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Multiband compressor questions

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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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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby GS1 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:26 pm

I meant actually the high threshold/low ratio combination producing minimal compression on the second level of processing...
My set-up doesn't allow the attack/release + a knee adjustments on the mastering compressor,just for the input one so anything I do has to work in terms of those as a given preset sets them...
Appreciate again the discussion of these specific aspects of compressing the mix in terms of overall dynamic effect and how to get things to have a relatively transparent result where things sound as unprocessed as possible while actually using quite a bit of it...
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby GS1 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:45 pm

Another thing I'd be interested in in the context of the overall topic focus is how different threshold/ ratio combinations affect things I.e.high threshold/low ratio setting up minimal compression,low threshold/high ratio =maximum effect etc
I have some info about this but finding out about actual peoples experience w/it would continue to help me develop a sense of things..in terms of general principles to apply independent of specific input dB/amount of compression resulting in x dB of gain reduction etc...

I remember from looking at the C4 manual that instead of threshold adjustment you specify range(I.e.amount of dB reduction)/ratio ..which sets up the threshold automatically if I'm understanding this ...

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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby My Own Silence » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:37 am

Just out of curiosity GS1 what compressor are you using?
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Re: Multiband compressor questions

Postby GS1 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:55 pm

See first thread post which explains current set-up....
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