How to NOT be overcompressed

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
User avatar
Sexor
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 796
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:01 pm
Gear: Prophet6, Jupiter-7, MS25, Juno-50, TR-303, Rhodes 63
Location: IJsland

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by Sexor » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:48 pm

Just gain the h**l out of everything. Digital +10dB for the win! Let the constraints of the digital format handle the limiting! :headbang:
Monkey business since 2007!

User avatar
gmeredith
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:06 am
Band: Warning Will Robinson
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by gmeredith » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:33 am

I usually record each instrument track at just under 0db at its loudest point in the song, no compression usually. Then I eq each track individually, add effects and then mix down to a stereo wav file. Then I do a light compression on the mix down, then eq it if necessary. Then I find a good sounding top 40 song (or something in a similar type of style to mine that sounds really good) and rip it to a wav file, and open it next to mine, and compare them visually. I then try some compression on mine to get the wav to appear similar to it, and then play them back in turn, comparing mine with the volume of the ripped song.

Cheers, graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

User avatar
shaft9000
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2042
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:13 am
Real name: Dave
Gear: Whips chains waxes oils dildos DMT TNT the LHC, and a black rubber duckie
Band: moneymoneymoney
Location: VanNuys, CA USA
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by shaft9000 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:29 am

Joey wrote:okay well lets say I'm doing my own mastering job
pause - reality check

you realize that a mastering studio has $25,000+ of gear SPECIFIC for mastering and nothing else?
not to mention the experience and training of a qualified mastering engineer.

Good luck getting the same level of sound
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

User avatar
Joey
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:13 pm
Gear: 18u Eurorack, Octatrack, Pro2
Band: BLUSH_RESPONSE
Location: Berlin
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by Joey » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:54 am

shaft9000 wrote:
Joey wrote:okay well lets say I'm doing my own mastering job
pause - reality check

you realize that a mastering studio has $25,000+ of gear SPECIFIC for mastering and nothing else?
not to mention the experience and training of a qualified mastering engineer.

Good luck getting the same level of sound
thank you captain obvious

if you read the rest of my post, you would see what i'm getting at, something quick and dirty to throw on websites

when I finish my record i will pay to have it professionally mastered, but until then, since you offered nothing constructive in your post, would you kindly f**k off?
No one cares, no one sympathizes,
so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

http://wearereplicants.com

User avatar
gmeredith
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:06 am
Band: Warning Will Robinson
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by gmeredith » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:09 am

$25,000+ of gear SPECIFIC for mastering
is exactly WHY he's mastering it himself and not paying big $$ getting it mastered professionally - especially just for web space use!

Cheers, Graham
Last edited by gmeredith on Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

ipassenger
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:25 pm

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by ipassenger » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:56 pm

For rough mixes/jams etc.. I just tend to tame the transients (with limiters, compressors and or maximisers), maybe gaining an extra 3-5 db of peak signal level. If it still doesn't sound loud enough then cut some subs and maybe some super highs, bring up the overall signal level and then do the first bit. The parrallel as well as serial comp trick mentioned earlier is a good one, I used it recently on something that was all soft synths and it did add some beef without giving you that flat wall mix sound.

Sometimes I think the fault lies with the mix itself and there being just too much dynamic in the original mix. When this is the case maximisers or limiters just make it sound hard and flat, as you need to process it too much. I like to test the untreated mix at several different levels and look for sounds which appear/disappear. If the mix doesn't change in shape but just gains detail as you ride the volume up your probably not far off.

All of the above really depends on the sound your going for though and you certainly don't need £10K of pounds of kit to make it sound better. I think more important is another set of ears, someone you trust and has a decent listening enviroment. Even if they don't make the adjustments they can at least give you a reality check.

maindeglorie
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:17 am
Gear: Voyager Select,Little Phatty,ARP Solus,Omni II,Yamaha CS-40M,Prophet 5,Prophet 08,OB-Xa,MaxiKorg,Nord Lead 3,Nord Wave,Eurorack modular, etc.
Location: Pennsylvania (NEPA)

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by maindeglorie » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:51 am

shaft9000 wrote:
Joey wrote:okay well lets say I'm doing my own mastering job
pause - reality check

you realize that a mastering studio has $25,000+ of gear SPECIFIC for mastering and nothing else?
not to mention the experience and training of a qualified mastering engineer.

Good luck getting the same level of sound

Although what you say here is true... you would be really shocked at the amount of major label records mastered on nothing more than a few pieces of outboard gear and Bias Peak.

User avatar
synth3tik
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:23 am
Gear: Pro One/Prophet 2002+/Prophet 08SE/Cat/M1/Poly6/Jupiter6/JD-990/SidStation/SE-1X/Microwave II/Matrix 6R/S3000/S612/Source
Band: Batteries Aren't Food/J.a.F.a
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by synth3tik » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:27 am

I like to use the rule that compression is right when you can't hear the compressor. Obviously this can get confusing when sidechaining.

