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I've been trying to create a multiband fx splitter for awhile now since I know of no plugins that do this. Basically I want a multiband compressor but instead of a built in compressor, have each band have its own chain that allows me to process them all differently. The catch is I'm trying to figure out a way to do this transparently. FabFilter Pro-MB does the job but is far from transparent.

I use Bitwig Studio and used the FX Layer in it (similar to Ableton Live racks) to phase invert an eq and thus made a completely transparent two band splitter, but to get any more than that I need to nest continously and that just isn't condusive to workflow and is way too messy.

Do any of you guys know a way to do this using racks/a combination of plugins, a plugin that already does this, or a way to do it in something like max/reaktor/etc?

Thank you for your time.

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When splitting signals into bands most of the coloring comes from the phase changes that filters induce. If you want to be 100% transparent, you need 0% change in the phase, for starters.

To achieve this you can use linear phase EQs/Filters to split the signal in bands, as they can filter without affecting the phase (and as far as I know, those are the only devices capable of zero phase change). So you want to either use a multiband splitter that uses linear phase filters, or implement your splitter with linear phase filters/EQs.

The issue with linear phase filters/EQs is that they can potentially induce a lot of latency. From the FabFilter Pro-Q 2 linear phase resolution options, we see that:

Low provides linear-phase processing with a minimal latency. Use only with low Q settings, or when only changing the mid-high part of the spectrum. With a sample rate of 44.1 kHz, it results in a total latency of 3072 samples (about 70 ms).

Medium is a good compromise between low-frequency resolution and latency and we recommend to use this in general for linear-phase processing. The total latency is 5120 samples at a sample rate of 44.1 kHz (about 116 ms).

High gives great low-frequency resolution. If you need to use high Q settings when changing the low end of the spectrum, use this mode. The total latency is 9216 samples at a sample rate of 44.1 kHz (about 209 ms).

Very High gives even better low-frequency resolution. The total latency is 17408 samples at a sample rate of 44.1 kHz (about 395 ms).

Maximum results in very high low-frequency resolution at the expense of a very large latency and possible pre-echo problems. The total latency here is 66560 samples at a sample rate of 44.1 kHz (about 1509 ms).

If the latency becomes so large that your DAW can't compensate for it, you will need to record the filtered bands (bounce, export, freeze track, whatever) and work with the pre-filtered audio (which should be pretty simple to do).

I personally prefer to build my own splitters (a little more complexity for a lot more flexibility) and I use either Logic's linear phase EQ or FabFilter Pro-Q 2.

Another important factor in transparency is how you do the cuts. Make sure you have the same cutoff frequency between adjacent bands, and that they all have the same steepness.

Using linear phase filters/EQs while making accurate and coincident cuts should achieve, in theory, a 100% transparent split.

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  • LINEAR PHASE! This is the correct answer! The rest of the answers are disgraceful, this guy is the only one who knows what the f**k he is taking about. – MickLH Apr 6 '16 at 22:50
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You can use some FFT eq's on send tracks, isolating different bands. This will split your bands very accurately. It's is the most accurate (transparent, if you like), as if you mix them back together it will sound exactly the same. That's not to say it will be the nicest sounding option. Imperfections are interesting in themselves sometimes.

enter image description here

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  • What is an fft eq? I would love to Test this. Thanks! – Tobias Schmidt Sep 3 '14 at 23:55
  • @Tobias Schmidt - Here's a picture of the one in Audition. Sometimes you get sliders, one for each band. Very accurate, but sounds different to regular filtering. – Mark Durham Sep 5 '14 at 9:08
  • Ah so it is a digital filter that allows very sharp filters! Thanks for the Info!! – Tobias Schmidt Sep 5 '14 at 16:43
  • Yes that's it. Splits the frequency range into many bands (2048 in the image) and allows precise gain control over each band. – Mark Durham Sep 5 '14 at 17:07
  • Is this a Plugin you made or 3rd party? And what is the Name? I am very Interested in that Plugin because i am programming a similar one. Thanks! – Tobias Schmidt Sep 6 '14 at 6:54
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Hi Guys I just Found this tutorial where it shows how you can split a signal in 3,4,5 or 6 bands with no loss of quality at all, and i am amazed about this. So i decided to post this video here , so to let everyone know about this technique! It is way more transparent than waves c6 or anything else. In fact is the perfect splitter!
He shows how you can assign crossovers to your midi controller to have total control of your bands!! Try it your self and you will understand what i mean!

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  • I am getting: "This video does not exist". – Danijel Mar 13 '17 at 13:53
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Check out the Waves C6 plug-in. It's very transparent and based on your description it sounds like what you're looking for. There's also the DDFM Metaplugin, but I've never used it so I'm not sure how transparent that is.

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  • But it's not transparent at all...If I make 10 bands for every signal there is a crazy amount of overlap, not to mention Pro-MB is definitely on par with that if not better when it comes to transparency and is far from "transparent". I'm looking for a way for 100% transparency here. – Andrei Aug 1 '14 at 5:43
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You can make copies of the track in question and filter each track as you need then apply what ever chains of effects you want to the individual tracks. I don't know of any EQ units that allow you to send the outputs of various parts of the spectrum to different places. Any EQ unit should have the ability to set how hard the EQ hits at the edges of the spectrum. There is a very real limit to this as a result of various sampling theorems etc. that are not worth describing in depth here but could have an effect on the overall output. This is something to keep in mind and you should play with settings before abandoning any EQ unit.

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if you're on a windows system, you could use Robert Schmidt's crossover vst: http://rs-met.com/freebies.html

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  • hi this is a link only answer. please explain a bit more why this freebee is usefull – Arnoud Traa Apr 6 '15 at 11:51

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