compression

Discussion in 'Audio Producers Discussions' started by eveready920, Mar 10, 2006.

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  1. CompassSaviour

    CompassSaviour Got no brain, goin insane

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    Nah, it's just when people make blanket statements to a whole thread, having explained myself twice because "I don't know what a compressor does", it get's confusing to know if the blanket statement includes myself or not.
    test
  2. urban_tactics

    urban_tactics aka johnny cockram

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    Post a song you've mixed that's been played on radio....
    test
  3. BeatSlangaz

    BeatSlangaz 08 is not your year!

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    thanks you just proved that you dont know what the word "after" means.....
    test
  4. Arcane

    Arcane Alcoholic Roadie

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    well, i was mostly refering to fmajors post, in which case there was no mention of the word 'after'

    anyways, the tracks on my site all get play on college radio in toronto

    www.soundclick.com/skewedupproductions
    test
  5. J-A-B-B-A-R

    J-A-B-B-A-R Knick Hater

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    I beg to differ. That's what you can use a Parametric EQ for. Pretty much you assign each instrument to a certain...mmm...lets say frequency in order to make all your instruments blend in without having to let the drum play solo.

    You also said you need bangin drums. Not necessarily. I have some wack ass kick drums, and after workin on them with EQs I got them to sound bangin as all hell.

    As Urban said though compressors should be used to simply get everything on the same level. In other words, live instruments, like guitars, drum sounds that were recorded live and vocals. You can use compressors too on kick drums if you have pressure sensitive keys on your keyboard and you're too inconsistent to play the same note with the same velocity. But you don't even need a compressor, you can just set the velocity to be constant.

    Pz
    test
  6. Mighty GK

    Mighty GK omg 2012

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    ^a drum will hit harder when its going solo cuz nothing else is taking up any room...I was saying for MAXIMUM bang...period...cuz u won't hear anything else BUT that drum. I definately know what ur saying though it doesn't have to be solo to be bangin...but it makes a difference...especially to people who don't know how to eq properly
    test
  7. Predator INC

    Predator INC New Member

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    MASTERING COMPRESSION
    By Noviss


    Many people fail to realize how important using compression actually is. Whether you're recording or mastering, you need compression. Whether you're independant or professional, you need compression. Whether you're selling 500, or 500,000 units, you need compression. Every album you've purchased has used some form of compression. Music just wouldn't be the same without it, so take a seat and prepare to enter the world of compressed recording.

    Although I'll be giving you some numbers and ratios to use, these are just guidelines, nothing more. You won't find the perfect compression guide because such a thing doesn't exist. You must realize that everything varies per track. Not all music is the same, and in that sense, not all FX are going to be the same.

    Note: Because hip-hop is one of the most heavily compressed forms of music, this article is written in the perspective that you'll be applying the following techniques to a hip-hop track.

    What does compression do?

    com·pres·sion
    n.
    1. The process of reducing dynamic range of a given audio signal by making the loud parts quieter and the quiet parts louder.

    As you can see, compression literally makes quiet parts of the music louder, and loud parts quiet. By using compression and reducing the dynamic range, you can smooth out the sound by finding a medium between the lowest and highest peak volumes.

    Terms to know:
    Attack: How fast a compressor will react once the threshold is breached. 0ms will result in immediate action.
    Decibles (db): Measure of sound pressure.
    Gain: Used to increase or decrease compressed sound. (measured in DB)
    Knee: A compressor characteristic that affects the way a compressor behaves.
    Milliseconds (ms): Attack and Release times measured by milliseconds.
    Ratio: How much a signal is compressed. With a compression ratio of 3:1, a signal which is 9db over the threshold level would be reduced to 3db. A signal of 3db over the threshold would be reduced to 1db.
    Release: How fast the compressor will return to its normal state after the signal has moved below the threshold. 0ms will result in immediate return.
    Threshold: Threshold level determines which signals are subject to compression. With a threshold of -5db, all signals above this level (-4db < ) would be compressed by the set ratio.

    Before beginning, you'll need a large decible meter, preferably with a digital readout. As a general rule, your mix before mastering should fall below the 0db mark, and preferably below the -1db spot. Leaving a ceiling will allow you to compress and boost, without having to do too much limiting.

