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The compression question thread

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Metaltastic, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

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    Cool, thanks a ton dude, this is really invaluable stuff! :worship:

    I added this part to my above post just recently, so I guess you didn't see it (judging by the fact that it didn't show up when you quoted me), but here it is again:

     
  2. matt youwin

    matt youwin pumping the mids

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    Sorry I missed that...

    Essentially yes, it is the same. I guess the main reason it's there is so you can use bypass to A/B

    There's a wealth of information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_level_compression

    Including a paragraph on 'compression usage' detailing what we're talking about here but in relation to a snare drum.

    Sorry if my interpretation of 'punchiness' confused you!
     
  3. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    The attack will come through unaffected if you slow it enough, then the compressor clamps down on the decay. The makeup gain brings whatever is compressed (the decay in this case) back up by the specified amount for the specified time. The release is the compressor letting off the signal by the specified time/amount.

    oh wait, i'm not sure if this was a question or not?
     
  4. matt youwin

    matt youwin pumping the mids

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    The makeup gain affects the whole signal, not just the compressed audio, that's why I can't see how the decay can be 'brought up to a more constant level' this way.

    Cheers though...
     
  5. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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  6. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    hlysht. i love that cheesy as fuck music on that thing. woaw.
     
  7. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

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    Yeah, I think that's the active ingredient here, and thus why it strikes me as strange to read about people doing the "set the attack to let the transient through" thing.

    So really, when would you not want the shortest attack time guys?
     
  8. matt youwin

    matt youwin pumping the mids

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    When you want to accentuate the attack of the snare/kick/whatever. The key is to have very little makeup gain....you're in fact lowering the volume of the tail/decay etc and causing the peak transient to be louder and stand out more.
     
  9. ahjteam

    ahjteam Anssi Tenhunen

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    You are recording only vowels? Some consonants (atleast in Finnish language) like S,T,D,P,K have that same kind of violent spiky characteristics as for example drumhits compared to vowels which are more like a pile of sausages. So the compressor can remove the rawness from the vocals, and the pick sound from the bass, if the attack is too fast.
     
  10. aramism

    aramism Member

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    ah yeah i mean i know it has shorter times but it just never made sense to me and the word "variable" there throws me off i keep thinking maybe you pull the knob or something to make it auto release. variable just sounds like auto release to me but i get by without it i do like the auto release feature sometimes.




    btw off tangent from my personal question this might help others as it helped me


    http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_andy_wallace/


    some great tips for mix buss compression. i basically copied his suggested settings and just kind of run with it and adjust as neccesary and use the the -4 db as a guideline. i don't really like to tinker with the master buss compression as much on a real mix as i am not experienced enough but i will toy with it on the drum bus as it sounds phenomenal. like slighty above -4db of GR with auto release and about 10ms attack. the waves ssl comp really shines here. just figured that article might help someone out as well. keep this thread alive! and stickied!
     
  11. AudioGeekZine

    AudioGeekZine arsehole know-it-all

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    I'm pretty sure that API plug has no auto release.
     
  12. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    A few notes:

    Compression, as hinted at and stated earlier, can be used to make decay 'hide' and bring out attack; if you don't like ringy decaying snare you can just set the attack late and have the compressor pull the decay to a lower volume, setting the release time about as long as you can so that you aren't cutting out the next hit, or just gate it if you really want to cut the tail off and worry less. After doing this you'll have a very big 'smack' and a whole lot less tail; compressing with a fast attack and release, limiting, or clipping will then get the attack to behave the way you want it in the mix.

    Attack and release are also important tools against pumping - unless you want the volume to sound like it's being jerked around like a porn star's date, you want your attack and release to be set so that your compressor can handle what you're asking it to do. There are a lot of factors in that, of course, but attack and release are the first things I go to.

    For smashing things quickly, you of course have the option of clipping (an effect that doesn't have to sound scratchy or buzzy; the cranked 'tube clean' on old Fenders at high volumes are an example of this - no 'distortion' is audible but the harmonic content is changed and the sound is noticeably compressed), but for sticking to straight compression you might also want to try lookahead compression units - they 'look ahead' at the signal (hence the name), take a certain average measurement, compare that to other dynamic measurements, and then fiddle with the gain accordingly.

    The Slipperman FAQ had an analogy relating well to this, worth looking up to be certain. To borrow a few of the Smurfs that were taking care of our loudness in the Getting Your Loudness thread ( http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/andy-sneap/278894-getting-your-loudness.html ), I'll abuse the train of thought slightly:

    You have Smurfs in a box with knobs. Their sole purpose in existence is to fiddle with these knobs - knobs that happen to control volume, of all things - according to your wishes. You've given them the Threshold setting, which tells them when to fiddle with knobs; you've given them the Ratio setting, which tells them how much fiddling to do. However, I don't think of Attack and Release knobs as parameters they're given directly; the Smurfs actually have intravenous tubes that sustain them, because feeding compressors would make your clients think you're crazy, and into these intravenous tubes we shoot a dose of amphetamines corresponding to the Attack and Release settings.

    In this box, one Smurf just sits there and waits for the threshold to be hit, and when it gets there he smacks the fader down according to the Threshold, Ratio, and Attack parameters; another waits for the signal to drop below the threshold, and smacks the fader out of the first Smurf's hands and back to unity. When you shove more liquid energy into their veins, they move faster... and start to get a little fidgety. And then a little more fidgety. And then they start getting into speed-fueled rages about where the volume should be, fighting over the knobs ruthlessly and maniacally, until they get worn out and lose track of what they're doing while arguing over imaginary Smurfettes and eventually trying to have their way with cute blue hallucinations in fuck-me boots waiting to be abused on the volume knobs... which sounds like pumping to you.

    So be nice to your Smurfs - they get lonely in those boxes, and when they start imagining females things are bound to get ugly... giving you a whole new mental image of what's going on in your compressors when things start pumping.

    Jeff
     
  13. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

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    Jeff - that may be your greatest post (and analogy) yet...many thanks as always for the laugh(s) and info! :wave:
     
  14. AudioGeekZine

    AudioGeekZine arsehole know-it-all

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  15. JBroll

    JBroll I MIX WITH PHYSICS!!!!

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    Didn't know that was there, thanks for the link.

    Jeff
     
  16. AudioGeekZine

    AudioGeekZine arsehole know-it-all

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    Being the president of the Slipperman fan club unfortunately has no perks.
     
  17. Executioner213

    Executioner213 Ultimate Meatbag

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    Ok...just to get my jargon right....if someone says "-xdB reduction", are they talking about the ratio or the threshold?
     
  18. ahjteam

    ahjteam Anssi Tenhunen

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    Neither. Its the amount that the signal gets compressed. See this post
     
  19. Morgan C

    Morgan C MAX LOUD PRESETS¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Most compressors have a "Gain reduction" meter, which basically just tells you how much dBs you're shaving off in TOTAL, so all parts (attack, release, ratio and threshold) are taken into account in this.
     
  20. AudioGeekZine

    AudioGeekZine arsehole know-it-all

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