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Tracking with Compressor why??
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian ➡️
I don't know anyone using a limiter when tracking. Using a compressor when tracking is different and pretty normal when you have it set to a low ratio (i.e. 2:1 or 4:1) with the threshold set to just shave off any peaks that might come through. Generally the needle doesn't move much when tracking. It's more for smoothing.
Isn't that limiting?
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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🎧 15 years
It makes plug in compression work a little less hard during mixing. Taking 1-2db off on the way in is a good thing I think.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #33
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I try to limit my use of compression, and try to play it like it should sound (within the limits of my chops), and use volume and gain automation to good effect. But, every time this comes up, I always have to throw in that in some cases compression has nothing to do with reducing dynamic range it has to do with increasing the perceived dynamic range, or with reshaping the envelope of a sound in a way that doesn't affect the attack.

Such as a compressor with a relatively longish attack and for something like a funky guitar part. The attack may be well long enough to let the full peak range of the part through, then pull down on what comes after it. It can increase the thickness and funk factor of the part.

If the player is good, he can play that compressor as part of his instrument, something that would not be possible to do after the fact in the same sort of way. Or a vocalist who knows who to work the compressor as well to push it at the right places and thicken up the part.

And with drums you may let the full attack through and pull down on the after-ring, which doesn't limit dynamic range, it increases apparent dynamic range. You could do that after the fact, but if you know you don't want the ring, or want it reduced, why not do it on the way in if you have the toys to do it, and get a little hardware transformer/tube mojo on the way in?

So there's compression and there's compression, and never the twain shall meet. You have to always be kind of specific as to what type of compression you are talking about.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #34
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robot gigante's Avatar
 
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Worse, I RIDE vocals into a limiter (1176 or LA) WHILE tracking! The horror!

No way THAT could ever sound good, oh no noes!
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #35
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A LaMere's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante ➡️
Worse, I RIDE vocals into a limiter (1176 or LA) WHILE tracking! The horror!

No way THAT could ever sound good, oh no noes!
hahaha...
I submit again:

4. F it... you only live once!! (unless your a cat I guess.... in which case, please revert to one of the first 3 as your reasoning)
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #36
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by insomnio ➡️
With all due respect, I want to hear some Pop/Rock tune mixed with no compression. I wish also to know how many singers sound great with no compressors in their signal.

I think that theoretically you are very right, but it doesn't apply to 90% of what most engineers have to work with.
look up some of Bruce Swedens posts, very informative

these no real right or wrong on this, different things work for different people its only the results that are important.
Old 28th January 2009
  #37
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carlheinz's Avatar
 
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Because the Beatles did it.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #38
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opentune's Avatar
 
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Sometimes i had "finished" tracks when using a compressor on the way in.
Then i could use the compressor for a different track during mixdown.

But that requires lots of expirience... i´m still learning how to use a compressor.
So sometimes i have to re-record a track because of my inability to use
a compressor "on the way in".

Probably i´ll get banned from this site for this confession....
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #39
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
jeez.. sounds like people have compression habits..
6:1 is your go to??
I track w/o compression
If I could afford an API or Purple, I'd definitely use it to build up the pressure when the time was right

In the end, if a singer/player has bad dynamics, the end product will be short of good. It's kinda funny that compressors are used to tame bad musicians

compressor =
Old 28th January 2009
  #40
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Rednose's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, just tap it to tape (DAW) and you will be sweet.
Then you can add more later.
ITB comps are ok on vocals, not like the real deal!
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #41
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quantumpsych's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by insomnio ➡️
With all due respect, I want to hear some Pop/Rock tune mixed with no compression.
i for one do not. only in a live scenario would that make sense, with all due respect.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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Aisle 6's Avatar
 
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I think all replies to the original post are valid. However most of the responses only refer to dynamic (level) control. Which is what a comp/limiter is built for. But the beautiful side effects are tonal shift, energy shift and a bunch of other detail revealed with a raised RMS level. The question is as simple as who would reach for an EQ on the way in. The right choice of comp for the right voice not only adds control, but colour and texture and in my experience a less destructive device than EQ on many occasions.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #43
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian ➡️
I think people responding here need to consider the obvious reality that the OP is someone who is most likely just starting out and has questions. Just because something is termed a "limiter" and not a "compressor" doesn't really address the initial question (at least the way I read it).

--------------------------------
From WikiPedia

Compression and limiting are no different in process, just in degree and in the perceived effect. A limiter is a compressor with a higher ratio, and generally a fast attack time. Most engineers consider a ratio of 10:1 or more as limiting, although there are no set rules. Engineers sometimes refer to soft and hard limiting which are differences of degree. The "harder" a limiter, the higher its ratio and the faster its attack and release times.

