Originally Posted by pathdoc
The concept of stacking compressors is new to me and now I realize its what everyone had been doing forever. Sounds like the trick is to use just a tad of compression, no more than a few dB's of reduction with each compressor.
I didn't start out with that philosophy... and I didn't pick it up on GS. Just lots of trial and error learning the same lesson over and over with a long list of softcomps.
I've yet to find one that behaves like hardware when pushed hard. Some do a really decent job in small doses, though... waves api and the glue come to mind depending on your flavor... and bombardier is making me smile lately on drums.
Still gotta prefer the cla76 for vocals, though, or the softube fet. Softube's cl1B isn't bad either.
On the current track, I have 6 vocal tracks. Each one has been automated with zero compression until I couldn't find any way to even it out via automation anymore. Then, on each one's channel:
12:1 limiter shaving only very occasionally down to max of -2db
4:1 comp squeezing down to very occasional absolute max of -3db
Then subgrouped to vocal buss which gets
Different comp at 2:1 doing max of -3db
Different comp at 1.5:1 doing max of -1db
All in all, it's a max reduction of -9db, but sounds MUCH better than any one of them shaving 9db on it's own.
I've spent hundreds of hours trying every possible combination of available software comps, settings, etc... and I just haven't found a better way than the above if a vocal really needs squeezing.
This really is a software issue.