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Passing snare thru' gate then comp

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Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby aekoi » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:08 pm

When processing (not recording) a snare signal does anyone use a gate then a compressor? Or is that just silly? I find I miss the HOLD and RELEASE controls when using the gate on most compressors.

Thanks for any advice you can give.
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:25 pm

I would definitely gate first because the compressor will cause the spill to be increased in level.
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby narcoman » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:46 pm

separate gates? yeah - often...... although im using gates a lot less than i used to.
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby aekoi » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:59 pm

Thanks. I'm asking as it's not a technique I've ever stumbled across in books/magazines etc but it seems to make sense (to me anyway).
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:26 pm

I tend to gate mults because a bit of spill on the snare is usually ok but the mults need to be clean for me or it just gets too messy. I gate and then compress.

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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby Persuazion » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:24 pm

Can't actually remember the last time I used a gate! I usually just manually cut in the box. Unless I'm triggering it from midi I don't rely on them. For most of the stuff I'm doing these days, anyway.
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:41 pm

I frequently gate first, but I'm only looking to reduce the spill, not silence it completely. In fact I more often use an expander than a gate.
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby aekoi » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:04 pm

Thanks

So, you folks that gate and then compress do you hook up a Y-lead to gate, jack lead out of gate into comp, and other end of Y-lead back to desk?

(The current mission is to reduce spill by the way, that's the main reason I'm wanting more flexible gate controls than you find on a standard compressor)
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby narcoman » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:19 pm

aekoi wrote:Thanks

So, you folks that gate and then compress do you hook up a Y-lead to gate, jack lead out of gate into comp, and other end of Y-lead back to desk?

(The current mission is to reduce spill by the way, that's the main reason I'm wanting more flexible gate controls than you find on a standard compressor)

Most people are using DAWs these days - so that's a bit old school. However - on those very rare occasions when I would use one on my console I would daisy chain the insert from the send to the gate, then from the gate to the compressor. Attaching the Y cable (long time since I had a console that used that technique!!) to the gate and the compressor from the gate won't achieve what you're looking for!

I guess what you mean is take the "send" from the Y split into the gate - connect the out of the gate to the input of the compressor and then the output of the compressor to the return of the Y lead.
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby aekoi » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:15 am

Thanks. We're describing the same hook up method, I just didn't make it clear. So that's a valid method then?

And I have a hardware set up so old skool is cool :)
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby MadManDan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:33 am

The Elf wrote:I frequently gate first, but I'm only looking to reduce the spill, not silence it completely. In fact I more often use an expander than a gate.
+1, especially if you are using semi-pro gear. Expander will probably sound more natural. Home studio gates never worked for me because the attack was never right, I was always unhappy w results.

However, I also worked a lot in nice rooms, with Kepex II gates . Those can actually gate a snare nice and tight, and let you set as much release as needed. BUT , ymmv, as the drummer must be consistent to always hit similarly.
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby The Elf » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:28 am

The secret to gating is what you do to the signal that keys the gate.

Valid methods include filtering the key or boosting frequency ranges, increasing or decreasing the dynamic range (both are valid depending on context), or using a slightly pre-delayed version of the source track to help preserve transients. I imagine a healthy dose of transient designer would be a good aid for a sharper key signal, though I’ve not used that trick myself.

Too often I see people lose faith in gating simply because it doesn‘t work perfectly as soon as they lower the threshold. There’s a reason the deservedly revered Drawmer DS201 has a filter in the side chain!

And if you’re using hardware, get those key inputs onto your patchbay. Mine is the only studio I know of where the dynamics processors’ key inputs are readily available.

Sometimes I’ll use a gate even if the source sound doesn’t actually need spill reduction; the resulting ‘click’ of a DS201 on the leading edge of a kick drum can be really helpful in a mix - thankfully, some software gates are capable of the same trick.

These days I've pretty much left hardware gating behind me. Sniff...
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby turbodave » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:12 am

.....and I buy all the used ones on ebay!...aaaahh, the smell of old drawmer/klark teknik!
I dislike ITB recording and love the knobs and feel( of the knobs..ahem).With the hardware you can treat the processor like an instrument and explore...yes explore! However I don't make a living from recording so I am able to mess around.Get a nice second hand dl241 and fiddle with the endless possibilities.....use of knobs and fiddle in this post is purely coincidental! Dave
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby grab » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:54 am

+1 on expander - it can help the thing you're interested in to stand out, without sounding as artificial as the hard cut-off of a gate.
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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:42 am

Most gates have a range control or an expand mode, and the trick to getting a satisfactory sound is not to try to achieve silence between the wanted beats. That way leads to trashed transients and unnatural decays.

If you must have silence between beats, edit the source files in your DAW.

If you're using hardware gates, the best bet is to aim to reduce the spill to acceptable levels, not remove it completely. And you do that either by setting the range control so that the when the gate is closed it only attenuates by 6-12dB or so (rather than being fully off), or you configure it as an expander whopping in gain reduction between the wanted beats of about the same amount.

That way, the initial transients are preserved (and better controlled), but the spill is helpfully reduced.

And yes, daisy-chaining via insert Y-lead send to gate, gate out to compressor in, compressor out to insert Y-lead return is the way to do it if that's the set up you have.

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Re: Passing snare thru' gate then comp

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:45 am

If there's one thing digital does well without any argument, it's gating. Once it's in the DAW lookahead is possible.
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