In the world of music production, clarity and punch are essential. FUSER is the ultimate solution for creating sonic clarity in messy mixes. FUSER takes on the challenge of conflicting channels from multiple angles, including volume balance, phase optimization, and side chain ducking. With FUSER's smart conflict-detection and groundbreaking "Resolve Conflicts" feature, you'll effortlessly find a great starting point to fix those audio clashes without overdoing it.
What Is Side Chaining And Why It’s Useful
Creating space in a mix through side chaining is straightforward. You identify two channels in a similar frequency range fighting for space in your mix, such as your kick and bass, or vocals and piano. With side chaining, you give one priority over the other. You might use FUSER on your bass and side chain the kick so the bass ‘ducks’ out of the way to make room for your kick allowing it to punch through the mix. FUSER is also effective on musical elements such as guitars, pianos and synths to carve out space for your vocals so they can be the focal point for your song.
Identify two conflicting channels and add FUSER as the final plugin on the submissive channel. Set the plugin wrapper's side chain to the dominant channel.
For example if the kick and bass are clashing in the mix, place FUSER on the bass and side chain the kick.
The frequency display shows the dominant side chain signal as a white line and the submissive signal in grey.
The red glow indicates mid channel conflict, the yellow glow indicates side channel conflict.
The input gain level match pointer shows the gain adjustments needed to match the perceived volume of your submissive channel to the side chained audio. This simple target helps you set a great relative volume balance, whether you want the submissive channel to be equally loud or slightly quieter than the dominant channel.
Click the 'Resolve Conflicts' button to automatically initiate processing that transparently resolves channel conflict and frequency masking without overdoing it.
To manually create a node, double-click the frequency display. Drag the node down to increase the processing amount. Adjust mid/side, Q, attack, and release individually.
Click the small triangle button (Δ) in the top right to listen to the Delta signal. It will assist you in setting the perfect attack and release settings.
Adjust the Gain Stage Fix if needed, located to the left of A/B, to ensure FUSER’s analysis is correct if the channel faders for you submissive (the channel FUSER is on) or dominant tracks are not at 0dB.
Need to reduce phase cancellation and make your layered sounds shine? FUSER has you covered. The innovative Phase Analyze feature listens to the combined signal of the original and side chained channels and automatically identifies and sets the optimal phase rotation. This ensures minimal phase cancellation when layering similar sounds such as kicks and basses. Once you hear the breathtaking results, you’ll never layer sounds without FUSER again.
The frequency display shows you the channel you’re working on (grey) and the side chain channel (white line).
The frequency display shows areas in conflict in the mid channel as a red glow. Conflicts in the side channel are displayed in yellow.
The left hand scale is the input peak and helps you set the node threshold as it relates to the side chain signal. You’ll see the ‘delta’ or frequency and time specific processing of your audio displayed by the white fill dropping from the top of the frequency display. The scale on the right shows the decibel reduction of the audio.
Input / Output Meters
The input and output meters display momentary, short-term, and integrated LUFS of the signal. Click on the meters to select the numerical readout you wish to view.
Once the side chain is enabled, you can see the input loudness of both the channel you're working on and your side chained channel relative to each other. The side chain loudness is represented by a thin grey line on the input meter.
Optimizing the relative gain is crucial for channels to work harmoniously. For instance, if you want your kick and bass to have equal loudness, you'd aim to align the meters. The level match pointer can assist in achieving this. In another scenario, if you want your guitar to be slightly behind your vocal, you'd want the guitar meter to be quieter than the vocal.
Adjust the input and output gain to optimize the volume balance.
You can adjust the phase rotation of your audio by ±180°. This can help reduce phase cancellation where frequencies overlap, especially when layering samples or similar sounds.
The innovative Phase Analyze feature listens to the combined signal of the original and side chained channels and analyses every phase position between -180 and +180°. It automatically identifies and sets the optimal phase rotation ensuring minimal phase cancellation when layering similar sounds such as kicks and basses.
You can use the phase filters to focus the phase adjustments to only process a specific range. The filter visual shows the most significant areas with phase conflicts as a red glow to help you set the range more efficiently.