    Drums: Perhaps the most important element in a hip-hop track. DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Alchemist, Havoc, RZA, Marley Marl and Timbaland. What do all these producers have in common? Their thumping drums. Now imagine if all those beatmakers made weak drum tracks. Premier's "Come Clean" probably wouldn't be considered a classic, nor would Pete Rock's "T.R.O.Y". Compression is very much needed on drums, especially in the hip-hop world. What exactly does compression do to help? Fatten, thicken, louden, and sharpen. Deep, rumbly kick drums and sharp, snappy snares. Ah, the wonders of compression.
    Threshold: -10db to -15db
    Ratio: 6:1 to 8:1
    Attack: 3ms
    Release: 10ms
    Knee: Hard
    Gain: +5db to +7db---

    Percussion: Although not all hip-hop tracks contain, or need percussion, a lot of the newage pioneer beatmakers are using bongos, congas, triangles, steel drums, as well as other percussion instruments. Percussion doesn't require a lot of compression because usually, the percussion track rests behind the drum track. Bongos, congas, and the likes usually have an immediate popping sound that doesn't need compressing, so the attack should be set slower than drums.
    Threshold: -3db to -7db
    Ratio: 3:1 to 6:1
    Attack: 5ms to 7ms
    Release: 15ms
    Knee: Hard
    Gain: +2db to +4db---

    Bass: A common problem with bass is that the low notes seem to disappear into the mix while the higher notes stick out like a sore thumb. With many instruments, reverb could solve this problem. However, using reverb on the bass track usually gives it an undesirable effect. By using compression, you can bring up the lows, and submerge the higher notes into the mix. Often times, there is an initial "pluck" to the bass sound, and it can be more beneficial to let this sound slide through uncompressed.
    Threshold: -4db to -9db
    Ratio: 4:1 to 8:1
    Attack: 3ms (if there is a plucking sound, use an attack closer to 7ms)
    Release: 100ms on short bass sounds / 300ms on long bass tones
    Knee: Hard
    Gain: +2db to +4db

    Brass / Wind instruments: Brass and wind instruments require a "transparent" type compression. Any obvious processing can noticably ruin the sound. Brass and wind instruments have a lot of variety in playing styles. Trumpets can be played expressivly loud, and a smooth, mellow flute will need much different processing.
    Threshold: -2db to -4db
    Ratio: 6:1 (lighter instruments) to 15:1 (deep brassy instruments)
    Attack: 3ms (If a transient sound needs through uncompressed, use 6ms)
    Release: 300ms
    Knee: Hard
    Gain: None---

    Guitars: When working with acoustic guitars, compressors tend to reveal themselves more so it's a good idea to use a very "transparent" compression. If working with electric guitars, make small increases to the ratio and threshold.
    Threshold: -2db to -3db
    Ratio: 3:1 to 4:1
    Attack: 3ms (If there is an initial pluck, use 5ms)
    Release: 30ms to 60ms
    Knee: Soft
    Gain: 0db to +1db---

    Samples: If you're a sampled based producer (specifically, phrase sampler), chances are you don't get to compress several instruments in different ways. Using the following numbers, you'll be able to smooth out the entire sample without too much limiting.
    Threshold: -2db to -3db (If the sample is recorded bad, and there's lots of peaks, use a higher threshold around -5db)
    Ratio: 2:1 to 3:1
    Attack: 2ms
    Release: 400ms
    Knee: Hard
    Gain: +1db to +3db

    Full Mix: The final mix doesn't require much compression, although some hip-hop songs have been compressed with a 3:1 ratio, most aren't needed that much. A final compression should act as a limiter, keeping the signal close to the 0db mark.
    Threshold: -4db to -7db
    Ratio: 1.5:1 to 2.5:1
    Attack: 5ms
    Release: 200ms to 500ms
    Knee: Hard
    Gain: Varies---Remember, those are just guidelines. There are no rules to mixing, and no rules to mastering. Hopefully you've learned a few things from reading this. If you're in need of a compressor, there are several software compression tools that you will find handy.

    If you're using Fruity Loops 3.0 +, the Fruity Compressor is great. If you're using any software that allows Direct-X plugins, I strongly reccommend the Waves Gold Bundle Plug-ins.

