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How many compressors do you use on submixes / buses? (Signal Flow.)
Old 19th October 2013
  #1
How many compressors do you use on submixes / buses? (Signal Flow.)

Just an informal poll...I know a lot of people are fans of compressing the drum bus, or parallel compressing the drum bus as well as the master bus...but there's never nearly as much talk about other submixes / buses, or what people prefer to parallel compress over just strapping their favorite sound onto, etc.

To keep it simple I thought I'd limit things to basic groups:
  • Drums / Parallel Drum bus
  • Guitars / Parallel Guitar bus
  • Keys or Synths / Parallel bus for either
  • Vocals / Parallel bus for Vocals

If you wish to elaborate further with more buses please do without feeling restricted.

If you like to chain EQ's or multiple compressors in line on a bus please elaborate if you feel like participating in this thread. I feel strongly that working ITB or on a console doesn't really matter but I am conducting this primarily to poll console owners about hardware compressors so that's why I'm posting this in High End. What matters is signal flow, so whatever your medium of choice please feel free to go nuts.

You don't have to get into settings elaborately unless you'd prefer to, but please think about signal flow as a priority. This topic is all about having your druthers.
Old 20th October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Gretschman's Avatar
 

Thats a hard one for me .
Depends on so many things.
Usually there is some player in the group that is either playing to hard ,
To loud , to soft , or just enough crap to make mixing a hassle .

So when I isolate his thing and
Fix it , I am hoping to leave the rest as is and ride the levels a tad .
Then listen to it , separate the tracks,
And touch it up . Eq first . Then
Play back a couple of time, then maybe light compression as needed.
This is where I try out different compressors until I hear what I like.
Then if I cant find it, I try buss compression , then usually start over if I'm not getting it.
When I get frustrated I just pull the track that is giving me a fit and use an ES 8 on it , then mix from that point
Old 20th October 2013
  #3
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravit Dinchy View Post
What's "druthers"?

The only sensible answer is "it depends".

Everyone has their own way of doing things. You should stop wasting time asking silly questions on the internet, and go and devise your own working methods.
Someone had a bad morning/day ...



Everyone is entitled to asking whatever he/she wants right?If you got nothing good to say , leave it to yourself !!

My 2cents

T
Old 20th October 2013
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravit Dinchy View Post
What's "druthers"?

The only sensible answer is "it depends".

Everyone has their own way of doing things. You should stop wasting time asking silly questions on the internet, and go and devise your own working methods.
druth·er
*Druh-thur* (Pronounce it this way.)
informal
noun
plural noun: druthers

1.
a person's preference in a matter.
"if I had my druthers, I would prefer to be a writer"


Every session is of course different, but I'm talking about things people tend to do just because they tend to favor doing them. If they had their druthers.
Old 20th October 2013
  #5
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Janesaid2me's Avatar
I usually compress and limit all busses but very very lightly....i love putting a bus compressor with a low ratio and 1-2db reduction for alil flavor and control....
Ones i use alot:
Waves ssl
Waves api2500
Waves pie
Waves hybrid...love on parrallel
Focusrite midnight
Psp vintage warmer
Think those are my usual victims

Not always....obviously everything is situation dependent.....
Old 20th October 2013
  #6
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravit Dinchy View Post
What's "druthers"?

The only sensible answer is "it depends".

Everyone has their own way of doing things. You should stop wasting time asking silly questions on the internet, and go and devise your own working methods.
It never ceases to amaze me how flippant some folks get when telling others what they "should" be doing or saying. How the hell would you know what someone else should or shouldn't be posting in query form.
My understanding of this forum, is it gives opportunity for like minded people to express interest , knowledge and insight in a conversational manner.

Your statement might seems holier than thou to most, but I personally find it condescending and rude, and certainly reflective of a mind that has failed to see the expansive nature and possibilities to be gained from asking a very relevant question in the most logical of places.
I doubt seriously you are as shallow and low minded as your rhetoric clearly demonstrated. What is most curious about this post is how you might think it of value or contributing in a positive or insightful manner. I cannot for the life of me see how an intelligent open minded person could arrive at posting a statement like this and feel good about it.

