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Mix bus compression for techno?
Old 23rd March 2018
  #31
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mr jkn's Avatar
I made an experiment yesterday. First loading some favorite techno tracks I find really well produced/mixed into the daw then putting a variety of plugins on them to hear if they retained their sonic integrity so to speak.

You know what, they did. Overcompressing already well produced techno did not kill the vibe. Songs became a bit thinner yes, but didn’t collapse mix-wise - one song (by Jeroen Search) actually transformed into something really cool when slamming it with IK76.

Conclusion: your techno ain’t good enough if it can’t be abused and still sound the business.

Last edited by mr jkn; 27th March 2018 at 11:14 PM..
Old 23rd March 2018
  #32
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr jkn View Post
You know what, I made an experiment yesterday. First loading some favorite techno tracks I find really well produced/mixed into the daw then putting a variety of plugins on them to hear if they retained their sonic integrity so to speak.

You know what, they did. Overcompressing already well produced techno did not kill the vibe. Songs became a bit thinner yes, but didn’t collapse mix-wise - one song (by Jeroen Search) actually transformed into something really cool when slamming it with IK76.

Conclusion: your techno ain’t good enough if it can’t be abused and still sound the business.
If someone has crafted a tidy balance, already using compression skillfully no doubt, then yes it will withstand a pounding without the balance becoming dysfunctional. No massive news there.
Old 23rd March 2018
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
If someone has crafted a tidy balance, already using compression skillfully no doubt, then yes it will withstand a pounding without the balance becoming dysfunctional. No massive news there.
On an intellectual level, of course, no real surprise, but on an emotional, comparing own material to really good, can have a surprising impact.
Old 23rd March 2018
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr jkn View Post
On an intellectual level, of course, no real surprise, but on an emotional, comparing own material to really good, can have a surprising impact.
but the stated material was also personally favored already...
Old 23rd March 2018
  #35
Can you post an example of the sound you're trying to get?
There's making a track that sounds technically very produced, but I've also heard very raw tracks filled out with compression, eq, and overloaded mixing on a sound system (like the UR track posted above).
Old 23rd March 2018
  #36
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mr jkn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratcher View Post
Can you post an example of the sound you're trying to get?
There's making a track that sounds technically very produced, but I've also heard very raw tracks filled out with compression, eq, and overloaded mixing on a sound system (like the UR track posted above).
Sure!

Old 24th March 2018
  #37
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewsc View Post
More sophisticated tribal techno era - pretty sure people already had some production chops and decent comps before that point actually.
Hood and Mills for example wrote all their seminal early 90s records with just a few machines and presumably some kind of cheap multi FX / reverb unit. Especially in the Hood stuff you can totally hear there is little to no compression going on, the dynamics are really raw, there's nothing pulling the mix together.

Obviously, tribal techno became less sophisticated in a lot of ways but in terms of loudness / compression it kills most of the 90s stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr jkn View Post
Sure!

I'm sure there's some compression going on but mixbus compression seems like a red herring here, the reason the track works is 1) the envelopes and transients are really tight and sit well (incredibly hard to get right especially for bass) 2) all the sounds have the right amount of harmonic distortion to sound fat without clogging the mix 3) the mix is very well balanced, everything naturally occupies it's own space 4) the groove/timing is impeccable.
Old 24th March 2018
  #38
The thing with mixbuss compression is that anything going over the treshold will trigger compression and hence might also affect the kick and it's punch.
What you could do is send everything except the kick to a buss and then compress that with the kick as a sidechain input.

I currently have two tracks on which i'm applying 1-2 db of compression with the uad SSL G comp and so far i like the results.
I placed the dangerous music bax eq after it to give the mix a little bit of low end boost around 60-70hz (0.5-1db)

A nice compressor to try is the Kotelnikov its very transparent and works well on most material as a buss compressor.
Old 24th March 2018
  #39
Gear Nut
 

The kick is going to be fine as long as you keep the mixbus compression subtle, choose a fairly slow attack time and use some side chain high pass on the compressor circuit. Either way, I hear a lot of amateur techno tracks where the kick completely dominates the mix in a bad way, so pulling it together with the mix ain't the worst thing in the world.
Old 24th March 2018
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubguy99 View Post
Hood and Mills for example wrote all their seminal early 90s records with just a few machines and presumably some kind of cheap multi FX / reverb unit. Especially in the Hood stuff you can totally hear there is little to no compression going on, the dynamics are really raw, there's nothing pulling the mix together.

Obviously, tribal techno became less sophisticated in a lot of ways but in terms of loudness / compression it kills most of the 90s stuff.



