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Reverse compression / limiting
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mix-er
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#1
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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Reverse compression / limiting

Has anyone ever tried to run a mix through a compressor or a limiter in reverse?

I would think that this would allow for more gain reduction with out killing the transients as the transients are gradually ramped into in reverse.

I know a slower attack time on a compressor can help preserve the transients etc but I was just wondering if anyone played with this techniques and what experience they had.

From what I noticed it actually reduced the transients even more but it did create a larger RMS result compared to using the same setting in the forward direction. This could be because the attack phase of the compression has already passed by the time the beginning of the transient is compressed at the end of the reverse envelope.

I know this may be strange and not a valid technique...or it may have some merit.

thoughts?
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13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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I've done it as an effect, with extreme settings, but not in mastering. Was cool tho....
I've suspected that Flaming Lips do this on their drum tracks sometimes, it sounds like the compressor kicks in just before the attack of the kiks & snares. Has anyone here worked with them that could confirm or deny?
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13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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Yup a lot of times, using my own plugs.

Expanders & Transient handling plugs might be what is easiest to use
to achieve this.

There are some Backward plugs, Backman and some other plug (with a simular name)
that reverses a track during playback. Might be the easiest way to do it.

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#4
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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Ok... reverse the music, then add compression...... cool idea, haven't tried it yet. But I wonder... how do you tweak settings? My hearing is ok, but I have no idea how good my reverse hearing is.

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13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mix-er View Post
Has anyone ever tried to run a mix through a compressor or a limiter in reverse?

I would think that this would allow for more gain reduction with out killing the transients as the transients are gradually ramped into in reverse.

I know a slower attack time on a compressor can help preserve the transients etc but I was just wondering if anyone played with this techniques and what experience they had.

From what I noticed it actually reduced the transients even more but it did create a larger RMS result compared to using the same setting in the forward direction. This could be because the attack phase of the compression has already passed by the time the beginning of the transient is compressed at the end of the reverse envelope.

I know this may be strange and not a valid technique...or it may have some merit.

thoughts?
Actually this technique has been used for sometime in mixing & was publicized in a book called 'Mixing With Your Mind' by author Michael Paul Stavrou. I've tried it in a mastering setting & while it can offer cleaner smoother compression, it can also produce some undesirable time constants if not set very carefully. This makes it hard to predict as it's hard to set it by ear while listening to the music backwards. Not to mention the look on the clients face if you were to use this technique during an attended session... lol

Matt
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13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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Sounds like a good idea but I could see it taking a long time to get the settings right.

Eck
mix-er
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13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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thanks for the feedback. I have played around with it a bit.

The flaming Lips drum treatment sounds really interesting as a mix technique / effect. probably leave the release setting a bit long to create that precompression sound...?

as far as mastering goes I have found that you can use a more gentle comp setting as far as ration and also a quicker attack with greater results (more reduction). basically the compressor sits on the signal longer with out releasing thus keeping the gain reduction at a more consistant and maximum level.

the release is harder to set though....with out getting the flaming lips effect.

The over all result seems to have less peaks and it does look more consistent / "smoother"

I am trying to figure out how reverse limiting would / would not apply.

I agree a hard technique to use with clients in the room.

puts new meaning to the look ahead limiter........
#8
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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If you're going for that Flaming Lips drum sound or a more workable way to use this pre-triggering technique, you can copy your track, nudge the copy forward and make that the trigger for the compressor.

rogier
#9
19th March 2007
Old 19th March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mix-er View Post
Has anyone ever tried to run a mix through a compressor or a limiter in reverse?

thoughts?
Tom Dowd taught me this trick on vocals. Pretty amazing results. Never in mastering though.
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#10
19th March 2007
Old 19th March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taproot View Post
Tom Dowd taught me this trick on vocals. Pretty amazing results. Never in mastering though.
This is definitely a Dowd trick. The idea is not only that the compressor itself can work more effectively, it is also that everything in the chain works better because of the "ramping up" effect... nothing is being "hit" with a transient. Look ahead compression doesn't work as well as this technique. It works great on anything, especially mastering. I owe infinite thanks to Steve Gursky for showing me this.
#11
19th March 2007
Old 19th March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
This is definitely a Dowd trick. The idea is not only that the compressor itself can work more effectively, it is also that everything in the chain works better because of the "ramping up" effect... nothing is being "hit" with a transient. Look ahead compression doesn't work as well as this technique. It works great on anything, especially mastering. I owe infinite thanks to Steve Gursky for showing me this.
I'm going to check this out. Thanks
#12
4th November 2007
Old 4th November 2007
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I’m reviving this thread, because I’m doing a lot of reverse compression in my DAW - in particular bass & vocal tracks.

Does anybody have a favorite plug-in setting, emulation (FET, Opto, VCA)?

Thanks.
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