Login / Register
 
Reverse compression / limiting
New Reply
Subscribe
mix-er
Thread Starter
#1
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 39

Thread Starter
mix-er is offline
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?
#2
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Berolzheimer's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: El Lay
Posts: 2,205

Berolzheimer is offline
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?
__________________
Purveyor of fine sounds since 1961.
My very incomplete IMDB list:

My very incomplete IMDB list

I'm all ears.
#3
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Bob Yordan's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: EUtopia, Stockholm
Posts: 966

Bob Yordan is offline
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.

__________________
Cheers
Bob

"Dr Behringers I presume? No it's a copy!"
"ken lee... tulibu dibu douchoo"
"It's not 96khz idiot, it's 96hz. Now who sounds dumb?...Yu"
" Hello! Is it ME your looking for?"
- Bob Katz : "This loudness race is self-defeating. I'm using Thomson sub-machine guns on folk music now."
http://www.byd-media.net/om.mp3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KsFz...layer_embedded
#4
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
  #4
Gear maniac
 
Tubefreak's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 288

Tubefreak is offline
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.

Maarten
MattGray
Verified Member
#5
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
MattGray's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 1,393

Verified Member
MattGray is offline
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
__________________



Quote
1
Old 13th March 2007
  #6
Gear addict
 
Crystal Mixing and Mastering's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Ayr, Scotland

Send a message via Skype™ to Crystal Mixing and Mastering
Crystal Mixing and Mastering is offline
Sounds like a good idea but I could see it taking a long time to get the settings right.

Eck
mix-er
Thread Starter
#7
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 39

Thread Starter
mix-er is offline
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
  #8
Gear nut
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 75

present is offline
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
Quote
1
#9
19th March 2007
Old 19th March 2007
  #9
Gear nut
 
Taproot's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Oxford, Mississippi
Posts: 89

Taproot is offline
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.
__________________
Jeffrey Reed
Taproot Audio Design
Oxford, Mississippi
www.taprootaudiodesign.com
www.myspace.com/taprootaudio

"Mr. Engineer, faders up!"- John Wayne, Texas Funeral
#10
19th March 2007
Old 19th March 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,368

toledo3 is offline
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
  #11
Gear nut
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 75

present is offline
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
  #12
Gear addict
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 435

TBlizz is offline
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.
__________________
"You can have information or you can have life, but you can't have both." - Douglas Coupland
#13
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #13
Gear nut
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Nashville
Posts: 121

bottombunk is offline
Been daydreaming about this reverse compression technique again. I just finished mixing an EP and forgot to experiment with this approach. Makes a lot of sense to me for vocals. I'm guessing a fast attack would keep the ends of words from ramping up and also bring up a lot of breath in the process. Anyone had any luck doing this lately?
__________________
www.paperrouteonline.com
www.chadhowat.com

Artist, writer, producer, mixer

Paper Route (my band), Paramore, Anberlin, Kye Kye, Jon Foreman, Brooke Waggoner, Joy Williams, Charlie Peacock and more...
#14
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 595

NewAllianceEast! is offline
I only compress in the 4th dimention...
#15
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,324

OpusOfTrolls is offline
Too much pump during dynamic transient moments. Careful time settings.
#16
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Kiwi's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,334

Kiwi is offline
I believe this was a secret technique of some very big name studios for preserving transients when dubbing to analog tape. Analog processing in reverse means that your phase smearing goes backwards. Almost like the concept behind BBE. Linear phase EQ using analog? Doable if you can be bothered.

Just another way to use your gear. It is similar to a trick that artists use by painting or drawing with the photo or paper/canvas upside down. You lose some of your preconceptions and see things differently.

Useful concept to understand - not for everything though.
#17
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,552

smoke is offline
This idea has temporarily blown my mind. Wow.
Hermetech Mastering
Verified Member
#18
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Hermetech Mastering's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Milan

Verified Member
Hermetech Mastering is offline
It's an old technique. Stav mentions it in his book, Mixing With Your Mind. Sometimes works really well on drums.
#19
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
api2500's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: London
Posts: 3,225
My Recordings/Credits

api2500 is offline
Never tried this till last night on a dynamic acoustic track. Sounds totally bizarre and I found it initially counter intuitive.

I totally get the upside down painting effect and then turning it around to view the final product. But I have to say, most of the improvement tends to be, for me, the total surprise that it actually worked. Most of the wow factor came from not actually hearing the compression till the end.

I'm not sure whether the purported improvement can't be matched with normal, careful compression and actually listening to the product though.
#20
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,552

smoke is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by api2500 View Post

I totally get the upside down painting effect and then turning it around to view the final product.
I am actually a visual artist and I have never heard of that either. Now that is totally a gimmick.

It's not the same as audio. It would mean creating the entire song backwards, it would be, ... uhm experimental music.

Anyone who has some trick to work upside down in visual art, is a joke, a gimmick.
Quote
1
#21
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
api2500's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: London
Posts: 3,225
My Recordings/Credits

api2500 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke View Post
Anyone who has some trick to work upside down in visual art, is a joke, a gimmick.
It's one of those tricks that you read in those amateur drawing books divided into grids and told to draw sonic. Or thomas the tank engine.
#22
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,552

smoke is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by api2500 View Post
It's one of those tricks that you read in those amateur drawing books divided into grids and told to draw sonic. Or thomas the tank engine.
And you know, I suppose they are just trying to get you to think outside the box, and not be so stuck on the 'rules'. I guess there is an art to how you use (well, find) discoveries.
#23
2 Weeks Ago
Old 2 Weeks Ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Kiwi's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,334

Kiwi is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke View Post
Now that is totally a gimmick....Anyone who has some trick to work upside down in visual art, is a joke, a gimmick.
You say that like it's a bad thing ...


