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Compressing going in.
Old 6th February 2009
  #1
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Compressing going in.

Besides kicks,bass and vox what other things are common to compress coming in? Brass,electric guitar,piano?
Old 6th February 2009
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy ➑️
Besides kicks,bass and vox what other things are common to compress coming in? Brass,electric guitar,piano?
I like to compress drums in parallel and record the buss to tape.

I like to use two microphones on a vocal, and compress the squat out of the quasi room microphone.

I like to compress anything that needs compression. My advice: you'd better record the sound you want in the end, if you want to make life easier. It all depends on the density of the mix and the context of the sound you are recording. Of course, you can ALWAYS do this stuff later, but Recording is about making choices and decisions and living with those choices and decisions for a lifetime.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Protools Guy's Avatar
 
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Acoustic guitar, clean electric guitar

sometimes dirty electric guitars, but not always...
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
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How urgent is it to compress a vocal going in? and how many db of compression do you guys look for?

I have a really loud voice, and not much control in my upper register, so I am finding I blow the mess out of the recording when I get to bigger parts of the song....obviously, no amount of ITB compressing is going to help if you have a poor incoming signal....
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raincrow ➑️
How urgent is it to compress a vocal going in? and how many db of compression do you guys look for?

I have a really loud voice, and not much control in my upper register, so I am finding I blow the mess out of the recording when I get to bigger parts of the song....obviously, no amount of ITB compressing is going to help if you have a poor incoming signal....
Short answer; it depends

Long answer; it really depends
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raincrow ➑️
How urgent is it to compress a vocal going in? and how many db of compression do you guys look for?

I have a really loud voice, and not much control in my upper register, so I am finding I blow the mess out of the recording when I get to bigger parts of the song....obviously, no amount of ITB compressing is going to help if you have a poor incoming signal....
An advantage to compressing on the way in is that the singer can react to the compression, adapting the performance to the sound of the recording chain. Ditto bass or any other instrument.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
on a vocal, 4-8db of fast el-op limiting is my preferred approach.

if i'm not tracking to tape, everything gets some kind of compression on the way in. hell, even when i *am* tracking to tape, everything gets some kind of compression on the way in.


gregory scott - 'ubk'
.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell ➑️
I like to compress drums in parallel and record the buss to tape.

I like to use two microphones on a vocal, and compress the squat out of the quasi room microphone.

I like to compress anything that needs compression. My advice: you'd better record the sound you want in the end, if you want to make life easier. It all depends on the density of the mix and the context of the sound you are recording. Of course, you can ALWAYS do this stuff later, but Recording is about making choices and decisions and living with those choices and decisions for a lifetime.

I love that....
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Pat
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Compressing pauses to get more punch between the tracks
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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I compress just about everything on the way in with few exceptions. The amount is what differs mostly between sources.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raincrow ➑️
How urgent is it to compress a vocal going in? and how many db of compression do you guys look for?
Not urgent at all.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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skiroy's Avatar
 
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I have a good idea of what pumpnig a compressor is but cna you guys give and example of when this effect would be desirable?
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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I never compress anything going to track anymore, except for vocals, and that's mainly just to guard against overs. Vox are the hardest to replicate a great take for, so I don't want to lose even a single sample to a technical issue. With everything else, it seems there's always enough dicking-around-time to make sure your levels are fine - and by "dicking-around-time" I mean when the players are jamming out, getting warmed up, etc.

If I was still working with tape, I'd definitely compress to track on LOTS of sources, but I guess I really don't see the need to do so in the 24-bit digi-world.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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its not really necessary, though it can sometimes it can achieve the results you may be looking for. sometimes i use a dbx on the way in with scream vocalists. keeps it steady.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy ➑️
I have a good idea of what pumpnig a compressor is but cna you guys give and example of when this effect would be desirable?
Hip Hop Vocal Pauses [as eluded to earlier] between words, will trigger strange, and sound a certain way. A lot of people describe this as "breathy". The Compressor is just bringing up the low level detail, and awkwardly enveloping the sound. Its pretty cool. I dunno. In the time domain [onslaught of compression and release of compression] you can do some pretty cool sh#t with compressors, but it depends how you look at them, as effects, or tools or volume and dynamic range controllers, or signal processors. Whatever they are, they rule on the way to tape in my opinion. I need them for the stuff I do. I can totally appreciate it when Peacock says he needs no compression though. It's the style of his music, and his personal aesthetic that dictates that.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy ➑️
I have a good idea of what pumpnig a compressor is but cna you guys give and example of when this effect would be desirable?
bump

But thankx guys.Would you compress brass?

And the pumping question.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy ➑️
bump

But thankx guys.Would you compress brass?

And the pumping question.
I personally would not compress brass, unless it was one of those situations where it was a solo brass part and the guy was impatient, or there was a certain vibe of immediacy, and I didn't want to spend very much time at all on level-checking - I'd ballpark it & compress/limit to maintain the flow without worrying about overs - same as any solo track, brass, vox, guitar solo, whatever. That's just me and that's the way I work, as i feel it's important to maintain the vibe & flow of the session, and that the musicians shouldn't have to wait too long on any technical issues (actually, that's not "just" me, that's the way a lot of people operate).

