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daking compressor
Old 22nd July 2005
  #1
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daking compressor

greetings,
any tips on setting up the daking fet compressors across the 2 bus for mixdown? i have been using the 2 fastest attack settings and the E release setting for the most part. a 3;1 ratio and about 5 or 6 db on the makeup gain.
i just did a mix with the b setting on release and a 2;1 ratio to listen in the car to see if it is an improvement or not. with the first settings i mentioned i seem to get about 12 db of compression, which seems like a lot to me. i sent them in to geoff not too long ago ang he recalibrated them. these settings seem to give a smooth and tastey sound to the mixes when i listen back to them, but engineers mostly talk about adding only a few db on the 2 bus when they mix. any advice is appreciated. thanks, regards,
TF
i am mixing to masterlink if it matters.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by trident fan
....setting on release and a 2;1 ratio to listen in the car to see if it is an improvement or not. with the first settings i mentioned i seem to get about 12 db of compression,.....
Eeeeyyyh, hold your horses there cowboy..... 12db...geeeez....a good starting point is as follow;
Ratio - 1;5;1
Attack - 4
Release - E
Make up gain - 1

I wouldn't suggest more that a db or three on the full mix. I never use higher ratio than 1;5;1 on the Dakings, it just gets to wild after that.
They are wonderful on the 2-mix when used gently!

/L
Old 22nd July 2005
  #3
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My typical settings are

3:1 or 5:1
fastest attack
Release E


but you need to adjust the THRESHOLD to arrive at the mount of compression you desire... I do tend to average about 3-4 dB compression on the internal meter.

if you cannot get the threshold high enough to get less than the 12dB of compression you're getting, you need to look at your overall gain structure and where you're interfacing the Daking.

If the level out of the insert point is more or less 0 Vu, then there's no reaosn why you cannot get the compressor to be more subtle.
It's easy in ProTools or another computer based systmen to have the internal levels running WAY hot.
Pull everything down if you need to, to not slam the compressor.

then MAKE-UP GAIN, is just THAT... the way to make up for the gain you lost in compression.
if you don't NEED it, don't use it.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #4
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Drumsound's Avatar
Just to play devil's advocate (I don't use 12 dB of reduction on my 2-buss comp either)...

Like Joe Meek said "If it sounds right it is right!"
Old 22nd July 2005
  #5
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hi guys,
thanks for the advice. it is very useful to me.
regards,
bill
Old 23rd July 2005
  #6
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Christ, I feel weird if I'm hitting the 2 buss compressor at even -4db. Go easy on that thing.

BTW, William, do you prefer a pair of Dakings to the API 2500? I was thinking about getting a pair.
Old 23rd July 2005
  #7
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jpupo74's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
It's easy in ProTools or another computer based systmen to have the internal levels running WAY hot.
Pull everything down if you need to, to not slam the compressor.

then MAKE-UP GAIN, is just THAT... the way to make up for the gain you lost in compression.
if you don't NEED it, don't use it.
Hi William,

I have experienced SERIOUS problems when trying to fix mixes this way. I don´t know why, or if I´m wrong, but every time I pull EVERYTHING down on PT, my mix seems to change and I prefer to return to an older session. Not talking about levels, talking about COLOR, GLUE. ETC!

Regards,

PUPO
Old 23rd July 2005
  #8
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P.S.

William,

I forgot, maybe is because the pre post fader stuff, insert levels etc.



I totally agree with Lindell:

Leave something for the Mastering Engineer!

Good Luck
Old 23rd July 2005
  #9
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u b k's Avatar
 

having just gotten into 2buss compression a year or so ago, i am only now able to hear the compressor doing it's thing with the meters barely moving, as in .25-.5db GR.

12 db is way too much; set it up with 1-3db GR, solo the bass and drums, and toggle the bypass. listen carefully to the attack of the drums, how the tails get sucked up, how the bass pulls into the kick and they interplay. these things may be inaudible to you at first, but they will soon become apparent, and then they won't even be subtle anymore.

compression truly is a black art, an imo 2 buss compression is the blackest of them all.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 23rd July 2005
  #10
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well part of it is recording inside ProTools at a sensible level.
You don't need to cream everything anymore.

in fact when working on an analogue desk, i usually meeter just as though i was going to an analogue tape machine.. even though on the PT 'meters' it looks rather low.

but then it comes back OUT at a sensible level back into the desk without distorting the inputs.

yes, JJ , I'd choose the Dakings as my general buss compressor over the API.