Brick wall limiting has a very high ratio and a very fast attack time. Ideally, this ensures that an audio signal never exceeds the amplitude of the threshold. Ratios of 20:1 all the way up to ∞:1 are considered to be 'brick wall'. The sonic results of more than momentary and infrequent hard/brick-wall limiting are usually characterized as harsh and unpleasant; thus it is more appropriate as a safety device in live sound and broadcast applications than as a sound-sculpting tool.
--------------------------------

Until you get into 10:1, 15:1, 20:1, etc. you are really compressing, not limiting. For those of you that are actually limiting on the way in, I would definitely say you are in the minority. For those of you compressing on the way in, I would guess you're doing so, using the tool of your choice (whether that is named a limiter, limiting amplifier, compressor, etc.) at ratios of no more than 4:1 to shave off the peaks. Personally for vocals I use a Purple MC77 so I guess that would be a "limiting amplifier", however it's set to a ratio of 4:1 and thus I am "compressing"

Unless a limiter set to a high ratio is a characteristic of the sound design, why on earth would you want to smash the hell out of a part on the way in and commit yourself to capturing the part without regard for the mixing stage and what might present itself later?

A reasonable question was asked here and some reasonable answers were given. To the rest of the responders, perhaps we should try to respond with some educated answers to help the OP and the other readers on the forum instead of complaining that a piece of gear is called a limiter even though it's being used at a lower ratio.
I disagree. A Distressor set to Nuke and the slowest attack is not limiting.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #44
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian ➡️
I don't know anyone using a limiter when tracking. Using a compressor when tracking is different and pretty normal when you have it set to a low ratio (i.e. 2:1 or 4:1) with the threshold set to just shave off any peaks that might come through. Generally the needle doesn't move much when tracking. It's more for smoothing.
2:1, 4:1 thumbsup but not when tracking some pop/rock vocal choruses which can need a pretty heavy amount of compression not only to take peaks but also to sound more rock vocal like. damn, it would be pain to track/sing vocals without heavier compression on them.

I like to get a more finished sound which is as close as possible to the final sound but still some room left to tweak. Hi-end outboard compressors are way better than plugins. I like to use nice tracking comps but add ITB comps later.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #45
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by insomnio ➡️
With all due respect, I want to hear some Pop/Rock tune mixed with no compression. I wish also to know how many singers sound great with no compressors in their signal.
I think there are definately singers who sound great but in certain styles they just can't compare to compressed sound. In some form or another this has also something to do with the loudness war.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #46
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Quote:
jeez.. sounds like people have compression habits.. 6:1 is your go to??
Well, to be fair, that doesn't mean you are actually doing much compression necessarily. It just means that, once you do hit the threshold then it's going to clamp down fairly hard. If you aren't hiting the threshold 95% of the time, or only barely hitting it for 100% of the song, it's not like that's a lot of compression.

And if it's just to knock down an initial sharp attack, but releasing quickly, it might not actually be doing all that much either. You might be getting rid of pick attack, but not really affecting the body of the sound at all, for instance.

Not saying they are doing those things, they might be squashing the bejeebers out of everything. But there's no relationship between ratio and amount of compression, only between threshold vs. level of the signal. It can be 2:0 but if you are way over the threshold, that's a lot of compression.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumpsych ➡️
i for one do not. only in a live scenario would that make sense, with all due respect.
You don't like Bruce Swedien's mixes? I do!
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #48
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CJdeVillar's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I never track compression on anything.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #49
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I track with compression (and EQ) because:

- nearly all hardware sounds better reacting to a live pre/line than a recorded signal (not sure why but it does)

- 2 x 2:1 compression sounds better than 1 x 4:1 (not exact figures but I hope you get the point).

- I'd sooner record the sounds I want straight off the bat rather than try to "craft" them later

- It's easier to track to (for everyone) if it sounds like you want it to already.

- It's what I've always done (not a great argument but it works for me).
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #50
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hectc7 ➡️

So if ALBINI is reading this USE SOME COMPRESSION you stubborn man!! you ruined the new THE WEDDING PRESENT album !!!!!

tuttyeah I went there
HAHA! I always hated his work with them for this reason. The part of Bizzarro that he did sounds just awful compared to the rest of that record. I did like Seamonsters, though.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #51
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CJdeVillar's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i really don't like mixing drums that have been compressed. Acoustic gtrs are always over compressed it seems. Vocals are usually over-done too. Attacks too fast, releases to slow. It would be best for the aspiring to keep them off the front end like many pro's do. Just record the real sound.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #52
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB ➡️
I

- I'd sooner record the sounds I want straight off the bat rather than try to "craft" them later

- It's easier to track to (for everyone) if it sounds like you want it to already.
I couldn't have said it any better!
This are exactly my two main reasons!
Why try crafting something afterwards when you already can record it the way it should sound. Leave some headroom and that's the way to go.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #53
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🎧 15 years
There are two good reasons to use a comp during the tracking phase:

1) Because you already have a good idea of where things will be heading during mix, and wish to pre-sculpt towards that end.

