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couple simple mixing..comp/limiter ?'s
Old 11th September 2011
Lives for gear

couple simple mixing..comp/limiter ?'s

first i'd like to say i plan on getting a book on mixing soon.

i use reaper as my daw.

i think i am not setting up compressor / limiter if need be right on my individual tracks. right now the comp goes in the fx chain, and i set the threshold level where i want and adjust settings to get sound i want. but say now i'm mixing and want to raise or lower a track level.. then i have to readjust the threshold level on my comp/limiter. there must be an easier way.

about using a limiter on individual tracks? when, how, if, is good to use?

on a track, say i have two sounds that sometimes hit at same time.. ok to buss together and use a comp/limiter fx with setting just to work on the times when the simutaneous hits occur? (mid synth + fx in track i'm working on now)

does a limiter brickwall at the threshold level? what settings on a limiter adjust slope which it starts to compress before brickwalling?

sorry about the all lowercase, on my damn blackberry
Old 11th September 2011
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Susceptor's Avatar

To raise or low the level of a track there's a thing called volume.

Personally I use comps only to accentuate the transient / rhythmic elements on tracks. If I just want to control dynamic range and so on, I use a limiter.
Old 11th September 2011
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by Susceptor View Post
To raise or low the level of a track there's a thing called volume.

Personally I use comps only to accentuate the transient / rhythmic elements on tracks. If I just want to control dynamic range and so on, I use a limiter.
i have heard of this "volume" thing you speak of.. however, maybe it's reaper's handling of fx which i don't understand as raising or lowering a track's volume in the mixer section does so pre fx and affects the level going into the effext.
Old 11th September 2011
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Susceptor's Avatar

It's post fx. At least in my version of Reaper heh

Also, Reaper has both prefx and postfx volume controls, but the postfx is the one linked with the knob/fader in the mixer.

Furthermore, Reaper comes with a set of JS plugins, one of them being called volume. You could use that.
Old 11th September 2011
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sftd's Avatar

The guy who I would call my production "mentor" and is subsequently responsible for most of the finer details of my current knowledge told me the following when I was just getting started:

I asked him "so what's the huge deal with compressors, what does reducing dynamic range do exactly?"

"Forgot the words dynamic range, forgot all of that and don't even think about it, I'm going to tell you what a compressor does if you're using it right and from this point on when you use one I only want you to think about one thing."

"Ooooookay... what is it? I thought the whole principle was modifying the dynamics of a piece of audio?"

"Like I said dude, forgot that, think of one thing and one thing only, compressors make things sound better"

"All the time? That's what dynamic range is all about?"

"Dude, I told you, forget dynamic range or any other line you've heard anywhere else and keep repeating what I just told you, compressors make things sound better."

"But I've tried compressors on quite a few things and it almost always sounds worse??"

"Compressors make things sound better."

"So why do mine make things sound worse?"

"Because you don't know what you're doing." "If it you're using a compressor and the audio you're using it on doesn't sound better than it did before at the same volume then you're doing it wrong, and that's all you need to think about, nothing else, just trust me dude."

So for the past year and a half I trusted him and never once explored the science of compression. Instead I just used them on nearly everything and didn't stop tweaking each and every time until it sounded better than it did before the compressor was added. If it sounded either basicly the same or worse, I changed it until it didn't.

Suddenly around six months ago (again, a year and a half of doing the above method) I realized I UNDERSTOOD compression. I never touched the science behind it, but I knew exactly how and when to use one to make the source material -sound better-.

You can read every article and study and theory behind the science of compression in audio, and while it may be very helpful depending on what type of learner you are, it will nonetheless not grant you the experience required to use them for what we want to use them for, which is making our work better.

Just get one, hardware or software or whatever, and use the nonsense out of it. Use it until you can make anything you place it on sound (subjectively to you) better than it did without it.

And more important than anything, if you're doing all of this to make music, then better does not always mean "soloed out one particular element" better, it means better for the totallity of the effort; the song.

Sent from my PC36100 using App
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