You can switch from Phase Rotate to Phase Match by clicking on the 'ROTATE' knob label. Phase Match matches the phase components of the submissive and dominant tracks, thus completely removing phase cancellation. It can cause some audio artefacts so use with caution.
Phase is often seen as a complex and daunting subject. We’ve created an easy to understand blog post called What Is Phase And Why Should You Care? to teach you what you need to know and help you deploy some pro phase skills in your mixes.
Double-click anywhere within the frequency display to create a node and initiate dynamic frequency reduction. The node's vertical position determines the threshold. Position the node at the peak level of the side chain signal where you want the dynamic ducking to trigger.
Hover over a node and scroll to adjust the Q, or use the knob in the control panel.
On hover over, you'll find solo, bypass, and delete buttons for each node.
Click and drag to select and adjust multiple nodes.
Each node can process audio anywhere within the mid-side spectrum or the full stereo field adjustable using the knob in the control panel. Nodes that are mid focussed will display an ‘M’, whereas side-focussed nodes will display an ‘S’. When you use the Resolve Conflicts feature, nodes automatically inititate the appropriate mid-side setting.
By isolating a node's processing to either the mid or side channel, you can resolve conflicts more efficiently without needlessly affecting parts of the signal that are not in conflict.
The frequency display indicates conflicts in the mid channel with a red glow, while conflicts in the side channel are displayed in yellow, providing valuable information for making informed decisions.
Sets how fast the gain reduction reacts after the side chained signal level surpasses a nodes threshold.
Sets how fast the gain reduction returns to zero after the side chained audio no longer exceeds a nodes threshold.
Pro Tip: Engage delta (Δ) and solo the two conflicting channels. Then set the attack and release so the delta signal is heard in unison with the side chain signal. This will help you get a tight and controlled sound.
Affects the overall dynamic processing of all nodes. Mix does not affect the input gain, output gain, or the phase adjustments.
Gain Stage Fix
Plugins cannot detect the fader levels of DAWs. The fader levels can significantly affect the loudness relationship between two channels.
FUSER’s default analysis assumes that the two conflicting channel faders are set to 0dB. Where this is not the case, and you cannot insert FUSER as a ‘post fader’ plugin, you can open Gain Stage Fix, enter the fader amounts, and FUSER will adjust the analysis calculation accordingly.
In audio, it's important to ensure that all processing contributes positively to the mix and brings you closer to your desired sound. Clicking the Delta button allows you to solo the elements FUSER is removing from your mix. Reiterating our earlier tip: engaging delta and soloing your side chained signal allows you to set an attack and release time that perfectly aligns with the side chain signal. This ensures tight and transparent ducking, only occurring when necessary while leaving the rest of your signal clear.
The bypass button will let you preview the before and after results of the processing with the latency adjusted.
The A/B button allows you to quickly switch between two different states of the plug-in. This enables you to try a different approach to your audio to see what works best.
The arrow above the A/B button copies the active state to the inactive state. This allows you to keep the current settings of the plugin in the inactive state and make a few adjustments in the active state to see if you can improve the sound. You can then jump between A/B to see which you prefer.
Use Zero Latency IIR filters when you don't want to affect the transients of your audio, (or if your DAW does not compensate for side chain latency)
Use Linear Phase FIR filters when you don't want to affect the phase relationships of your audioConflict Sensitivity:
Conflict sensitivity sets the level at which conflict is detected. This figure affects the conflict display, and the ‘Resolve Conflicts’ button results.
For example, if set to 3dB, ‘Resolve Conflicts’ would initiate ducking that would keep the submissive channel at least 3dB quieter than the side chain loudness.
The Conflict Sensitivity range is 0dB to 9dB.
Use 'Side Chain' dynamic gain in most scenarios. 'Difference' dynamic gain adjusts the difference between the submissive and dominant channels to never be less than the node gain settings. In some scenarios this means that unnecessary gain reduction isn't applied to the submissive channel resulting in a fuller combined sound.
