Originally Posted by Reptil
IMO test with really obvious things if you're not quite sure..
first use the sidechain in the compressor, and put the compressor controls at "hulk smash!".
listen to what it does. you must familiarise yourself with that compressor's behaviour. flip "automatic make up gain" on or off so ou're not fooled by loudness, but also hear the dB reduction in dynamis.
then feed the sidechain white or brown noise, and use a narrow bandpass filter to hear the "hulk smash" shift through the frequency spectrum of the audio.
you'll start to recognise the compressor characteristic and how it "clamps down" or "grabs". then change the envelope controls (attack decay).
Only then, when you got an idea what to listen for, turn the threshold up gradually, and repeat the shift through the spectrum, envelope etc.
This is an awesome tutorial! I'm no stranger to compression, but if someone had explained it to me this clearly in the beginning, I'm sure I would have been policing transients from the start.
My main issue was figuring out the signal flow puzzle, since I'm kind of a noob to full hardware setups (and my mixer is... economical). I did get into the studio last night and got everything sorted though!
I used the kick drum channel insert in send only mode to go into the sidechain insert on my compressor. Then since the only thing I really wanted to sidechain was my synth, I plopped the compressor right between that and the mixer. Once the flow was established, then I had no trouble setting the compression to taste.
It did immediately clean up my mix. The "magic zone" seems to be right at the threshold of the effect being audible, but felt more than heard.
Its not parallel compression, but if i'd used the fx send/stereo return to achieve it, I'd essentially have to not use the built in effects on my mixer (that shitty hall reverb is glueing my mix together man
In retrospect, I wish I'd coughed up a little more money to get a mixer with more channels and sends, but that's the problem with hardware setups: they keep bloody growing.