Know Lots About Compression:

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Chris, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. imaginary

    imaginary SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    Salt Lake,UT
    This is a good question. I saw two responses to this agreeing to EQ then Compress. I also agree.

    Here is my case. I recorded two albums in the same studio. I used an old Marshall Head through a jcm800 4x12 cab. That cab has a killer low end resonance. It sounds bad ass and totally killer. I love it. The engineer was like,"way too much bass!". And I was like,"no,no,no please let me keep it I love it, f*&k the mix and f&%k everybody else in the band!"... So, we tried to keep it. But, I know nothing and I didn't want to ruin the album so we decided to run a high-pass filter on the guitars. A good choice... Except for that the cab mics went straight into a Joe Meek compressor before hitting the board! All my tracks were recorded compressed already. I agree. The high-passed guitars fit the mix better. But, they also sounded pretty wimpy. The worst damage was, our palm mute sections disappeared! Into nothingness. What is metal without palm mute sections?

    It was an expensive learning experience for me, so I'm passing it on.

    Here is what happened. Especially in the case of the palm mute sections, the wicked low end resonance was pumping that compressor big time. The Joe Meek is not a multi-band compressor, so that big low end resonance causes the compressor to lower the gain of ALL frequencies. Once the high-pass filter was engaged, the very frequency range that was pumping the compressor, wasn't even there anymore. What was left was getting compressed, even though it wasn't guilty of being loud!

    The second album we High passed the cab mics, THEN compressed them. the guitars were so much more fierce and... the palm mutes could not only be heard, but pleased me very much:)
     
  2. Sferic

    Sferic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Location:
    Tampa
    Guys, any simple tips/recommendations for side-chaining/ducking to get that "eardrum overload" sound? Strapping Young Lad's track "Love?" comes to mind as an example of the effect.
     
  3. DavePiatek

    DavePiatek SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Not necessarily. If I'm compressing a snare, and I'm trying to notch out a nasty ring, it's WAY easier to get it sounding good if I notch before the compressor. My rule of thumb is narrow cuts = before compressor, boosts = post compressor.
     
  4. BrandyWalch

    BrandyWalch SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    Im new to recording and mixing and I'd just like to say I think having a thread like this is really great and incredibly useful :)
     
  5. DavePiatek

    DavePiatek SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
  6. thedukewestern

    thedukewestern The Duke Western

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Location:
    Glens Falls, NY
    yes travis you are right. Dynamic range and level can be considered the same thing - however we use these two phrases as they refer to two different points in our signal chain when using compression.

    heres a couple of quick pointers to help out.

    1) if your having trouble hearing what your compressor is doing to a track - crank down on the threshold untill you are clearly overdoing it - this will really shed light on all of your attack, release, and ratio settings and help you really understand how these will effect your work.

    its very common to use eq before and after a compressor for the following reason. The EQ in front of compression can be useful for corrective purposes: a Hi Pass filter, pulling out a ring in a tom, a singer who is a ittle too close to a mic and theres some proximity effect low end, a brittle pick attack on an acoustic.. or finger slides on wound strings. The reason for this is to clean things up the way you want - if needed - before you compress the whole thing and bring it forward with compression.

    An eq after this would be used in say to add aesthetic choices. Usually a high/low shelf where we can make the now much more sonically focused track sit in the mix how we desire.

    simple way of thinking about it - Cut before comp - boost after.
     
  7. col

    col blah.

    Messages:
    1,357
    Likes Received:
    108
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Finland

Share This Page