Though it would be a small man made minor miracle to hear or read, an apology seems in order. If not out of respect for the OP as a genuine person, perhaps for your own self respect.
Sad as man. :thumbdown:
Old 21st October 2013
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
It never ceases to amaze me how flippant some folks get when telling others what they "should" be doing or saying. How the hell would you know what someone else should or shouldn't be posting in query form.
My understanding of this forum, is it gives opportunity for like minded people to express interest , knowledge and insight in a conversational manner.

Your statement might seems holier than thou to most, but I personally find it condescending and rude, and certainly reflective of a mind that has failed to see the expansive nature and possibilities to be gained from asking a very relevant question in the most logical of places.
I doubt seriously you are as shallow and low minded as your rhetoric clearly demonstrated. What is most curious about this post is how you might think it of value or contributing in a positive or insightful manner. I cannot for the life of me see how an intelligent open minded person could arrive at posting a statement like this and feel good about it.

Though it would be a small man made minor miracle to hear or read, an apology seems in order. If not out of respect for the OP as a genuine person, perhaps for your own self respect.
Sad as man. :thumbdown:
I wish some people were just a little less quick to be dismissive. I searched the forum a few times and came up with nothing when I was penning this question. Everyone fixates on 2Bus compression and sometimes there's talk of which units people prefer as special sauce on Drum Bus...but there's not really any definitive threads on submixes and busing techniques. Let alone one that gets into why people fall into routines, or favor specific pieces of outboard.

I really appreciate you sticking up for me here...but I too wish that people wouldn't simply gloss over what could be informative and useful. There's tons of threads where people chime in 2 Cents about buying X or Y because it's a "given" without any explanation as to how people would use these "recording staples".

If I had used the words "SSL compressor" or "Neve" somewhere in here more people would have written something obligatory. But I was looking for detailed and thoughtful replies. Not just gear shilling.

Anyway...thank you Gene for the Levity.
Old 21st October 2013
  #8
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GeneHall's Avatar
I learn from these threads. My understanding of inductor based eq's is directly attributes to following a couple of your threads.

It's the generosity of spirit you put into some of your thoughts that challenges folks like that guy. It's sad to know a custodian of creativity (sound engineer) has such a shallow perspective.

I just can't see why a bitter person would even bother with a community forum, seriously, go back to his community of One and have a great life.
Like many others attempting to expand as engineers and people, I come here to learn and grow. Engineering is the realm for and by The Curious.
Those arrogant legends in their own minds will only ever attempt to spread the rot of their own decay or misery , but why go public with it?
I've just had an assfull of mean spirited people projecting their unevolved dog**** rhetoric solely to be rude or demonstrate how miserable they must be as people.
On this side of the glass, aren't we supposed to be covalent to most, understanding of intent, contributive towards solutions?
How some people.manage a career with attitudes like that astound me.

Fwiw- I compressor most things in small stages, faster at first/ at the channel, slower but pushed harder at the bus, and punched in the head on the two bus with a 670! Needless to say sometimes it works, sometimes it don't.
I know some limit at each bus but I only limit on the Master, 1-3db depending on circumstance. Every effort is made on my part, to preserve ambient dynamics and this is my rationale for only limiting on the Master.
In my recording chains I do use a Langevin limiter to make sure I keep from burning the toast, so slight though.

I build everything around lead voices then decide how I'm going to smack the drum bus around(for example). Mostly I experiment and develop each time I fire up system. Or read what you boys do and have a go at that too!:D

That said, I'm getting closer and closer to achieving sounds I believe are good. But I only build programme demos that are perfected, no Master recordings unless I just get lucky and a take goes to print. That's such a great feeling.....
Old 21st October 2013
  #9
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andreaeffe's Avatar
Interesting question, OP...


