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A Weird Way To Look At Compression?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Studdy, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    In lieu of going on for hours i will try to sum this up. Lets simply use a snare drum for an example but really my question applies to everything you might compress.

    So you are ready to mix and you want to apply some compression to the snare. You loop a part of the song or however you do it and start applying compression. You set the release so that it sounds musical yet you also set it somewhat strategically so the compressor can stop reduction before the next snare hit. For example sake lets say you have a 20ms attack and a 100ms release. if a part in the song "snare roll etc" the hits will be much closer together than 100ms how are you dealing with this? Surely not everyone is automating compressors to the point of insanity? Please use my example as a basic guideline for what im asking, this applies to everything not just drums.

    Even bus compression, songs change, so how are you guys finding the perfect settings for the entire track.

    I have always done it based on sound obviously but i thought that this would make a great discussion regarding release times. Cheers!
     
  2. Jormyn

    Jormyn Member

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    Depends on how much it's happening in the song. If it's only in a few spots, automate the compressor. If there's a lot, maybe you could use two compressors instead - one set to pick up only the really hard hits, and another one to gently compress everything.
     
  3. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    I like what Jormyn said about two compressors. I'll add that I often run the snare as two tracks one that is compressed and another that is less compressed or dry and just clip between them for different parts or fills as needed.

    Waves H-Comp can also sync its release time to BPM, If you really want to go down the road of getting it perfect to the tempo track. Ive dicked around with it and didnt love the results for what its worth. I think on individual instrument tracks its more important to get the envelope of the sound shaping in a cool way and vibe from that.

    Sometimes the excess ducking is exactly what you want though. I find if I want to slightly compress a kick drum and I use a slower attack / faster release and with very little make up gain, that it will do the job I would normally be automating with volume anyways ie: ducking the the double kick sections while leaving single hit patterns relatively unchanged. This principle when applied to snare also helps sample heavy tracks from being quite as "machine gun" sounding.
     
  4. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Thanks for responses, just to be clear, im very familiar with what options can be done (automation, different plugins, multiple compression stages etc.) What i really am asking is what are you actually doing frequently, on a mix to mix basis. I personally find a compression setting that seems to "work" for the entire track (snare close mic, vocals, mix bus, etc.) and i roll with it, but im wondering if this is bad practice or what most are doing. Cheers.
     
  5. Korwent

    Korwent Member

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    These days I really try to automate as much as I can before throwing any further processing in the chain, which I think reduces a lot the amount of fiddling needed with snare settings to achieve a consistent drum (I mean really any shell, as i really rarely compress overheads, only limit them sometimes too reduce the snare bleed) sound that would still be not too agressive on faster rolls,
    After that, I usually go with parallel processing for the snare and toms, with a leveling compressor beforehand in order to make things sound a little more even volume-wise if need be, and usually have no problem with a specific part of the song. Anyway if there is still a problem, then it's time to automate once again, but that's really not that often.
     

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