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Ratio 2 buss compression
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AllAboutTone
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#1
23rd September 2006
Old 23rd September 2006
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Ratio 2 buss compression

just wanted to see if i was half way right here, please feel free to correct me. Question? in a 2 buss compression mix mode anything past a 4.1 ratio the mix starts to thin out losing the low end and making the mids really harsh. This is what i have experienced. Anyone out there in slutz land running high levels of ratio ? and why ?
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#2
23rd September 2006
Old 23rd September 2006
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I never go higher than 4:1
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23rd September 2006
Old 23rd September 2006
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Depends on the attack and release, especially if the kick dominates the extreme lows more than the bass track. In such a case, I've found you can get away with higher levels of compression the longer the attack is.

The character of the compressor (The compression curve, RMSvsPeak, etc) you're using changes things immensely too.
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23rd September 2006
Old 23rd September 2006
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Thanks for the input !!
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23rd September 2006
Old 23rd September 2006
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Two to One. It's either that or Infinity to 1 but thats a different technique (limiting of course). I've used 3 to 1 on the Alan Smart C2 occasionally but thats only when I'm going for extreme "wall of sound" stuff. 2 to one gets you the punch and the glue but lets it breath still. I think this philosophy works on most bus compressors ranging from the SSL G 384 (which I always use) to the Focusrite Red 3. Personally 4 to 1 starts to make things smaller before I get the punch I want, therefore making it undesireable to me. Of course, if you've got a working style going on that sounds killer at higher ratios anything will work but mixing through higher ratios is a technique someone has to design themselves and like I said in another thread, learn how to make the advantages of it shine as opposed to what it takes away from your mix. I find two or three to one the most malleable on a bus compressor.
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24th September 2006
Old 24th September 2006
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Hit the input hard
SSL 4:1
Slowest attack 30ms,
release in the middle setting (I cannot remember what it is exactly, but it is in the middle of the knob).
No gain make up.
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24th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymixer View Post
Two to One.
#8
24th September 2006
Old 24th September 2006
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4:1 sounds about right but it really depends on the compressor.

By playing with the attack and release you can get 4:1 to sound like 10:1 or 2:1.
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24th September 2006
Old 24th September 2006
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I use 1.5:1 to 2:1 for most buss applications, but I have used 4:1 and 6:1 in cases of extreme need. As has been said here, the ratio is only one part of the equation- slope, threshold, attack & release have a HUGE impact on the overall results.

Sonically, I find that anything over 2.5:1 starts to have compression effects/artifacts that are too noticeable for anything that is not rock or hip-hop.
Just my $0.02.

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24th September 2006
Old 24th September 2006
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Usually i use 4:1 but depending on the material it can be less or more
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#11
24th September 2006
Old 24th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaza View Post
just wanted to see if i was half way right here, please feel free to correct me. Question? in a 2 buss compression mix mode anything past a 4.1 ratio the mix starts to thin out losing the low end and making the mids really harsh. This is what i have experienced. Anyone out there in slutz land running high levels of ratio ? and why ?
To answer the quesiton you've asked, the answer is qithout question no, antyhing above that ration will not thing things or make the mids harsh - or even give you too much compression.

You could avoid those problems easilty be keeping the threhold high. You could even set it high enough that in didn't compress at all.

So it's not the ratio that cuases those problems, it's the combination of a high ratio and other settings that do. You can cause the same probelms with a 1.5 or 2:1 ration with a low enough threshold.

IF your question is do most people use a higher ratio on their stereo buss compressor, I think you find the answer is no, not usually.
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24th September 2006
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Also, it depends on how even the mix and the performances are before hitting the compressor.

If you've got the low end cranked, for example, things can get weirder than if you have an even distribution of freq's.
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24th September 2006
Old 24th September 2006
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For me it's almost always 2:1, but with a faster attack. At least for starting out you should experiment with less, you can always smash it later
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#14
24th September 2006
Old 24th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K View Post
No gain make up.
Curious about this for a while -

when should I not use gain make up? or rather - why should I not?
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24th September 2006
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It depends on how hard you are driving the gain reduction, most people think you need to see the gain reduction meters constantly moving to be using compression, sometimes there may be just a few large peaks which need to be tamed where as the rest of the song the dynamics may be already perfectly tamed.
In these cases you will be most likely over compressing if the gr meter is always moving instead of just on the peaks you are trying to tame, so in these cases even full limit settings could be used if you are only trying to tame a few peaks by only a couple of db. The main thing to do is just listen, if it sounds squashed it is squashed, generally under compressing is way better than over compressing.
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24th September 2006
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Gain make up is essential in bringing levels up again after the compression stage. If you have great analog gear it is better boosting in the analog domain (only a db or 3), I find anyway.
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25th September 2006
Old 25th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcrann11 View Post
Curious about this for a while -

when should I not use gain make up? or rather - why should I not?
I do not like the way the gain make-up of the SSL G Series Buss Comp sounds. I prefer to hit the input hard and get a low thershold/fast release thing going.
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25th September 2006
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1.5 to 1, or 2 to 1 usually. Slowish attack, medium fast release. These are good starting points, adjust to appropriate taste.
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25th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K View Post
I do not like the way the gain make-up of the SSL G Series Buss Comp sounds. I prefer to hit the input hard and get a low thershold/fast release thing going.
84k...do you mix into the comp or insert on buss? I tried to mix into it, but didn't love it--I prefer insert.
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25th September 2006
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I'm usually at 2:1 or 3:1 on the 2-mix, pulling back 2 or 3dB at the most.

