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I'm not compressing drums anymore...
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #31
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I've been not compressing room mics lately. The room is live. It makes the kit much more open sounding.. I distorted and compressed the front of kit to disk today. Really dug the sound of that.
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #32
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Nu-tra's Avatar
I see Felix!
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #33
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Eide's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier

this is a pretty cool avatar on it's own actually. maybe you have to change to this one now 84k?




...
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #34
84K
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eide
this is a pretty cool avatar on it's own actually. maybe you have to change to this one now 84k?




...

I do think it is getting close to that. Now I am even seeing Felix when I look at the original Bond poster in my bedroom. You guys are killin me!
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #35
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Are you guys serious with this "you always need to compress drums in digital" business? How about um, now this is going to sound crazy, but how about LISTENING to you drums. If you're tracking, how about picking mics and mic positions that give you the sound you want? The stuff I'm mixing now actually has a really good drummer on it, and I've found that if I even TRY to compress the drums, it just makes the sound get smaller. They sound open and big and like...well...like drums without compression. I do have a little bit of paralell compression going on to allow me to not round the **** out of everything, but have a sound with some oomph. I do see where you're coming from on wanting some compression if it's rock, but there's really no need to automatically assume that you'll need to compress or limit just because it's digital. I don't get that. There's such a high amount of useable dynamic range with digital gear, I can't see why you'd compress stuff unless it needed it. Honestly, I have been leaning toward writing automation as opposed to compression. Achieves the same result, but sounds way better.
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #36
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DaveSullivan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
clips - not so bad after all?

I have found a trick that seems to work with drums. I'm the guy who has stared at the meter with eyes popping for years and years, dreading the clip on the one side and the fans and lights and noise floor on the other. (I do mostly live stuff.)

Recently, I let the levels redline all night just to see what would happen. This tended to be the snare, but occasionally a tom would clip out, even on a roll with soft mallets. I found that even in repeated OdB violations, I could not hear the clip. I wound up with very nice sounding drums and percussion with a big dynamic range.

Does anyone else do this? Is this going to bite me in the ass later on?
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #37
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softwareguy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Clips not so bad?

IMHO, it's gear specific. If you have very high quality gear of certain types, eg, neve, trident or API, it's not just allowed it's an actual recording technique. Other gear starts to sound really bad really quickly. As far as I can tell it is all dependent upon how much headroom the circuits have after 0dbu (sometimes a surprisingly large amount) and whether things sound good or not once that headroom is gone. Only you can decide whether your signal is being "enhanced" or "degraded" and at what point that starts happening. I would recommend running the gear "too" hot on a few sources in a test situation so you can hear what it sounds like once the headroom is definitely gone, decide whether that sound is useful, and listen for that sound as it slowly enters your signal at lower dbu's. Then you have creative control over the process.

Last edited by softwareguy; 6th June 2006 at 10:23 PM.. Reason: needs title for reference
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #38
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DaveSullivan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
This is digital clipping while tracking to hard disk. I can't hear it at all - the clip is so short it is buried in the attack of the instrument.

My main worry is that ugly sound will somehow show up later, after bouncing a few times, or with post-applied compression, etc.
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #39
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Clipping is a valid approach for limiting drums - can be less damaging than actual limiting. But I think it's best to leave that decision to mix time - in other words, I wouldn't suggest clipping while tracking. There's no need for it.

I use Voxengo Elephant for limiting drums, and that has a clipping mode which can often sound the best on drums - but I like to make that decision, not leave it to chance.

Distortion/saturation effects can be just as effective instead.
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
  #40
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Are you guys serious with this "you always need to compress drums in digital" business?
Digital can't handle peak overload. You either have to use limiters, or play it safe and record weak signals. It's the way it is.
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #41
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DaveSullivan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
clipping

just to be clear: this is classical percussion. Colouration or distortion of audio is the enemy here. I guess what I am asking is, if you can't hear the clip, does it really matter if there is clipping? (you can see the clip in the waveform editor, but it is too fast to be audible.)

Thanks
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #42
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Eide's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K
I do think it is getting close to that. Now I am even seeing Felix when I look at the original Bond poster in my bedroom. You guys are killin me!
I have gotta be the worst photoshopper on this forum, but I thought that someone outta do a little comp of the two cats... (Got nothing to do with clipping converters though )



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Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #43
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier
Digital can't handle peak overload. You either have to use limiters, or play it safe and record weak signals. It's the way it is.
What do you mean weak signals? I'm certainly not one who buys in to the whole "you've got to run it as hot as possible to utilize all the bits." That's a load of crap. You're ALWAYS utilizing all the bits. The noise floor of your analog side is going to play far more a role in determining the "equivalent bit-depth" of your tracks (i.e., where the noise floor actually lies). Further, running things so close to clipping means you're probably pushing the analog components in your converters to the edge of their performance envelope, resulting in even worse sound. If it's an occasional clip, I tend not to get too worried and just ride the gain down while rolling if I feel I need a little more safety margin

If I can see meter deflection, I relax - you know it's getting there, and if it needs gain, you can add it later. I strive to get decent levels to the recording medium, for sure, but decent does NOT equate with no headroom. Leaving headroom is my preference. Of course, I also mix post, where rather than slam everything up against zero, we recalibrate things to -20 so we've got TONS of headroom. Know what? It sounds clean as hell.

Especially if you're tracking live, why would you not leave yourself some headroom?
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #44
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DaveSullivan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
MAProTulz,

Could you elaborate on recalibrating in post for increased headroom? I am never one to push levels while tracking, especially for classical recordings. Usually I err on the low side. (the redline story was an anomaly.)

However, as I don't have great preamps/converters, I have to worry about the noise floor in all but a silent space. Bringing up the level in post almost always results in an unsatifactory noise floor for classical recordings.
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
  #45
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Well, with post, we calibrate 0VU to be -20dBFS. That gives you a LOT of headroom. With classical, the dynamic range is quite large, so you do need some decent preamps. Are you doing 2-track classical, or are you doing a more elaborate setup with spot mics? If 2-track, what some classical guys used to do was run a multitrack and mult the inputs to 4 tracks. Two stay uncompressed and are adjusted so that peaks don't cause distortion. The other two have a hotter level for quiet passages, and a compressor that's sidechained off the uncompressed channels. This creates an automatic gain ride between the two sets of stereo tracks so that when things are loud, you're not hearing any compression, but the "loud channels" are also not distorting the crap out of the tape. It's a pretty slick "ducking" setup, basically. I suppose if you were even more brave, you could just do it with console channels and send your mix bus to two track.
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