I'm sure there's some compression going on but mixbus compression seems like a red herring here, the reason the track works is 1) the envelopes and transients are really tight and sit well (incredibly hard to get right especially for bass) 2) all the sounds have the right amount of harmonic distortion to sound fat without clogging the mix 3) the mix is very well balanced, everything naturally occupies it's own space 4) the groove/timing is impeccable.
I guess you’re on point here, in both cases. Older Hood stuff is very raw dynamic wise. On laptop and home hifi old Hood can sound a bit wimpy mix-wise compared to some new techno, but on a big PA it still bangs hard!

Regarding Splice (aka Skudge), yes, the tune is extremely well crafted and it is to that standard I aspire with my own productions (even if it will take a while, hehe).
Old 24th March 2018
  #41
Gear Addict
 

Don’t think anyone’s mentioned the TC Electronics Finalizer yet. Heard from a few people that the original was a go-to for the mix buss back then.
Old 24th March 2018
  #42
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jm2c's Avatar
 

Hood and Mills tunes from the ye olde days didn’t compress? Ah, that explains why I rarely use comps when makin techno I guess

You could try multing out the kick and 2bus comping everything else, while keeping the kick uncompressed? Keeping the kick separate from everything else until the last minute is my new fave technique btw
Old 24th March 2018
  #43
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Muser's Avatar
yes people were doing lots of TC Electronics Finalizer and Behringer Composer and Drawmer. also driving desk channels for various types of distortions.
Old 24th March 2018
  #44
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
2 buss mix comp is a standard in most hi end mix situations.

a good SSL hardware comp will set you back 4 or 5k. compression gain reduction is usually very small.

look on reverb for HI Voltage Audio SSL Buss Compressor 4000-G if you want a hardware unit. for about a Grand.

it has Sidechain Hi Pass filters with switchable options on the frequencys.

for bass and kick heavy material the 60 hz option works well.

hope this helps Buddha
Old 27th March 2018
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Radical Cut View Post
What you could do is send everything except the kick to a buss and then compress that with the kick as a sidechain input.
100% yes on this, and it's definitely the right way to do things for techno. As with anything though, doing your compression and limiting in stages is the way to go. My suggestion on getting this right is setting up the following:
  1. Kick ONLY Bus
  2. All Other Drums Bus
  3. Bass Bus
  4. All Other Instruments Bus

You compress each differently. Then on your 2 bus, it's a lot more controlled and you're not trying to tame wild peaks and dynamics. If after this, you're still having issues you have one of two problems:
  1. Your kick is too loud, and/or
  2. You have too much bass. This could either be in your kick or your bass

I prefer nothing on the 2 while I'm working and when it's time to do 2 bus compression, I split it: I have a clean 2 and then a parallel 2 that I do compression and other stuff on. I prefer to do most if not all my compression in parallel.

The one rule I'm still trying to follow is that you should never be using compressors FOR gain and volume, but to control it.
Old 28th March 2018
  #46
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Old 28th March 2018
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocolateHawkins View Post
100% yes on this, and it's definitely the right way to do things for techno. As with anything though, doing your compression and limiting in stages is the way to go. My suggestion on getting this right is setting up the following:
  1. Kick ONLY Bus
  2. All Other Drums Bus
  3. Bass Bus
  4. All Other Instruments Bus

You compress each differently. Then on your 2 bus, it's a lot more controlled and you're not trying to tame wild peaks and dynamics. If after this, you're still having issues you have one of two problems:
  1. Your kick is too loud, and/or
  2. You have too much bass. This could either be in your kick or your bass

I prefer nothing on the 2 while I'm working and when it's time to do 2 bus compression, I split it: I have a clean 2 and then a parallel 2 that I do compression and other stuff on. I prefer to do most if not all my compression in parallel.

The one rule I'm still trying to follow is that you should never be using compressors FOR gain and volume, but to control it.
Yes compressing in stages works very well.

An LA2a also works very nicely on a buss for glue or subtle control.
The Kotelnikov works really well on a percussion buss for taming transients in the hats and claps in a very transparent way.

Saturation works very well on claps/snares and hats as well to increase average loudness without sacrificing your transients completely.

I prefer to use saturation solely on individual tracks as each element often has specific needs / settings.

And of course playing with the ADSR settings of synthesized sounds can also help you keep those peaks under control.
Old 5th August 2020
  #48
Gear Head
 

This thread is gold. Thanks everyone.
Old 5th August 2020
  #49
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Alesis 3630
Old 7th August 2020
  #50
HSi
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TC Finalizer is available in ,apparently, very good and improved software now.

Also, https://www.eventideaudio.com/produc...elevate-bundle It's mastering, but you can use it how you want, it's a bit weird, but when it starts to make sense you'll probably love it. The clipper alone is well worth a look and it has a very good autogain feature.

There's also the DMG Audio Multiplicity which is ******* amazing. If you get it just to output the difference (so just what you're affecting) you can make anything sound good.

Elysia Alpha seems to let bass through more than most too. You can get that quite cheap these days.
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