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Compression question

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Compression question

Postby elduderino » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:01 pm

Hi guys, I have a question about compression.

I havea Yamaha N8 digital mixer which has a built in compressor. It allows you to choose between different types of compression and also how much of that compression you want.

I understand that compression attenuates the peak levels of a sound whilst boosting the volume.

The problem i'm having is that when I use compression in my N8 mixer it seems to lower the volume as i increase the drive of the compression. Meaning that I have to increase the voume using the channel fader...which seems wrong to me.

Have I got somethig wrong here? Am i using too much compression perhaps? I was expecing the volume to get louser....isn't that what happens?
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Re: Compression question

Postby Zukan » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:07 pm

You need to either gain compensate after the compression has taken place to bring the compressed level back up to either normal listening or to align with the input value, OR you need to use the gain input to drive the compressor more.
Generally, and in it's basic form, the compressor will and is made to attenuate signals above the threshold by the ratio value. It is meant to sound quieter unless gain compensation or higher input gain values are used.

I suggest a read of this.
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Re: Compression question

Postby DJ Hero » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:29 pm

To build on the previous reply...

Pay attention to the ratio you've used on your compressor.

Take for example 2:1, for every 2 decibels the thresholds decreases the signal, you'll need to increase the post gain 1 decibel. As that is 1 half.

Opposingly, 4:1, is one quarter, so don't think that if you've reduced the levels by 4 decibels with a 4:1 ratio you only need to increase the post gain by 1 decibel. What you has actually happened is, the gain will need to be increased by 75% to match the unaltered volume. The problem you'll hear here is, typically those higher ratios create more of a snap, or crack to the attach of your sound, so increasing the over all volume using post gain may get better results simply by playing by ear.
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Re: Compression question

Postby ROLO46 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:19 pm

Compression may seem simple but it aint
A v gentle hand is needed
Low ratios,thresholds etc
Great for glueing things together and bringing up performance and ambiance but oh so easy to over egg and strangle.
Treat with care :angel:
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Re: Compression question

Postby desmond » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:38 pm

Ah I dunno, I likes me some good audio strangling quite often... :)

"Today, I've been mostly strangling audio..."
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Re: Compression question

Postby elduderino » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:53 am

Hi guys, Thanks for the replies.

I've read the posts and the article. It seems the compressor on the N8 doesn't work the same way as most of the compressors discussed. It had no ratio control for instance or gain compensation. It just has a dial to choose between the different types of comression and then another dial to choose how much.

On closer inspection of the manual it seems that the gain is supposed to be automatically increased as you add more compression but that really does not seem to be happening for me. I have to make a call to support today at Yamaha so I will question them about this.

However your replies have got me interested in compressin in the box. I'm not sure what compressors are available to me in cubase but I'm going to research and try and find a compressor with the gain/ratio etc.

Many thanks for the replies.
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Re: Compression question

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:34 am

elduderino wrote: I've read the posts and the article. It seems the compressor on the N8 doesn't work the same way as most of the compressors discussed. It had no ratio control for instance or gain compensation. It just has a dial to choose between the different types of comression and then another dial to choose how much.
Although this does seem a bit inflexible I suspect Yamaha are aiming to keep things simple for their target market. You should still be able to achieve reasonable results by dialling in something vaguely suitable.

elduderino wrote:On closer inspection of the manual it seems that the gain is supposed to be automatically increased as you add more compression but that really does not seem to be happening for me. I have to make a call to support today at Yamaha so I will question them about this.
A few compressors do have an automatic gain make-up feature – most notably the mighty (magical –mmm!) SSL channel compressor. Some are more ‘intelligent’ than others, but if you’re finding it so bad I wonder if there’s an option needs switching on somewhere?

elduderino wrote:However your replies have got me interested in compressin in the box. I'm not sure what compressors are available to me in cubase but I'm going to research and try and find a compressor with the gain/ratio etc.
You have all of the basic dynamics processing you need right there in Cubase. I find the ‘Vintage Compressor’ particularly nice when it begins to work hard (8dB or more of gain reduction) – great on vocals and acoustic guitar, where its gets agreeably ‘squishy’. The ‘vanilla’ compressor does a good job of fastening down drums and bass. I think you’ll find them every bit the equal, and more, of what you have in your mixer.
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Re: Compression question

Postby elduderino » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:11 pm

The Elf wrote:I wonder if there’s an option needs switching on somewhere?

I really don't think there is...i've read the manual twice! I will ask Yamaha today.


The Elf wrote:You have all of the basic dynamics processing you need right there in Cubase. I find the ‘Vintage Compressor’ particularly nice when it begins to work hard (8dB or more of gain reduction) – great on vocals and acoustic guitar, where its gets agreeably ‘squishy’. The ‘vanilla’ compressor does a good job of fastening down drums and bass. I think you’ll find them every bit the equal, and more, of what you have in your mixer.

Excellent stuff...thanks! Will check these out tonight. It's actually an acoutic guitar that i'm trying to record. I do know that Mic placement, Mic choice and recording environment are most important to get a good recording of an acoustic and i'm playing with these extensively but I want to explore every facet to help me find a sound I like.
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