Here's what I usually/mostly tend to do, which I think is pertinent to what U were enquiring about, as I mix on a LFAC, mostly my Soundtracs Jade.

1-Drums:
-main stereo drum buss has an Orban 674A vintage stereo eq with Xformer option, into a TF Pro "Edward" P38 stero compressor, or sometimes a Focusrite Red3 compressor;
(the various single drum channels or stereo busses sometimes first get some plugin treatment if needed, and mostly get some form of hardware dynamic treatment/compression/gating, e.g. the Jade desk gate & comp on kick, snare, toms; plus an inserted Ridge Farms Boiler on kick and on snare; plus a Presonus ACP22 or an 1176 and heavy Jade desk gating on parallel snare; etc)
-parallel drum buss stereo is either what I call "the hard boy", into a Valley People Dynamite compressor, or "the soft boy", into a Drawmer 1968 tube compressor;
(when using the "soft boy" option 8 times out of 10 I also send a bit of bass guitar to the Drawmer; in both soft & hard options I sometimes do & sometimes don't send the stereo rooms buss, the parallel snare channel, the hi-hat channel to the parallel buss, depending if I feel I'm already getting enough of it, or if & what I want to enhance or drive the parallel compressor)

2-Bass:
-if it's various tracks of bass sounds compositing the track's bass (e.g. DI + amp mic + distorted amp or distorted line driver), I'll usually blend & sum them to 1 output ITB, sometimes using some plugins on the separate tracks if needed (but, I find, never on the sum) & sometimes automating/changing their blend if needed in certain parts of the song, and then that, main bass channel usually gets a Daking FET II inserted, sometimes an ancient RCA tube compressor, or perhaps more rarely an 1176 compressor doing 8:1 or 20:1 ratios;
-parallel bass I don't always use, but as said above I sometimes feed a bit of the main bass channel to the "soft boy" parallel drum buss; or if & when I use a parallel bass channel it's fed either to another Daking FET II very heavily pummelled, or to something more spongy & lo-fi like an Aphex Easyrider, or to something more gritty & squishy like an ART or a TLA tube compressor, plus the Jade desk compressor doing some 10:1 limiting on occasional peaks;

3-Guitars:
-my distorted, "Heavies" stereo buss never includes lead guitar, always gets some very light Jade desk compressor, and 9 times out of 10 gets an API 2500 compressor inserted, or alternatively a Drawmer 1968 tube compressor;
-parallel heavies usually is a mono buss for me, a sum of the L&R above put straight up the centre and heavily squashed with a TLA or ART tube comp, or a cleaner & heftier Daking FET II compressor;
-the clean guitars stereo buss always gets some light Jade desk compressor action, plus either a very clean Focusrite Red3 compressor inserted, or a grittier TLA tube comp;
-lead guitar, be it mono or stereo, I tend to treat & think of like a lead vocal, so it either gets very little dynamics treatment except what was done during recording and a light Jade desk compressor; or gets an 1176 compressor inserted, more rarely that ancient RCA tube compressor;

4-Keyboards:
-I only put synth type sounds together in a stereo buss, if there's any piano, or hammond or other organs or weirdo signature sounds (anything from Mellotrons to analogue synth leads or strange sequenced stuff), they each get their own separate pair of stereo channels; and I don't sum them further to a "keys" buss - they each go straight to the main master stero buss;
-almost all get some Jade desk compressor, adjusted to taste in terms of ratio & attack/release & threshold, from just a dB here and there at 2:1 to more steady leveling at higher ratios or peak taming at more extreme ratios; and I like the spongyness of the Aphex Easyrider compressor on certain synth pads, and the tube grit & harmonics of a TLA tube comressor on Hammond type organs;
-almost never any parallel buss for keyboards, except a mono straight centre or very inward panned closed stereo buss for some pianos, usually to either enhance or completely subdue attack transients, so the compressor gets chosen according to that - a Daking FET II or an 1176, or a slow opto Avalon 737, or a TF Pro P10 for anything from fast to superslow;

