mixing through a compressor

There's not much more that can be said. If you attempt to bus compress with this running through it you're going to end up with a pumping sensation every time the kick fires off. When producers talk about mix bus compression, they are referring to a specific process. Otherwise you will offset the center of your imaging constantly. All the words in the world can't explain what you have to hear for yourself. Let’s go! Because we're no longer talking about individual (and thus predictable) instruments, it's advantageous to accept the help of computers and look-ahead algorithms. By passing the whole mix through a stereo compressor, the tracks can also gain a … By mixing with the compressor in place from the start, you are monitoring the mix through the output of the mix bus compressor. As such, you could find that the track that you are trying to make the loudest, becomes the part the compressor applies the most compression to. They stop doing what you expect them to do. Many producers use this process to add excitement and punch to their songs. In order to understand what compression does we need to understand how it generally works. There are four main types of compressors, whether they're analog or digital: The difference between them comes from the circuitry applied to execute the gain reduction. They are not referring to the process of mixing a song and then applying compression to the mix afterwards. So here you could compress the 2k-5k frequency range by itself, for example. Trends come and go but the Distressor never falls out of favor. Let's look at those and then, hesitantly, I'll give the newcomers a starting place to work from. As with many of the various elements of mixing, if you’re not sure whether or not mix bus compression is right for you, then the best thing to do is try it and find out for yourself. See how you feel about the final results and, just as importantly, see which method of working you prefer. Today our goal is to remove this shroud of mystery so all of us can enjoy the fruits of this advanced mixing technique. They will be impacted together. With that being said, there are some features you will appreciate having that will make your life a lot easier and bypass the need for too much extra auxiliary bus compression. This guide offers 15 vocal mixing tips to help you achieve powerful and present lead vocals that cut through the mix. Not all professional mixers prefer this method. Having a full understanding of the intricate details of a compressor will help you realize your sound goals. Slow attack is between 25 and 100 milliseconds (ms). But if … Do you mean to use compressor not in insert (for example on kick), but on bus? You can find more information on our privacy practices at The best way to gain an understanding of how each of these works is to use a plugin that allows you to switch between each emulated circuit type with the same settings so you can listen to the changes. Pro-Tip: This is non-negotiable. If you’re looking for quick fixes for your instruments and synths, consider grabbing my free cheat sheet. We're talking about mixing into a compressor as part of the process, and doing so fairly lightly as to leave plenty of dynamics and headroom for the mastering engineer to perfect. Vocals are the most important part of a vocal mix. Whilst some swear by using mix bus compression, others avoid it at all costs. When we send a kick drum through a compressor, that signal splits into two routes. So now you can apply your sub-mix compression while ignoring the kick altogether and bypass the pumping problems. This glue is provided by this effect: Consider what happens when you compress a waveform that consists of a single sound. Pro-Tip: Use the make-up gain to match the subjective levels of the mix at first, not for headroom or staying in the sweet spot of the converters. Remember to ponder these options as you set up your stereo bus compression. It is for these reasons that personally, I very rarely use mix bus compression. It controls how much of the initial impact and transients of the sound get through. There are very few topics and techniques that amateur mixing and mastering engineers will avoid out of the sheer complexity and thus confusion. Doing this allows you to keep better control over the various elements of your mix. You don't want your release longer than when the next kick or big guitar strum comes through. If you choose to use two dual-mono compressors, they must have a stereo link capability so that they both respond equally to peaks in either channel. The attack is how fast the compressor starts to work. For this reason, it is beneficial to try and set your mix bus compressor up in a way which will not need altering later. It travels down its signal path into the processor, but it also goes down another path to the detector known as “the sidechain.” If you think about that phrase “sidechain”, it’s act… This is why we say to compress very lightly on the stereo bus! A well-tuned compressor on the mix bus can make a big difference in your mix! It's useful to mention that the Neve, SSL, and API plugins are every bit as good as their hardware brethren, and although costly they're still significantly cheaper than equivalent outboard options. It is used to give a sense of "glue and punch" to the mix, creating a sense of cohesion between the various tracks. Start with the settings above and tweak them based on your tempo, genre, and dynamic material in the song and then as you mix into it, you'll hear the cohesion you've been seeking but not yet attained. The important aspect to reiterate is that we aren't printing the mix and then applying compression, which should be left to the mastering stage of the process. Although a side-chain option is par for the course on plugins, not all hardware compressors feature this. Whats more, some producers prefer to make their mixing decisions without giving consideration to how it will affect, or be effected by, a mix bus compressor. It's so easy to record studio quality vocals these days with the right mic... To gain consistency within the variances of amplitudes, To sculpt each musical event to your preferences. No matter how much you push it up, you can't seem to get any more volume and it starts to sound worse. My opinion on this is that it should be left to the mastering engineer. Do you use mix bus compression in your songs? Between 2 to 3:1 should be good to keep things under control. The recipe is fairly simple. But with side-chain detection you can run a copy of the mix through an equalizer on a bus to EQ the low frequencies out or even a copy of the mix without the kick in it. Just Industry News, Tips, and Exclusive Deals. You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in the footer of any mailing list email you receive from us, or by contacting If you are happy to receive these types of emails, please confirm here: We treat your information with respect. You'll find that this is intimately tied to the tempo and genre of the song. However, mixing vocals is challenging. View Profile View Forum Posts View Articles Unpossible! Some people might then push them through a set of auxiliary bus compressors. So, it's like you send synth to delay and reverb, and now you mean send to compressor? As far as specific recommendations, you could honestly get the job done with any on our list of best compressors, but if we had to pluck one out of the bunch it'd be the Empirical Labs Distressor. Required fields are marked *. There is no right or wrong answer as to whether or not you should use a mix bus compressor. It lets through a lot of initial impact so it gives you a punchier sound. What matters is your preference for transparency or coloration and how "musical" either option is. For example, if you try to make the vocals the loudest part of your mix, then as you push the vocal fader up, you are pushing more of the vocal into the compressor. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='COMPANY';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='ADDRESS';ftypes[2]='address';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Your email address will not be published. Closer to each other in level, but still not so consistent. Here’s 6 mistakes to avoid when setting up your mix bus compression. Most of us are familiar with this concept thanks to the advent of parametric equalization. Start by adding a modest ratio. The discussion of which type is best for bus compression rages on, but it's my opinion that whether you're using a valve, vacuum tube, or transistor to get the job done matters little.

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