JohnRoberts

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2013, 11:01:31 AM »
If you think about what is going on with WAS (wall of sound), overlaying many tracks, just like using multiple microphones on a symphony is effectively compressing the result. The loudness only increases by the square root of the number of sources, while the quiet parts get less frequent and less quiet.

Close micing also created the need for de-essing since HF didn't attenuate as much as they do in nature with spaced or distant micing.

Of course de-essing was also needed for broadcast to prevent overload from HF pre-emphasis in broadcast chain.

JR


Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.


Autophase

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2013, 11:21:11 AM »
I like the example of changing the levels through the duration of the song, I do something similar with my software limiter (FabFilter Pro L - which is great by the way) :
I primarily produce house and techno, a track in cance music is to start a track with the first 16 or 32 bars of kick with a high pass filter. This obviously reduces the overall amplitude of the signal, but dance music being what it is, people expect every part of the track (excluding the breakdown with no kick) to be peaking, so I just push the input of the limiter for these sections, then when theres more low end I pull it back so the limiter is doing less work but I'm still getting a similar RMS.
Theres nothing stopping you doing this with a hardware compressor / limiter.

DerEber

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2013, 11:53:04 AM »
For some occasions just pushing the faders live is unbeatale soundwise!
I sometimes do Jazz Live Recordings and do move the faders over a rage 10db or even more.
For example at the end of the Sax solo when he is pushing out nearly no tone but only the last air he can squeeze
out the fader goes all the way up.
Still you don't get all the crap full on, like a compressor will pump up all the time if you put them on 10db Compression.
Also Live mixing Vocals can realy shine out if ridden well.
best Stephan

EmRR

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2013, 12:12:29 PM »
I really like the combo of compression combined with level riding, I frequently have to do that with voice work in broadcast or public speaking events.  Level riding alone in a live situation can be a very fatiguing exercise for any length of time. 
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

JohnRoberts

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2013, 01:01:37 PM »
I really like the combo of compression combined with level riding, I frequently have to do that with voice work in broadcast or public speaking events.  Level riding alone in a live situation can be a very fatiguing exercise for any length of time.
Thats while broadcasting has AGC (automatic gain control) , also popular in cheap recorders. Not unlike riding a fader, but lacking human critical judgement.

JR
Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

EmRR

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2013, 04:52:36 PM »
I show up on broadcast gigs and there's almost never any dynamics provided at all. I've never seen an AGC in a contractor rack.  Maybe in the remote truck, if there is one. 
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

kpearsall

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2013, 07:58:52 PM »
an 1176 knocking off the peaks into an La-2a has been my go-to bass chain for years...  Usually on vocals though I find myself liking one or the other. or the 175b :)

alexc

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2013, 07:39:40 AM »
What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
Well....sometimes no compressor at all !

¿ Que ?

Sorry - no disrepect intended. Just trying to  .. comprehend .. that.... like ..no compressor at all ...   :-[

It's like 'none more better' ?  ???
I ping therefore I am

barclaycon

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2013, 08:46:33 AM »
Er yeah.
Sometimes..... not always, but sometimes - you can get a better sound without a compressor.
Sorry if that's a shock to you!
Adjusting the level manually can actually achieve the desired result - as per the 2 examples I've given. Of course it's not always practical to ride the faders, but people still do it now and then.

Even now, with ProTools or Logic maybe, you can look at the overall waveform and see that one section is quieter than another - or maybe there are a couple of peaks. Getting in there and manually reducing the peaks or using fader automation to adjust the levels can sometimes sound better than putting a clamp over the whole thing, or brickwalling.

As I said, I quite like compression when it's well done. It can make things sound great.
But it's not always the answer (or the only option).

JohnRoberts

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2013, 09:15:59 AM »
I show up on broadcast gigs and there's almost never any dynamics provided at all. I've never seen an AGC in a contractor rack.  Maybe in the remote truck, if there is one.
There are many opportunities for broadcast audio to get squashed after you stick it into the pipe.

I recall during the early loudness wars for FM broadcast around NYC in '70s. sometimes I would buy an album and barely recognize the version off vinyl compared to what came over radio.  In those days they didn't have many choices for mutli-band processing so would take loudspeaker crossovers. stick dynamics on each passband output then sum them back together, with louder but not great fidelity to the original recording. I even recall seeing an article in dB magazine back in the day with one broadcast engineer bragging on his jury-rigged system.   

IIRC Orban made several limiters dedicated to and very popular with broadcasters (Optimod?) .

JR
Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.


EmRR

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2013, 01:34:17 PM »
When you are feeding 600+ feet of wire through dirty noise environments, and also providing a bunch of press mults, you really want some dynamics to better the odds.  It's not my fault that press hardly know a mic input from a line input, or how to set levels, but they all think it's my fault when their recorder redlines.
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2013, 05:24:44 PM »
Er yeah.
Sometimes..... not always, but sometimes - you can get a better sound without a compressor.
Sorry if that's a shock to you!
Adjusting the level manually can actually achieve the desired result - as per the 2 examples I've given. Of course it's not always practical to ride the faders, but people still do it now and then.

Even now, with ProTools or Logic maybe, you can look at the overall waveform and see that one section is quieter than another - or maybe there are a couple of peaks. Getting in there and manually reducing the peaks or using fader automation to adjust the levels can sometimes sound better than putting a clamp over the whole thing, or brickwalling.

As I said, I quite like compression when it's well done. It can make things sound great.
But it's not always the answer (or the only option).

No doubt.

Alot of things that i track i like alot better with no compression. Certain things, it's necessary, or desired....but other things you listen back to the non-compressed version and it sounds so much better.

