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Parallel Compression Release Settings??
Old 7th February 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Parallel Compression Release Settings??

I was reading Bob Katz book.
Mastering- The Art and Science.
Regarding Parallel compression to bring up lower levels.
Upward type compression.

He was mentioning a ratio of 2:1 or 2.5:1
I understand the fast attack time, and look-ahead recommended.
But the release times of 200ms- something seem too long to accomplish the goal. Wouldn't faster release times accomplish this goal better?

Wouldn't you want the compressor to release gain reduction quicker once the level is no longer below the threshold? That way low level signals could come through more "untouched". Basically just effecting, to a greater degree, levels above the threshold??

Also, I was on the Waves.com website, and they had the plugin MaxxVolume that has Low Level compression.
I believe it may function as a Upward compressor.
Plug-in Folder
Second plugin down.

Are there many upward type compressors out there??

I would never master my own music. Im just learning more about the process.
Thanks
Old 7th February 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
fader8's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think Bob's recommendation is a good rule of thumb, or starting point, but I think you need to judge for yourself based on the specific content. There aren't any rules for this kind of thing.

Also, beware of Waves combo plugs like that. Often you can do better, and have more control, setting these techniques up in your mix engine and using plugs you may already have.
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
It very much depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it. I might have parallel releases of 7 or 8 seconds (seconds - not milliseconds) all the way down to 100-150 milliseconds - Depends on what I have vs. what I'm shooting for. Everything is taken into consideration and everything affects everything else.
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
With a 0 attack time, too fast of a release will add distortion, particularly at low frequencies. But it depends so much on program material. Sometimes I go as long as 500ms or so using parallel compression.
Old 8th February 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I do my drums with parralell comp and i've done bass as well...it started in motown with vocals.....are you guys using it in mastering? with a stereo mix? interesting! never heard of this!
Old 8th February 2009
  #6
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE=nick_soldier;3892409]I was reading Bob Katz book.
Mastering- The Art and Science.
Regarding Parallel compression to bring up lower levels.
Upward type compression.

He was mentioning a ratio of 2:1 or 2.5:1
I understand the fast attack time, and look-ahead recommended.
But the release times of 200ms- something seem too long to accomplish the goal. Wouldn't faster release times accomplish this goal better?
/QUOTE]

Faster release times can make the sound more "aggressive" but you can easily start to hear pumping in parallel mode. In the second edition I talk about two different approaches to parallel compression. In the "transparent" approach (fastest attack, 2:1 ratio, -50 dBFS threshold, medium release) I've found that too fast a release time can bring up the reverberation in a recording, often very unpleasantly. In the "attitude" approach (medium attack, Medium ratio, Threshold to taste, medium release) I've found that too fast a release time makes the recording sound too compressed and too slow a release makes the recording sound not compressed enough. In the "attitude" approach you have to optimize attack and release times so the GR is moving at a medium rate in time with the rhythm of the music, much as you would manipulate a downward compressor, so there is no such thing as "faster is better" but rather "the right speed gives you the right sound". Hope this helps.

There are VERY few upward (bottoms up) compressors, but by definition and its operation, parallel compression creates an upward compressor. It's just a matter of how you use it that decides whether it's going to operate on the extreme low passages (usually done in transparent compression) or the middle range passages (usually done in attitude compression) where the meat of the music lives. The more you push the gain, the closer the compression gets to the top of the range and begins to sound similar to a downward compressor.

BK
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
are you guys using it in mastering? with a stereo mix? interesting! never heard of this!
All the time. Funny thing is, I thought I came up with this method myself before I found TONs of people do it. I was using hardware compressors and wanted more control over the sound. At first I tried a single compressor with a parallel unprocessed circuit but it sounded odd to me. So I added in a second identical compressor so I have 2 in the chain side by side. Most of the time, one compressor has the threshold set to max and does nothing other than keep the parallel chain symmetrical. Sometimes I set both compressors to the exact same thing thus giving me in effect a single compressor with a more variable knee. Where the REAL fun comes into play, is when I set one compressor to a low threshold and ratio, then set the other to high ratio, high threshold. It's a bit tricky but I tend to like the high ratio compressor to do as little as possible, just catching little bits of this and that. So you combine an upward compressor with a downward compressor at the same time. That's something I don't normally do but it can sometimes be exactly what the music wants.
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Macrodynamics
I feel you.
Its a balancing act.
Great examples here.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
For parallel compression, I favor the "variable" release like the hardware compressors of the Teletronix LA2A (LA4 solid state) or the DBX stereo (quad) buss compressor on the SSL G series. That release is medium long to longer depending on the amount of gain reduction being applied.

Take Care

:old: Bob
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