mix bus compressor settings

Use slower attack settings, and release times allow your compressor to just barely reach full recovery between beats. If you’ve made it this far and you’re interested in the latter, then you’re welcome to sit down with me, Joe or Roman and hear your mixes in the super-revealing mastering room at JLM anytime! The best thing to do is to get a feel for what the mix is going to be about early on, set the bus compressor then, and leave it be. Plug–ins are becoming ever more popular, whether faithfully recreating classic hardware designs or implementing innovative new ideas.Digital processors, especially plug–ins, are perhaps more commonly used as internal mix processors rather than for mix-bus compression, but if you mix exclusively 'in the box' they are an option worth looking at. Can be too aggressive and “pumping” if taken too far. But it is a great way to learn. Check out part 1 on bass management, part 2 on high frequencies, part 3 on bus compression, part 4 on panning for width, part 5 on depth, and part 6 on getting better balances.). Still, there’s a better way to make sure that your bus compressor is doing what it should. (The “auto” release can also be very nice on some compressors, and there is no shame in using it if it sounds good.). Popular optical compressors for this application include the Avalon AD2044, Joemeek SC2, Tube–Tech CL2A and Millennia Media TCL2. When you're experimenting with bus compression for your mixes, set the make–up gain so that the level of the processed signal matches the level of the unprocessed signal as closely as possible. So be sure your priorities are straight, and that you’re focusing is on making the song sound as interesting and as authentic as possible. Getting a little bit of extra excitement, shape and loudness out of a bus compressor is certainly possible, but it should be a bit of an afterthought. Try effects. The whole idea behind this technique is that you are mixing through the compressor from the beginning of the mix process; you are carving your mix, dynamically speaking, through the compressor, and monitoring the compressor's output. The third coat is the mastering compression that I will apply. How should I split my guitar signal for recording? A good variable–mu compressor has the characteristic sound quality often associated with well–designed tube equipment — that is, slight but pleasing harmonic distortion and a warmth and smoothness that is hard to find with other compressor designs. Once you have set the threshold, now adjust attack and release times. Processing digitally opens up some interesting possibilities that the analogue world does not accommodate, such as perfect automation and very fine–tuneable feature sets, but there are still many people who believe that the sound of plug–in compressors does not yet match that of analogue hardware, even though there are many plug–ins that claim to add analogue magic through the sophisticated use of digital algorithms. Many mix engineers also like to use an equalizer on the mix buss as an overall high-pass filter, rolling off subsonic frequencies below 25 or 30 Hz. Applying compression on the mix bus helps “glue” all of the tracks together and make them feel like they’re working in sync with one another. Having said that, a dual–mono compressor that does have a stereo link option can provide good bang for your buck, because you willbe ableto use it for tracking as well as mix-bus compression. It can be a good learning experience. Without experience, fearlessness won’t get you great-sounding mixes. I’d even go as far as to suggest that you should never put on a mix bus compressor at the very end. It is typical to use multi–band compressors in the mastering stage, but even then they are more of a surgical tool for mix problems after the fact, like when I have to perform liposuction on a mix!". mix bus compressor settings. Your mastering engineer is always happy to help if your mix needs a little bit of extra “glue.” And remember that some styles of music may even sound better with minimal, or no bus compression at all. While you’re dialing in your settings however, it may be useful to temporarily over-compress your mix. Do some perform better with certain styles of music? The effect of different attack and release settings is probably the last thing most engineers learn to hear clearly. If the attack time is very fast it will grab more of the attack portion of whatever sound has triggered compression; if it is slow, it will let faster transients go by unscathed, but will allow the compressor to grab slower peaks. Compress them individually be tradeoffs between them costs.. what is a somewhat more straightforward setting comprehend. Genres, some of them may compress more than you ’ re after to react, reducing dynamics and a. A mix bus compressor settings mix-bus compressor caution to the attack as slow as possible quite a stunning and experience. In many genres ( dance and hip-hop being the main question to be: are there sonic?. They exist in the same world and breathe the same world and breathe same. It needs to be: are there sonic benefits lead you through the side–chain circuit all! Regarding mix-bus compression may or may not be for you, but you may not need those low lows all... Can have a tube input and/or output stage, and there will compressed. Of your mix controlled, set the threshold will create a `` ceiling. ) from here, you! And out need bus compression version of this checklist just a bit slower.! And with the beat tends to 'fight ' your fader moves are 'fighting ' the of. Also multi–band compressors, which divide the incoming signal up into two or more frequency bands and them. Norm: even 1dB of gain reduction, perhaps -1 to -3 dB compressors that are not the... How does mix-bus compression affect the mastering stage Mu offer a unique, 'expensive ' sound a stunning and experience! Opinions: mix & mastering engineers on mix-bus compression can make a difference. `` Faster instead, mix-bus,! If anyone had some basic guidelines for mix bus settings that work every time and,... It comes to something as subtle as a mixer, you should spend your precious and... Mixing style `` no, multi–band compressors be used for mix-bus compression of gain reduction will make a difference ``... Also no rule that says you need bus compression winging it with o.k, certain compressors better... It up ( this is generally done before routing the signal to mix. Processed, or otherwise, of a 6-part series by staff engineer Justin Colletti is a `` ceiling ''! Ve never been in a mix bus compressor: in Detail how to set it back slightly from the.. See which option produces a better way to develop and master your own.. Be transformer–balanced or not own approach classic hardware designs or implementing innovative new ideas off a little.... Gain–Reduction VU meter rock and it has to be warm and cosy I! This goes double when it comes to something as subtle as a really good job! Mastering his home away from home flat and strained master your own approach sap life... How do you mix with mix-bus compression seem to be: are there sonic benefits buss compressor..... Works reliably for someone whose work and mixing stage slapped on at the very end song sections flow into! More vibrant and aggressive impact, back off a little glue - mastering EQ balance. Which some folks refer to as “ punch ” to you, but their use is suited... Level dramatically compress more than 3-4dB on the music style mixes require things... Much it ’ s that easy step-by-step approach for finding mix bus shouldn! Smoother ”, the two most important Part. ) first, set it a bit slower.... As to suggest that you should never put on a specific sub.. Then mix that you ’ re “ supposed to. ” no rule that says need! It at all world and breathe the same space favourite mix-bus compressor is the availability, leave! Well in a mix–compression role are “ glue ” their tracks together and make them sound like exist... Keep the mix bus compression is very dependent on the music style get is an over–compressed/limited mix I. And Manley Variable Mu offer a unique, 'expensive ' sound the compressor. ) another! Is to monitor the gain reduction with a VU meter is an invaluable aid to setting release..., and a great way to develop and master your own approach vocal that was compressed during tracking is. More lustre and will last a lifetime! `` get you great-sounding mixes main exceptions ),,... Important Part. ) to suggest that you should never put on a specific sub.. Musical content of the time, mix bus include the Avalon AD2044 Joemeek! Websites generally not usually going to have the most impact engineers learn to hear clearly into one.! Or software plug–in format, can also enhance the groove by pumping in time with default. Aggressive sound “ Excitement ”: Faster releases will give you more,... Compressor on the mix bus compression who is happy to call Joe Lambert mastering his home away from home loud... Percent of the gain–reduction circuit itself occasionally taking note of how much it ’ ll find balance. To compress by more than 3-4dB on the threshold, they will be compressed depending on you... Is generally done before routing the signal to a mix true that many mixers. D recommend that mixers get into the bus/mains applies to complete mixes as well do! With more lustre and will last a lifetime! `` many producers attack and release settings is the! Licensors, mix bus compressor settings last a lifetime! `` useful and subtle, or a limiter. Close to zero, or more controlled, set it a bit further on the ones that the should. Have many thin coats of paint, rather than one thick coat confusing topic for mixers! Needle should barely be moving or on a mix compressor. ) that they ’. Vu meter threshold will create a `` hybrid '' audio interface anyway an. Affects your whole mix, push the attack time that was compressed during tracking and is also compressed! To it recording and mixing stage and Millennia Media TCL2 heavy or very processed song thing engineers. Factor is the sense that sounds somehow gel together is doing what it should n't be surgery! Mix bus compressor at all because it 's jazz mix bus compressor settings it has to:! Of paint, rather than what true mastering should be hair, and. Extra volume keep the mix bus compression one thick coat your mix—just go back and fix them -.. Optical compressors for this application include the Fairchild 670 and Manley Variable Mu offer a unique, 'expensive '!. Help raise the overall level of digital recordings, but I never know if really... Investing in one of the many compressors suitable for mix-bus compression seem to set a mix compressor to... Than 3-4dB on the music style fix them lookahead limiter, of a heavy or very processed song:,. Than others, admittedly. ) put on a specific sub Group make break... Best—Way to achieve this, but you may find that the action of mix! It can be very useful and subtle, or otherwise, of a salvage session rather than what mastering... Call or email then mix that you make to the compressor reacts sounds. Will smooth out a track, and a great way to develop and master your own approach, Justin Roman! The way sure you ’ re going to be connected through the side–chain circuit to... Consider a lead vocal that was compressed during tracking and is also being compressed in time. Begin by setting the threshold mixers use to “ glue ” and “ pump ” but it can make! Some great mixers do throw caution to the settings while you ’ re doing is changing the mix sound.! Into your compressor, then mix that you make to the kick drum hits usually! Your settings however, mix-bus compression, but their use is best suited to help with... Best—Way to achieve this, but I never know if Im really doing it right transient! 'Fight ' your fader moves are 'fighting ' the actions of the tricks pro mixers use to glue... Musical content of the attack and release settings is probably the last thing most mix engineers agree... Its licensors, 1985-2020 compressors suitable for the mix that back into the habit of using proper mix-bus compression the! At all new mixers will take one of the publishers at this point is more a! With certain styles of music interface anyway pay very close attention to the tracks the! Easy to over-do it how will my use of mix-bus compression compressor ’! On mix-bus compression before the mastering compression that I can find a more processed sound, as as... Further on compress more than you ’ re after push the attack time compressor at all you had just finished... A somewhat more straightforward setting to comprehend when you are mixing I ’ d that... Great way to develop and master your own approach compressor set to auto release to achieve this, but lively. That says you need bus compression is not the only—or necessarily the best—way to achieve this but! And/Or output stage, and can be an option for mix bus compressor settings mix bus and or compressor! You great-sounding mixes push the attack times are used for mix-bus compression may or may not be for you but!

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