Working with Boss Micro-Rack Effects
David Kenny gives these units the once-over
David Kenny gets his brain in gear for an in-depth look at some more Micro Studio effects.
While experimenting with the Comp/Lim I tried a couple of set-ups which are not mentioned in the manual which you may find useful. These revolve around the use of the Key or 'Trigger Input'. Signals sent to this input can open the gate or expander section. Set the Roland TR505 Rhythm Composer to play a rhythm pattern using a short sound such as Rimshot/Cowbell and sending it to the key input with the front panel controls set as shown in Fig 1.
The expander/gate will open when it receives the drum pulse. Obviously if the drum machine is being run from a MIDI sequencer or Tape Sync then these gated sounds will be perfectly in time with the music. Guitars, keyboards, even vocals (Kate Bush: Hounds Of Love) can benefit from this treatment. See Fig 2.
Another useful facility for a pair of Comp/Lims is to use the noise gates to Autopan. I set different patterns to the Hi & Low toms which are panned hard left and right in the TR505's stereo outputs. (3)
Hi-Tom Pattern 1/3/5/7/9/11/13/15
Lo-Tom Pattern /2/4/6/8/10/12/14/16
You can see that when the Hi-Tom is playing the Lo-Tom isn't, therefore the gates to which they are connected will open and close respectively and thus the sound will pan between the speakers at a speed controlled by the rhythm machine tempo. For a 'hard' auto pan bring the noise gates into play by increasing their threshold: for a 'soft' auto pan adjust the release time and ratio of the expander (with the noise gate Threshold at minimum).
A problem I often encounter when trying to gate a snare drum while recording an entire kit is that another sound (eg bass drum) will open the gate. The new Preamp/Parametric EQ RPQ-10 can solve this problem. (4)
By first listening to the sound coming through the parametric some EQing may be done in advance. For example you can use the High Band section to emphasise the 'crack' in the snare and the Low Band to de-emphasise the low frequencies in the bass drum. Send this treated signal to the Key and you will find it considerably easier to gate the snare, thus when you add reverb to the snare only the snare gets it and not the entire kit.
Roland Newslink - Autumn 1986
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