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When do you kick-in your 2-bus processing during mix? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 24th March 2017
  #1
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DirkB's Avatar
 

When do you kick-in your 2-bus processing during mix?

Hi All,

Was just wondering when you mixers kick-in your 2-bus chain. Do you start with compressor in from the start and add eq later? Or exactly opposite?

My 2-bus compressor is always on, even when tracking. Typically when mixing I might adjust it a little, but I have it on from the beginning and mix into it.
What's your approach? Especially with eq (If you use that) I'm interested.

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 24th March 2017
  #2
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Dirk,
I'm curious about your statement that you use 2-buss compression when tracking. Are you saying that you compress your feed to your monitors while tracking, but do not record that compression? that approach is interesting and is new to me.
Old 24th March 2017
  #3
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andersmv's Avatar
 

I'm guessing he means it's just in the monitor path when tracking. When I'm tracking through an SSL console, I usually have the buss compressor going on the monitor path when tracking. It gives everything a boost and some character, great for the clients to hear things as finished as possible.

I don't have one going for most of my mixing process, but I always do a final stem mix that usually has around 10 stereo tracks in it. At that point, I set all the faders at zero and set some light compression on the master buss. Then I turn everything off and start mixing the stems into it.
Old 24th March 2017
  #4
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PdotDdot's Avatar
I do not use any compression on any buss when tracking. If I want compression I will add it to the track itself but generally I do not compress at all when tracking and if I do it is only a touch.

When I start mixing I do mix through compression on the 2 buss. At times I turn it off so I can A/B and make sure I am not missing anything.
Old 24th March 2017
  #5
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DirkB's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Dirk,
I'm curious about your statement that you use 2-buss compression when tracking. Are you saying that you compress your feed to your monitors while tracking, but do not record that compression? that approach is interesting and is new to me.
Yes, I am always monitoring with some compression going on. It's not on my tracking busses, just on the stereo bus going through the monitors. As everything is going to be reduced in terms of dynamics it does make sense to me to start basically from the get go with some compression on the stereo bus.

I'm especially interested in how (if at all) you all are setting your eq. A top lift from the start? Some sweetening at the end of the mix process?

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 24th March 2017
  #6
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BillSimpkins's Avatar
As close to a finished product as I can make it all the time, even during tracking. Why would you ever do otherwise?
Old 24th March 2017
  #7
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I'll add a little EQ on the mix buss somewhere towards the end if needed. Very very subtle though. If I find myself needing to do too much I go back to the EQs of the other busses or individual tracks. Basically it's like a bit of mastering EQ because you never know if the music will ever be properly mastered.
Old 24th March 2017
  #8
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I do mix through compression and print the mix with compression, usually a hardware Vari-Mu with just a wiggle on the meters.
I do not use master buss EQ while mixing. When I get a project's mixes done, I will run them through a hardware "mastering" chain with a choice of compressors and EQ to make the project more cohesive. I will master projects if there isn't going to be more professional mastering done. I have never started with a "go to" EQ setting already in on any selected master buss EQ device.
Of course I have favorite settings that can correct common problems, but I don't correct problems I haven't heard yet.
Old 24th March 2017
  #9
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i never have a master comp running during tracking. never any comp during tracking - unless the talent in front of the mic severely lacks talent but if i want some 2bus compression on the mix i run it through there from the get go. its not compressing at all though. i just want the circuit in the chain for its tone. when the mix is finished i dial it in so that it does 2-3db max.
i sometimes use a good passive eq on the 2bus boosting about 2-3db high end. makes things easier. but completely depends on how stuff was tracked.
Old 25th March 2017
  #10
Mine's up after I get tones in mixing. When I start doing levels, I turn it on and just make sure the level is bouncing between negative 1-2 gain reduction.
Old 25th March 2017
  #11
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Drumsound's Avatar
I patch in my mix bus compressor before I start mixing. I always mix into it. If I add it later, everything goes wonky and I feel like I'm chasing my tail. I don't use a mix bus EQ, but I've been thinking about saving my schekles for one. I'd like something simple. I should probably rebuy a GTQ2 or something from rupert Neve...
Old 25th March 2017
  #12
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Jerrick's Avatar
 

Almost at the beginning. First I get a rough mix going, just get everything balanced. Then once I know the vibe of the track I will pick a compressor that I think will go best with the track. Then an eq after that to shape the mix to be as finished sounding as possible.

Mixes go by very quickly after that setup is done.
Old 25th March 2017
  #13
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I usually have an idea of the style of master buss compression I want from the get go, and apply it at the start. I will put a flat analog eq on too, but never tweak it till the near the end of a mix.

I found that for me mixing into compression prevents me from the jar of applying it at the end. When I used to do that, I always ended up having to go back and adjust a a lot of individual elements.


Good luck!
Old 25th March 2017
  #14
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Mix into it generally at 1.5:1, pop it in and out at various points to ascertain the vibe.. If it's happening might ratchet ratio up a bit and return or turn off if it sucks.