    Waves Plug-ins Tips: You'll notice there are several compressors, each have different options.The C-1 Compressor is the standard compressor. All other compressors in the Waves Bundles have an attatched EQ. Use the C-1 compressor on drums, and anything else that doesn't need heavy EQ'ing at the moment.L1 Ultramaximizer - This is great for creating a ceiling on your mix to keep the peak at 0db. Using "Setup A" should work fine.MaxxBass - This is another great plug-in that works wonders on basslines. I suggest trying this one out. (Use only on bass tracks)


    there u go but remember its not the end all be all guide always use your ears.
    test
  8. Predator INC

    Predator INC New Member

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    Punch, apparent loudness, presence... just three of the many terms used to describe the effects of compressing and limiting on an audio signal.

    The terms compression and limiting have been in the audio vocabulary for years, yet there is some confusion over their definitions. The confusion arises from the fact that both the compressor and the limiter are devices that restrict the dynamic range of a signal, and the difference between them is one of degree, with the limiter having the most effect. To simply define each:

    Compressor: An amplifier, whose gain decreases as its input level is increased.

    Limiter: A compressor, whose output level remains constant, regardless of its input level.

    Both definitions are valid only after the signal being processed reaches a certain level. Therefore, one more definition needs to be thrown out for consideration:

    Threshold: The level at or above which the compressor or limiter begins functioning.

    In a situation where input and output are idealized for a combination compressor/limiter, as the input level increases from -10dB to 0dB, the output level, likewise, increases from -10dB to 0dB. Here the device is functioning as a simple unity gain amplifier, with no effect on the signal level.

    Compression

    Once the signal level exceeds the compression threshold of 0dB, the output level will follow the compression curve, assuming a compression ratio of 2:1, as the input increases 10dB; the output will yield only 5db more gain.

    Limiting

    In a limiting situation, with a limiting threshold of +20dB, once the input level reaches +20dB, there is no further increase in output level. Hence, the device is operating as a limiter,. In actual practice, compression ratios of greater than 10:1 are considered as limiting. Once the limiting threshold of +20dB has been reached, the output level remains at +10dB, despite further increases in input level. Therefore, it should be understood that the limiter threshold does not necessarily indicate the maximum allowable output level of the device. Rather, it indicates the input level at which the limiter begins working.

    Variable Thresholds

    It should be noted that the same compression ratio of 2:1 mentioned earlier will have different effects on the overall dynamic range depending on the point at which compression begins (threshold). Also, the positioning of the compression threshold will influence the point at which limiting must begin, if a certain maximum output level is not to be exceeded.

    Variable Compression Ratios

    Most state-of-the-art compressors offer audio engineers a variety of compression ratios from which to choose. Assuming that an audio signal must be kept below +10dB, using higher compression ratio settings will allow for a greater dynamics range of the signal being processed.

    Pumping and Breathing

    It is relatively easy to determine the compression threshold and ratio needed to prevent a wide dynamic range signal from exceeding a specified output level. However, it should be realized that - especially at high ratios - the action of the compressor might become audibly obtrusive. To understand why, remember that the compressor is a variable gain device. The higher the compression ratio the greater the change in gain. A constant high level signal, say +10dB will cause more gain reduction. When the high level is removed, the amount of gain reduction decreases as the compressor returns to unity gain. If the gain reduction fluctuates rapidly, it may be quite audible as the background noise goes up and down in time with the compressor action, i.e. attack /release times, causing a breathing like sound. This can be used sometimes as an effect producing some killer results.

    Example: The use of extremely short attack times and longer release times may create a backward-like sound, especially on percussive instruments. The fast attack immediately drops the signal, and then as the signal naturally decays, the release time setting brings up the gain, working against the normal decay. This effect is particularly noticeable on a drum set, and particularly on cymbals.

    Program Limiting

    Often compression may be applied to the overall program rather than to an individual instrument. Known as program limiting, this practice will prevent cumulative levels of the various instruments from getting too high or falling too low. This type of gain control must be approached with care, since the adverse effects of compression are heard on the entire program.

