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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:17 am 
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many of the greatest compressors worked this way. some were optical, using a light and sensor as the detection circuilt. others like the dBx "over easy" compressors, used an electronic circuit to raise compression as the level increased.

the way you use it is that you hit it as hard as needed to get the effect that you want(raise the input until you like the way it acts). then you add make up gain to return the level to the level of the bypassed signal. more input=more compression and longer release times. in fact, this is the generally "correct" way to use a compressor. get the action you want and then match the general level to the level of the bypassed signal. to get effects like pumping or ducking, you can raise the loudness level above the origianl source or below the level of the origianl source. the idea is to reduce the difference between the loudest and quietest sounds in a recording. this is because live sound has a dynamic range(the difference between the loudest and quietest sounds that are made) of about 140db. at best the speakers and stereos most people listen to can reproduce 90db dynamic range. what that means is that with very dynamic material, quietest sounds dissapear or if the quietest sounds are hearable, the loud sounds are totally distorted. in a mix, quiet parts of a performance might get drowned by less dynamic parts.

by limiting or compressing a track, it is possible to raise it's overall level without raising the peak, since the difference between the loudest and quietest sounds is reduced. if the quiet sounds are at hearable level but the loudest sounds can be reduced below the level of distortion, then the playback system can reproduce the recording and everything can be heard. the way the reduction happens is that an amplifier is controlled by a detector circuit. the detector measures the level of the signal and then everytime the signal goes over a chosen threshhold the amplifier is turned down a chosen percentage(ratio). in the case of this compressor, there's no threshold control, it's preset. as the input is raised or lowered more or less of the signal will be over the threshold. in this compressor, there is no ratio control. more signal=more ratio according to an algorhythm. many compressors have an adjustable attack and release control over their action. this compressor does not.

a compressor like this probably isn't an "effect". it's purpose is the keep the original material sounding pretty much the way that it natually would only with the reduced dynamics needed to play back on a typical system with everything hearable and clear. of course it does color the sound, but different compressors color sound differently. some even color the sound in an extreme manner and truly are effects. this particular compressor is for general use.


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:05 am 
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Good explanation thanks. Ill do my best to compress it into a summary :).

But I'll keep a lot of the detail as well.


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:15 am 
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All good lads.

Yep, this is basically similar to an LA2A. The Input drives the Sidechain circuit to the VCA, affecting the Gain Reduction.
The Output is the Makeup Gain, boosting the overall signal leaving the device.
There isn't any Ratio setting here - but I imagine that the Input knob affects the Ratio as well the Threshold, and effectively the Release too.
DBX 'overeasy' is basically a soft-knee curve for the Ratio.. the higher the input gain, the more aggressive the ratio / gain reduction in and around the threshold. This effectively smooths out the Gain Reduction noticably kicking in. This could indeed be part of the algorithm they've implemented.

In my haste to describe what the term Loudness meant (as distinct to Makeup Gain on a compressor), and never having actually used this device, I thought what was marked Loudness was a separate control to the Output!! Silly me! :-)
I now see that there are just two controls... :-O
Hopefully that goes some way to explaining why I described it as a distinctly different control to what is normally labelled 'regular' makeup gain..

I do wish these compressors stuck to words for which there is an accepted global definition! I guess it comes from a time in the late-50's/60's when 1176's, LA2A's, Fairchilds, etc. all wished to market a defining set of terminology that differentiated 'their sound' and 'their response' and 'their colouration' from their competitors - i.e. the analog 'algorithm' of their tubes and solid-state components - when they all are basically implementing peak-compression curves...

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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:15 pm 
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Thanks again lads. Im also looking at the combo version of this device, where a gate is included as well. Im assuming signal flows from gate then to compressor.

Attachment:
File comment: gate and compressor combo
compgate.jpg
compgate.jpg [ 28.6 KiB | Viewed 1623 times ]


What I'm thinking about there is the relative merits of whether to apply this affect at time of recording, or on mixdown.

For example, having a gate during recording might risk some parts of phrase attacks or bits of softer phrase getting cut out too late or early. So having the gate applied after recording allows for finer adjustment.

On the flip side, at record time, a well set device and predictable vocalist means the track goes down clean and well compressed with no need to muck around later.

Any experiences on this ?


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:19 pm 
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Always record straight, use as little processing as possible is my motto. You can leave enough headroom these days to not use compression - maybe just a little limiting for a singer not experienced in mic technique but that's about it. Definitely wouldn't go near any gating, much better to have the noise, easily edited out these days in your DAW.