I go back and forth, depending on the project, between the Dakings and the Smart.
Old 23rd July 2005
  #11
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jjblair's Avatar
Thanks, William. Now that I have that 33609b, I guess the Daking is the next. I'm such a compressor *****. Funny, I find compression more useful than EQ when mixing, as long as the signal has been recorded decently in the first place.
Old 24th July 2005
  #12
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hi guys,
i am mixing from a radar 24 into a soundcraft ghost into a masterlink. i am using the mix out into the dakings into the masterlink. not using the mix inserts for compression, is this a mistake? should i resist slamming the board and keep my 2 bus output for the board at o db. after reading mr. wittman's comments, i 'm probably slamming the compressor 2 hard and should work on the gain staging more concerning the board.
i listened to the mix i made with the b setting and the 2:1 ratio and it seemed to loose something .i'll go back to 3:1and E settings as mr wittman suggested. thanks for all the input. regards,
bill
Old 24th July 2005
  #13
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If you use too low a compression ratio (like 2:1), you are going to lose some of the dynamics and everything will sound more linear. 3:1 or 4:1 is a safe bet.

Gain staging is everything, always. You always need to be mindful of your headroom, especially on an IC based console.
Old 24th July 2005
  #14
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why would anyone be using an IC based console? {g}
Old 24th July 2005
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
why would anyone be using an IC based console? {g}
Hey, let alone a Ghost, but that's what they are working with. :/
Old 24th July 2005
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
If you use too low a compression ratio (like 2:1), you are going to lose some of the dynamics and everything will sound more linear.
Maybe the your compressors are different, please explain??? A 1:1 compression ratio would maintain ALL of the dynamics, raising the ratio raises the rate at which compression occurs...so how is too low of a compression ratio going to make you lose dynamics???
Old 25th July 2005
  #17
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomichael
Maybe the your compressors are different, please explain??? A 1:1 compression ratio would maintain ALL of the dynamics, raising the ratio raises the rate at which compression occurs...so how is too low of a compression ratio going to make you lose dynamics???

you are correct, i just read his post a little differently. mostly, i culled a different interpretation of 'dynamics.'

the way i took it, he meant that with the higher ratio, the compressor "push" is more obvious, the "clamp" that some of us find exciting. at really low ratios, compression is less visible, and that dynamic slam of bass into kick, of snare into voice, goes away.

so while lower ratios preserve a greater dynamic range, the dynamics themselves often have less impact because they're not highlighted, not worked, by the comp.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 25th July 2005
  #18
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What I mean by it is at that the lower the ratio, the more your low dynamics are brought up. You're not simply limiting the highs, you are raising the lows. So, in a situation where you are getting -4db of reduction at say 16:1, nothing is changing for the quiter dynamics. If you are at 1.5:1, as deal suggests, things like the kick will disppear, because the dynamic valleys in between the peaks will not exist, because they will have been raised up.

It's a great trick if you want extra decay out of kick drum or tom, or anything, but it's typically not the best for stereo buss comp.

But as to one of the points questioning what I meant, yes, there tends to be less reduction at lower ratios. The lower the ratio, the more you may find your need to adjust the threshhold to get the same reduction as at a higher ratio.

Depending on who you ask, anything over 16:1 or 20:1 is considered 'limiting' and not compression. 'Compression' suggests that something is occuring on both side of the dynamic, not just the high side.
Old 25th July 2005
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
What I mean by it is at that the lower the ratio, the more your low dynamics are brought up. You're not simply limiting the highs, you are raising the lows. So, in a situation where you are getting -4db of reduction at say 16:1, nothing is changing for the quiter dynamics. If you are at 1.5:1, as deal suggests, things like the kick will disppear, because the dynamic valleys in between the peaks will not exist, because they will have been raised up.
Thats not a nice way to put it...actually is wrong. When you compress you only compress what goes above the threshold. There is no such thing as Low amd high dynamics. You either compress or not.
Old 25th July 2005
  #20
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Syra, it may not be an elegant description, but it is not 'wrong'.

I'm reading that back, and I'm not sure I'm making total sense. Perhaps the best way to explain is by describing what the ratios mean. 1:1 means the amount of reduction in db is equally to the amount the signal goes above the threshold. 2:1 mean that the amount of reduction is twice as much. And the same incrementally. At 4:1, if you go over the threshold by 4db, you will get 16 db of reduction. In order to achieve the same amount of reduction at 2:1 as you would achieve at 16:1 without cranking the threshold, the etnire signal must be increased. What this means, is that in order to achieve that same level of reduction, you've had to bring everything up. This effectively means that the quietest dynamics have been raised.

Something tells me I'm still not explaining this properly. I just didn't want to make it sound like its the function of the compressor to do the level raising on its own. Compression (as I said at ratio 16:1 or lower) mandates that the gain is increased for the same reduction effect. As a result, for limiting to occur, you have raised the lower dynamics when you raised all the dynamics. This narrows the range, as opposed to a high ratio, where you can achieve the effect without bringing up the overall gain.