Going with 4:1 is usually just too much for me unless I really mix into and need that kind of extreme glue. It's just too damn grabby most of the time.
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#21
26th September 2006
Old 26th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post
84k...do you mix into the comp or insert on buss? I tried to mix into it, but didn't love it--I prefer insert.
That's interesting, I chose to stop using the G series comp on the insert and instead I'm mixing into it, then my Portico 5042 then my UA2192 converter, then to the master recorder. Maybe it was the Trident, I'm not sure...but I prefer its sonic signature this way with 2.5:1, 0 thresh, med attack & auto release, no make up gain ('course the 5042 is another gain stage with color) but hey, the clients love the results. Cheers-
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26th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post
84k...do you mix into the comp or insert on buss? I tried to mix into it, but didn't love it--I prefer insert.


I mix into it, but I hit another compressor after it. Recently it has been the Red 3 or the Atomic Squeezebox. When I am close, I put the MaxxBCL on the end to get an idea of what the L2 will add at mastering.
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26th September 2006
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1:5:1 for me w/ a Smart C2. Sometimes 4:1, but a lot of times it's too much to my ears.
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26th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen View Post
That's interesting, I chose to stop using the G series comp on the insert and instead I'm mixing into it, then my Portico 5042 then my UA2192 converter, then to the master recorder. Maybe it was the Trident, I'm not sure...but I prefer its sonic signature this way with 2.5:1, 0 thresh, med attack & auto release, no make up gain ('course the 5042 is another gain stage with color) but hey, the clients love the results. Cheers-
But what happens when you fade out? I prefer the insert, and I would say if you're just begining to use buss compression thats enough to handle
#25
26th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
You could avoid those problems easilty be keeping the threhold high. You could even set it high enough that in didn't compress at all.

So it's not the ratio that cuases those problems, it's the combination of a high ratio and other settings that do. You can cause the same probelms with a 1.5 or 2:1 ration with a low enough threshold.

this answer nails it for me because it digs below the surface of the question and exposes the underlying assumptions the OP has about mix compression.

many (most) guys do indeed keep the meters moving all the time on the mix comp. most of the time, i'm in that camp as well, to me there's nothing quite like the sound of the whole mix pole dancing around the knee. for this approach to compression, 1.5 or 2:1 work well. 3:1 and 4:1 maybe, if the song is up and the constants are tweaked to perfection and nothing is working the comp too hard. after that, all bets are usually off.

but i've done some stuff with the comp at 10:1 and made magic. the key is that i was only kissing the meters when the kick/bass hit, maybe .5db was being shaved and it was out until the next hit. this let me make the foundation hit a bit harder and sound more aggressive without actually taking up more space than if i had no comp on the mix bus. but if i had been trying to "glue" the mix at 10:1 things would've choked immediately.

so i'm with mike, the answer to the original question is "no". or perhaps, more accurately, "it depends". it depends entirely on how you're using your compressor.


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#26
26th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k View Post
but i've done some stuff with the comp at 10:1 and made magic. the key is that i was only kissing the meters when the kick/bass hit, maybe .5db was being shaved and it was out until the next hit. this let me make the foundation hit a bit harder and sound more aggressive without actually taking up more space than if i had no comp on the mix bus. but if i had been trying to "glue" the mix at 10:1 things would've choked immediately.
What bus compressor are you using, ubik?

What I find with the C2 and other bus comps is that oftentimes the amount of compression you are describing is what sounds right at 1:5:1 or 4:1... just a titch of gain reduction when the kick/bass hits- ratios that are higher than that doesn't seem to work so well for me even if there isn't a ton of gain reduction on the meters.

Although I will sometimes also have mixes where I do compress two or three db as well.
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26th September 2006
Old 26th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k View Post
this answer nails it for me because it digs below the surface of the question and exposes the underlying assumptions the OP has about mix compression.

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#28
26th September 2006
Old 26th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
What bus compressor are you using, ubik?

What I find with the C2 and other bus comps is that oftentimes the amount of compression you are describing is what sounds right at 1:5:1 or 4:1... just a titch of gain reduction when the kick/bass hits- ratios that are higher than that doesn't seem to work so well for me even if there isn't a ton of gain reduction on the meters.

Although I will sometimes also have mixes where I do compress two or three db as well.
That's because of the amount of compression you have before the stereo buss.

This brings us back to Brauer's multi-buss and how to know when you're doing it right or understanding the goal of it in the first place.

I don't rememebr when he started using his ADL 670, but it was relatively recent. He was treaking his for buss subgroups as for stereo bus compressors - as if the drums and bass were mixed on one console, guitars on another vocals on a third etc., and then summed the output of the consoles (imagine - drums on a Neve, guitars on an API and vocals on somehting clean like a 9098i!).

So, by the time his tracks are hitting the stereo buss the dynamics are under control - not limited, but the range is narrowed to an appropriate level for the stlye of the song. That means it would be very easy to use 10:1 or even high and just let some peaks touch it. I'm pretty sure he's got the ADL in a fast attack position, like the way some mastering engineers use the ES-8 (or Brauer does on his guitar buss).

I'm pretty sure that he had no compressor across the stereo mix for the first Coldplay albums and the others he was doing around that time. He did have lots of stereo bus compression before it.

So, I'm not commenting on your mixes, but based on what you describe, you might want to consider more or different compression before you hit the stereo buss which will probably give you more options for how to set the stereo buss compressor.

I've been experimenting with having the stereo buss compressor triggered not by the music passing through it, but by a trigger track, like the kick track for a variety of effects, but it means controling your dynamics earlier.
#29
26th September 2006
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usualy 1.5:1 or 2:1
#30
26th September 2006
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I agree with the statements that it´s a combination of ratio and threshold really, but would like to add that the result can also vary depending on when the compression is applied.

I found that if the compressor is added early on and the mix is done against the compressor so to speak, the raise of mid level artifacts etc.
is not really a problem.
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