5-Vox:
-no parallel compression on backing vocals, the BVs main stereo buss always gets some Jade desk compression, adjusted to taste, sometimes an old Orban 424A compressor inserted;
-any extra or special vox harmonies go to their own separate channel before going into the BVs main buss, and get their own Jade compressor and sometimes an 1176 or an ART tube compressor inserted;
-lead vocals usually go into an 1176 and then into a Retro STA Level, with plugin de-essing before all that if & when required;
-parallel lead vocal is always a mono buss, with some lighter Jade desk compression and some very heavy either Drawmer 1968 or Daking Fet II or Presonus ACP22 compression.

6-Main stereo buss:

-always a TK Audio BC1-MkII SSL type buss comp doing very little with a very slow attack, just gelling the mix & enhancing impact;
-from that into either an old Neumann stereo eq module and if required into a Focusrite Red3 compressor, or into a Focusrite Mixmaster 3 band opto comp & Class A eq & stereo widener (but with the expander limiter disabled).

The Jade has a "floating subgroups" system, so there are no dedicated subgroup faders, but U just set any small fader or pair of small faders to become the subgroup/buss master faders for the same numbered buss button, e.g. small faders on channels 1 & 2 become the group/buss faders for buses 1&2, etc, up to 24.

That's it.


A
F
Old 21st October 2013
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
I learn from these threads. My understanding of inductor based eq's is directly attributes to following a couple of your threads.

It's the generosity of spirit you put into some of your thoughts that challenges folks like that guy. It's sad to know a custodian of creativity (sound engineer) has such a shallow perspective.

I just can't see why a bitter person would even bother with a community forum, seriously, go back to his community of One and have a great life.
Like many others attempting to expand as engineers and people, I come here to learn and grow. Engineering is the realm for and by The Curious.
Those arrogant legends in their own minds will only ever attempt to spread the rot of their own decay or misery , but why go public with it?
I've just had an assfull of mean spirited people projecting their unevolved dog**** rhetoric solely to be rude or demonstrate how miserable they must be as people.
On this side of the glass, aren't we supposed to be covalent to most, understanding of intent, contributive towards solutions?
How some people.manage a career with attitudes like that astound me.

Fwiw- I compressor most things in small stages, faster at first/ at the channel, slower but pushed harder at the bus, and punched in the head on the two bus with a 670! Needless to say sometimes it works, sometimes it don't.
I know some limit at each bus but I only limit on the Master, 1-3db depending on circumstance. Every effort is made on my part, to preserve ambient dynamics and this is my rationale for only limiting on the Master.
In my recording chains I do use a Langevin limiter to make sure I keep from burning the toast, so slight though.

I build everything around lead voices then decide how I'm going to smack the drum bus around(for example). Mostly I experiment and develop each time I fire up system. Or read what you boys do and have a go at that too!:D

That said, I'm getting closer and closer to achieving sounds I believe are good. But I only build programme demos that are perfected, no Master recordings unless I just get lucky and a take goes to print. That's such a great feeling.....

Wow...you learned something from me?!

When I'm mixing usually I build my drums first. Followed by Bass and Guitars / lead instruments...then when most of the mix is done I really focus on the vocals sitting well with what I have in balance. I spend a lot of time on that, but usually at that point. I migrated to DAW's about 9 years ago, and only got to work in studios with large format consoles here and there over the years when projects allowed for it.

Now that I own an analog console with 8 buses I've been making a diagram of how I want everything to be laid out. I've also been budgeting and gearing up to acquire everything else I'll need while redoing the patch bay bit by bit myself.

When I mix rock ITB (for example) I tend to favor having a Drum Bus, Guitar Bus, Bass Bus, and Vocal bus...but instead of mixing things in one go I'll process stems and start finalizing a mix as I get into mastering off the stems from there. (At least this is how I've been doing it for about two years now.) Things like guitars might each go through the Guitar bus separately in order to give me wider control of various stems later...but it's really powerful doing it this way.