Disengage Side Chain to use FUSER as a simple dynamic EQ
Thanks so much for watching. We truly hope FUSER helps you quickly and transparently resolve conflicts, bringing clear-sounding definition your mixes with ease. We’re here to help if you run into any problems or have any questions.
FUSER is available in VST, VST3, Audio Unit, and AAX formats.
MAC OSX Requirements
OS X 10.10 or higher. 64-bit AU, VST ⅔, or AAX host.
Windows 7, 8, or 10. 64-bit VST ⅔, or 64-bit AAX host.
When running the Mastering The Mix Global installer you can choose which of our software to install. If you wish to install further software at a later date then just re-run the installer and select the software you wish to install. Installed software will have a tick next to it and it will be greyed out.
(Please note to reinstall software you will first need to uninstall that particular software, see below for details).
AU - (Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Cubase, Garage Band, Presonus Studio One, and more).
VST & VST3 - (Ableton, Ableton Live, Acid PRO, Cubase, Nuendo, FL Studio, and more).
AAX - (Pro Tools).
The support files and software are installed to the following default locations.
On OSX these are:
/Applications/MasteringTheMix - for the Uninstaller program
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components - for AU plugins
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST - for VST plugins
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3 - for VST3 plugins
/Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins - for AAX plugins
On Windows these are*:
C:\Program Files\MasteringTheMix - for the Uninstaller program
C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Vstplugins - for VST plugins
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 - for VST3 plugins
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins - for AAX plugins
Following installation, you can move the files to your desired location if required.
* The exact drive letter may vary according to your system.
Please note all of our plugins are now 64-bit only.
To uninstall simply run the Uninstall program and then select the required options.
After you have purchased you will receive an email with a serial code in this format...
Online Authorisation (Default)
Open your Mastering The Mix Plugin in your DAW and click the KEY icon in the top right-hand corner of the plugin wrapper. This will open an authorization page where you can copy and paste your authorization key. Click ‘Authorise’, and you’re good to go! You will have two activations per license purchased.
Copy and paste the license code sent to you via email into the box below that says ‘Product Key’. Your license code will have this format: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX.
Click 'Generate' to generate your Offline Activation Request XML. This file will be saved to your desktop.
Transfer this file to an online computer.
Upload the file to our website and you will receive an Activation Response XML file download.
Transfer that file onto your offline computer.
Click 'Load' then locate your Activation Response XML file to authorize your software offline.
Resetting Your License
Each license comes with 2 activation slots. These can be deactivated from within your software, or remotely from your online account whenever you need to free them up.
You can reset your license yourself by clicking the ‘key’ icon in the top right corner of the software. You’ll see a button that says ‘Deauthorize’. Click that and you’ll be able to use your license on a different machine.
You can remotely deactivate your license if you don't have access to the software. Login to your account, view the list of your products, then click “Deactivate 1 activation’ to deactivate your license there.
If you bought your license from one of our licensed resellers then you will have to register your license in your account area before you can deauthorize the license. Login to your account, then enter your license into the ‘Register License’ input box, then click register, and refresh the page. Your licenses may take a couple of seconds to appear.
You can see if an update is available within the software itself. Just click the (?) icon in the top right corner of the software and you'll see the version number. If an update is available you'll also see a link to download the latest update.
You can find the release notes and latest versions for all of our plugins from the release notes section of our Help Center here.
Your Online Account
Purchases made directly from www.MasteringTheMix.com will automatically sync your downloads and licenses to your online account. You can register your licenses bought from our authorized resellers in your account area to give you access to remote license deactivation and the latest installer download links. Click the 'Register Product' tab, enter your license into the box, and click submit. You will find your license code and your installer download link listed under 'My products' after refreshing the tab.
If you need help with problems or questions, and this help file does not provide an answer, please visit the Help Center on our website.
If you have encountered a bug in our plugins, first of all, make sure that you are using the latest version of the plug-in. You can see if an update is available within the software itself. Just click the (?) icon in the top right corner of the software and you'll see the version number. If an update is available you'll also see a link to download the latest update. If the bug is still present in the latest version, please send us a support ticket and include as much technical information as possible: operation system and version, host software and version, steps to reproduce the bug, etc.