What really helped me out was to view the waveforms of the mix downs. I do not want to have a bunch of hot dog looking files. After a few times going though I was able to get a good loud track, but the dynamics as still there.
I do agree with people that you should work the tracks around -03db and let a mastering engineer get the dynamics tight.

I got the mixing on my current album project really good. I could barely tell the difference when I got it back from the mastering house. and yes they did do a good job.

User avatar
filtersweeperVCO
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:41 pm
Gear: Voyager, MF-102, VX-351, Waldorf Pulse +, Micro Q, JX-3P, Juno 106, MPC 1000, KP3, Sherman filterbank 2, and stuff.
Band: Filtersweeper
Location: Kitchener
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by filtersweeperVCO » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:03 pm

bottom line is this: if your tune is quiet, people won't play it. As the world turns, so do they ways we make music. Music is more compressed so that a wall of sound is being pushed at the listener. It's up to you wether or not you want your stuff to sound like "what normal is these days". If you're making electronic music, which I assume you are because of the forum we're on, then face the facts. Dj's wouldn't be playing my tunes if they weren't loud. Even if I told them "Oh I'm not following the trend, and I'd like to maintain some of the dynamics" YOu decide.
Synths: Moog voyager, Roland JX-3P, Roland Juno 106
Other: Akai MPC 1000, Korg Koass pd. 3, Sherman filterbank 2, Hammond T-211,Yorkville LS 800 (for bass)

rickyd
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by rickyd » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:09 pm

Instead of compressing anything, why not just use the master fader on your mixer (or DAW's mixer or whatever) to boost the volume?

User avatar
shaft9000
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2042
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:13 am
Real name: Dave
Gear: Whips chains waxes oils dildos DMT TNT the LHC, and a black rubber duckie
Band: moneymoneymoney
Location: VanNuys, CA USA
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by shaft9000 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:20 pm

Yoozer wrote:
Joey wrote: and I find it very hard to have the track be loud enough
How about letting the user turn up the volume instead of doing it for him?
+1
unless you're aiming for lowest-common-denominator 'earbud mixes' -that sound good pushing the amp on ghetto beatboxes and fit right in to modern pop playlists - then no-one that actually cares how good it sounds is going to be playing it on some weeny system.
they can easily turn it up, and will.

make music for music-lovers and not as commodity, i say.
do what you will.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

astroidmist
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:55 am

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by astroidmist » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:43 am

Personally, i think perceptual loudness increases with good and successful EQ combined with lite to moderate individual channel compression and master stereo limiting.

But I wouldnt try to make it louder on purpose. Usually that happens as a side effect of the limited EQ boosts. But it only goes so far.

Try to keep a good crest factor ratio.

User avatar
tallowwaters
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4998
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:11 am
Gear: LC-MS/MS
Location: snake's belly in a wagon rut

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by tallowwaters » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:06 am

rickyd wrote:Instead of compressing anything, why not just use the master fader on your mixer (or DAW's mixer or whatever) to boost the volume?
?

I take it you don't understand what compression/limiting actually do, or what will actually happen if you push your DAW into digital clipping.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:40 am

rickyd wrote:Instead of compressing anything, why not just use the master fader on your mixer (or DAW's mixer or whatever) to boost the volume?
Did you really need to bump an 18 month old thread to drop that little pearl of non-wisdom?

User avatar
ninja6485
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2769
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:13 pm
Gear: Virus Ti, Jx-8p, Juno 60, Radias, Maschine, 101,303,606,707,727,808,909, odyssey, mirage, akai s5K/s2K/s1k, drumtraks, E6400ult, M1R, rx5, fizmo,d50
Band: Subliminal Sea
Location: Exton/ westchester
Contact:

Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by ninja6485 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:59 am

i like this thread, and the rob acid video. just from my own experience, i never realized how pooly produced the old metal cd's i love sounded untill i started mixing my own songs. not because i got really good at mixing, but because before i was listening to the music way too loud and my ears fatigued. i was also gain-riding tracks, which i still do, but just at a much lower volume. it's funny now to see many of my friends making the same "mistakes," but they care more about the energy of the song then the way it sounds, or so it seems. i try to keep that in perspective when i mix my stuff, but i generally find that my better mixes naturally retain a louder rms then my less good mixes. without compressing at all, the loudest they come out is arround -12, -11 db, which seems to fit fine with the artists tracks that i listen to on a daily basis. not sure what you'd want if you're going to compress it, or what the ideal would be for distribution, aside from some guidelines already mentioned in this thread about peak db and such.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

Post Reply