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Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

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Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby rmidijingles » Thu May 08, 2008 4:13 am

Hello there,

Just some general questions about compression, though a clear answer would be most helpful.

What is the advantage to using a compressor as an aux send, and why is it that the volume appears to go up when you dial the compression in with an aux send, while when you use it as an insert effect, the volume goes down like I'd expect it would, causing gain reduction and all?

And for basslines I find that I'm compressing with an insert compressor at about 4:1 AND with an aux compressor yet again to bring it out. Is this having any effect, or is it just making it louder? Is this common? My guess is you don't need to compress it so much to make it pop out, but I'm not sure what basic techniques are out there.

Thanks!
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby hugol » Thu May 08, 2008 8:08 am

When you compress on a send the compressor is in parallel and you are mixing the compressed sound in with the original signal so it's not surprising it can get louder. Try keeping the make-up gain lower.

Of course when you use it as an insert effect it's in series - all the signal has to pass through the effect. Bear in mind that compressors don't tend to have a wet/dry knob like a reverb might so like this it's 100% wet. If it's making the signal quieter (use the meters) then your make-up gain is probably too low.

An example of using parallel compression is to really bring out the snap/click of a bass drum whilst maintaining the bass frequencies of the original sound which you mix in with it. It allows you to be really quite extreme on the compressor to bring out the exact characteristic you want which you can mix in to the original signal as desired which retains all of it's original qualities. To approach this bass drum click effect using series compression you'd usually have to EQ heavily to restore the bass and it still wouldn't be the same.
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby matt keen » Thu May 08, 2008 10:08 am

HL has covered it. +1
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby MaTr1x2051 » Thu May 08, 2008 4:33 pm

Just to add another thought:

Don't be afraid to use parallel compression in more applications than drums and such. Used properly, it can give a very solid foundation to any sound, while maintaining the natural transients. It's also a very powerful mix bus compression tool. Feel free to experiment with parallel comp on your tracks... you may discover that it can be used to give some very nice benefits, with no worries about 'squashing' the sound like you would with an insert comp.
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby Mash » Thu May 08, 2008 5:22 pm

Just to add, parallel compression is often referred to as 'New York Compression'

Mash :)
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby EnlightenedHand » Thu May 08, 2008 7:08 pm

And just for kicks and clarity everyone means that you're going parallel when you compress as a send.

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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby oggyb » Thu May 08, 2008 9:41 pm

Surprised nobody mentioned it:

If you go for the parallel route, make sure you don't get phase er-RORs when you mix the signals together. This can often happen when using a DAW without plugin delay compensation, or routing through outboard gear with D/A/D converters that aren't amazingly fast.

I personally love the sound of parallel compression :lol: but I always forget to try it. . .
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby Joe_caithness » Thu May 08, 2008 10:02 pm

parallel compression on a bass and drum bus in rock = the way forward for subtle yet punchy results!
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby desmond » Thu May 08, 2008 11:16 pm

Every compressor should have a mix knob... :)
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby rmidijingles » Fri May 09, 2008 1:41 am

So THAT's what parallel compression is!

I thought I was doing that lately. What HAVE I been doing?

For every drum kit I have going - usually 2 or 3 in a track, I've been making copies of them, routing separate compressors to every individual drum sample that needs more oomph, squashing the heck out of it, and blending it into the track at a quieter volume.

Would that be considered parallel compression too? Compressors are very subtle, but I suspect my obsession with them lately comes from having a hunch that they can make or break a lot of things.

THANKS FOR THE HELP!
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Re: Compression: Insert vs. Send: Basslines etc.

Postby EnlightenedHand » Fri May 09, 2008 2:02 am

Yes that would be parallel also. There's nothing wrong with doing it that way aside from the extra work.

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