AA2 and Low/Hi cuts

Hi, I have a question (hopefully not stupid).

Would it be okay to put AA2 after low cuts or hi cuts or would it always be better to put it first in the plugin chain before any cuts?

The cuts create a lot of phase changes (think for example the subkick, overheads etc), maybe they change the alignment of AA2?

PS. Excuse my english :slight_smile:

Thank you.


The manual states to put it as your first insert.
It needs all the information possible (especially low end) to make its decisions properly.
Definitely EQ afterwards.

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Where to place AA2 in your plugin chain is a very good question and unfortunately if the manual says it has always to be placed in the first lost, it is wrong and the correct answer is more complicated than it seems .

Since EQs (most of the time IIR by default) introduce phase shifts, particularly for low cuts, if you reach for the best correlation between your signals you want AA2 to be placed after the EQ otherwise you’ll introduce phasing which would negate its interest after summation.

However, there’s another issue to be taken into account: the latency of the plugins in your chain! Depending if AA2 is placed before of after a plugin with latency, it may see/miss an additional delay and wrongly evaluate the delays despite the latency compensation system of your DAW which, according to my understanding and testings, is done globally at the track level once all plugins on all tracks are factored in…

So the right answer would be to place your AA2 instances on respective aux tracks, have the aux sends placed just after the last plugin introducing either phase shift or latency in your plugin list and move the last remaining plugs (those without phase shift or latency…) after AA2 on your aux busses which would of course be routed to the master buss :upside_down_face:

I guess this is why - for simplicity- they recommend to put the plug in the first slot. Nevertheless, if you use only zero latency plugins, your best bet is to place AA2 last in the chains.

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Adding this in for people coming here and thinking they’re learning: these are -all- just preferences. Some people here are using scientific principles and logic to explain their preferences, but they are just that. There is no right or wrong here, there is just ‘I prefer sound A to sound B’.

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Ha I suppose this is directed to me. Had a bad day? :slightly_smiling_face:
I’m not sure where the preference thing is coming from, but FWIW the purpose of the tool is to optimise signal correlation between several sources, so I’m just commenting on how I use it with that purpose in mind.
But obviously no one prevents you from using it more creatively for something else! It gives me the idea to try to cook my pasta with the coffee machine, I’ll try tonight

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So the manual written by the manufacturer of the plugin is wrong?! Wow.
Such terrible advice to offer someone.
I get that eq adds phase shift, common knowledge in this industry but that phase shift happens no matter when you use the eq.
Introducing phase shift that was not present in the original recording before using AA2 will give the plugin incorrect information and the correlation that existed between the mics is compromised.
The manual clearly states to use it first so it has the best chance to make the correct adjustments at the source. Even before editing out bleed etc.

Listen to the manufacturer and the manual they wrote.
I’m confident they know better than this guy lol.

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@thomas: actually meant to reply to entirely different thread and hit the wrong email button :slight_smile: Very much out of context here hahahah

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I don’t think Dustin was having a bad day. He is totally correct, it is a “work flow” preference.

I have been using AA since version 1 and that is still my current favorite over AA2. There are many times I use it after several plugins on my individual channels on a drum kit. Sometimes I put it first. It just depends on what kind of processing I have going on and most importantly, what sounds best to my ears. That’s the important part, what sounds best. Not necessarily what the manufacture says.

Thomas, what DAW are using? Pro Tools ? just curious… I’m using AA in Nuendo and rarely have the need to use it on bus or aux tracks. Although I have to fix special situations such as when I want to individually align a separate left and right track (not interleaved stereo tracks) such as piano mics or overheads, and then align other tracks such as room mics to that stereo aux or bus. But I’m doing that from a workflow standpoint I guess, not a delay compensation issue from the DAW.

I just wish they would give us the option to:

  1. Allow us to set a tolerance range to limit the field of results.
    a. For example, a preference to only move tracks forward in time and never back.
    b. A preference to only move tracks backwards in time and never forward.
    c. A preference to first present the minimum amount of delay as the first result instead of the absolute best time aligned result, as it seems to always do.

As for now I’m just sticking with AA1 because I find it easier to manage my old work flow.

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Just one question: do you properly master the technical prerequisites to understand these phase issues? Because if that were the case, you would also understand that the combination of scenarios is such that Soundradix’s suggestion of placing AA2 first in the plugin chain is the least bad option, although it is technically wrong because it is sub-optimal. So I suppose the following may surprise you : if I had to give a generic advice to someone who is not very familiar with these technical aspects, it would have been the same as Soundradix’ (first in the slot), simply because the optimal alternative is much more difficult to grasp without a proper understanding of what’s at play.

Actually it’s just the contrary : putting AA2 after the eq will provide the plug all needed information so that it will do its job properly (=adding pure delay + a bespoke set of allpass filters). Whereas when AA2 is placed before the Eq, it won’t see the phase shift induced by the equalization and phasing will occur.

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Math is not a question of preference or workflow. The OP asked a question from a technical perspective and I replied in the same context.
Now if we’re talking Art and preferences (not what OP asked for), what matters is obviously that you find what’s best for your music. As a matter of facts, and depending on the context/material, I would choose either ways (aligned or not, or any intermediate hybrid approaches).

I barely use Protools, except when I’m forced to. My DAW of choice is Sequoia.

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ARA2 plugins always end up first in the chain. And AA2 runs significantly better with ARA2, Audiosuite, or whatever your DAW calls it. I’d get all kinds of wacky results if i ran it as an insert. Same with AAP2. In general, using the plugin as intended gets the intended results.

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Well it all depends whether you want to try the next level, but if you’re happy as is, it’s all good!

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Thanks everyone for the replies.

I’m experimenting with a recording right now!