I see this as as an OverEasy type compressor (gotta love that 'More' slider).


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:23 pm 
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Mr Arkadin wrote:
Always record straight, use as little processing as possible is my motto. You can leave enough headroom these days to not use compression - maybe just a little limiting for a singer not experienced in mic technique but that's about it. Definitely wouldn't go near any gating, much better to have the noise, easily edited out these days in your DAW.



absolutely good advice!

with a few specific exceptions, only a bad engineer records with gates and compressors. about the only thing i'd ever gate while tracking is tom toms that are close miced and even then, i might not. remember, once processing is recorded, it's permanent. it's better to process later.


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:28 pm 
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That is useful for live work.


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:05 pm 
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Well thats good coz thats what I do (apply stuff later) after the hard lessons of the '90s


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:45 am 
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Hi Guys,

have to disagree on some things being said here about "only a bad engineer records with gates and compressors" (u know who you are :D )

-It is true, you almost never use gates during recording, except sometimes on guitars and/or bass.
-Gates on toms.....????? TUNING drums! And if it is possible, just CUT out the spill in between (MUCH better than gating) they used to do that in the tapedays! (well not cut, but erase) After nothing has worked, or in live situations: yes gates...please.....but the noise in drums is just part of the sound...
Might as well use triggers then nowadays, but that don't sound like a drumkit.
-If you have great gear, and know how to use, you can actually make a better sound to "tape" than recording just plain simple.
-Tape "compresses" by itself, digital not, so this is why to use it while recording....and you can also overdo in the "post"


-Make a great sound you like, and more important the artist likes, because that will get you the better result than just a "plain, simple, unprocessed" recording
-Be easy on hitting you convertors too hard. Just leave enough headroom, and this is also where a good comp can help (24 bit!!!!)
-Gain-riding during recording is another solution, because for example voices have great dynamic range, which is hard to get right...Therefor....compress the vocal during recording, and if you have this luxury: record with two mikes(identical), and 1 -10dB gain....(backup)
-You probably want to compress the vocal even more to really set it's place in the mix: ratios add up....if you recorded at a 4:1 ratio, and compress afterwards again with 4:1 you end up with ratio 16:1 (limiting)....but it still sounds better, than just processing once with a 16:1 ratio....just try it!
-I have wasted too much time recording "only the pure" way...customers don't want that, they want something exciting, and you get that with processing/distortions/tangling your sounds. Recordings by Mr Rudy van Gelder, a very famous jazz-recordist, is not a pure sound.....that is a very processed and compressed sound, which gave the musicians a real buzzzz so they'd perform at their max. And that is also something to keep in mind: do NOT tell the customers "we'll fix it in the mix". They will have to perform as if it was the last time they could perform it....so put some soul into it. otherwise you WILL end up with 20 tracks and a customer who tells you to sort something out of this....??????WTF????? Digital and editing is more often NOT a blessing!

Oh yeah, before leaving.....of course choose the right mikes, and that will help.....for example percussion sounds: just record with dynamic(not condenser) mikes when close miking....Why?....that has very dynamic transients, which you CANNOT USE in a mix. It is the sounds tail that makes the sound. That was what is great with tape: it cuts off those transients, and the sound is put on tape. For example conga: loose the transient with just a plain ol' dynamic mike for example 421 sennheiser of the famous sm57 (for a reason!), or maybe limit the peak/transient so you can gain your converter for the sustain of the conga.....that way you will end up with a recognizable sound on "tape". The hardest thing to record is a "triangle"......almost only transient. If you mike that, and gain for "sound" the preamp will clip....if you gain it for "transient" you end up with no sound.....SO.......preamp> fast limiter to cut the transient>slower comp after that to give some sustain > to convertor....and that will fit in a mix.

So, this was my early morning reportage this Sunday haha....Hope this will maybe help in better recording....It's not that i know all (before someone starts "hey mr know-it-all"), but i have made SOOOOOO much mistakes. I have got this saying: An expert is not someone who knows it all, it is someone who made all the mistakes :lol:

Anxious to know what you guys think of this philosophy.

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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:55 am 
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RA wrote:
I have wasted too much time recording "only the pure" way...customers don't want that, they want something exciting, and you get that with processing/distortions/tangling your sounds. Recordings by Mr Rudy van Gelder, a very famous jazz-recordist, is not a pure sound.....that is a very processed and compressed sound, which gave the musicians a real buzzzz so they'd perform at their max.