My ITB rig has analog outboard, but I haven't needed too much since plug-ins can have nearly as many instances as your computer will allow.

Now that I have a console I want to imitate what I'm doing with my ITB mixes when it counts. I can easily print stems if I want to, but I'm trying to get the whole mix in one pass if possible to save on time.

Out of all the Plugs that I own the main compressor for my buses digitally has been the Waves SSL G Comp. I chain some other things in there, but I'm not using much...maybe -1.5dB with slower attacks and longer releases.

I've found by having nearly the same plug-in chain with slightly different settings tuned to each instruments makes things feel incredibly cohesive. (More like I was mixing on a console for example, which would have roughly the same sound channel to channel.)

Part of me is thinking I should figure out the best VCA style compressor I can afford several of, and maybe dedicate a 500 series rack with four of them to spread things out.

I have 8 buses on my Yamaha PM2000...but two get used at a time in stereo. I know Mixwell (Who's worked on my desk before when Mercenary used to own it) isn't a fan of buses on my console...but I intend to upgrade the Op-amps and see if that helps things feel a bit better. He claimed that things are a bit on the muddier side when they're in use, so cleaner VCA topologies might be better choices to minimize distortions.

Still...you just have to say the words "API or SLL?" and you'll get into huge threads where people talk about the 2500 on a drum bus being superior for example (and there's almost no devils advocates to the contrary)...I don't own a 2500 and have little experience with them, though I've used a lot of variants on the G series compressor at various places over the years.

I own the Waves plug of course. But I've found that usually I still prefer to use the same compressor on buses, for that cohesive thing I'm getting...and then I'll throw the API2500 plug up on a parallel bus if I need a bit more grit going on.

With analog gear I'm way more attracted to newer designs with parallel compression if I can get them...and FET compressors for individual tracks. I borrowed a Slate Dragon recently and loved it...tried the Lindell compressors out (The 17X and the 7X 500), and I own Chandler Germanium Compressors / want to try out the little devils. I like other designs and topologies, but favor FET's for most tasks.

Anything that saves me channels on the console so I don't have to run parallel channels is a good move I feel, it's just time saving, more precise when dialing in the sound, and keeps more channels free for a bigger mix in one go.

My dream is to have things setup and normaled so I don't have to patch much when I go to mix. I just load up a template session, import and edit the audio...and run the mix. I want to cut down on setup time as much as possible and only run outboard pres for overdubs so it's never an issue, even when I'm mixing.

I don't mind having a few tricks up my sleeve, but I'm really going for something where if I reach around for the next unit, it's fairly fast to setup since I'm using several of the same things.
Old 21st October 2013
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreaeffe View Post
Interesting question, OP...


Here's what I usually/mostly tend to do, which I think is pertinent to what U were enquiring about, as I mix on a LFAC, mostly my Soundtracs Jade.

1-Drums:
-main stereo drum buss has an Orban 674A vintage stereo eq with Xformer option, into a TF Pro "Edward" P38 stero compressor, or sometimes a Focusrite Red3 compressor;
(the various single drum channels or stereo busses sometimes first get some plugin treatment if needed, and mostly get some form of hardware dynamic treatment/compression/gating, e.g. the Jade desk gate & comp on kick, snare, toms; plus an inserted Ridge Farms Boiler on kick and on snare; plus a Presonus ACP22 or an 1176 and heavy Jade desk gating on parallel snare; etc)
-parallel drum buss stereo is either what I call "the hard boy", into a Valley People Dynamite compressor, or "the soft boy", into a Drawmer 1968 tube compressor;
(when using the "soft boy" option 8 times out of 10 I also send a bit of bass guitar to the Drawmer; in both soft & hard options I sometimes do & sometimes don't send the stereo rooms buss, the parallel snare channel, the hi-hat channel to the parallel buss, depending if I feel I'm already getting enough of it, or if & what I want to enhance or drive the parallel compressor)

