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How are we Mixing Today?
Old 25th June 2005
  #1
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jpupo74's Avatar
How are we Mixing Today?

I was wondering how we are handling compression and mixdowns...
Does it depends on the type of music we are recording?

Drum compression first ?
Two Buss second?
Separate tracks third?

I´m now trying to mix down Drums and Bass, then I´ll work VOX and after I have that clear, I continue with compression on the Two Buss + all other tracks.

How are we Mixing Today?

PUPO
Old 26th June 2005
  #2
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jpupo74's Avatar


Old 27th June 2005
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpupo74
How are we Mixing Today?

PUPO
Very freely actually.

Not much thought just flow.

And want to keep it that way. heh

In which order of compression?

Mixbuss compression from the get go.

Everything else is standard.

Nothing real special.

I have all my favorite setups patched on the console on the same channel returns.

All i have to do is change the outputs in PT and its ready to fire away.

Drums and bass from 9-16.

Voxes and guitars from 17-24(closer to the center of the console).

Drumbuss squash return on 23-24.

Everything else on the outsides.

If something is not working i'll change it but these days its the pretty much the same setup for drums,bass and vox for all styles of music.
Old 27th June 2005
  #4
I use mixbuss from the start. Then I use whatever compression I need on individual tracks. I don't use drumbuss compression , I used to, but find I don't need it much anymore. Unless I have some problem tracks, then it's whatever works
Old 27th June 2005
  #5
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Drumsound's Avatar
The 2-bus comp and the drum parallel comp get patched in from the get go. The faders for the drum parallel might not by up at first though. I decide pretty early if I'm using a bass parallel and a guitar parallel. From there things are added as needed. If I feel the need for BD and SD comp I’ll usually try insert and parallel and decide which one works best for the tune. If I compress (or really re-compress) the vocal it's usually on an insert, sometime using two comps in series. I usually don't add effect until my tones are playing nice together.

One key for me though is that I have all the track audible from the beginning. Maybe not super loud, but there to keep them in my mind.
Old 27th June 2005
  #6
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The Alamo's Avatar
 

Pretty standard stuff too.
I do have a 'custom' (meaning: my own heh ) setup that stays the same for the majority of mixes.
The mixbus will be tackled first...
Console layout is pretty starightforward too:
Drums/Bass always live on 9-24.
Guitars live on 25-32 (closest to left hand side of center section)(or keys if they play a 'key' role)
Vocals are on 33-40 (right hand side of CS)
Subs go to 41-48
FX patches are on 1-8 and 57-64
Other stuff (percussion, loops, keys) goes to 49-56
Tracks that don't require fader rides often go to the small (non-moving) faders.
I'll keep the master fader rider for the end: first I'll set the basic MF gain to get good levels too tape; then I'll do the rides.

(Remember) The Alamo
Old 27th June 2005
  #7
For those starting with mixbus compression - how to you set it up?

Any compression 'movement' on the meter at the beginning?

Does the kick drum cause the compressor to react from the time to set the kick's basic level?

Is it all kick dependant?

At what stage in the proceedingins do you see gain reduction movement on the compressors meters?
Old 27th June 2005
  #8
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Today I mixed something tracked by a good friend and studio owner who died last month. The sounds to tape were good and it sounded like things were compressed rather nicely and sparingly to tape, so the individual tracks didn't need much. I spent a few hours getting a good static mix happening first and once I felt good about where things were sitting, I got some buss compression going on. I'm not usually one for SSL buss compression, but I tried out this Gyraf SSL clone that the studio owner had built recently. It really worked great for the song at hand and was much easier to set up than than SSL quad compressors I've used before. (Maybe it was just the right material for it.) Anyway, I set it up by slamming it ridicluously to set the attack and release where I wanted, then backed off on the ratio, then backed off of the threshold. Once I was happy with that, I set up the automation and made a few passes. Done.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 27th June 2005
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgarges
I set it up by slamming it ridicluously to set the attack and release where I wanted, then backed off on the ratio, then backed off of the threshold.
That's what I would do if I wanted the compressor on from the get go..

Sorry to hear about your friend....
Old 27th June 2005
  #10
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The Alamo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
Any compression 'movement' on the meter at the beginning?
As soon as all tracks are up, yes. If more than 2-3 dB, I feel I'm hitting it too hard. So I'll either back off a few faders, or turn up the comp threshold.

Quote:
Does the kick drum cause the compressor to react from the time to set the kick's basic level? Is it all kick dependant?
Not intentionally at least. I try to avoid the kick being dominant on the mixbus (by riding its fader, compressing it, and compressing the drums subgroups).
Sometimes it might be the lead vox to trigger the comp, but I'd still prefer the comp not to react to indivudual elements too much.