I don't think anyone would argue with what you're saying, but all this can be achieved live by sending a processed-to-hell version to the vocalist's cans, recording that and still recording a clean version in case someone changes their mind (usually the same singer who demanded the processing in the first place!). That way you get the performance and two versions to play with. All easily done in Scope's routing. I am talking more about singing here as this can be the most irksome bit of music making. If everyone's happy with the effected version then use it, all you did was waste a track on your DAW and a second wiring a virtual cable in Scope, but if that once in a lifetime performance has bags of distortion there's no going back. From my experience of singers they are going to be the fussiest member of the band so anything to cover you back is good and not a waste of time (you may actually save time, plus save on aggro).

I agree that instruments can be recorded 'as is' (effects and all) in many scenarios. There again Rudy's recordings that I have heard (Miles Davis) are live improvs edited together, not session overdubs, so compression would have to be used anyway to cope with that type of session. Also Rudy's sound is not without its detractors: overuse of reverb and thin piano sound being the common complaints.

Sometimes it's nice to just get the sound you want and record it, as you say. I tend to do this with guitar as I don't really see the point of re-amping, especially if I have a distorted sound: I'll play differently than if I was recording clean. However guitar is more often distorted than vocals I would say, so I would always want a clean vocal too if I could get it.

I do not see the point of gates in most studio recordings (unless again required as a specific effect whilst playing) as they can be added later if deemed necessary. I actually like drum noise and spill these days: we had that ultra-clean obsession in the '80s and look where that got us. I like that sample libraries like BFD allow spill to be added and I tend to leave it in these days.

No-one is saying never record with compression, gate etc. Different scenarios require different solutions. Just that once it's done, it's done, so you have to be pretty damn sure that's the sound you want.


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:53 am 
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"Different scenarios require different solutions" > totally true, and there is a universe between clean and hyperprocessed....Just know what you're doing, and sometimes just go for it, and not having all those possibilities. Limit yourself, and you shall get creative 8)

Agree, as i also pointed out: double recording is good as backup for when something has gone wrong or really need something else.
About singers being the fussiest: YEP!!!! (one dose of self esteem please) The most musical and easy going person of a band is very often the drummer.
He/she knows how music should work together, and they never mind how the rest "sounds in solo"

I noticed it is almost impossible keeping everyone happy while mixing. Therefor it is good having a producer who will give his last word on decisions(having some distance is good here)....Whenever i tried mixing with the whole band in the CR; you set up a good decent mix, and then suddenly everyone tunes in and starts "hearing" stuff which isn't there :x (therefor i have this gizmo: the phatinizer; it does nothing!!!!!! But for the most people it's yes that's it: luckily i was in here and made that call....it is now so much better....ahum whoehahaha) Mixing is not that all sounds great in solo....it's putting the puzzle together, so it works together. If the arrangement and song is good, some things may sound just not *that* great, especially in solo, but it will still work together. Even in those "famous" recordings you can really hear the cuts if you tune in on them.

The most you can get from a good arrangement. Fill the voids and freqs.

"Just that once it's done, it's done"....this is just how it was when then made those great and classic recordings. Producer to drummer "Do you really know that you can do a better job, 'cause if not, this take is GONE if i press rec"

Spill / acoustics make the sound again, although i have some guilty pleasures from the eighties

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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:19 am 
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RA wrote:
the phatinizer

I reckon you need to splash the cash on a Pallindrometer dude..

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=31544

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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:46 am 
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Checked with funk logic, but there are no manuals....?!??? :o :-? :P :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:36 am 
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Mr Arkadin wrote:
Always record straight, use as little processing as possible is my motto. You can leave enough headroom these days to not use compression - maybe just a little limiting for a singer not experienced in mic technique but that's about it. Definitely wouldn't go near any gating, much better to have the noise, easily edited out these days in your DAW.

I see this as as an OverEasy type compressor (gotta love that 'More' slider).


+100!

G


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:17 pm 
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you can't remove "with a few specific exceptions" from what i said about not using processing when recording.

compressing in stages is a great idea, but it can be done after the recording. tom toms are often at least gated in recording. vocalists who have no concept of mic technique might NEED limiting. an engineer who knows exactly what the part should sound like might skip steps and process before recording. a guitar will probably be processed before recording. in GENERAL it's a VERY bad idea to process before recording though. once processing is used, it cannot be removed.

this goes back to trying to mix a piece as it's tracked, another BAD idea. it's impossible to really know what NEEDS to be done before all the parts are in place.

speaking generally, not speaking religiously....