It's just hard for me to translate verbally what I understand on a visual level, through compression response graphs. Sorry if I'm really confusing the crap out of any of you.

As far as how this relates to the original post, if he's getting -12db of reduction at 2:1, that means he's 6db over the threshold, which means his lowest dynamic has gotten 6 db louder in relation to his highest dynamic. Now if you don't think tha's a big jump, take any instrument in your mix and raise it 6db and see how much of a difference that makes. Like I said, try 3:1 or 4:1 with maybe -3db of reduction. With the appropriate release and attack times, that is more than enough to effect the way the kick and snare poke through the mix, or to make the vocal stand out more from the mix, if it's a vox centric mix.
Old 25th July 2005
  #21
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Quote:
In order to achieve the same amount of reduction at 2:1 as you would achieve at 16:1 without cranking the threshold, the etnire signal must be increased. What this means, is that in order to achieve that same level of reduction, you've had to bring everything up. This effectively means that the quietest dynamics have been raised.
Lowering the threshold or increasing the input is the exact same thing. What you are doing does nothing different than lowering the threshold.

Now...why do you compare "the same reduction" in different ratios is beyond me. Its a completely different sound/approach. In a specific mixing/tracking situation, you would never need to decide between a 10 db reduction at 2:1 or at 10:1

I think I know exactly what you mean. However, the more you are trying to explain it, the more inaccurate you get.
Old 25th July 2005
  #22
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hhmmmm, actually with a 2:1 ratio, signals above threshold that go above by 2 dB are only permitted to go above 1 dB... that is, the 2 dB increase is limted to a 1 dB increase.
at 4:1, a 4 dB increase over threshold is output as a 1 dB result.
that's the deifnition of ratio... the relationship of input to output (for over threshold signals)

I think the biggest issue is how MUCH the entire mix is over compressor threshold... on my mixes it's typical for the mix to ride at about 3 dB of compression... so low level dynamics are not really being compressed at all.

that's probably a bigger issue than the compression ratio.

I know lots of engineers who use the SSL compressor at 10:1 but only tickle it for 1-2 dB gain reduction... and that can sound like LESS overall compression than someone who uses only 3:1 but really hits it hard into 6-10dB of gain reduction.
Old 25th July 2005
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syra
Lowering the threshold or increasing the input is the exact same thing. What you are doing does nothing different than lowering the threshold.
Wow, did they teach you that at Berklee? That's freaking genius! I'm sure you know compressors like the 1176 don't have adjustable threshold. It's a fixed threshold. You can actually only control the amount of reduction through gain or compression ratio changes. Besides, where did I mention lowering the threshold?

Quote:
Now...why do you compare "the same reduction" in different ratios is beyond me. Its a completely different sound/approach. In a specific mixing/tracking situation, you would never need to decide between a 10 db reduction at 2:1 or at 10:1.
Me mentioning the same reduction is two fold: First, I'm trying to verbalize a graph. If you look at a compression ratio graph, there's a measured linear value based on a linear threshold. For different ratios, the reduction response is indicated as being the same, but the horizontal axis on the bottom graph rises as the ratio lowers. (BTW, have you ever seen one of these graphs?) That horizontal response is what I am ineloquently referring to as the "floor". Secondly, since he mentioned a specific amount of reduction that he was incurring, I wanted to use that as a basis for how the lower ratio lessens the dynamics.

Additionally, I tend to use a specific amount of reduction by which I compress the stereo buss, because I want to incur a predictable amount of pumping, albeit a only very small amount. The ratio I choose, for that specific amount reduction is absolutely important. As I keep saying, with a lower ratio, the lowest dynamic of the signal is closer to the high point, than with a higher ratio. Why you fail to grasp that is beyond me. This is audio 101.

Quote:
I think I know exactly what you mean. However, the more you are trying to explain it, the more inaccurate you get.
Not to be insulting, but maybe you are having some translation issues and are just not following. My terminology that I use may not be the preferred technical nomenclature, but it is not incorrect. My assertion that different ratios produce a different dynamic range is not inaccurate. If you don't believe me, try listening to the different decays on something like a single piano note at different compression ratios. The lower ratios will give the apperance of a longer sustain. And in a dynamic performance, listen to the different dynamics.
Old 25th July 2005
  #24
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William, I believe you are correct. My equation was incorrect, due to me misrecollecting it. The ratio refers to the resulting level over the threshold, rather than the amount of reduction.

