How to NOT be overcompressed

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blavatsky
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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by blavatsky » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:14 pm

Sometimes rather than compression , the old method of "riding" the levels on tracks works. In a DAW, maybe a volume envelope (basically drawing shapes around the sections you want to boost or cut manually) would work better.

In a good mixing book I have the author describes manually (!!) pushing the levels up for a singer on quiet parts, dropping back a little when they belt it out; sometimes relying on a compressor/ limiter to always boost correctly (and assuming you want the same level of boost throughout, which often you may not) can result in too much push/pull in the sound.

If you volume ride/envelope at the track level to get your levels really working, then at the summed master track you should have to do less work to boost it all. Again, this is more a level technique than compression but often forgotten I think.

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by rickyd » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:06 am

tallowwaters wrote:
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.
FYI, I do understand what compression/limiting does and I know that pushing the volume fader excessively will make the DAW clip, but that's the thing, you do not have to push the volume up to that point though. It really depends on how loud the mix is already.

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by rickyd » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:11 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
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?

Did you really need to bump my post to drop that big pile of non-sense?

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by tallowwaters » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:03 pm

rickyd wrote:
tallowwaters wrote:
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.
FYI, I do understand what compression/limiting does and I know that pushing the volume fader excessively will make the DAW clip, but that's the thing, you do not have to push the volume up to that point though. It really depends on how loud the mix is already.
Which is an absolutely useless activity if you are already hitting 0.0 on the loud parts but want the quiet parts to be audible. You are talking about normalizing, which is not what the topic is about.

Stab was right, there was absolutely no point in bumping an 18 month old thread just to drop that little pearl. You are certainly entitled to make misinformed posts, but do try not to act so petulant when somebody corrects you or when people get annoyed for thread resurrection (common forum courtesy dictating against it and all).

So really, just relax and read up on some recording techniques, practice some things. We'd love to have your participate afterward.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by rickyd » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:25 pm

While I did not appreciate the initial sarcasm (Which is why I got sarcastic right back), I see the misunderstanding here and you are right about that part. You guys are talking about compression during the mix, while I'm talking about if the overall mix isn't loud enough and using the volume knob to boost/normalize the volume instead of using excessive compression.

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by tallowwaters » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:06 pm

Cool, glad we could meet in the middle.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by Projectile » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:35 pm

Since series compression has been mentioned in this thread a few times, I just thought it was worth adding that series compression has the effect of multiplying compression ratios rather than adding them. If you have a transient that gets attenuated by one compressor at 5:1 and then goes through another compressor and gets attenuated 8:1, you have effectively applied a 40:1 compression ratio to that transient, not 13:1 as most people think. So, be careful with series compression. It can really squash the signal if you are not careful.

Another great trick is to use a transparent hard limiter to tame unruly transients before sending the track to a normal compressor. It evens out the overall peaking, and gives you more uniform control over pumping since the compressor isn't being slammed by occasional huge transients. Then you are free to set the threshold to deal with more steady rhythmic stuff. Very powerful on real recorded instruments whose dynamics can be all over the map.

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by astroidmist » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:48 am

Projectile wrote: Another great trick is to use a transparent hard limiter to tame unruly transients before sending the track to a normal compressor. It evens out the overall peaking, and gives you more uniform control over pumping since the compressor isn't being slammed by occasional huge transients. Then you are free to set the threshold to deal with more steady rhythmic stuff. Very powerful on real recorded instruments whose dynamics can be all over the map.
I would have thought you meant to go through the compressor first to get the waveform somewhat under control and to sound better and then go through the limiter to tame any quick transients that the compressor missed. Did you get those backwards, or is that what you really meant?

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:19 am

No, what Projectile said was correct. You limit things first to take out the big transients before sending it to a compressor to smooth out more subtle things. Limiting first stops the compressor from pumping.

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Re: How to NOT be overcompressed

Post by astroidmist » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:25 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:No, what Projectile said was correct. You limit things first to take out the big transients before sending it to a compressor to smooth out more subtle things. Limiting first stops the compressor from pumping.

Oh cool. That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

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