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Is it essential a multiband compressor for mastering?
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paladin
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3rd November 2012
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Is it essential a multiband compressor for mastering?

here's my question...
Is everybody using a multiband compressor for mastering? software or hardware.
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3rd November 2012
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My answer is NOT or better say very rarely. Some bass compression is necessary sometimes.
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Riccardo
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Experience and monitoring are essential, the rest is optional, especially a multi band compressor as we all know by now by reading so many posts about this very question over the last 10 years.

It doesn't mean you cannot use it if you need it. This is just to stress the obvious, that is in mastering what is essential is the ability to decide what not to do before you actually decide what to do if anything need doing. This is directly linked to your question.
You were asking asking if a multi band is essential for mastering, the answer is it depends, seldom used but rather what is essential for mastering should be the question.

Hopefully some of the myths are gone and curiosity satisfied.
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Alécio Costa
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Frankly, I rarely use it and when needed, is mostly to improve crappy mixes finished on square ( poor acoustics) bedrooms with lack of engineering skills.
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Adam Dempsey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastering7 View Post
My answer is NOT or better say very rarely. Some bass compression is necessary sometimes.
Ditto.
Jerry Tubb
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4th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paladin View Post
here's my question...
Is everybody using a multiband compressor for mastering? software or hardware.
An audio myth propagated by software & music store marketing.

And recording schools that don't know a lot about mastering.

(with the exception of some very talented, experienced MEs)

I haven't touched one (MBC) in over 15 years.

Best, JT
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It's also myth that only idiot's using MBC, but it's not popular to say it in this forum.
It's very easy to destroy a mix with a multiband and unexperienced users gave them a bad reputation, but it's also a powerfull tool who can help you to fix problems somethimes more inconspicuous than a eq or singlebandcompressor can do.
i often prefer dynamic eq's over MBC's, but the maselec mla-3 is a great tool i use quiet often
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I don't get all the MBC bashing on GS as of late. It's a tool, obviously not "always" needed, which can be said of any other type of processing. Uninformed and unskilled use is the problem, not MBC in and of itself. There are times when it is EXACTLY THE RIGHT TOOL. The key is recognizing when this is and is not the case, and having the correct technique in applying it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben B View Post
I don't get all the MBC bashing on GS as of late. It's a tool, obviously not "always" needed, which can be said of any other type of processing. Uninformed and unskilled use is the problem, not MBC in and of itself. There are times when it is EXACTLY THE RIGHT TOOL. The key is recognizing when this is and is not the case, and having the correct technique in applying it.
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I almost never need it, if I hear something that I'd typically think I'd need MBC for, I usually just ask the producer to fix the issue in the mix and send me a new version. On the very, very rare occasions that's not possible, MBC is a useful tool to have. Having said that, I probably have used it once or twice in the last couple of years, if that.
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In the spirit of tolerance for the viewpoints of others,

I'll say that although I don't use MBC, some may find it useful.

Probably best used with discretion, and not by default.

I do use a de-esser quite often, but it's a single band.

Best, JT
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I never use one, but like Jerry, never say never!
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I definitely find them useful to have. When they work they work! Having said that I usually just use one band, either to de-ess or compress the low end.
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maybe this isn't really multi-band compression but...
what i find very useful is DMG Compassion, which has a linear phase EQ section that allows you to split bands, using one HPF and/or one LPF. you then can use this in 'parallel' or 'split' from the rest of the signal.
also, maybe a workflow killer, but you can stack multiple instances for more bands. but i think it works excellent this way.
and in general i agree they are not "essential" but just like any other tool it can be useful and good to have on tap...
spongebob once said "with great power, comes great responsibility..."
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4th November 2012
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My post was directed at the eternal equation processing = mastering. Multi band = mastering is less of a problem but before we get to the "use the tools you need" we first need to address the "do we need any tools and if so which ones"
We are talking about basics here and propagating myths doesn't help raising the average level (knowledge I am talking about not audio level....:-)

This is why I prefer to go to the opposite extreme and say that multi band is seldom (instead of never) used...........
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paladin View Post
here's my question...
Is everybody using a multiband compressor for mastering? software or hardware.
Nope.

How's that for a quick and easy answer

Thor
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5th November 2012
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By no means essential,but they can come in handy

One scenario being the levels are relatively decent and the person doesn't have any means of altering the mix. you could impart SUBTLE frequency specific dynamics to make the arrangement jive or bounce,pop abit more,but always check how the crossovers effect transients and the frequencies below about 100hz. alot of them have a tendency to add enough phase shift as to make the low end sound late i suppose would be how you describe it and it takes away from the perceived punch,especially with dancefloor related material or any electronic music for that matter


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5th November 2012
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While I don't use them often, I find them incredibly useful for controlling low end, cymbal crashes, and excessive high-end. And I usually automate them so that they're only processing specific places.
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I use the MBC in the TC 6000 a few times a year, almost always for low end control. I don't see it as an essential part of my toolbox, but once in a while it's handy to have.
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It's a tool which can help with not so good mixes, it's a bit like dynamic equalizer and can do things you cannot do with a EQ. So it can be a excellent tool... sometimes.
I don't use a MBC and Afaik many mastering engeneers using more single band compressors (but I see very often hardware instead of software).
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I like to use the MLA3. it's killer on the low end especially for electronic dance music. It's a really good de-esser too...

I don't think having a multiband is essential but it's handy to have around especially if you are working a lot of semi-pro home studio type projects and you need to dig deep.

I've used a plugin one once but it just did too much and totally ruined the balance and tone of the mix..evil little things...

[s]
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If I need a multiband compressor for anything other than a touch of de-essing/sub control I suggest mix tweaks usually, this results in a better end result and is highly appreciated by the client.

A multiband compressor is a useful tool for solving minor problems, anymore than that in mastering invariably means mix problems. "Band aiding" a mix with MBC is not sonically helpful to anyone.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccardo View Post
Experience and monitoring are essential, the rest is optional
No tool is essential until it's useful. Your question should be "when to use a MB compressor?"
- Bass control
- De-essing
- Poor mix fix
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Nothing is REALLY essential for mastering. If you somehow put together lungs of a toad, tibia of a lynx, and testicles of a salamander and conjured up THE PERFECT MIX as a result... you probably won't have to even put a limiter on it at the end. Mastering is basically the final fix on pure laziness and lost perspective. If your mix has uncontrolled wild swings in different EQ bands, then yes you probably should use a multi-band on your entire mix, otherwise if you can avoid it then you probably should.
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I use a multiband frequently and not just for 'problem' mixes.

Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsnare View Post
I use a multiband frequently and not just for 'problem' mixes.

Dave
Which one or ones do you rate, Dave?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huejahfink View Post
Which one or ones do you rate, Dave?
I like the Waves Lin MB. It is deceptively simple but if you spend a lot of time with it and actually read the manual, it does a lot of what I look for in a MB comp.

Dave
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Cool - me too. LinMB and MD3 (which I like for a more forceful sound).

Saw your Suppressor vid and bought that when it was on offer just now. I'm liking that too, although I'm yet to reach for it across a whole stereo mix. Just on separate vocal stems so far.
I think that could be a good alternative to the LinMB when I just need 'one band' - I suppose it's more like a hybrid dynamic EQ though.
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off-topic

Hi, Dave

Do you work with Ed Litman? I visited your web site and see the same picture of his room.
Cool!
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