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eq / compression or compression / eq
Old 15th September 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
eq / compression or compression / eq

So, I want to know how many of you boys and girls have rules for this.




Discuss please ......


a little side note : let's not turn this into a hardware vs plugin discussion or god forbid a DAW vs Console discussion. There are other threads available for that.

I wanna know what order you use them and if you have rules for them or not.
Old 15th September 2002
  #2
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
No rules, just confusion.

I usually eq then compress..

I am tracking flat mostly these days only a touch of eq here and there, very light if any..
Old 15th September 2002
  #3
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Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
usually, I eq after compression to make up for any eq loss the compressor took away.
Old 15th September 2002
  #4
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
For the few signals I EQ when tracking, I typically EQ then compress (since I'm EQ'ing for tone amd mostly using the limiter to help avoid digital distortion). When mixing, I compress then EQ, since radical EQ changes the response of the compressor fairly drastically, Not that that's always a bad thing...
Old 15th September 2002
  #5
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
When Mixing some instruments respond better when compressed first, others are better when Eq'd first. On the instuments that I want the compressor to be freq dependent(for e.g Vocals,bass, or guitars) Eq comes first.nstruments that I feel need a signature for eg(Drums or poorly recorded vocals/thin bass lines) I hit it first with a "signature inducing" comp, than EQ, than comp again.
Old 15th September 2002
  #6
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subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Kick, snare, most transient stuff - EQ then compress
Bass, vocal, most "sustained" stuff - compress then EQ
Occasionally - low EQ, compress, then high EQ
I'll try out different chains but find myself gravitating towards these a lot of the time. When I switched to a console that had no post-EQ insert points, I found I had to use subgroup compression to get back the drum sounds I liked. I've since switched to a Trident that has post-EQ inserts and compress straight off the multi-track for compression first stuff.
Old 16th September 2002
  #7
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i will do both. sometimes literally, EQ before and after compressing.... jut depends on how far i need to take a certain track.
Old 16th September 2002
  #8
VIP
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Dave Martin's system works well for me too, but in general no rules, whatever works, different for each situation.
Old 16th September 2002
  #9
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I tend to generally apply filters before comp. EQ can go either way. It also depends which comp is involved and why I am EQing (to notch things out, make something sound better, or make something sound different).

In the end, it's whatever sounds better. The comp before EQ in and comp after EQ in buttons are fortunately right next to each other on the desk, so SOP is to try both.
Old 16th September 2002
  #10
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
That eq pre/post button on an SSL is damn handy. Set up a sound the way you thought then just before moving on, press it, if it's worse - declare yourself a genius! If it's better, ALSO declare yourself a genius for having pressed it!

heh
Old 16th September 2002
  #11
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
Dave Martin's system works well for me too, but in general no rules, whatever works, different for each situation.
I agree with both of you. Done it both ways. No rules.

At times, I've placed an EQ before and after the compressor/limiter.

During some live recording or mixing dates, I had to EQ the source for better tonality or just to pull out the ugly stuff, then I'd compress it and add a bit of EQ on top of that.

But again, the rule is, There are no rules.
Old 16th September 2002
  #12
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness



During some live recording or mixing dates, I had to EQ the source for better tonality or just to pull out the ugly stuff, then I'd compress it and add a bit of EQ on top of that.
If you weren't working under the time constraints of a live recording, I'd say that you could lose your mind that way... EQ the source, then compress it, then EQ it a little more to minimize the effects of the compressor, and then decide that a little more compression might work, and then you EQ it....
Old 16th September 2002
  #13
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


If you weren't working under the time constraints of a live recording, I'd say that you could lose your mind that way... EQ the source, then compress it, then EQ it a little more to minimize the effects of the compressor, and then decide that a little more compression might work, and then you EQ it....
Usually the post compressor EQ would be added once I felt the track sat in the mix right. I'd add a just little EQ to help it along. This process is not a thing I would do to every track or channel.
Old 16th September 2002
  #14
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RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
That eq pre/post button on an SSL is damn handy. Set up a sound the way you thought then just before moving on, press it, if it's worse - declare yourself a genius! If it's better, ALSO declare yourself a genius for having pressed it!

heh
That's brilliant. You're a genius!

-Rick
Old 16th September 2002
  #15
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
For the few signals I EQ when tracking, I typically EQ then compress (since I'm EQ'ing for tone amd mostly using the limiter to help avoid digital distortion). When mixing, I compress then EQ, since radical EQ changes the response of the compressor fairly drastically, Not that that's always a bad thing...

this is what I have been doing overe the last say 1.5 years.


I used to be a eq then compress guy all along the way.

During tracking I will eq a bit if necessary but rather not. even the compressor / limiter stays out as much as possible or is used very lightly.

During mixing I'll go for the compressor first and then eq. but sometimes twist it around.


I like Jon's technique of applying filters before compression and eq going either way. I'll have to try that but it makes sence.

The problem with eq before compression is that the compressor will try to lower the level of the frequency you try to turn up with the eq.

I think, in my very humble opinion of course that this is a mistake a lot of daw users make. they eq, and then compress, ending up grabbing to the eq again to correct what the compressor just messed up again ..... going back and forth between the 2 untill the sound is completely ruined.