If it's a brass ensemble part, there's usually enough time while the players are running through their parts, and you're getting their headphone mixes set up for them, etc, that you can check levels more accurately, and as such, there's no real need for compression, in my view anyway. I'd rather have the full dynamic range to work with, and then if any compression is needed in the mix, do it there.

As for "pumping" - are you saying that you don't know what this means, per se'? If so, then take a kick drum track... uncompressed, it might go: "boom, boom, boom...!", but overly-compressed, to the point of audible "pumping", it might go: "Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk)," - does that make sense?
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDawg ➑️
As for "pumping" - are you saying that you don't know what this means, per se'? If so, then take a kick drum track... uncompressed, it might go: "boom, boom, boom...!", but overly-compressed, to the point of audible "pumping", it might go: "Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk)," - does that make sense?
Perfect Sense!!!
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDawg ➑️
I personally would not compress brass, unless it was one of those situations where it was a solo brass part and the guy was impatient, or there was a certain vibe of immediacy, and I didn't want to spend very much time at all on level-checking - I'd ballpark it & compress/limit to maintain the flow without worrying about overs - same as any solo track, brass, vox, guitar solo, whatever. That's just me and that's the way I work, as i feel it's important to maintain the vibe & flow of the session, and that the musicians shouldn't have to wait too long on any technical issues (actually, that's not "just" me, that's the way a lot of people operate).

If it's a brass ensemble part, there's usually enough time while the players are running through their parts, and you're getting their headphone mixes set up for them, etc, that you can check levels more accurately, and as such, there's no real need for compression, in my view anyway. I'd rather have the full dynamic range to work with, and then if any compression is needed in the mix, do it there.

As for "pumping" - are you saying that you don't know what this means, per se'? If so, then take a kick drum track... uncompressed, it might go: "boom, boom, boom...!", but overly-compressed, to the point of audible "pumping", it might go: "Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk), Foom(shhhcuk)," - does that make sense?
Is it that it is overly compressed or does it have to do with the attack and release settings?I thought it was the latter.Im asking about pumping because I always thought it was a bad thing do to wrongly set attack and release but I have read some saying to intentionally create a pumping compressor for a certain effect.I was wondering what situation would you ever want to do this?
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy ➑️
Is it that it is overly compressed or does it have to do with the attack and release settings?I thought it was the latter.Im asking about pumping because I always thought it was a bad thing do to wrongly set attack and release but I have read some saying to intentionally create a pumping compressor for a certain effect.I was wondering what situation would you ever want to do this?

It could be a result of various settings, sure. Some compressors might not be fast enough to respond once you start smashing down beyond a certain level, though, so in some cases, no matter how you adjust those settings you can still get pumping/breathing going on. And when I say they're not fast enough, it doesn't necessarily mean they're "deficient", either... different types of comps (Opto/Vari-Mu/FET/VCA) simply have different characteristics that may make them perfect for one application, but not so hot for another.

As for when you'd WANT to get that pumping going on - I can give you an example that you can probably hear within just a few minutes of turning on your local modern rock radio station... listen to the OH's for those occasions when the drummer starts just living on the crashes on the quarter-notes, most frequently it's going to be during intro's, bridge sections, choruses... it's relatively common to hear that kind of compression these days on OH's or sometimes across a whole drum submix, so that kind of sound is indeed being used intentionally on some stuff, and the radio station's own compression across their signal chain usually makes it stand out even a little more.
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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How many of you guys would compress your drum mics GOING IN and which ones?

Try to figure out how many compressors I need to buy for going in. I can can always compress in the Daw after.
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy ➑️
How many of you guys would compress your drum mics GOING IN and which ones?

Try to figure out how many compressors I need to buy for going in. I can can always compress in the Daw after.
Acoustic Drums = Move the mic or record the comp in parallel on another track next to the dry.

Of course its fun to smash room tracks; but I like compressing Kick/Snare drums if I need to. I really don't have time to set comp's correctly for these instruments [multi-mike] and I know I can properly do it later. Always move the mic, change the preamp, tune the drum, [and not necessarily in that order] before you put a compressor on a drum. Drums RING [you can't add ring and depth....well, maybe you gain artificially] SO RECORD MORE THAN YOU NEED!!! Transient designers often break my rule about tracking drums with compression because they don't allow you to screw up the track. They rule for tightening up drums when using API preamps, for me anyway.

Electronic Drums = Whattya got in the rack?
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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skiroy's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell ➑️
Acoustic Drums = Move the mic or record the comp in parallel on another track next to the dry.

