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Multiband compressor questions

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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby Zukan » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:12 am

In that case GS1 try a dynamic eq. You can shape the bells using Q and even use expansion instead of compression available on most plugs.
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby James Perrett » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:25 pm

Zukan wrote:In that case GS1 try a dynamic eq. You can shape the bells using Q and even use expansion instead of compression available on most plugs.

Not sure dynamic eq is available on the DP008. I'm starting to wonder if the OP is ready to move to a DAW given the level of the questions. It would make this sort of thing much easier.
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby GS1 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:34 pm

I have access to Audacity which is available on the computers at the library(don't own one myself,using a hardware approach instead)and will be taking advantage of this further on down the line....once I load up a few SD cards w/material on the DP008ex I'll be processing the finished stereo master tracks as wav files using it and although things like noise reduction/tempo change etc will be my focus,if I think the track needs tweaking I'll get into using the EQ's etc..on Audacity...looked over the manual to see what's what.....

However in this phase I'm focused on getting the best results w/the equipment/set up I have...concentrating more on getting the instrumental sounds I'm looking for,putting the mix together and then working w/panning/levels to get things to sound like I want...

Trying to keep a balance between the kind of mindset/approach needed to perfect a given track w/a parallel focus on all the elements of the music itself that's being recorded...I.e.while I'm working on developing an"audio engineer skillset" like someone who.just does this w/other peoples material I'm also continuing to spend time putting the individual aspects of a given track(i.e bass/keyboard/drum track/pad-strings/melody)together..

For ex after finishing reviewing/ retracking/remixing the initial 6 tracks (I.e.completed mixes/songs) on the current SD card I've shifted my focus back to working on new material for the next phase of tracking..setting up the drum track/putting things together using a keyboard workstation w/a 16 track sequencer, recording the individual parts that will be transferred to the TASCAM..

Before moving to focusing on recording things w/the DP008ex a couple of months ago I put about 50 tracks together and recorded them w/a little handheld digital recorder to make demos of...these are now being redone using the unit....in addition to these I have a lot of other additional material ready to be recorded ....

I've gone into detai about my approach to things here because I want to emphasize my intention to avoid getting bogged down in the minute aspects of the overall recording process in favor of a streamlined approach to getting a lot of material recorded....and while I want to put in the work on each song needed to perfect it I'm hoping to avoid the type of extended focus on one that went on with these initial 6 as II figured out how to do things.....

In the context of this underlying approach to getting things done the subject of this thread might be more understandable- what to do using the equipment I have at present to make the completed mix sound best-and I've found that using the units' mastering MBC presets as a regular step to be an essential part of things -

I was listening to the mixes w/each of the presets without getting into adjusting the parameters just to determine which sounded best as a basis for selecting one to work with andsaw that the single band compressor/limiter presets also made a big difference in how the individual mix aspects sounded...I may decide to process things initially using these before a second pass using one of the MBC options..i.e.
setting the level low/make-up gain off for the first stage of postmixdown processing ..

James-what does "OP" stand for as you used it(the OP is ready to move to a DAW)?
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby CS70 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:46 pm

Just a thought - it' perfectly fine to use the channel EQ to shape to individual sound so that's how you like it... I do that all the time as first step.

But then, being in hardware, you cannot re-use the same EQ to actually do the mixing job! That's probably why you end using stuff like the multiband on the master bus to try to actually mix the thing - i.e. get the entire mix sound right. In a DAW, you would simply add another EQ plugin to do the necessary frequency carving or correction etc - or add more EQ points to somthing like FabFilter.. but if all you have is a single channel EQ, life is hard. :-)

Basically all the issues you wrote of should be done at mixing, not on the main bus. So, what about bouncing your tracks once you've found their sound? Basically you play, then you shape the sound, bounce the tracks so that EQ is printed and then you can (re)use the onboard EQ to actually do the corrections and carvings you need to be able to mix.
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby GS1 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:32 am

Thx to everyone who's emphasized the benefits of a software-based approach to the same situation of postmixdown processing currently being done w/the DP008ex-as per the first part of my last post....

CS70 appreciate your suggestions for using the track bouncing options on the unit as a means of having shelf EQ available to use w/new tracking...however I recently got a
Samson S-Curve 1/3 octave graphic EQ which I've been using after finding the shelf by itself unable to produce the sounds I'm interested in....
Also in terms of tracking I haven't been bouncing things since the unit only allows for mono tracking or what it calls a "stereo bounce " using two tracks...in the interest of getting the stereo field results I'm after...
Although I'm aware of the bounce option and have used it to combine the same instrumental part recorded sectionally on several tracks to one;I am not sure to what extent the bounce destination track/tracks preserve the panning/levels I use to set things up...so as a result my focus is on using the (mixdown>stereo master track>MBC>copy results back to 2 mono tracks as part of a submix) process the unit offers..