2-Bass:
-if it's various tracks of bass sounds compositing the track's bass (e.g. DI + amp mic + distorted amp or distorted line driver), I'll usually blend & sum them to 1 output ITB, sometimes using some plugins on the separate tracks if needed (but, I find, never on the sum) & sometimes automating/changing their blend if needed in certain parts of the song, and then that, main bass channel usually gets a Daking FET II inserted, sometimes an ancient RCA tube compressor, or perhaps more rarely an 1176 compressor doing 8:1 or 20:1 ratios;
-parallel bass I don't always use, but as said above I sometimes feed a bit of the main bass channel to the "soft boy" parallel drum buss; or if & when I use a parallel bass channel it's fed either to another Daking FET II very heavily pummelled, or to something more spongy & lo-fi like an Aphex Easyrider, or to something more gritty & squishy like an ART or a TLA tube compressor, plus the Jade desk compressor doing some 10:1 limiting on occasional peaks;

3-Guitars:
-my distorted, "Heavies" stereo buss never includes lead guitar, always gets some very light Jade desk compressor, and 9 times out of 10 gets an API 2500 compressor inserted, or alternatively a Drawmer 1968 tube compressor;
-parallel heavies usually is a mono buss for me, a sum of the L&R above put straight up the centre and heavily squashed with a TLA or ART tube comp, or a cleaner & heftier Daking FET II compressor;
-the clean guitars stereo buss always gets some light Jade desk compressor action, plus either a very clean Focusrite Red3 compressor inserted, or a grittier TLA tube comp;
-lead guitar, be it mono or stereo, I tend to treat & think of like a lead vocal, so it either gets very little dynamics treatment except what was done during recording and a light Jade desk compressor; or gets an 1176 compressor inserted, more rarely that ancient RCA tube compressor;

4-Keyboards:
-I only put synth type sounds together in a stereo buss, if there's any piano, or hammond or other organs or weirdo signature sounds (anything from Mellotrons to analogue synth leads or strange sequenced stuff), they each get their own separate pair of stereo channels; and I don't sum them further to a "keys" buss - they each go straight to the main master stero buss;
-almost all get some Jade desk compressor, adjusted to taste in terms of ratio & attack/release & threshold, from just a dB here and there at 2:1 to more steady leveling at higher ratios or peak taming at more extreme ratios; and I like the spongyness of the Aphex Easyrider compressor on certain synth pads, and the tube grit & harmonics of a TLA tube comressor on Hammond type organs;
-almost never any parallel buss for keyboards, except a mono straight centre or very inward panned closed stereo buss for some pianos, usually to either enhance or completely subdue attack transients, so the compressor gets chosen according to that - a Daking FET II or an 1176, or a slow opto Avalon 737, or a TF Pro P10 for anything from fast to superslow;

5-Vox:
-no parallel compression on backing vocals, the BVs main stereo buss always gets some Jade desk compression, adjusted to taste, sometimes an old Orban 424A compressor inserted;
-any extra or special vox harmonies go to their own separate channel before going into the BVs main buss, and get their own Jade compressor and sometimes an 1176 or an ART tube compressor inserted;
-lead vocals usually go into an 1176 and then into a Retro STA Level, with plugin de-essing before all that if & when required;
-parallel lead vocal is always a mono buss, with some lighter Jade desk compression and some very heavy either Drawmer 1968 or Daking Fet II or Presonus ACP22 compression.

6-Main stereo buss:

-always a TK Audio BC1-MkII SSL type buss comp doing very little with a very slow attack, just gelling the mix & enhancing impact;
-from that into either an old Neumann stereo eq module and if required into a Focusrite Red3 compressor, or into a Focusrite Mixmaster 3 band opto comp & Class A eq & stereo widener (but with the expander limiter disabled).