Quote:
At what stage in the proceedingins do you see gain reduction movement on the compressors meters?
When I turn it on heh heh heh

(Remember) The Alamo

Last edited by The Alamo; 27th June 2005 at 12:31 PM.. Reason: editing quote marks
Old 27th June 2005
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Alamo
Tracks that don't require fader rides often go to the small (non-moving) faders.
I'll keep the master fader rider for the end: first I'll set the basic MF gain to get good levels too tape; then I'll do the rides.
Small faders? WTF!?! You're mixing on a console aren't you? My...that's so rare these days LOL I guess we're a couple of dinosaurs!

I put the 2-mix compressor on as the basic balance for the song is coming together. Attack and release get set first so the compression is unobtrusive and musical and then I'll aim to pull back no more then 2dB to start with. I'll most likely muck with the ratio and maybe the threshold to hear what happens and make the compression either more or less extreme and see how that's fitting the vibe of the song, and also so I don't over compress and suck the life out of the track. I'll get get the vocal and guitars to drive the compression, rather then having the kick drum and low end rumblings "crash" the compressor, and I have my tricks for making that work.
Old 27th June 2005
  #12
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jpupo74's Avatar
Slutz!

I can see how you have spend lot´s of time diggin your compressors on the mix buss!
thumbsup

Some of you have mentioned the attack and release times. I wonder how much dB´s are your reducing at the end of the mix?

Focusing on the glue?
Color?
LOUDNESS?

By the way, I have seen we are not talking about EQ.

Are we using it on the buss?

PUPO
Old 27th June 2005
  #13
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpupo74
Focusing on the glue?
Color?
LOUDNESS?
Glue and color. Never loudness.

Well, sometimes loudness, but the compressor is there for tone a little bit of level gain. All the real level comes from the mastering engineer.
Old 27th June 2005
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
2-mix compression if for glue and tone for me.

I use a Drawmer '69 on the mix buss most of the time. It's got a 100hz-sidechain filter built in so the BD/low end doesn't make it go too nutty. I usually set the threshold at 0 with the attack med-fast and the release fast to start. When I feel the mix is really starting to happen I got to the compressor and screw with the settings to see if the mix gets any better. I do this a couple times during the progression of the mix.

I don't usually have a ton of compression, but I do tend to hit the output a bit hard. I like the way it reacts.

I guess I listened to too much RTB production as a kid...
Old 27th June 2005
  #15
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jpupo74's Avatar
GML

Anyone using GML Comp and EQ on the buss?
Old 27th June 2005
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpupo74
Anyone using GML Comp and EQ on the buss?
I have a Sontec EQ that I sometimes use on the stereo buss. It depends on the material and the room in which I'm working.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 27th June 2005
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
Sorry to hear about your friend....
Thanks, Jules. It's been an especially tough situation for everybody.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 28th June 2005
  #18
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u b k's Avatar
 

today's methodology (note: subject to change without notice) - track is slammin' west coast hiphop.


kick and bass balanced to perfection, into 2buss comp, 1db GR on drum sub 4:1 1776, 1 db GR 2buss at 10:1 api.

bring up vocal, piano loop, and hats/percussion, with just enough snare to hear it. adjust until my head is involuntarily bobbing. 2 buss comp now peaking at 2db.

bring up snare until it splats in the face of the vocals.

everything is pancaked to perfection, thick thick thick... what a rush! artist is thrilled, we'll do the polishing touches tomorrow.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 28th June 2005
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
For those starting with mixbus compression - how to you set it up?

Any compression 'movement' on the meter at the beginning?

Does the kick drum cause the compressor to react from the time to set the kick's basic level?

Is it all kick dependant?

At what stage in the proceedingins do you see gain reduction movement on the compressors meters?

Never look at at the meters here when doing any compression.

Just turn the knobs & use the ears till it sounds right.

I tend to use high threshold and high ratios anyway.

The ony time i check the meters is on the master recorder.
Old 28th June 2005
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpupo74
Anyone using GML Comp and EQ on the buss?