.W/this I get a good mix of the individual tracks used spread over the 2 new tracks w/results like having the highs of a given instrument on one + the lows on the other ...something I don't believe bouncing would produce...and can set the levels/panning for these new tracks to emphasize the balance I want for the larger mix....
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby CS70 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:13 am

GS1 wrote:Also in terms of tracking I haven't been bouncing things since the unit only allows for mono tracking or what it calls a "stereo bounce " using two tracks...in the interest of getting the stereo field results I'm after...

Ah yeah, then seems that things get too complicated. You definitely need a DAW. Especially if you're doing electronic music, the amount of post production required to mix properly is such that even a serious desk would struggle, or at least require a lot of outboard. It's not a case that electronic music is made primarily in the box.

Although I'm aware of the bounce option and have used it to combine the same instrumental part recorded sectionally on several tracks to one;I am not sure to what extent the bounce destination track/tracks preserve the panning/levels I use to set things up...

They will most definitely preserve them. A bounce is a bounce - if they didn't preserve your panning, they wouldn't even when you bounce your final stereo mix. But the fact that you can bounce only stereo definitely complicates things.

so as a result my focus is on using the (mixdown>stereo master track>MBC>copy results back to 2 mono tracks as part of a submix) process the unit offers..

It seems like a case of making up for shortcomings of the tools you have. Get new tools! :D

Best of luck.
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby James Perrett » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:15 am

I'd agree that you are struggling with the limitations of your chosen hardware. A refurbished laptop and a copy of Reaper will give you quite a bit more versatility for not too much money. You can still record on the DP008 and then transfer the files to the laptop for mixing.
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby My Own Silence » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:35 am

Just back to topic.

Multi and compression might not be a popular mastering tool but....

I've seen professional seasoned mix engineers use it on their master bus. Not to fix but to add some tightness. I've picked up using C4 on the master just slightly adjusting the thresholds of each bands and the crossover points. I find for some music it just controls things a bit. It does get left on before mastering along with a bus compressor (usually before the multi and). I do try myself to avoid using one and working on the individual tracks.

However sometimes it helps. As soon as a question gets asked as to whether to use one you must evaluate the reason why you need one. If you can answer your own questions with any processing then you are mixing and mixing to your tastes - or at requests from others tastes to make it work for them (although a multi and is not something an artist/band will normally understand).

With multi and there are many cool tricks and uses so it's a tool that requires a care approach and a sensible one. It's like an EQ but with a time dependant feel to it with its compression. Keep it simple to start with - don't use it as anything more than multiple compressors to tighten certain bands, as you get more competent with it you will find other uses - or ditch it altogether and try to achieve the results withing the tracks themselves.
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby GS1 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:35 pm

MOS Thx for posting ....

I just tried to download the user guide for the Waves C4 but for some reason the PDF came up "unable to open"-anyways-
I'm assuming that unlike the MBC on the DP008ex you can adjust the parameters for each band more(attack/release)as well as the crossover....but still I'm interested in finding out about the kind of settings for the threshold/lratio/level you used...(as I was asking about in the earlier posts here above )
Also you mention using single band compression before MBC which I'm thinking about doing as well ...any info about this appreciated -especially in terms of how to do this in a way that preserves the dynamics while still affecting the mix in a positive way (again please refer to earlier posts here for info re-my exp w/the DP-008 ex MBC + how this compares w/the Waves C4 approach you used...)

Again really appreciate you posting as I'd hoped to find some feedback on MBC parameter adjustment I can apply to my current equipment instead of the focus on using DAW instead of it in many of the other replies -(much as I greatly appreciate the feedback/viewpoints/info/
discussion topics touched on by James/Andy/Zukan/Desmond/CS70 in their replies....
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby My Own Silence » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:39 am

Glad I could help.

For the signed band compressor - a standard mix bus compressor is ideal and I will mix into it. There is a lot of info on this but I will try to explain how I use it.

