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For vocal compression -Tracking or Mixing?
Old 31st January 2006
Gear Nut
blue_scorpion's Avatar

For vocal compression -Tracking or Mixing?

Hi. For a vocal recording what's more "important" in signal path, the TRACKING or MIXING the voice through a compressor? Until now I used both methods, but there are some some guys (let's say,... LULU) who say that is wrong to compress a voice twice.
I just felt so, that's why I did. At tracking, to stop some peak volumes and at mixing some levels that still need to be "struggled" a little...
So, your opinion? I know LULU's... dfegad
Old 31st January 2006
Lives for gear
mixerguy's Avatar
Someone said "is wrong to compress a voice twice."


if it sounds good, IT IS GOOD.

Show me the rule book.

Old 31st January 2006
Gear Nut
blue_scorpion's Avatar

same opinion... thx

Uh...what a relief! -LULU, did you see that?!
Old 31st January 2006
Gear Addict
drummin4christ's Avatar

I tend to use a light compression before hitting my converters. Then I use a UAD-1 compressor ITB for my remaining compression.

As stated above, "if it sounds good, then do it!!!"
Old 31st January 2006
Lives for gear
robmix's Avatar
I tend to use compression on the both ends. A bit of 1176 or Daking during tracking then some Neve 2254 on the mix. Lately, there' s been a plug-in compressor and then the Neve as well on the mix.
Old 31st January 2006
Lives for gear

I've always liked a little 160a on the way in to control peaks, then I can use an 1176 or something else later in the mix.
Too much comp on the way in freaks me out.
Old 31st January 2006
Lives for gear
Chris Parsons's Avatar

I use a hardware La2a (UA) when I track and take off 4db or so on the peaks. Then i'll use a UAD 1176 (for harder stuff) or La2a (for softer stuff) in the mix. Even at 0 reduction I love the sound the La2a gives a vocal.

Old 31st January 2006
Lives for gear
AlexLakis's Avatar

Hardware going in, software during mixing, usually.
Old 31st January 2006
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John Suitcase's Avatar

I agree, I compress on the way in, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, depending on the style of singer (some of the screamo guys that go from whisper to scream in a split second there's no other way to do it). Then when mixing I usually throw a plug-in on the lead vocal, and give it a pretty good working over.

Then I'll sometimes throw another compressor on my vocal group.

Then run the whole mix through a limiter to catch peaks.

Then have the mastering engineer compress and limit some more.

So what is that, like 4 or 5 compressor stages?

It's funny because one of the things you'll hear people say is that you shouldn't use too much compression, or any compression. But then you also hear those people wondering why their recordings don't sound "professional". Most of what we think of as great recordings have a lot of compression, all over the place.

If it sounds good, go with it, there aren't any rules, as someone said earlier.
Old 31st January 2006
Lives for gear
cdog's Avatar
My two favorite tracking compressors are the Smart C2 and the Fatso.

But these days I tend to track dry at a lower level (peaking at -10 or -15).

There's just no benefit to tracking at a higher level with 24 bit digital.

It gives me a lot of options during the mix.

One of which is - an uncompressed vocal. What a novel idea.

Old 31st January 2006
Gear Head

I always compress going in. I use a tubetech cl1-b, so theres really no fuss...
If I feel confident (and i usually do), I'll get the amount of comp needed on the way in, and for some rock singers that means driving the tubie to it's knees (figuratively speaking...). I guess my unit needs service, cause this produces the most adorable and very rock'n'roll soft distortion ... It may be broke, but I don't wanna fix it...
Anyway I like the idea of having the finished vocal on the track, so it just needs a splash of verb and a 300 hz cut (for male singers... usually by the UAD pultec plug).
I'm not really into that 'options in the mix'-thing. But I like simple music.
Old 31st January 2006
Lives for gear
John Suitcase's Avatar

An uncompressed vocal is a novel idea. And it works with certain singers. But in reality, most of the people I'm working with don't have great mic technique, and asking them to sing more evenly is a dead end. I'm not making excuses, just saying that's how it is...
Old 31st January 2006
Lives for gear
JonCraig's Avatar

both here. a nice opto when i'm in a room that has one, a la la3a or tube tech cl1b. when i'm doing demo stuff where i bring the gear, i'll very lightly touch a dbx 160x.

then it sees a renn comp or two in the mix.

"wrong to compress a vocal twice"??? hell... some records have many comp's (like 4+) on the vocal.

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