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Double compression
Old 4th November 2006
  #1
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doubledecker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Double compression

Just wanted to hear from you about using two compressors in line ,one after another.I 've never used this technique and would like somebody to shed some light on this matter.
Why would you want to do this and how to do it?
Old 4th November 2006
  #2
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MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Sometimes two compressors barely working are less obtrusive than either alone.
Old 4th November 2006 | Show parent
  #3
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Darius van H's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Hi Borat,

I often use 2 comps inline.....first an STC8 and then a Pheonix. The Phoenix gives me the goodness i might be looking for, while the STC8 takes care of too much attack.........i've got a few other comp's, but these 2 can almost give me anything i need compression-wise.
Old 5th November 2006 | Show parent
  #4
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DeeDrive's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One approach is to use a clean, versatile compressor, such as an STC-8 to achieve certain "compression goals" and then use a more flavorful design, such as a vari-mu, to add a little more color and sweeten the sound. This combined with a good limiter can get some very high average levels without damaging the audio too much.
Old 5th November 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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lofi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
if ITB its a must imo...

first one working slightly with wide attack then each next in row grabbing more and ends up with brick limiter...

destroyes everything and sounds "modern"
Old 5th November 2006 | Show parent
  #6
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doubledecker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for your replies.
Only thing i'm worried about,mixing ITB and all, is loss of lowend,especially after signal having to go through two plugin comps.
I'll have a look,thanksthumbsup
Old 9th November 2006 | Show parent
  #7
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greggybud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You won't find many ME's mentioning or admiting much about compression in series. After discovering an Austrialian ME using 4 in series few years ago I had to do my own tests and plead for opinions as to how often and in what circumstances does this method work.

The general and very basic rule would be to make your first compressor do very little and each succeding compressor do more. Therefore the first one would have a threshold where it's just addresing the peaks with a very slow attack and long release.

For myself it has been the ticket maybe....10-15% of the time. Much depends on the actual audio/music/style.
Old 9th November 2006 | Show parent
  #8
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius van H ➑️
Hi Borat,

.
haaaaaaaa

i thought the same !
Old 9th November 2006 | Show parent
  #9
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
as for the topic, yes, why not have more than one comp. of course tracking a perfect take that needs no compresion would be better, but oh well.

sometimes i use 3, but as an effect. one to level the signal. another one to be sidechain to the kick or snare (electronic/hiphop) and the last to level what came out of the side chained comp which sometime is too whacky to handle.
Old 10th November 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
i rarely even use one ... two or more ...
Old 13th November 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud ➑️
The general and very basic rule would be to make your first compressor do very little and each succeding compressor do more. Therefore the first one would have a threshold where it's just addresing the peaks with a very slow attack and long release.
I've used this with some nice results. I've also put a peak limiter before a compressor. Catching the peaks before the compressor allows it to act more predictably. Far less artifacts.

All that being said, I apply these techniques infrequently.
Old 14th November 2006 | Show parent
  #12
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
sames here but with a more transparent chain
stc8 used with the sidechain for 2 3 dbs of GR, i use sometimes the limiter to kill extra peaks but very rarely
and then signal go into a blue 330 for harder compression
Old 14th November 2006 | Show parent
  #13
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Paul Gold's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud ➑️
Therefore the first one would have a threshold where it's just addresing the peaks with a very slow attack and long release.
That wouldn't do much to the peaks only. It would be 'sloppy'. If something is needs a bunch of compression I find starting with a limiter to tame the peaks is a good way to go. Then go sloppy. Or if you need something else in line put a medium attack and release compressor between the limiter and the sloppy. I hope you like your steak well done.
Old 16th November 2006 | Show parent
  #14
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greggybud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I completely agree Paul. So much of this depends on the nature of the audio you are working on but yes...often a limiter just to address the peaks first. Of course be extremely careful of what the limiter is doing at that stage!

Then make your first compressor do very little and each succeding compressor do more. Therefore the first one would have a threshold where it's just addresing "peaks not caught by the limiter" and then blah blah blah yada yada yada....
Old 16th November 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Sometimes I will go into the ATR first to get that tape compression sound then go into a compressor. That's the closest I've come to using 2 compressors at the same time in the mastering chain.
More and more projects are coming in so compressed and loud already.. I'm not against trying anything. I would be interested in running a couple un compressors sometimes!

Joe Lambert
Trutone Mastering
Old 16th November 2006 | Show parent
  #16
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Riccardo's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
I have used two (analog) limiters on a few occasions, between eq's.
Old 17th November 2006 | Show parent
  #17
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greggybud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have asked this before with different replies. I think it is important to differentiate between analog/hardware and inserting plugs ITB.

My thoughts would be that you can "get away" with more plugs ITB as opposed to hardware. Of course I dont have 3 or 4 high end hardware compressors to expierment with.

The Austrialian ME who used 4 for a well known pop record used 3 ITB and 1 hardware but I dont know the order.

It was loud.....but compared to todays standards not that loud.
Old 17th November 2006 | Show parent
  #18
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Ben F's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Each compressor has it's own sound, some put the kick/bass into focus, others give more focus in the midrange, some are better in stereo and some in M/S. A touch of each will nicely pull together a track without the undesirable affects of using too much gain reduction of a single compressor.

Use as many as you need to get the sound you are after- I generally use an optical followed by a vari-mu, with only 0.5-1dB gain reduction tops.
Old 18th November 2006 | Show parent
  #19
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tmcconnell's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
RND

Roger Nichols Designs has a compressor I acquired recently with 4 in series, and the concept is that each level of gain can have its own control. The impact is remarkable. It also has a limiter. The amazing thing with this compressor is you never get a worm with a haircut (unless you want that). I'd seriously suggest any mastering person check this out - its a great concept, and can make tough problems simple. It gets rid of a lot of common problems such as hat getting limited and bad stuff floating to the surface. For rock mixes it blows the L2 away imo. It did generate a strange artifact recently, some strange function of the program material - but, man, this is a powerful tool - and the idea is exactly stacking of compressors. ted
Old 19th November 2006 | Show parent
  #20
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donsolo's Avatar
I know it's not a great comp but the C1 actually kinda does this already (if it actually does to audio what it visually represents...)

The point where the threshold is passed and the signal is reduced is rounded by the c1, and my understanding (after diagraming it over and over in my head) is that's the effect you're looking for. At the onset of the compressor, it's less obvious and you can get away with a LOT more compression if the onset isn't so obvious.

That being said I just did a master and I actually used two different limiters along with a compressor (I did a pretty hot limit on the M) and then after I decoded it, I strapped another across the whole thing. That came out really hot and not too pump-y. Def not Bob's kinda sound and I'm def giving into the loudness war that the client wanted. It needed a bunch of work IMHO to get from what he was giving me and the bands he referenced. But the mix was good Except the vocals were a little....light...is the only way to put it. Not TOO quiet (enough to make me bring out the mono channel) but it didn't have a lot of low-end meat a metal male-vocal should have from what I have listened to. Hense all the M-S, trying to get the vocal to pop just a touch more...

But hey, first mastering gig, who can complain?

Oh wait, does that mean everything I just said is invalid based on my lack of experience?
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