As to your other point, with -3db reduction, I'm not sure you would notice such a huge difference between 3:1 and 10:1, but in my experience, I notice a big difference between 1.5:1 and 3:1 on the stereo buss, which is why I recommended against it. I was only recommending against 1.5:1 specifically.
Old 25th July 2005
  #25
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Quote:
Wow, did they teach you that at Berklee?
I am happy you read my Bio...

Quote:
I'm sure you know compressors like the 1176 don't have adjustable threshold. It's a fixed threshold. You can actually only control the amount of reduction through gain or compression ratio changes.
I am missing your point here...

Quote:
Besides, where did I mention lowering the threshold?
In context what else did you mean by "without cranking the threshold" ?


Quote:
As I keep saying, with a lower ratio, the lowest dynamic of the signal is closer to the high point, than with a higher ratio. Why you fail to grasp that is beyond me. This is audio 101.
... ... ... so let me get this right. What you are saying is that if for example I am 4 db over the threshold and I have a lower ratio (2:1) opposed to a higher one (4:1) the difference between the lowest dynamic of the signal (uncompressed) will be closer to the high point (compressed).

Lets do the math. 4db over threshold at 2:1 = 2 db, 4db over threshold at 4:1 = 1 db.

Why the lower ratio looks to you like it brings the lowest dynamic closer to the high point, its beyond me. Maybe I skipped audio 101...please explain

Quote:
Not to be insulting, but maybe you are having some translation issues and are just not following.
I guess we're about to find out...
Old 25th July 2005
  #26
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Quote:
... ... ... so let me get this right. What you are saying is that if for example I am 4 db over the threshold and I have a lower ratio (2:1) opposed to a higher one (4:1) the difference between the lowest dynamic of the signal (uncompressed) will be closer to the high point (compressed).

Lets do the math. 4db over threshold at 2:1 = 2 db, 4db over threshold at 4:1 = 1 db.

Why the lower ratio looks to you like it brings the lowest dynamic closer to the high point, its beyond me. Maybe I skipped audio 101...please explain
Aye aye aye. OK, in order to achieve the same gain amount of gain reduction you need to raise the initial gain for the lower ratio. By raising the inital gain, you have just raised the floor of your uncompressed signal. We're talking about equal gain reduction here. Whether or not it's useful to use equal reduction is irrelevant. I've simply been trying to ilustrate a principal.

To tell you the truth, I've spent the day mixing and editing a 46 track tune of fuzak in the box. If there's two things I don't like, it would be fuzak and mixing in the box. I can't even think straight so I don't even know what I mean at this point. I didn't even remember saying "adjusting the threshold", and there it is! I said it!

Maybe I'm just confused. It happens, occasionally. Ten hours of fuzak will do that. I did misstate the ratio equation for sure though. My confusion must lie in thinking that the same amount of reduction at different ratios will produce the same over all output, which now that I think about it, maybe I'm on crack. Because increasing the input gain in order to get equal gain reduction would also increase the final output level, therefore the lows and highs move in a linear dynamic from a higher ratio. (I'm thinking out loud here. Just go with it.) OK, I get it. I am on crack. Ignore everything I just said.

However, on my 33609b, and perhaps it is just the way the compressor reacts differently at that ratio, and not the math behind it, I perceive less dynamic at 1.5:1 than at 3:1, with equal reduction. Also, with my LA4 at 2:1, I perceive sustained decay of certain instuments at what appeard to be the same amount of reduction as higher ratios. Maybe my ears are lying to me. But regardless, my theoretical assumption for this perceived difference is flawed. I seem to have left out one important point: the final output level. Doh! My bad. That's what you get for paying attention to the acid casualty.

I'll do my best Emily Latella at this point.

BTW, I dusted off my John Woram book, and I had completely hallucinated the graph that I was basing my idea on. It looks nothing like how I remember it. I'll go eat some crow now.
Old 25th July 2005
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
I think the biggest issue is how MUCH the entire mix is over compressor threshold... on my mixes it's typical for the mix to ride at about 3 dB of compression... so low level dynamics are not really being compressed at all.

.
so the mix is really 15 db above threshold, if you are using a 5:1 ratio?
Old 25th July 2005
  #28
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trident fan
so the mix is really 15 db above threshold, if you are using a 5:1 ratio?

wait a sec! 3db is the gain *reduction*, not the number of db's over threshold at the output.

at a 5:1 ratio, inputting a signal 5db over threshold yields an output of 1 db over threshold, for a gain reduction of 4db. so if you're only doing 3db of GR at 5:1, your input is less than 5db over threshold.

likewise, if you're 15db over threshold at 5:1, the output will be 3db over threshold, so your GR meter will read 12db. and, apropos of nothing, 12db at 5:1 is a fine way to make an rnc sound like an 1176 on vox.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 25th July 2005
  #29
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thank you ubik
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