GML EQ on the mixbuss here.
Old 28th June 2005
  #21
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jpupo74's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
today's methodology (note: subject to change without notice) - track is slammin' west coast hiphop.


kick and bass balanced to perfection, into 2buss comp, 1db GR on drum sub 4:1 1776, 1 db GR 2buss at 10:1 api.

bring up vocal, piano loop, and hats/percussion, with just enough snare to hear it. adjust until my head is involuntarily bobbing. 2 buss comp now peaking at 2db.

bring up snare until it splats in the face of the vocals.

everything is pancaked to perfection, thick thick thick... what a rush! artist is thrilled, we'll do the polishing touches tomorrow.


gregoire
del ubik
What can I say... thumbsup

Any EQ on the master?
Old 28th June 2005
  #22
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jpupo74's Avatar
[QUOTE=thethrillfactor]Never look at at the meters here when doing any compression.QUOTE]

That´s the way!
Old 28th June 2005
  #23
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The Alamo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
Small faders? WTF!?! You're mixing on a console aren't you? My...that's so rare these days LOL I guess we're a couple of dinosaurs!
Well Yes, and I couldn't part from it (although I technically belong to younger, digital generation heh ).
Actually, I've taken out two days (mid july) for mixing a (rock)song on both platforms: I'll do a mix on the SSL, and then I'll do one ITB (of the same song). We're still trying to work out things how to tackle this so that we actually CAN compare both versions. I'm not really trying to prove that the analog path is better, I just want to find out how good a mix I can get within PT. Maybe it'll be better.
And in fact I want to make a third mix, with only the console and no outboard at all.
So, that's what I'll be doing during my vacation heh heh heh .

(Remember) The Alamo
Old 29th June 2005
  #24
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jpupo74's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
I'll get get the vocal and guitars to drive the compression, rather then having the kick drum and low end rumblings "crash" the compressor, and I have my tricks for making that work.
Can you share your tricks with us?
Old 29th June 2005
  #25
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GearHunter's Avatar
 

Mix bus compressor, and usually a program EQ, get inserted right off the bat, but in bypass until I get rolling along.

Interestingly, I have found a a couple "poor man's" SSL G384s that I'm using lately: One is the bus compressor on the Audient Sumo, the other is the dbx 162SL (that new purple one), both of which sound, or can be made to sound identical to the famed SSL.

I have kind of given up on multiband compression. Turns out I LIKE the pumping or ducking artifact when the kick-drum taps the gain-reduction down. I just like that brick-wally smack. I'm a rock, roots, blues, country, surf engineer, so that sound works much of the time.

Anyhoo, I limit the kick and snare in mix with dbx 160x, overheads with a stereo opto of some sort (which is often done going to tape and doesn't need any more in mix), bass with a distressor, vocals with any number of classy mono compressors, my favorite being an LA-3A, lead guitars also like the LA-3A with API 560 graphics, BGV with an Aphex Compellor.

So...pretty standard modus operandi circa 1990. I don't do drum compression sub-groups, which seems to be the thing lately, but, it's not something I ever did.

On the mix bus I get the comp to pop when the kick and snare hit, just going down a couple db on the meter, max, with a 2:1, 3:1 OR 4:1 RATIO.

My bus EQ is quite often an API 550B.

NOW HERE'S A QUESTION FOR DEBATE: ON MIX BUS, DO YOU COMPRESS BEFORE EQ OR AFTER?

I'm not saying which way I go.
Old 29th June 2005
  #26
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jpupo74's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter
NOW HERE'S A QUESTION FOR DEBATE: ON MIX BUS, DO YOU COMPRESS BEFORE EQ OR AFTER?

In ALL tracks where I need EQ and compression, I usually do this stuff:

EQ + COMP + EQ (Different one)

It seems that something always pump out the way I don´t want when I use a comp.

BUT ON THE MIX BUSS...

I use comp and little surgicall EQ after comp.

PUPO
Old 30th June 2005
  #27
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpupo74
What can I say... thumbsup

Any EQ on the master?

i've never eq'd the 2buss; if there's something the mix needs, i'll address it in the mix. but if it's just something i want to hear, like "more rump" or "more air", i figure the mastering guy will be able to do a far better job than i.

i'm a pragmatic purist, so as always, this is subject to change without notice.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 30th June 2005
  #28
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter
A QUESTION FOR DEBATE: ON MIX BUS, DO YOU COMPRESS BEFORE EQ OR AFTER?
Almost always EQ before compression. I like to pull the stuff I don't like out before I go squashing it (therefore making it harder for me to pull it back out later).

On my in the box mixes, 2-buss is waves renEQ, renCOMP, L1, dither.

When I do get to work on a console in a real room, I've loved a Vari-Mu, Cranesong Trakkers, and, of course, the GML.

--jon
Old 30th June 2005
  #29
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GearHunter's Avatar
 

Quote:
and, of course, the GML
Of COURSE!
heh
Old 1st July 2005
  #30
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jpupo74's Avatar
FATSO

Anyone using FATSO somewhere on the two buss?

PUPO
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