The Jade has a "floating subgroups" system, so there are no dedicated subgroup faders, but U just set any small fader or pair of small faders to become the subgroup/buss master faders for the same numbered buss button, e.g. small faders on channels 1 & 2 become the group/buss faders for buses 1&2, etc, up to 24.

That's it.


A
F
This is a fantastic post Andrea! I'm actually re-reading it now...but really good ideas in here!
Old 21st October 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
GeneHall's Avatar
Excellent descriptives Mr Andreas! I can all but see your work flow.
Lead guitar I see the same, lead voices are lead voices regardless of instrument.

And Mr Man, I totally agree with the plugin "sameness. Be it channel or bus. For example, channel tools I use at.the stereo busses are relative to each other but nuanced to create the light and shade to give each channel it's separation and spaciousness before the glue is applied. I really use very few different plugs these days, just more events treated with the same plugs.

Drums still intimidate me and usually resource someone further down the road than me for this. I can set up and get.good captures but mixing....

And yes, most of the decent eq threads see you lurking about. Sounds like a healthy addiction you have there, (eq's I mean!):thumbup:
Old 21st October 2013
  #13
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
Excellent descriptives Mr Andreas! I can all but see your work flow.
Lead guitar I see the same, lead voices are lead voices regardless of instrument.

And Mr Man, I totally agree with the plugin "sameness. Be it channel or bus. For example, channel tools I use at.the stereo busses are relative to each other but nuanced to create the light and shade to give each channel it's separation and spaciousness before the glue is applied. I really use very few different plugs these days, just more events treated with the same plugs.

Drums still intimidate me and usually resource someone further down the road than me for this. I can set up and get.good captures but mixing....

And yes, most of the decent eq threads see you lurking about. Sounds like a healthy addiction you have there, (eq's I mean!):thumbup:
Regarding set up , I'm never looking to speed this up. I'm methodical and pedantic here, often frustrating anyone working with me as I measure this or that until I feel my capture potential is maximized. For a relatively impatient person, I find this part of tracking is my strong suite and I'm quite precious about it. This all affects how will deploy compression as we move closer to being ready to record.
Old 21st October 2013
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
Excellent descriptives Mr Andreas! I can all but see your work flow.
Lead guitar I see the same, lead voices are lead voices regardless of instrument.

And Mr Man, I totally agree with the plugin "sameness. Be it channel or bus. For example, channel tools I use at.the stereo busses are relative to each other but nuanced to create the light and shade to give each channel it's separation and spaciousness before the glue is applied. I really use very few different plugs these days, just more events treated with the same plugs.

Drums still intimidate me and usually resource someone further down the road than me for this. I can set up and get.good captures but mixing....

And yes, most of the decent eq threads see you lurking about. Sounds like a healthy addiction you have there, (eq's I mean!):thumbup:
Gene I'm CRAZY about EQ's! I'm gearing up to mod the rest of the EQ's on the console so it's all inductor based when I'm done...I find that surgical sterile sounding EQ's aren't my thing so much. I want subtle strokes with stuff that can really affect the sound but musically.

I plan on using the Waves SSL Channel strip ITB feeding out to the console, so if a little more is needed in shades I'll get it from there without smearing things too much since that's not an inductor based design they modeled.

I'm with you on doing things in stages...so if I use the strip then it's EQ ITB > Compressor ITB > EQ on the console channel strip > Compressor on the console channels strip.

If I stick with designs that have parallel compression built in at that phase then I'm maximizing my transient response...if I go with bus compressors that have parallel compression hopefully I can do it again prior to hitting the 2Bus.

If I can get enough solid outboard EQ's hopefully I can EQ yet again at the submix / bus phase and just hit everything lightly each time for a cumulative effect. It's all for touching things as light as possible in a long chain instead of over-processing at any one point.

That's the idea...I do something extremely similar in the box at least with my hybrid setup.