    Program limiting is often used to raise the apparent loudness of a record. Since the ear averages the sound level over a period of time, a low level program with occasional high level peaks will not seem as loud as an average level program with no high level peaks. (Confused yet?). In the quest for louder sounding recordings and broadcasts this type of loudness boosting is often overdone, much to the detriment of the finished product. Meaning, what you hear coming over the radio or television is often much different than the original producers, engineers and mastering people had in mind. Stereo Program Limiting

    When a stereo broadcast program is limited, the gain regulating sections of the left and right track compressors must be electronically interlocked, so that the compression in one track causes an equal amount of compression in the other track. This keeps the overall left-to-right stereo program in balance.

    Consider a stereo program in which the right track occasionally needs some compression. During compression, a center placed solo would apparently drift to the left whenever the gain of the right track is affected by the compressor. To prevent this center channel drift, the stereo interlock function reduces the gain in both channels simultaneously whenever one exceeds the threshold of compression. This keeps the center placed information from moving from side to side with each action of one or the other compressor channel.


    read this too my nig itll help. pz.
    test
  9. LiQuiD6

    LiQuiD6 Left hook Justice

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    that whole shit...is jacked from like......10 different websites......lol......like i said again.....none of that shit was written for hip hop....noviss jacked some ideas from general sites....yea he might know what it does...but this spreads the same misinformation i talked about earlier.......

    heres the prime clue:

    "Perhaps the most important element in a hip-hop track. DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Alchemist, Havoc, RZA, Marley Marl and Timbaland. What do all these producers have in common? Their thumping drums."

    none of those producers.....with the exception of timbaland.....(and marley marls newer shit)....compressed thier drums.....lol............NONE

    thier equipment did any "compression" automatically.....the sp12....the ensoniq eps.....the asr-10......thats a case of "good for hip hop"DAC's....not compression racks.....or compression techniques....

    lol.....yall livin in la la land....
    test
  10. J-A-B-B-A-R

    J-A-B-B-A-R Knick Hater

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    and that my friend makes all the difference. a lot of people don't know how to mix a beat or song properly and don't know the functions of the effects, so they sell themselves shorts and its probably their whack mixing that downgrades their beats.

    Pz
    test
  11. Mr. sickVisionz

    Mr. sickVisionz The Gentleman's Producer

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    Where did you read that none of them compress their drums? Just curious.
    test
  12. TruMentillz

    TruMentillz SampleRapist

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    i think everybody needs to ease up..theres no right or wrong way in music... homeboy just needs to know what it (compression) is in order for him to use it to his liking...i hate when cats jump in with their bullshit process chains..like it's MUSICS standard...go somewhere with that bullshit

    duke..peep what nasty chopz wrote...and apply that..as well as any effect to YOUR liking..
    test
  13. LiQuiD6

    LiQuiD6 Left hook Justice

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    its thier equipment and drum choices that make their shit thump....

    anyone who has heard or used an eps....asr-10.....or sp12 can tell you its the coloring and analog distortion of the equipment when you samplin into it.....thats what makes the hardware so damn legendary......
    test
  14. LiQuiD6

    LiQuiD6 Left hook Justice

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    here.....want some PROOF?

    http://remixmag.com/mag/remix_realist/index.html

    i think im done with this topic....if yall dont get it by now...you never will
    test
  15. Arcane

    Arcane Alcoholic Roadie

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    the samples they use for their drums are already compressed to shit....

    it's not like they need to compress it after that

    but they are anyways, when whoever mixes the track compresses shit
    test
  16. LiQuiD6

    LiQuiD6 Left hook Justice

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    exactly my point....thank you.....thats what ive been saying the WHOLE thread....

    unless your fucking ?uestlove from the roots and you bang out your own live drums, this compression shit is for the birds
    test
  17. Arcane

    Arcane Alcoholic Roadie

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    but they're still compressed

    the arguement is that there is no compression present on producers drums, the fact is, they're squashed to shit, and that's why they hit like they do
    test
  18. urban_tactics

    urban_tactics aka johnny cockram

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    that was never the argument

    stop reachin...........the argument was that a fuckin DRUM SAMPLE from a KIT doesnt need to be compressed

    if you are tryin to imply that even 5% of drum samples floatin around aint been compressed and need to be compressed, then u are sadly mistaken.........
    test
  19. LiQuiD6

    LiQuiD6 Left hook Justice

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    DING DING DING!!!
    test
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