large/s3/imagelibrary/I/IT_02_18_05A-sxLhe3jRPhI70NT_y5zkVtp07wfVYWgT.jpg). > In his mix of ‘Bodak Yellow’, Evan LaRay used almost identical vocal chains on two auxiliary busses. The ‘Vox 1’ chain includes FabFilter’s Pro-DS de-esser and Waves’ C4 multiband compressor, plus the Waves CLA Vocals plug-in and SoundToys’ Decapitator saturation processor. > The main ‘Hook’ and ‘Verse’ vocal tracks have similar plug-in chains, incorporating the EQ3 seven-band, Waves CLA-76 and Waves De-esser, though the ‘Hook’ also has FabFilter’s Timeless 2 delay. LaRay explains, “The EQ on the ‘Hook’ has a high-pass, around 100Hz, and I’m also cutting 3dB at 300Hz, because the vocal sounded a bit muddy, and again 3dB at 4kHz, because there was a piercing frequency there. The CLA keeps the peaks in check, and the de-esser again takes some higher frequencies out, at 4270Hz, and the Timeless is another favourite plug-in. I think in general the FabFilter plug-ins are extremely dope. I wanted the ‘Hook’ vocal to stand out from the ‘Verse’ vocal, so I used a stereo delay preset, and then tweaked that. The presets on the FabFilter plug-ins are pretty good: you just run through all of them and then choose the best one. In this case I lowered the width and the wet value of the stereo delay preset, and that sounded good and gave the hook its own space. The three plug-ins on the ‘Verse’ track do pretty much the same. > “The ‘Inout’ tracks that are below the ‘Hook’ and the ‘Verse’ are vocal doubles. They are words or lines we use for emphasis and additional power on these lines and words. They come from one of her original vocal takes, which I just cut and cleaned up. Both ‘Inout’ tracks have the Waves RCompressor, just containing these words and lines so they don’t overwhelm the ‘Hook’ or the ‘Verse’ vocal, and then the FabFilter Pro-Q2, taking out some high frequencies, again to make sure it doesn’t clash with the leads, and also cutting below 200Hz. And there’s a delay on these tracks to put them in a slightly different space from the lead vocal tracks. > “In addition to the two ‘Inout’ tracks, both the ‘Hook’ and the ‘Verse’ tracks are also accompanied by an ‘Ad Libs’ track, which were some ad libs Cardi had recorded with Mike over at Krematorium. Mike had also set up a separate aux track for these ad libs, which is ‘Vox2’, and I liked that and kept two of the plug-ins he had on that: the [Avid] Sansamp for some distortion and the SoundToys Panman. I then added the D-Verb and the [Waves] CLA Vocals. I adore the CLA Vocals. I use it on every track I work on. When I don’t use it, the vocals sound completely different. I’d love to know what exactly it does! Finally, the inserts have the Waves L1, just to control the peaks. > “The other tracks — ‘EXF1’, ‘EXF2’, ‘EXF3’ and ‘EXF4’, are because I prefer to create a new track if I want to have a specific effect on specific words or phrases. I prefer doing that to automating the effects on a track. Automation is great, but I tend to only do volume automation. So I copy audio to another track, and then put the effect on that, and in this case I created four different effects tracks with four different delays. ‘EFX1’ is the main one, and has the same three plug-ins as the Verse tracks — EQ3 three-band, CLA76 and Waves De-esser — just with the EQ3 cutting more of the high frequencies. Then there’s an eighth-note ping-pong delay from the Waves H-Delay, and then a D-Verb set to ‘hall’ with 7s decay and a 15ms pre-delay. ‘EFX2’ has another H-Delay delay, ‘EFX3’ the Timeless 2 delay, and ‘EFX4’ again has the H-Delay plus a D-Verb.” > All the main vocal audio tracks go to LaRay’s ‘Vox1’ aux group track. This, he explains, has “A FabFilter Pro-DS de-esser, then the Waves RCompressor controlling the peaks, the Waves C4 multiband compressor boosting the high end and containing the lows in her voice, so it doesn’t cut through too much, and Waves CLA Vocals. Again, it’s really making my vocals sound good. I push the Pitch fader to stereo, spank it on the compressor, also push up the treble to brighten it up, turn the reverb down to ‘tight’, and lower the delay by 9dB because my own quarter delay is my main vocal delay, and it sounds great. There’s also a SoundToys Decapitator, to add more harmonic distortion, and then there’s the Waves RVox. That was supposed to be the final plug-in on the insert, but then I realised the vocal was still peaking too much once she began rapping loudly, so I put on the L1 [limiter] to control that.” > The ‘special sauce’ in Evan LaRay’s mixes comes from a parallel aux channel containing a blend of compression, saturation, EQ and other processors. Key ingredients are Waves’ PuigChild compressor and PuigTech equaliser. > The ‘Vox1’ and ‘Vox2’ tracks also each have a Trim plug-in on an insert, and sends to the ‘Verb’ aux and to the ‘ELR’ (LaRay’s initials) track. “I put the Trim on all my tracks at the end of the vocals, and at the end of the beat, because the vocals actually began distorting in places. These two tracks were too hot, and I wanted to make sure they had a good level before going to the ‘Sub Print’ track. I have the ‘ELR’ aux track in every session. It’s most of all parallel compression, but I also always try out new things with distortion, exciters and things like that, and I label that ‘ELR’. In this case it really is the ‘ELR’ track that makes the vocals cut through the mix. > “The compression on the ‘ELR’ track comes from the Waves PuigChild 670, which is a great compressor, and it’s compressing a lot, so the vocal stays right there in the middle. The signal is then going to the PuigTech EQP-1A, which is boosting some low end to add some warmth to the vocals, and some 5kHz, and then the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter, set to AX Mix 6, for some added crispness and clarity, then the EQ3 seven-band to control the low mids, and another De-Esser cutting 4398Hz, to finalise the vocal sound. The L1 also helps keep the vocals in the same place. Finally, the ‘Verb’ send on the ‘Vox1’ and ‘Vox2’ tracks goes to the ‘Verb’ aux, which has the Waves RVerb, and that pretty much glues everything together.”more
Throughout the vinyl era, the original Fairchild 660 and 670 compressors were ubiquitous: From the recording studio to the record lathe, the Fairchild was renowned for its advanced compression techniques and incomparable sound. We’ve collaborated with GRAMMY®-winning producer/engineer Jack Joseph Puig (U2, Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga) to capture every distinctive nuance and harmonic detail of the vintage Fairchild 670 device housed in Jack’s own studio.
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