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Adding Compression to my setup

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Adding Compression to my setup

Postby beaker » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:28 am

Hi...quite new to recording. My modest setup consists of a condenser mic, an 'ART Tube MP Studio' preamp, a Presonus Firebox and a macbook with logic express8. I was going to get a small compressor unit (for the vocals and acoustic guitar), because a friend said i should. The preamp has no 'insert' channel, and neither does the firebox, so am wondering if anyone knows what the best way of inserting a compressor into my recording chain would be? Thanks.
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Re: Adding Compression to my setup

Postby 4TrackMadman » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:00 pm

Just because a friend said you should? That reasoning doesn't really make sense to me.

With most modern DAWs running at 24bit you have enough headroom to compress with plugins after the tracking stage unless you really want to compress going in or want a compressor that has some kind of desirable sonic footprint to the material.

I'd pur a compressor after the preamp so in your case it would be after the MP.
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Re: Adding Compression to my setup

Postby The Elf » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:17 pm

It's a complication you don't need at this stage. 24-bit recording gives you plenty of room to get a healthy signal into your DAW, then you can use a plug-in compressor.
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Re: Adding Compression to my setup

Postby RobinBjerke » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:15 pm

If you want a basic introduction to compression you should check out this link:

When it comes to your question, the only way a compressor would be beneficial to your setup would be to add it between the MP and the firebox so that you can have the possibility to compress before you print the track. This is beneficial in a couple of ways, especially because you can maintain a better signal/noise ratio. This is good if you are considering compressing later in the mix anyway, seeing as any upwards compression will raise the noise floor of the track. It also helps with recordings of less experienced musicians with unstable dynamics without you having to worry about the signal peaking in a fit of musical exitement from the performer.

Good luck!
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Re: Adding Compression to my setup

Postby Aural Reject » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:26 pm

There are, perhaps not surprisingly, rather a few articles on the Sound on Sound website - search results here, with a particular example here - and also forum threads on the same subject.

As has been already been suggested if you're recording in a 24 bit environment it's simpler to just leave enough headroom and compress in the can do this even with an inexperienced performer.....just set your levels for when they get louder on the bits they know ;)
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Re: Adding Compression to my setup

Postby Mixedup » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:15 am

RobinBjerke wrote:If you want a basic introduction to compression you should check out this link:

...and/or perhaps these SOS articles ;)

Compression Made Easy

Compression Made Easy Audio Files

Classic Compressors

d'oh! I didn't read Mr Reject's post. Oh well, I'll leave the links up as they're useful... :blush:
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