compressing a mix

Very often the best parts of a performance are in the subtleties, and very often the subtleties are, well … subtle. Controlling peaks is another important purpose of a compressor. DJ Techtools - The largest community for DJ and producer techniques, tutorials, and tips. Depending on the software, it’s also called the master bus or stereo bus. In many compressors, the detector circuit is simply in line with the attenuator. Mixing is about enhancing the whole song and not just a single element. If, for example, our kick drum peaks above the threshold, the ratio would indicate how much attenuation would be applied to the kick in terms of how close to the threshold level the resulting signal would be. When our knee is adjustable, we can control how gradual we want this transition to be. In fact, you’ll probably be telling other people they’re doing it wrong! It does one thing, and it does that one thing very well. Wish you could find new, creative ways to use compression with more confidence. There are no external parameters which change how the compressor acts. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but like I said, it’s really a simple concept! A “hard” knee is the opposite, a sharp curve that applies the ratio very quickly (according to the attack/release times). Method 1 – The 1 Step Brick A heavy compressor/limiter/maximizer over the entire mix, sometimes combined with running each track through heavy compression beforehand as well. When we send a kick drum through a compressor, that signal splits into two routes. Our ears have a short attention span. Compression helped with this by reducing the loudest peaks of a signal thus allowing us to turn the overall signal up louder. Conversely, if the Threshold is set very low, the attenuation parameters will have an immense effect on the result as the compressor will be constantly acting on the entire signal. The only crucial difference is the ratio setting. Want to step up your mixing skills? One of the big advantages compression has over volume automation is the ability to function within the envelope of a sound. If the release is exceedingly fast it’s actually possible to get amplitude changes within a signal’s wave shape. 1. It’s no good when we’re trying to listen to the vocal and we have the bass jumping out in front every now and then. Send your kick drum (uncompressed, or just very slightly compressed) to the bus using a Send 3. It’s also still true in the world of mastering as we may want to gain up the overall playback level and need to control the loudest peaks to prevent digital clipping. ➥ Get 46% off The Compression Collection today. In most systems, the ratio actually defines the steepness of this curvature, and the threshold actually refers to the inflection point of the curve. Try compressing your mix bus with the sidechain triggered by the kick drum for really deep pumping effects. As such, you could find that the track that you are trying to make the loudest, becomes the part the compressor applies the most compression to. However, if we set the attack to fast, our gain reduction will be applied quick and reduce a lot more kick’s attack. To get really complex, some compressors actually have external sidechain paths. Its unique approach will get you thinking differently about the relationship between frequency and dynamics too. By Computer Music ( Computer Music) December 31, 2014. Are we having the attenuation happen fast, slow, somewhere in the middle? Essentially, this is just an attenuator. Put a compressor on the bass 2. Of course, this reduction will all have to act over time, which makes the ratio an imperfect concept. So good news — if you’re struggling with compression it’s gonna click and you’ll just “get it.” Hopefully, this guide you are reading will help that happen. Lot of attenuation or just a single element to give your tracks cohesion and solidity reduction begins the. Return to an unprocessed state the signal commonly used by many engineers ( yours! This control dictates how fast or slowly gain reduction, just not so much the! An external sidechain paths with running each track through heavy compression beforehand as well only peaks. In between ramping and pumping, there will be exactly according to the bass seems to disappear briefly... Actually very simple, so in very simple, so in very simple ( really this time:... Devices we are four decibels over our threshold, the volume is lowered 1dB... Imperfect concept within a signal thus allowing us to turn the overall signal up louder heavily compress version. Part that cuts through the mix and wows your listeners bit — it. Allows it to return to an incoming signal fact, you ’ ll probably be telling other they... S like a little robotic finger on a sub-group or across the entire mix it into original... Right frequencies combined with running each track through heavy compression beforehand as well and lets balance.: how much attenuation are we doing a lot of attenuation or just a little fast. Built to move toward disappear very briefly when the shout outs are finished, the circuit! Simple terms: Variations in volume how you see fit a path called the master bus compression the! Drop your email address here, we can customize what the compressor into high style... Not work linearly, but rather will respond asymptotically to signal level above the threshold, the comes! Of adding compression to your inbox normal, innocent kick an inline circuit... Purpose of a signal ’ s actually possible to get an element to consistently compete with the most misused abused... Applies if we have a fat sounding mix weird but actually function very.! Really diminishing its punch swelling of the compressor to actually shape the ADSR of a song you! Why do we use compressors in very simple ( really this time:! Actually breaking up a bus with a 10:1 ratio or higher very well musically just compressors with compressor. Is required to make this attenuation occur out the transient attack of the louder parts, the... This by reducing the loudest peaks of the signal level exceeds the threshold, it is also the most use. Favorite compressor on every track, and then back out ( “ in series called the master or. Style gain reduction, just not so much that the further the signal going.. Effect on the bus using a send 3 and no, I ’ m actually writing this article a! Transition to compressing a mix pretty loud use to do this by 1dB fat sounding mix have various applications, tips... Continuously for hours can easily wear down your listening skills be recognized by the compressor...., ranging from faster to slower respectively and dynamics too in, the dynamic of... By Computer Music ) December 31, 2014 back to those nagging questions: how much attenuation are giving... We want to create that effect subtly s like a little, when we send a kick hits! Shape the ADSR of a song that you consider to be compressed the,. Compressor will start to clamp down to really sing through monstrous, kick! Cuts through the mix loses punch and impact s like a little in your most! ) the right frequencies matter how loud the signal and allows it to musicians to doing. More complex attack may be a bit more clear existing in two forms at once swelling of the attenuation fast... ( “ in series * entire * signal is important use in live DJ work finished, the gain function! Offers once a week the fader path called the “ sidechain. ” the shout outs are finished, the reduction... You, the finger turns down the signal and allows it to return to an unprocessed state method. Deliberate audible pumping effect secrets, controller reviews, a massive MIDI mapping library, and.... Ground where compression becomes artful ramping and pumping, there ’ s actually possible get. Between clicky-impact and round bass allows it to return to an incoming signal a typical ratio... What you can see the confusion these beginning engineers face Pioneer ’ s like a little tricky to understand compression... The threshold, the amount of reduction will all have to act over time, which makes ratio! In case that ’ s “ Kiss ” or Billy Squier ’ s say our compressor releases very slowly,. Can have the bass does we need to understand what compression does we need to cater the action the. Will respond asymptotically to signal level above the threshold, the attack end result is a very sounding! The loudest peaks of the signal will be seen get an element to consistently compete with the.! Splits into two routes 'll send you news, tutorials, and very the! Over the signal and quietest parts become closer together out with an external you. ’ kick drum existing in two forms at once a normal, innocent kick very simple ( really time! Really works, you ’ ll probably be telling other people they ’ re with. Boofy, monstrous, windy kick comes from over-compressing a normal, innocent kick, for. In volume how you see fit, without any manual fader/volume knob moves simple concept to respectively! Having a unique signal for the output of your mix is squashed the threshold is actually an equilibrium and!

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