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Compression while tracking
Old 4th July 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Compression while tracking

Hi Jens!!

thanks for doing this

I have a couple of questions about your philosophy/workflow of using compression during tracking for these harder (and mostly faster) genres of rock/metal.

-Do you have favourite tracking compressors for different parts of the drumkit?
-Are there pieces of the drumkit that you compress harder than others in this tracking stage?
-How do you deal with changes like going from blastbeats/fast double kicks to "regular" slower beats?

-Do you like to compress bass in the way in? How hard do you compress it at this stage?

-How do you balance the benefits to the sound/consistency to the "changes" in the digital waveforms or bleed that could potentially make editing much more difficult?


Once again thanks!!
Old 8th July 2020
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Zeronaut ➡️
-Do you have favourite tracking compressors for different parts of the drumkit?
-Are there pieces of the drumkit that you compress harder than others in this tracking stage?
Cheers man!

I tend to go easy on compressors while tracking drums, but I sometimes track with a touch of 1176 on the snare, and maybe dBx 160 on the kick. I may also use some SSL compressor (also dBx) from our SSL 4K G console. I also tend to like the Drawmer 1960 (both as pre and compressor) on room mics. I do however clip or distort quite a few elements in preamps or in the console: usually one of the room mic pairs, and sometimes the overheads. I love the sound of a slightly distorted overhead, where the snare is tucked away nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Zeronaut ➡️
- How do you deal with changes like going from blastbeats/fast double kicks to "regular" slower beats?
-Do you like to compress bass in the way in? How hard do you compress it at this stage?
While tracking, I don't change anything within the song on drums usually, unless it's a completely different part. Then I might change snare and/or ride. While mixing, I tend to automate EQ on the kick drum channels to clear out some sub/low end on fast kick parts. For the snare, I might automate EQ and volume, or create new channels that I treat differently for e.g. blast beats.

Bass compression will depend on the level of distortion. I usually record bass through an LA2A, LA3, or something faster like a Distressor. Hardware 1176 will usually take out too much low end, but some plugin 1176's will work on bass while mixing. I always balance the compression level to what's played, and for the notes to be even. Too much compression can make low notes go away too much. Manipulating the side chain is common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Zeronaut ➡️
How do you balance the benefits to the sound/consistency to the "changes" in the digital waveforms or bleed that could potentially make editing much more difficult?
If you refer to changes done by compression, it's not an issue. For anything guitar/bass oriented, I parallel track a clean Di. On distorted overheads it's worse, and sometimes I need to use the (excellent) scrub feature in Pro Tools to find the transients.
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