Berzerk Dynamics section

Been getting familiar w/the Waves Berzerk distortion plugin and am trying to figure out how the Dynamics section works as far as the effect on the signal,i.e.how using the 4 Dynamic/Rider combinations determines the way the sat/dist affects the overall result,appreciate any tips/feedback about this from people using it who already understand/use this section as part of their overall workflow approach along w/the other settings like Character/Drive/Density/Temperature…

It would seem that the Dynamic acts on signals below the Threshold while Dynamic effects signals going over the Threshold. The Up and Down switch basically extends on that functionality.

Up+Dynamic - Sounds that exceed the threshold will be distorted.
Up+Rider - Soft signals below the threshold will be distorted.
Down+Dynamic - Sounds above the threshold will be compressed, leading to distortion.
Down+Rider - Lower-level sounds are not compressed while sounds above the threshold are compressed. I’m thinking the distortion is still applied below the threshold though.

The best way to hear what they do is try out each setting with a Blend of 100%. A Blend of 0 effectively turns off the Dynamic Section.

A case where you might want to use the first example is to have the louder sounds distort more than the rest. This great at emulating a speaker that is pushed a little hard or broken.

The second setting might be useful if you want a distorted sound but would like to preserve your transients in some way. This is where a good balance with the Blend knob might pay off.

Compressing sounds above the the threshold is pretty much how compressors work in general. Sometimes it’s a good move to compress a signal before distorting, this option should make it easy. Push the Blend all the way to 100 if you want a clearer idea where to set the Threshold, then dial it back to taste.

If it works the way I think it does the last setting should work similar to the second, but with compression applied. So it might help to both preserve the transients, but also rein them in with the compression so they don’t get too out off control, I think.

Hope you find this helpful.

Hey Simon!!
Appreciate you continuing to help me get a sense of this stuff man…much thanks for taking the time to post this info,will be continuing to go over it along w/all the other stuff I’ve been checking out…been spending more time using the plugin lately so wanted to see if I could add working w/the Dynamics section to my overall workflow…

I think its definitely worth experimenting with for sure.

How I would approach it is to set up a regular distortion sound with no dynamics. I’d then bypass that plugin, duplicate it, and mess with one of the dynamic options on the copy using extreme settings so the effect is obvious.

Once you have a setting, I’d compare it with the original vanilla distortion and listen to how they are different. Maybe even playing with the settings and comparing again so you can hear the difference its making.

Then I’d basically repeat this process with the other dynamic settings. It might take you an hour or two, but you should be pretty much an expert after that point!! :wink:

Hey Simon!!

Again man much thanks for these ideas,greatly appreciated and will definitely be checking out what you’re suggesting…

You know being somewhat new to this stuff, what I’ve been doing is setting up the Voxengo Span spectrum analyzer display on a bus,routing a parallel distortion bus to it and looking at exactly where in the harmonic spectrum things are being affected by the different Berzerk settings used on a given instrument…

Based on this stuff,wonder to what extent you’re conceptualizing things here in terms of overall signal harmonic spectrum,i.e.how it has both low and high dB level areas…like for the kick or bass you’d have an EQ curve where the subs/lows would be at the highest level,then things would slope down toward the higher frequencies,and this type of curve in reverse for the hi-hat or other higher pitched instruments…so along these lines,applying the different Dynamics section settings would allow you to get into specifying which parts of the signal harmonically are being affected…

Looking forward to hearing back about this stuff as your time permits and continuing to look at things…

To be honest I’m still experimenting with it myself.

Though, I have found the dynamics useful in isolating just how much the transients get distorted as opposed to the rest of the signal. As too much transient distortion can, well, ruin the dynamics and transients. But then there’s the opposite of that, sometimes I’ll want moderate distortion on the whole, but to have it really kick in on but transients so it sounds like an amp or speaker getting hit too hard.

All that can be biased towards the top end of the bottom end with the eq, or a seperate eq. Sometimes I like to push a specific frequency range into an eq, usually towards the high end, but then chase the distortion up with another eq to remove any “excess”. That way you can tailor the sound of the distortion anyway you like by over hyping certain frequencies, to get it to behave a different way.

However, I haven’t really messed with the Down mode yet as I always have a compressor inline, tailoring the dynamics to where I want it. I’m sure it will, yield slightly different results if I used the Down modes in Berzerk, I just haven’t tried them yet.

Hey Simon!!

Listen man really appreciate the continued discussion;
everything you get into gives me a lot of great insights into things,just being able to see how someone else views things is a real eye-opener/game-changer here…been copy-pasting everything you post and adding it to the info I have in my Berzerk email folder to study so again,whatever you feel like getting into man is a big plus here…

Really like this idea-
"I have found the dynamics useful in isolating just how much the transients get distorted as opposed to the rest of the signal"as I’m also working w/some great transient designers and so consequently thinking along these lines as well…

Also was very much into what you were talking about w/the EQ focus,so far just been using the internal SC filters but think I miight start working more w/the EQ section as well…

TBCH the tracks I use it on are already like individually EQ’d and sent into a group bus;been using a layering approach where I’ll duplicate the orig,set up maybe a lows/mids,and highs track,adjust the levels to see if I can get what I’m after,then the Berzerk goes on the bus to get more of the goal result…

As far as what you were talking about w/the Down mode,are you saying you have a compressor before the Berzerk in your FX chain so you’re only using the Dynamics section in an expander context here?

Actually, I was alluding to the fact that, like many others I use compressors quite a bit for sound sculpting. I have quite a few compressors that can choose from, depending on what character traits I’m after. I’m always careful not overdo it, though.

So there’s usually a compressor in the chain, often before I get to distorting things and adding other types of effects. I have yet to get around to doing some more out there and adventurous style of sound design though.

Understand now man thx…but still,if you have an already compressed(i.e.dynamic range reduced/leveled)signal going into the Berzerk,would this affect your choice as to whether you’d use either the Up/Down,Dynamic or Rider modes and if so,how?Would this depend on what you were going after and what would this be,tied to these options?i.e.if you wanted the softer parts of the signal to be the only thing the distortion was going to be affecting,you’d be looking at the Up/Rider option if I’m understanding things here…just like you’d do if you didn’t have the compressor before Berzerk in the FX chain…???

BTW while we’re looking at various tech stuff over here,although this isn’t a Waves plug-in,are you familiar w/the United Plugins Autoformer(would include the link but this is N/A over here for new members)?Trying to figure out how to set up the Balancer module on it,maybe you’re familiar w/the Waves versions of these kind of AI-based volume levelers i.e.Vocal Rider etcetc?