Blending distant and close room reverbs with Chace
Chace talks about plugins from FabFilter, AudioThing, Logic Pro, Universal Audio and many more that helped shape his debut album, Belated Suffocation
Chinese artist Chace is a one man creator of cutting edge electronic pop music with a singer-songwriter edge. Covering all bases, from the vocals to the beat, his knowledge of all aspects of music production goes deep, including that of plugins.
- READ MORE: How Avalon Emerson found her voice through the charm of DIY music-making: “I’m not a new artist, I’m just a new band”
On his first ever album, Belated Suffocation, Chace makes people move with energetic, bopping tracks at times and then lets his lo-fi, muffled vocals take centre stage at others as he rides over mellow downtempo beats. Whether you’re listening in a lively party setting or a more somber scenario, this album offers something for every listener but with the same distinct, spaced out atmosphere. We find out more about how Chace achieves this feeling by combining reverb plugins and various other effects.
What’s your latest plugin purchase?
I recently came across AudioThing – I think it’s a one-man plugin maker. I saw some demos from Hainbach on Youtube where he collaborated with AudioThing, and went on to buy the whole bundle. I’m really liking the spring reverbs. It’s been a while since I was impressed by digital reverbs, but AudioThing really did a good job capturing all the vintage analogue models. I haven’t used it on a track because I literally bought them yesterday. I’m not sure if every plugin from the bundle has its place but I’m sure they can get me going for a pretty long time.
What’s the best free plugin you own?
I don’t have any free plugins, but the closest thing would probably be the Apple Logic Pro Space Designer. It’s an interesting one because it’s not a traditional reverb plugin; it taps more into the sound design aspect of things. I started with Logic Pro when I was 11 and the Space Designer became my baseline of how reverbs are. Only later did I find that a haunting 30-second decay reverb is actually not that realistic. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it on at least five channels from every song I’ve made.
What plugins go on your master bus without fail?
In recent years, FabFilter’s Pro-MB multiband compressor and Pro-L 2 limiter are my must-haves for mastering, and I throw them on once I have the main body of work done. I get why certain people itch when they hear people go to their master chains before the final mixdown, but to me, whatever inspires you to complete your progress, you should go for it. Just remember to bypass your master chain once in a while to make sure you don’t have your drums on steroids.
What plugin would your latest album, Belated Suffocation, be incomplete without?
The FabFilter Timeless 3. Belated Suffocation was all about soundscapes and ambience – delays were a big part of that. I used Timeless 3 for almost anything: slap delay, modulated chorus effect, shimmering reverb, stereo imaging and more. It’s just so versatile in virtually all situations.
Do you have a go-to processing chain for vocals?
Universal Audio Pultec Legacy EQ for overall tone, Fabfilter Q3 for surgicals and frequency-based dynamics (depending on the project), LA-2A or 1172 for compression, Antares AVOX SYBIL for de-ess, and probably the Izotope Exciter for final colours.
What’s a production technique that’s become part of your signature sound?
I like mixing different reverbs into one – and, most of the time, reverbs from different plugin companies as well – mainly because I realised there is a sweet spot if you blend a distant reverb with a close room reverb. Adding a tiny bit of closeness makes a big spacial difference. For example, the UAD EMT 140 for a more distant plate reverb, then the Solid State Logic FlexVerb for close sound. It’s just like mic’ing a drum set with close mics and room mics.
Do you have any secret sauce plugins?
To be honest, every track has at least one Logic Pro Channel EQ on it. I know it doesn’t have the best sound quality and colour and I shouldn’t do this, but it’s become muscle memory.
Listen to Belated Suffocation
Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.Subscribe