Andy Peters

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2013, 01:59:17 PM »
Level riding alone in a live situation can be a very fatiguing exercise for any length of time.

... and (speaking as a live sound guy) it's part of the job. At some point, you don't even realize you're doing it.

With the band I work for, pulling down vocals on a phrase-by-phrase basis is important. While the stage volume isn't excessive, cymbals go everywhere and when the singer's mic technique is somewhat erratic (ya can't change 25 years of singing like that, and compression doesn't help), the only way to keep the wash from being annoying is to ride the faders. And of course when the backing vocalists aren't singing, their mics are down, too, for the same reason.

I got to mix on a DiGiCo SD8 last week, and that guy has a cool feature where the motorized faders can be configured to have a detent at 0 dB. So when riding the fader, I could just push it back up to the detent and I knew where I was without taking my eyes off the stage.

-a
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band"

alexc

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2013, 12:27:31 AM »
Funnily enough, I have one major case where I don't so far use compression.    :D


It does indeed sound very nice. These are the e-bass and e-vibro guitar, both things very important to me.

Only used 'dry' because I am still building the 'one which will follow' - a dual tube limiter unit rca style just for these.

That said, as they are - bass and e-vibro bits do sound pretty good 'as printed'.
By that, I mean, as printed but played back with plug ins!

They do work well as 'after the event' limiters, although they are a very different thing from limiters used in performance - at least for me.
I ping therefore I am

alexc

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2013, 12:36:08 AM »
And while on the subject of diy compressors, the very first diy I  did, a pair of gSSL comps in a 2RU enclosure nearly 10 years ago : I used it in various ways over the years, and was very happy with the result of my first building.

Recently I freed it from mundane responsibilities and moved it up to the 'main room'

Boy I was wrong! What seemed fairly 'straight forward' sonically went to 'must have'.

It's two gSSLs in a 2Ru - one regular, one 'turbo' with the Expat kit.

One stereo channel is on my e-drum kit, the other on my 'in-the-box mix'.

Each goes into a 'nevey styled' sum amp and then to my stereo listening/recording channel.

So : the mix I hear and master record with is really 2 stereo stems : ITB and e-drums

WOW - all kinds of things avaible with essentially 2 stem faders.

And that gSSL sound which kept me interested  but until used in best-strength role didn't 'slay me' now does.

So - the dual gSSL is at the heart of all my current 'stem' stuff and it really is a big step forward.

Chrs

I ping therefore I am

EmRR

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2013, 02:10:36 PM »
Level riding alone in a live situation can be a very fatiguing exercise for any length of time.

... and (speaking as a live sound guy) it's part of the job. At some point, you don't even realize you're doing it.


A band set is an entirely different experience from an 8 hour run of back to back press conferences consisting of 8 open mics and no idea who will speak, those speakers being people who may sit 3 feet back and mumble, or eat the mic and yell. Or a random mix of both.  Welcome to sports!  With spoken word, even those accustomed to the stage, there are those who are steady and even, but there are plenty who bark their first half sentence after a breath, and then taper off to a mumble, and without dynamics you have to ride every single sentence, and predict what the next dynamic will be.   The guy on the other end of the feed will yell at you on the talkback if it peaks, but of course he/she wants it at a perfect 0 level all the time; this is when dynamic processing is a real lifesaver, and it's also precisely the venue in which I can least expect to find any available.  Many of these situations won't allow you to add your own, either; suspicion and fear based on not knowing whether today's freelancer can be trusted.    A combo of manual riding and dynamics works best in these situations. 
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

JohnRoberts

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2013, 03:57:14 PM »
Level riding alone in a live situation can be a very fatiguing exercise for any length of time.

... and (speaking as a live sound guy) it's part of the job. At some point, you don't even realize you're doing it.


A band set is an entirely different experience from an 8 hour run of back to back press conferences consisting of 8 open mics and no idea who will speak, those speakers being people who may sit 3 feet back and mumble, or eat the mic and yell. Or a random mix of both.  Welcome to sports!  With spoken word, even those accustomed to the stage, there are those who are steady and even, but there are plenty who bark their first half sentence after a breath, and then taper off to a mumble, and without dynamics you have to ride every single sentence, and predict what the next dynamic will be.   The guy on the other end of the feed will yell at you on the talkback if it peaks, but of course he/she wants it at a perfect 0 level all the time; this is when dynamic processing is a real lifesaver, and it's also precisely the venue in which I can least expect to find any available.  Many of these situations won't allow you to add your own, either; suspicion and fear based on not knowing whether today's freelancer can be trusted.    A combo of manual riding and dynamics works best in these situations.

While even more off topic, for 8 open mics there is a special type of mixer called "automatic mixers" that automatically ride gain between N open mics based who is talking and how loud, this is more useful for managing feedback by making 8 open mikes "appear" to have the same gain as only one mic.  Of course you still need to deal with loud/soft talkers some other way.

JR
Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

MartyMart

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2013, 01:03:10 PM »
A bit OT but a good friend of mine is a very experienced recording and mix engineer, responsible for a huge list
of hit records from the late 70's through the 80's.

When using compressors, he would quite often cover up the meters so no one would "look" at the
gain reduction !!

He used his ears and did not care less what the meters said ..... too much mixing with our eyes
in particular ITB these days !!

MM.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm"

JohnRoberts

Re: What's Better Than A Good Compressor?
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2013, 02:48:05 PM »
+1 the gain reduction meter only tells you how much the dry input was not like the sound you desired.

I prefer a peak/VU meter on the output to be a better representation of how compressed or dynamic the result is.

But I guess customers like to see how much they can squash something.

JR
Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.


 

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