Of course its fun to smash room tracks; but I like compressing Kick/Snare drums if I need to. I really don't have time to set comp's correctly for these instruments [multi-mike] and I know I can properly do it later. Always move the mic, change the preamp, tune the drum, [and not necessarily in that order] before you put a compressor on a drum. Drums RING [you can't add ring and depth....well, maybe you gain artificially] SO RECORD MORE THAN YOU NEED!!! Transient designers often break my rule about tracking drums with compression because they don't allow you to screw up the track. They rule for tightening up drums when using API preamps, for me anyway.

Electronic Drums = Whattya got in the rack?
I can parralell compress in the Daw,so your saying dont need to compress going in but if you were going to mabye the kick and snare?Never overheads?

If you were going to comp the kick would it just be the beater and not the Sub kick?

Lastly is it not a good idea to use different pres on the drum?I want to have 2 Api 512c,2 NR 500nv,1 summit, and 1 Pacifica for a variety of pres. But that would mean using multiple pres on the drum mics. Is this a bad idea?Should the pre be consistent throughout the kit?
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 15 years
I compress on the way in as needed...
It REALLY depends on the musician....sometimes no compression is needed, sometimes like the current punk band I am recording, I daisy chain 2 compressors on the way in.
I have to, the singers volume fluxuates so much, I really need 2 for this dude.
It sounds right...without it, it just doesn't sit in the mix right.

I have pre compressed pretty heavy, diving 15 db or more in the hot spots with great results on fiddle, and flute using a Drawmer 1960.

Of course the goal is usually to avoid pre compression, but some times you need it
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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skiroy's Avatar
 
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If I was tracking a piano in stereo and compressing coming in would it not be good to use two different compressors?Should they be matched?
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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larry b's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy ➑️
I have a good idea of what pumpnig a compressor is but cna you guys give and example of when this effect would be desirable?

I can think of a great one!

In house music, techo, and other forms of dance music it is quite popular to key (sidechain) a compressor on the bass with the kick drum and hit it hard. We're talking on the order of 10-15dB of gain reduction, sometimes more. Not only does this place the kick drum squarely at the front and center of the mix (very important on the dancefloor), but it can also lead to creative basslines that wouldnt be possible otherwise. I do a fair amount of house music for several clients, and for example, we might create a bassline with solid whole notes or half notes which then get keyed by the compressor creating quarter notes that swell beautifully in between the kick hits. In a way, the bass compressor is really just "pumping" massively....
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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I compress kick, snare, toms, OHs, rooms, bass, guitars, pianos, strings, vox, ummm....errrr...pretty much whatever needs it. Especially when I'm going to tape.
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 10 years
what about synths?
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raincrow ➑️
How urgent is it to compress a vocal going in? and how many db of compression do you guys look for?

I have a really loud voice, and not much control in my upper register, so I am finding I blow the mess out of the recording when I get to bigger parts of the song....obviously, no amount of ITB compressing is going to help if you have a poor incoming signal....
Here's a terrible answer but true: as many dB as possible without affecting the dynamics.

Or I'll give you the correct answer to and an all audios questions that can ever be asked.... It depends.


Here's the flaw with your question. Let say we share the same taste in a final vocal sound and level - how and where it sits in the mix. If I'm recording a Nirvana dynamic vocal - quiet in the verse and loud in the chorus, the amount of compression I'll need will be different than what you need on your Celine Dion ballad - who probably single much closer to the final dynamic.

IF you look a compression as a corrective tool to make a singers dynamic range what it should have been as opposed to what wast performed, the number of dB of compression you'll need will vary by however away they were form optimal.

While the Celine vocal may vary 5-8 dB and the Nirvanna vocal may vary by 20dB, the latter may need more compression - for instance if you anted the final range to be about 3dB wide.

On the other hand, if the music is changing by 20dB in the Nirvana style track, you may want to leave uncompressed and if the Celine track is one dynamic all the way through, you may want the vocal to have zero dynamic range.


So, back to my original answer. I like to have as much as possible, but never hear the vocal start to get loud as it should and then crash in to a ceiling that's too low where you can hear it get smaller when it should get bigger.


My advice to you would be to get a friend to do you a favor and sing 6 takes of a song. Do two takes at three different compression levels.

First where you're seeing 10 dB or more of gain reduction - use the fastest attack and fastest release.

Then track two shooting for 3dB, same attack and release.

Then track two with no compression.

Then go back and comp all of the pairs of tracks. It's important that you do this and work with them as you would if this was a real project, because it will put you in a specific type of critical listening mindset. Start with either the first or last pair and end with the middle pair. Then listen to all three comps.


You won't come away with a magic number, but you will hear the flaws in all three options. The secret to getting good compression is to learn to hear bad compression. Certain types of bad compression are really easy to miss. Once you learn to elimiat that, you're set.
Old 19th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy ➑️
How many of you guys would compress your drum mics GOING IN and which ones?

Try to figure out how many compressors I need to buy for going in. I can can always compress in the Daw after.
I usually don't compress the close mics going in, but will compression everything else from a little to two TG-1s in series.

There are times where I compress kick and snare, or maybe the bottom snare mic only, but a lot of the time it's for envelope shaping which can be done with the transient designer, in some cases more effectively.
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