Sorry for the late reply. I was playing around with what you suggested for the majority of the day so I didn't think I would be able to make an educated reply without trying it all out first.
So, here goes:
Originally Posted by RawBeanZen
Sometimes the goal is to shape the envelope of a sound to give it more snap and punch (for example kick and snare), so a slow attack and fast release might be a good place to start. If a sound is too dynamic (quiet parts too quiet and loud parts too loud) then a faster attack and slower release can smooth things out. It's all about experimenting.
Peak compression, right? I messed around with this concept today after reading the post. I actually noticed quite a difference on vocals, especially when I had made sounds which caused the waveform to spike a bit, or when I would go to a higher note which needed more air, it would keep the track from clipping. I kind of got a bit confused though when it came to keeping the lows (in volume terms) from getting to low without all the higher dB'd areas getting too squishy sounding. I would add some make-up gain--not a problem in the lows, but vocally, when things got a bit louder, I had a problem keeping it quiet enough without it sounding all... well, compressed. From what I've read in this post, this sounds parallel compression job, am I right right?
As an exercise you might try bringing the compressor's threshold down too far and then play with attack and release times to really get your head around how different settings shape the sound.
I tried this, and found that I typically preferred the sound of a quicker attack. From what I can tell, I don't really see the use of a super-slow attack... Would a good scenario be softer music (acoustic, piano, etc.) where you wouldn't want the compression to be obvious?
Release-wise, I find myself pretty comfortable. It's easier for me to set a good release than it is to set a good attack, but I guess attack and release are an art-form in compression?
Sometimes it's not about reducing dynamic range so much as just wanting some of the character that a particular compressor imparts. In those cases I'll attenuate little if at all.
What do you mean? If a compressor has a certain coloring that you think would fit the sound, you'll put it on there and not really apply any GR? So, basically it's just there to sweeten something up?
When mixing delicate music I tend to compress less and volume automate more to maintain the purity of things. For more rocking material, part of the glee for me is in squishing the heck out of stuff!
So where would you find compression over volume automation in a more delicate piece?
Parallel processing is definitely worth getting familiar with. It allows you to leave the original sound in its natural state while feathering in sometimes extreme amounts of compression, EQ, saturation, etc, to taste. This is a way to get things sounding huge without sounding squashed, when that's the goal.
I've fallen in love with this. Hands down. Quite honestly, I've gotten one of the best vocal tracks I've ever, ever gotten using this technique, so I really have to say, THANK YOU for turning me onto this! I'm can't even tell you how much of a help this was. Getting familiar with this has seriously made compressing vocals about 50x less complicated than it was for me. Something about it really compliments the voice and makes it sound a bit more full than it does. Now the next step is trying to get a thicker, wider sound without doubling or copying the vocals and offsetting them a couple of MS. Does compression have anything to do with this?
For saturation I love Soundtoys Decapitator. It's really versatile, and small amounts of it all over a mix can add up in a very cool way.
I'm going to definitely demo this! It looks really cool, and useful. Does it help add warmth?
And what do you mean by "small amounts of it all over a mix".. like, through a bus using sends? Or multiple instances?
Sorry for rambling...I hope some of this makes sense!
No worries! Your so-called "rambling" opened my eyes to one of the most amazing, useful techniques which will probably pull me through quite a bit in the future, so THANK YOU for rambling!!
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz
Just PM'ed you
(so as not to bore anyone else