Wiggy
Old 25th March 2017
  #15
Never use any EQ or compression on the 2 buss. I try to make the mix sound as best i can without it. Leave all that until the mastering stage where usually only light compression is needed along with some EQ sweetening.
Old 26th March 2017
  #16
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it's on the stereo bus from day one, all through the process of recording and overdubbing and through to the mix.

I don't want things to CHANGE at any point.
Old 26th March 2017
  #17
I do not use compression on my mixbus, I rely on a combination of tape machine emulations plus the Inflator and a couple of eqs.
The tape+inflator thingie gives me glue without sounding obviously compressed whereas the eq provides me with a gentle smiley curve (1.5db boost at 60Hz and 16kHz) and a little 0.5db broad cut in the harshness region.

I start the mix with the chain active. This gets me 3 steps closer to the finish line, as the tracks already sound close to my ideal.
After a rough balance, I then gain-stage into my mixbus and adjust the eqs to compensate for the tracks.

I'm a bit of a low-end junkie so I don't mind the multiple tape machine emus giving me some head bump goodness.

I stem out 8 stereo pairs to a Vintage Maker Lawo summing mixer which gives me yet another lowend boost.

The fatter my mix the better

Last edited by andyisdead; 26th March 2017 at 02:55 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 26th March 2017
  #18
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by satissounds View Post
Never use any EQ or compression on the 2 buss. I try to make the mix sound as best i can without it. Leave all that until the mastering stage where usually only light compression is needed along with some EQ sweetening.
Never say never. Just sayin'
Old 27th March 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSimpkins View Post
As close to a finished product as I can make it all the time, even during tracking. Why would you ever do otherwise?
because I think the musicians need to hear the rough edges in their performances to see if they might need to redo something? IOW to get it as right as possible in the playing without any studio "polish" to smooth things over.

and also because I really enjoy a 'clean slate' feeling when the tracking and editing is over and "Now We Mix"! And also because there is a bigger impact hearing the mixed tune after listening to it raw. It's something I personally enjoy.

Of course this implies a 'grownup' attitude on the part of the musicians and clients, but usually I have that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
Yes, I am always monitoring with some compression going on
I can truthfully say 'never' during tracking. I put a bus compressor on near the beginning of a mix, but not always right at the very beginning.
Old 27th March 2017
  #20
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I keep the stereo master bus totally clean.

now. I compress each individual bus. drums, guitars, vox etc.

but the stereo bus is always totally untouched. When Im satisfied with a mix, I export it out and pull it into its own session for mastering.

it is mostly due to preference. I dont like doing anything that affects the entire mix as a whole until it is time to master.

and I of course like to master the final stereo track in its very own session.

but to a degree I do like to hear how my mix is sitting as a whole without using anything on the master to 'bring it together'.

if the mix really gels even without any sort of stereo bus compression....then its really going to come together nicely during mastering.

or at least thats the idea.

another reason I do this....and its extra work but somewhat necessary if you are doing a lot of songs for one artist... if I am mixing in the context of a demo or an album, what I like to do is mix and master a few songs from the collection. Check them out and see which mastered song really hits home just right. That one that really hits home... well that song/mix becomes my model, or reference if you will, and I use it to make sure that I dont stray too far with any of the other mixes.

so once I have picked my favorite mastered track in the collection... I now go back and grab its pre mastered stereo mixdown.

So if Im mixing 5 songs from the same artist... I put that favorite stereo mix down(again unmastered version...just mixed) into each session for each song. Now I have it there as a reference. I can solo it and see how much snare I had in the mix. How much kick. How loud the vox balance is in the music etc etc.

I can now tweak all the individual mixes to have a comparable flavor to the reference.

now when I master... I can make similar mastering decisions for all tracks too and they will all end up with an end result similar to my favorite final product. and of course from one song to the next there is a cohesive feeling about it. you dont have wildly different mixes from song to song(unless warranted of course, and you do it on purpose)
Old 27th March 2017
  #21
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jono_3's Avatar
I have my 2-bus eq and comp, and ABDC bus processing in from the beginning of a mix. The only thing I'm putting on at the end is a Sonic Farms Creamliner + and possibly engaging the passive boosts (if I think it makes my mix sound more exciting) before I print.

Having bus processing on from the beginning keeps me paying attention to the interaction between elements and helps me get my mixes together way, way, faster. There are a million ways to approach it though, and it took a few years and a ton of mixes for me to reap the benefits of the "always on" approach.

Last edited by jono_3; 27th March 2017 at 06:38 AM..
Old 27th March 2017
  #22
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different variations of eq and comp are living on the 2 buss 24/7 for many years

tracking, mixing, holidays vacations etc

current setup status quo for quite some time though

although I am well aware of what is going on with everything bypassed and the theory behind a clean 2 buss but have come to find peace with a hyped mix path
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