Spectral demasking between tracks on wavelab 11...any trick to do that?

Hello, I (urgently) need to make some spectral demasking on a stem mastering project, because they are too much frequency collisions between 2 stems, and this cannot be treated passively with classical EQ, nor with dynamic EQ on each stem separately (bass guitar vs gongs !)
This problem should have been solved directly on the mix, but the mix is poorly made (by someone else), the guy doesn’t have the knowledge to fix this, so I have to fix this at the mastering stage for my customer ! Luckily I have at least stems with bass and percussions so this can be fixed in theory.
But…how to do it in wavelab ??
The classic way to do the job on cubase would have been to use a sidechain in order to pilot a spectral plugin like Soothe, DSEQ, neutron or Trackspacer that would modulate the stem that needs to be filtered actively following the other stem to make spectral “space”.
Of course I know that sidechain function is unfortunately still not implemented in wavelab 11 (and this feature terribly lacks for professional use - demasking technique in stem mastering is a must-have).
As a wavelab beta tester I asked our dear Philippe to think about implementing vst3 sidechaining last year, but I didn’t manage to remind it to him until now (if you read me, Philippe !), as I wasn’t active at all for 1 year on the beta forum (serious health problems) but I’m back !

So I wondered if - still without VST3 sidechain - it wasn’t possible to simulate sidechain by sending signal through channels 3 / 4 (like on old cubase) through VST2 plugins. I know that the old wavelab ducker on older versions of wavelab used this feature, but with the new embedded ducker on wavelab, I bet this is now definitively impossible to achieve to send the signal to channel 3 and 4 of a VST2. Or is it, somehow ?
Philippe, any advice, any tricking technique to do this ? I know that TBProAudio DSEQ3 plugin can work with this technique VST2 CH 3+4, it’s written on the owner’s manual.

Second possibility : finding a spectral EQ equiped with a proprietary sidechain (not VST) between 2 instances of plugins (like the specific proprietary sidechain used in Sound Radix Pi which doesn’t need a vst sidechain - but it’s not a spectral equaliser ! just to illustrate what I mean).
But as far as I know, I don’t know any spectral equalizer with this feature.
Anybody have an idea, another spectral equalizer with proprietary sidechain between 2 instances of plugins ?

I absolutely need (and urgently) to find a solution for that on wavelab 11…
No way to migrate the project on cubase, hundreds of clips, with lots of plugins inside.
I’m stuck for the moment, no way to fix my problem without spectral demasking.

Help - if you had any idea…
Thanks :slight_smile:

I am not sure side-chaining and any plugin can do a decent job for spectral demasting, though I might be wrong (actually you might better know than me). Some AI would be welcome. Hence what about using Spectralers for this, with stem separation?

I assure you Philippe that those 4 Plugins (Soothe, DSEQ, neutron or Trackspacer) would make perfectly the job if it was on a DAW like cubase (or wavelab). This is already what I am using in those special cases, when I’m mixing and when equalizing passively a stem doesn’t work.
Unfortunately somebody else made the mixes and pretty badly.
So I have to solve the problem at the mastering stage, but luckily the guy export me the project into stems (I asked for it because I knew it would be necessary).

The problem is the addition of the 2 stems together that creates sporadic peaks levels in some frequencies due to phase relationships between the stems. You cannot filter it passively, because it induces timbral losses. The only way is to clean the spectum actively following the spectral shape of a stem, applied negatively on another stem.
It’s like a ducker, but a spectral ducker.

Those 4 plugins that I mentionned previously are precisely made for it when used with a sidechain. Notice that there is no need for stem separation because I already have the stems luckily (gongs are in a separate stem, and bass guitars are also in another stem).

.

Thanks for the details. Sorry, there is currently no solution in WaveLab. I guess you have to use eg. Cubase to produce a result and import it back to WaveLab.

Terrible news. No way to import it to cubase, far too much complicated regarding the complexity of the project. I have to find a solution whatever.

…There is really something to be made about sidechaining in W12.

Maybe this virtual patchbay for audio plug-ins (french company) could help (?)

  • Patchwork does not work for this (I tryied). It cannot communicate between several instances of this plugin.

  • Izotope relay allows the plugins to inter-communicate between them, but after reading documentation, for the moment it only allow to visualize several tracks into one analyzer plugin, or help a plugin to be set up automatically (nectar plus). Nectar (passive) EQ can be set up automatically through relay plugin. It works but it’s only a passive EQ, so absolutely useless for me.

  • DDMF Metaplugin : you can patch lots of plugins together to create you own metaplugin. But the interesting trick is that Metaplugin is including another small communication VST2 plugin (same principle as Isotope Relay) named SendIt, which can bring audio information from a track (or a clip, a lane, on wavelab, whatever) and be sent and used in another instance of SendIt configured as receptor into metaplugin, in order to send this false “sidechain” signal intro the sidechain inputs of any VST3 plugins opened in metaplugin box.
    I tryied this and…it works !!!
    …and in terms of mastering, now the blending of the two stems (bass & percusion) is “four stars” perfect :wink: No more spectral collisions, no more low-end peaks and dips due to random phase crossbreeds of the two stems in the master sum.

The concept of relay plugin may be the way to go for wavelab, because you can put the relay plugin anywhere, in a clip, in a lane, in a track, in a group, then a receptor plugin could be used (where you have to load in the “receptor” the dynamics or effect plugin that needs a sidechain) , receptor loaded in a group for example or in another lane or track. And voila !

Philippe, I suggest you to try DDMF metaplugin / SendIt, in conjonction with TBProAudio DSEQ3 (quite awkward to understand at first) or Oeksound Soothe 2 (easier), or any spectral dynamics plugin with sidechain, tweak with it into two tracks and see what it does. It may be very inspiring… :wink:
1000000% more powerful than the ugly and almost useless old wavelab amplitude *ucker !
(I meant ducker - just be careful of what your brain wants to read by anticipating letters) !

Great that you found this solution, and thanks for all the information.
Do you have to define the potential latency between the sender and the receiver (?). Because the Metaplugin can’t know what other plugins (with latency) are used between the sender and receiver plugins, and that might cause a shift between the two signals. Actually, latency compensation between signals is the main difficulty for side-chaining.

Here’s what DDMF’s metaplugin owner’s manual says :

PDC (Plugin Delay Compensation)
Some plugins, due to the internal structure of their audio algorithm, cause a delay of a
certain number of samples (latency). Most hosts compensate for this delay so that tracks
with different latency are played back in sync. Metaplugin takes care of Plugin Delay
Compensation as well. This means that you can build a graph of plugins with different
latencies without having to worry about timing issues. The total latency is reported to the
host dynamically.
There’s one caveat, however: when using more than one “Audio Output” unit and creating
graphs with different latencies for each of these output units, the PDC algorithm will not
work. In other words, proper delay compensation is only guaranteed when using a single
output unit.
The overall PDC is reported in the upper right corner (in samples). Here, you can also set the
overall PDC that Metaplugin reports back to the host by entering an arbitrary number and
pressing “Set PDC”.

I’ve inserted the sender in one track and the DDMF metaplugin in the other track, where the receiver is loaded INSIDE the DDMF metaplugin (that’s how it works)

I did not noticed any important delay, as it concerns bass guitar and gongs, and all of them are not very much tight themselves with the drums (recorded without click).
But this evening I will check the latency and try a null test or something like that.
Thanks for the warning !