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:48 pm 
Maybe another interesting question in this context, although it concerns only mastercompression.
I'm used to have the Mastercomp active while in the mixing stage, except during the first overall setup of the song.
I'm working with audiofiles only, so I have a compressor working almost all the time.
I start with a decent basic setup of the compressor, and make adjustments at a later stage.
Regulary I check the difference between with and without compressor, to avoid wrong mixer settings.

The nice thing is, once the mix is about in shape, I can precisely determin the back-front space of any soundsnippet in the mix. Like a loud sound but just 'behind' the voice, meaning the voice still 'wins'.
You can hear the difference of adding 1 dB to a track when it starts pushing the compression really.
This way I get exactly what I wanne hear (at least), instead of letting it surprise me when adding it in the end.
Adding end compression always is nice to the ears, but you need to get confident with the compressed sound over a longer period of time to be sure.
But I'm an amature :D

Anyone also working this way? Or is it stupid?


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Same here; i too like mixing into a comp. Once you find the sweet spot your in the "zone" and it all adds up, and it just gets easier.
It get part of the sound this way, and if not totally overdone, you can tune the track even better at a later masteringstage. (with fresh ears)

There almost is no wrong way, if it works for you, and gets you where you want to be. :)


On this other subject about having processing during recording, i also use this to win time for the client at mixing stage. Here budgets are...well......very tight at most ;-) If bands come in and want a "demo" in 1 day with 6-8 songs....gotta make decisions right away. And in the end i have grown to that way of working for demoos, because in the end, if things don't add up this way (because much in sound can be corrected at mastering) there is just something wrong in the song > arrangement. Most people just listen to the vocals, and the rest is just humming in the back (that is NOT my opinion). We as "soundlovers" are a different breed....can you talk with a lot of others on this? or do their eyes just nod off and start getting glazy if you get excited talking about sound haha......In german there is a great word for this: einzelgängers. Luckily we have eachother here to talk fun...

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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:41 pm 
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compressing the master bus is part of the final step of the mastering process. if you are mastering yourself, there's not really any problem with combining this with the mix process, as long as you double check the mix without the master limiter. really, a good mix should be balanced EQ and level-wise BEFORE mastering. the master bus compression is the final step to limit dynamics and set the overall loudness of the track. final eq adjustments can also be done at this time.

if you are going to send the track out to a mastering house, do NOT fo master bus compression. the mastering house gets paid for that and they have better gear than most people's personal gear.

the steps of music production are

tracking- this gets all the audio recorded and edited. if you care about the music, you probably should record the virtual instruments to audio as well.

mixing- this is where the sound of the whole piece is clarified. use fx, eq and compression on individual tracks so that they fit together with the other tracks. choose a reverb that represents the space the the instruments are performing in as though you were listening to a band in an environment.

mastering-final eq and compression so that the piece will sound as expected on the playback systems that it's supposed to be listened to on.


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:49 pm 
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RA- the real world is important. there is a correct way to do things for a reason. for many reasons, the correct way may not be practical. things like budgets, both time and monetary must be accounted for. often, it's not worth the extra time and effort needed to do things correctly, especially for commercial work. if it won't make extra money doing it right, do it the easiest and quickest way that it works for you.

i'm just providing the info. i'm not telling anyone what to do, nor am i saying that people should feel bad about how they work, nor am i saying that they must stop doing what works for them. i'm also not saying that one can't get great results doing it any other way. it's good to know what the actual correct way to do things is, so that when you take shortcuts, you know what you are shortcutting and what the risks are. it's good to have an idea where you went wrong when a mix get away, too. keeping it simple as i've laid out really helps avoid a runaway mix....


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 Post subject: Re: SC-C S Compressor - when or how to use ?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:05 pm 
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Guess I am weird, I get the audio source max w/no effect, just better programming of the instrument, then sidechain it using Solaris with an SBX.
Inconvetional but can strip down the audio source to next to nothing and build it back up, then use that into a parallel from of compression adding the original sound with the new affected audio, gets me great kicks, and alaso make the real analog hardware blend with the precise 48k Digital Solaris sounds.
Wierd but then again so am I.

But my rig in unique, and satifies me as If I lose interest in playing, I am at the end of plug in tricks and expensive toys to get through the gig,
I go back to Piano only, and learn how good I had it before I turned into a whining bitch...
The things we must do to stay appreciative and focused.

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