2) You are dealing with a large and unpredictable dynamic range, and don't want to spend the next two hours trying to recapture "the keeper"...which would have been perfect, had its unpredictable dynamicism not pegged your converters in the red at a crucial part of the take.

If you have the time for art, then maybe you can get a sense of a singer's dynamics during different parts of a song and ride the gain. If, on the other hand, you don't have time to get a bead on the performance levels, but want to to make sure that any take can be the keeper, a compressor (or limiter) can be your best friend on the way in.
Old 18th April 2009 | Show parent
  #54
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gutr2's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I only track vocals with a compressor to add its color to the sound (maximum 2-3db of GR), or if I have a specific thing I'm trying to achieve with compression. The Purple MC77 brings up more of the mid range tone, the UA 1176LN brings a "smile" to the picture, the TT CL1B, just sheer warmth and bigness.

Otherwise I see no point of committing to compression this early.
Hot levels to digital recorder? That's BS, in the digital 24bit world, there's no need for this.

I ALWAYS compress in mixdown though.
Old 18th April 2009 | Show parent
  #55
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead ➡️
I typically use compression followed by a limiter, the limiter is more of an "oops" style but still...a good limiter will sound way better than clipping when a crap singer with no dynamic range control can't keep it in check.

War
I do it the other way around.... I use a limiter with a high threshold... so it only grabs a db on the loudest sections... so the compressor does not work as hard on these sections.
Old 24th June 2010 | Show parent
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peacock ➡️
I never track with a compressor. I also try my best not to use it in mixing as well. The more you compress the worse the sound becomes.

Most are addicted to compression because it increases perceived volume. The increased perception of volume is mistaken for better sound.
I think many voices and instruments sound fatter and better with some compression, and not just because it makes them louder. It's because it can bring out the more subtle details and smooth things out. When used correctly it's a sound enhancer and not a destroyer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peacock ➡️

However, the perceived loudness also imparts a side effect by sacrificing the sound and natural dynamics.
I agree that there is a tendency to compress too much these days, but using compression does not always sound less "natural". Compressors were originally designed to make the dynamics sound MORE natural since people are not accustomed to listening to singers from 6 inches way from their face, or putting their ears 3 inches from a snare drum. When you are that close to a source the dynamics are much more exaggerated, so a compressor can help a close-miked source have more natural dynamics that are easier on the ear.
Old 24th June 2010 | Show parent
  #57
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alkooloid's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
No one's mentioned tone. The different smells I achieve with compression is key for me - I have super nice LA style compression and I have very bad compressors that totally destroy the sound, and they're both valid for me.
Throwing up a Shure tapedeck mic into some old tube tapedeck front end and then into an Alesis Micro-Limiter next to a beautiful tube mic for vocals is genius because then you have options to do something pretty well impossible to do in the box when mixing. Not that I do it all the time - but I usually have at least one room mic that's in terrible pain as it goes through the SE30 or Fostex MN-50 or DynaMite or something. Being able to create New York compression (parallel) with sources just makes sense to me. I would never go into any of this on a string section for a beautiful ballad, but someone said Beatles? After a certain point in their career, compression was their sound, and I effing love it. Never gets old for me - The Rain Song is SICK! It's a matter of taste, not dogma.
Old 24th June 2010 | Show parent
  #58
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No Speak English's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Muy Malo, No Bueno, Nunca, No se puede, Por que? no me gusta !! Stupides !!
hahaha una vez y no me gusto
Old 24th June 2010 | Show parent
  #59
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Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante ➡️
You don't like Bruce Swedien's mixes? I do!
If you really think there is no compression on those michael jackson records I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Thriller was mastered for vinyl.
and Peacock, maybe for YOU compression makes the sounds worse, but maybe not for the rest of the world
Old 24th June 2010
  #60
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solidwalnut's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hectc7 ➡️
Why is it that engineers use a limiter on vocals before hand and then afterwards...why don't they just do it afterwards...what is the benifit?
As you can see, the uses and 'rules' of use vary greatly. As is usual, it's not about the arrow, it's about the Indian and how the Indian can be best served for the final product.
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