A lot of people still don't realise that , again IMVHO, especially compression is to be used with care. if you get to the point in a mix where you need a compressor to make a track sound louder you're basically on the wrong track..... oops ..... getting off topic there tut tut ....



Anyhow, thanks for the replies so far and keep them coming.
Old 17th September 2002
  #16
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davemc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah I agree with Chris and others.
Cutting before compressing is more normal to me or I end up adding twice the eq boost as the comp will keep grabbing it.
Filtering out the low end or a cut to the low mid so the comp does not pump is probably my norm.
Although like all things there ain't no rules.
Old 17th September 2002
  #17
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
That eq pre/post button on an SSL is damn handy. Set up a sound the way you thought then just before moving on, press it, if it's worse - declare yourself a genius! If it's better, ALSO declare yourself a genius for having pressed it!

heh
Yes...one of the other damn handy buttons is the "split" button, which splits the channel filters off from the EQ section and puts them right after the mic/line in section, pre the dynamics.
Old 17th September 2002
  #18
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon


Yes...one of the other damn handy buttons is the "split" button, which splits the channel filters off from the EQ section and puts them right after the mic/line in section, pre the dynamics.

Damn .... almost as handy as in a daw. grggt grggt
Old 17th September 2002
  #19
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Geosync's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anybody try using more complex combinations of EQ and compression like multi-band compression or compression with side chain EQ while tracking?
Old 17th September 2002
  #20
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Geosync
Anybody try using more complex combinations of EQ and compression like multi-band compression or compression with side chain EQ while tracking?
I never have, and it seems to me that if you have to do that sort of thing when tracking, something is already screwed up...

But I may be wrong.
Old 17th September 2002
  #21
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm with Dave on this. It doesn't make much sense to futz around with elaborate signal processing when the same time spent moving the mike will almost always yield a better recording. When you CAN'T move the mike, yes, whatever works.

I used to think that I preferred eq. after limiting with analog gear but now I find with digital that what I liked about it was probably REALLY a matter of transformer loading or some other interface issue rather than what the eq. or limiting actually did. If it sounds better one way, go for it but don't assume it's some kind of general case.
Old 17th September 2002
  #22
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Geosync's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I should have been more clear. I meant mixing instead of tracking. The original post asked for combinations of EQ and Compression. The best tracking is to interfere the least with the source right?

The fancier EQ and Compression techniques are generally tools of the mastering trade. Just wondered if anyone uses mastering techniques while mixing?
Old 17th September 2002
  #23
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use multi-band comp on the mix...a Tubetech SMC2B stereo 3-band valve comp. Sometimes, on a vocal or drum subgroup as well. A little bit goes a long way.

I will make a confession: I would really love to mix a really well-tracked, great performance on just 24 tracks rather than what I usually get: 40-80 mediocre-sounding DAW tracks to wade through, make sense of, and turn into a coherent-sounding, organic whole.
Old 17th September 2002
  #24
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon

I will make a confession: I would really love to mix a really well-tracked, great performance on just 24 tracks rather than what I usually get: 40-80 mediocre-sounding DAW tracks to wade through, make sense of, and turn into a coherent-sounding, organic whole.
Well, I could send you some stuff like that (and some stuff recorded to a lot fewer tracks than 24), but unfortunately, there's no money in it for either of us...
Old 17th September 2002
  #25
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
tut tut no multiband unless on Mix Bus.

Occosionaly on a submix yes ... but occosionaly.
Old 18th September 2002
  #26
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Hi Chris,

I am going to have to disagree on this one. Multiband works great for mixing vocals,kicks and snares. If you spilt it up on seperate tracks or you do it on one. Its what works for particular the particular song.



Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
tut tut no multiband unless on Mix Bus.

Occosionaly on a submix yes ... but occosionaly.
Old 18th September 2002
  #27
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
no doubt about that. multiband is KILLER on individual tracks. i couldnt live without it now.
Old 18th September 2002
  #28
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Geosync's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm using it to do some vocal shaping and de essing of some vocal tracks.
We'll be doing some demos of it on the KSP8 at AES. Some tracks really sparkle and others sound terrible with this approach. I thought it is a cool tool when other standard methods just don't do the trick.

I could do 8 tracks at once with different processes.
It's easy to make sure each process adds or detracts when used together.
Since it's all in the same box, phasing and latency doesn't seem to be an issue.
Old 19th September 2002
  #29
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I almost automatically put a Waves C4 on my digital piano tracks now.. works so much better....
Old 23rd September 2002
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
When I'm tracking, I pretty much never eq, unless there is a problem I cant
take care of with the usual, moving the mic,changing the mic or pre.
I will use some light compression tho. I track to analog 99% or the time, so tape compression can also help out abit. In the mix I'm generally looking to do the least I can with regards to eq and compression. Most of the time I use
low ratio compression 2:1/ 3:1 and patch the eq after the compressor.
I find if I eq first if I have to battle with the compressor grabbing what I'm boosting. Since I'm already mixing into a 2 buss compressor, that seems too
much like work to me. However there have definetly been times that the right way to go was eq then compress. I just find for me its not generally the best way.
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