I use an SLL style compressor (I am using the SSL Duende but the waves one, or Chronic The Glue are a few others. There are ways to setup included plugins to do this as well. I setup the compressor to have a 4:1 compression ratio. 10ms attack to let the start of the transients through. Fastest release for 4 on the floor beats or more generic rock beats I use auto release. Fastest release gives more pump - suitable for EDM in most cases. Auto release let's the material dictate the release time - I use it on everything else. Learn both. so the track is to mix into it. I get the kick and snare to cause the compression to engage (you might need to pull the threshold down a bit). I go for 1-4db gain reduction. With time you will learn to hit this subtly. Trick is to get it to be felt rather than heard in many cases. Mix in the rest around it maintaining good movement from the kick and snare and mix around them.

Multiband compression.

So in waves C4 my goto start point is to pick the preset "hard basic" - I think it's called that. It sets up higher ratios. I don't tend to play with this. I would make sure it's set to OPTO mode (just personal preference). Then I set the thresholds (the small pointers on each band meter). to just tap the peaks down very slightly. To much and you will really hear it. I adjust the bands till it feels right. I use it to tighten up the sound a bit. On the master I do not boost any bands - I keep it flat. This is different if I use it on vocals for example.

I will follow up in most cases with a tape saturation - is UHE Satin and a limiter. Waves L3/L2 but any will work.

Key things to look at is that you are only gently touching each peak. Each compressor is working a small amount but collectively it's actually a lot. There is no point if the compressors are not effecting just the peaks in my view.

This is quite a lengthy description that still only touched on using these plugins. How you mix iinto the chain makes a huge difference on the results. Learning to "push" your instruments up against a compressor is the best way to learn how to get the best out of them.

I can mix without a multiband compressor. If you are not aware of bus compression in itself I suggest just starting there.



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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby Zukan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:22 am

My Own, try to get funky with the submit post button dude. I just deleted 3 copies of the same post.
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby GS1 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:34 pm

MOS again thanks for going into detail here about your approach..I was able to find a copy of the C4 user guide to look at online and compare it w/what the MBC on the unit does...I think the thing you're doing initially w/the "Hard Basic"setting is what I'm referring to above w/the higher ratio/threshold limiter type settings on it-seems like it affects not only the peaks but the overall tone quality -by changing the dynamics of the signal it shifts the balance of frequencies as well in a positive way for the mix....

I had actually not listened to the mixdown w/these type of single band presets as I had been focusing on what changing the levels of each band did w/the MBC presets instead of the single band -however as I posted above ,the other day I did for the first time and was impressed w/the effect (after making sure to adjust the make-up gain/levels so it acted on the mix without the corresponding huge volume level increase)-my only concern in using a two stage approach to the mix(I.e.initial processing w/the single band set much as you do then using one of the 3 band presets to get note into things by adjusting the parameters...soloing the bands etc w/a focus on EQ type results in terms of the mix balance I.e.boosting the kick )is not over processing the end result so the dynamics are lost .....
Any info about this appreciated I.e.after initial processing I'm thinking I should be focused on lower threshold/ratio settings while still adjusting the overall band relationship in terms of levels ...
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby My Own Silence » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:25 pm

Zukan wrote:My Own, try to get funky with the submit post button dude. I just deleted 3 copies of the same post.
Sorry I have started to use this Tapatalk app.. it was erroring all over the place.

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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby My Own Silence » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:41 pm

I think a lot of mixers worry about the high ratio settings. On the single band bus compressor 4:1 is not that intense at all - specially if you just knock a dB or 2 of the peaks.

the same applying to multiband. I am literally just feathering the peaks which can be even more subtle on a multiband.

I've been mixing some very dynamic acoustic guitar, blues/jazz drums recently and I use a bus compressor. I might not use much multiband compression at all the but the key is small amounts from different compressors. You are not squashing the mix just the crest of the mix of you like.

Of course you can go as subtle as you like but and this for me was an issue when I started mixing - are you using the subtle settings due to fear or because you know what you are doing? Sorry if that last point comes across as a bit harsh it's not meant to be. Compression is such a wired thing to hear at first - kind of like when you start learning to drive a car it all feels odd and you might think driving in 2nd gear is bad, unless you are going around a roundabout, then it's perfect.

I guess I feel the same way about compression. I use some pretty high ratios for some things but I wouldn't say my mixes sound squashed as my threshold is probably higher and my attack and release set to rise over the dynamics carefully.

I hope this helps I do not know your experience with compression and I remember for years I was clueless. Took me quite some time to get used to how each part effects the other.
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby My Own Silence » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:44 pm

Forgot to mention that high ratios don't always mean the same things on each compressor. They have different Knees on how this is implemented so a low threshold with a higher ratios might not be compressing as much as you think. And if you set you attack to slower the dynamics are being allowed through more.
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