For a creative soul you seem quite inflexible and intolerant ... what kind of visual artist are you, out of curiousity?

Many of the great artists had a trick or gimmick that worked for them ...

The idea of painting from an upside down photograph (or versions of the same principle) is that your brain removes the meaning from the equation, and you start to draw what you see - not what you *think* you are seeing ...

You should try it ...

But sure - it's a trick, a gimmick ... not for everyday use ... but if it gets you out of a creative rut, why not ...
Quote
3
#24
1 Week Ago
Old 1 Week Ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,552

smoke is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
You say that like it's a bad thing ...


For a creative soul you seem quite inflexible and intolerant ... what kind of visual artist are you, out of curiousity?

Many of the great artists had a trick or gimmick that worked for them ...

The idea of painting from an upside down photograph (or versions of the same principle) is that your brain removes the meaning from the equation, and you start to draw what you see - not what you *think* you are seeing ...

You should try it ...

But sure - it's a trick, a gimmick ... not for everyday use ... but if it gets you out of a creative rut, why not ...
I don't agree with you at all, but I'm not up for this type of argument.

Be well.

Edit: that was too fast. As a learning tool, I understand, and I have done these type of exercises.

In no way do I use gimmicks as an adult artist. I have tricks that I have discovered, sure. But "get out of a creative rut" by using tricks... I am sorry but I have not come across that. I am a real artist, too. I make my living from it. I don't find many true artists, they are one of a kind.
#25
1 Week Ago
Old 1 Week Ago
  #25
Gear addict
 
Jonathan Race's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Nottingham

Jonathan Race is offline
Finally got round to trying this technique myself and while it was just one one track I found the results quite interesting.

It's a pretty bass heavy house, garage'y type track with the focus of the low end being on the bassline.

I did a test for both compression and limiting forward and backwards. What I found was that when setting the compression on the reverse track although it was a weird experience working that way I could still kind of 'feel' where things needed to sit as it were (although this being my first time using this I suppose I could have cocked it up and not had a clue!)

I used the exact same settings on the 'forwards' track and the difference was quite a pleasant surprise. I found that on the forwards track the sub and bass synth would kind of smash together and we'd get this nasty pumping down there (I was going for about 3-4 db of GR so I could properly hear what was going on)

However listening back to the reverse one once I'd swapped it round to A/B I found that it actually pushed this low end back a bit and tightened things up massively (although at the cost of apparent loudness)

The same thing happened when I tried the limiter as well (hitting about 4-5db on this one) I found the results to be a bit more subtle than the compression but similar thing again, tighter low end, keeping the snap in the drums at a cost of loudness. Here though I though to myself well it's tight enough as it is let's run this through a limiter doing 1 db forwards. This worked wonders, I did the same on the other forward limited track and the one that had been reversed sounded a whole lot cleaner when pushed harder.

Very happy with what I found and as said before it isn't something for everyday use I imagine a scenario where a mix is very pokey and bass light being possibly the complete opposite of where you'd want to apply this but definitely something I will consider trying out a bit more in future.
__________________
Jonathan Race
Evolution Mastering
Online Mastering
Quote
2
#26
1 Week Ago
Old 1 Week Ago
  #26
Gear nut
 
Storm Mastering's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: France
Posts: 115

Send a message via Skype™ to Storm Mastering
Storm Mastering is online now
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Race View Post
Finally got round to trying this technique myself and while it was just one one track I found the results quite interesting.

It's a pretty bass heavy house, garage'y type track with the focus of the low end being on the bassline.

I did a test for both compression and limiting forward and backwards. What I found was that when setting the compression on the reverse track although it was a weird experience working that way I could still kind of 'feel' where things needed to sit as it were (although this being my first time using this I suppose I could have cocked it up and not had a clue!)

I used the exact same settings on the 'forwards' track and the difference was quite a pleasant surprise. I found that on the forwards track the sub and bass synth would kind of smash together and we'd get this nasty pumping down there (I was going for about 3-4 db of GR so I could properly hear what was going on)

However listening back to the reverse one once I'd swapped it round to A/B I found that it actually pushed this low end back a bit and tightened things up massively (although at the cost of apparent loudness)

The same thing happened when I tried the limiter as well (hitting about 4-5db on this one) I found the results to be a bit more subtle than the compression but similar thing again, tighter low end, keeping the snap in the drums at a cost of loudness. Here though I though to myself well it's tight enough as it is let's run this through a limiter doing 1 db forwards. This worked wonders, I did the same on the other forward limited track and the one that had been reversed sounded a whole lot cleaner when pushed harder.

Very happy with what I found and as said before it isn't something for everyday use I imagine a scenario where a mix is very pokey and bass light being possibly the complete opposite of where you'd want to apply this but definitely something I will consider trying out a bit more in future.
I think, for a fairer comparison, that you would have to tweak the time constants differently in both ways. A fast attack/slow release in backward would be more near the vibe of a slow attack/fast release in forward.
Quote
1
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
rashadrm@hotmai / Mastering forum
10
pingu / Mastering forum
2
MikeMitchell / Low End Theory
1
DrShann / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
15
ultima / So much gear, so little time!
37

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.