The console is 32 channels, but I was thinking about getting a RND 5059 since it has a Bus A and Bus B you can send any combination of it's 16 tracks too...this way I could have 8 tracks bused to two sets of channels with EQ each...bumping track count to 44 total.

That would make Channels 29&30, and 31&32 essentially two more buses on top of what's built into the desk.
Old 21st October 2013
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
Regarding set up , I'm never looking to speed this up. I'm methodical and pedantic here, often frustrating anyone working with me as I measure this or that until I feel my capture potential is maximized. For a relatively impatient person, I find this part of tracking is my strong suite and I'm quite precious about it. This all affects how will deploy compression as we move closer to being ready to record.
For mixing drums ITB you might think this is crazy...but if you sound replace kick and snare I would mix them both without reverb if you're using a DAW. You'll need more processing to mimic this with recording drums, but that's doable too with similar effect.

Reverb sends clip out fast in PT...in the analog domain there's ways to attenuate things physically so this won't happen, but the harder you push your fader, the more likely you will eventually clip your verb / FX in PT.

So I put Verb on my drum bus and don't bother with any verb on any single drum tracks at all. I go for hot levels controlled with light compression on my drum mix...and then key everything to feel together with processing and verb, and some other tricks at the bus phase. I always mix the drums to feel like one instrument.

I would study the panning on Nirvana's Nevermind (Which was mixed by Andy Wallace), though it's stage perspective. You'll probably want to flip things to drummers perspective, but mimic the panning of Andy's mixes on that record when you think about rock drums at least to start (tones, and subtle shifts in panning are a completely different matter, but spacing things glued together, that's the rub.)

A parallel compressed and gated reverb on a copy of the snare can be cool too, but I'd get the basic mix down first.
Old 21st October 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 
GeneHall's Avatar
Re: How many compressors do you use on submixes / buses? (Signal Flow.)

I'm gonna need the rest of the day to digest that! Thanks man.

Nirvana, I can't escape this band their work. First time I heard of them was at a club called the Mason Jar in Phoenix AZ. I was in a band that had been booked to gig on a Thursday night, owner Franco did not even bother to tell us we got the ass and we showed up as you did then, only to be told the rag tag mob in flannel shirts were playing instead.
No one knew these guys were gonna reshape music. Mudhoney opened that show and that fat giant of a singer blew me and everyone else away! I really thought mudhoney and Tad were WAY better than Nirvana. They just seemed all over the shop.
Gin Blossoms had just prior to this managed to elevate themselves from the Sun Club (??if memory serves?). Music landscape was changing so fast back then.
And Wallace mixed? A drummer.....of course
Old 21st October 2013
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreaeffe View Post
[FONT="Trebuchet MS"][COLOR="Navy"]Interesting question, OP...


Here's what I usually/mostly tend to do, which I think is pertinent to what U were enquiring about, as I mix on a LFAC, mostly my Soundtracs Jade.

1-Drums:
-main stereo drum buss has an Orban 674A vintage stereo eq with Xformer option, into a TF Pro "Edward" P38 stero compressor, or sometimes a Focusrite Red3 compressor;
(the various single drum channels or stereo busses sometimes first get some plugin treatment if needed, and mostly get some form of hardware dynamic treatment/compression/gating, e.g. the Jade desk gate & comp on kick, snare, toms; plus an inserted Ridge Farms Boiler on kick and on snare; plus a Presonus ACP22 or an 1176 and heavy Jade desk gating on parallel snare; etc)
-parallel drum buss stereo is either what I call "the hard boy", into a Valley People Dynamite compressor, or "the soft boy", into a Drawmer 1968 tube compressor;
(when using the "soft boy" option 8 times out of 10 I also send a bit of bass guitar to the Drawmer; in both soft & hard options I sometimes do & sometimes don't send the stereo rooms buss, the parallel snare channel, the hi-hat channel to the parallel buss, depending if I feel I'm already getting enough of it, or if & what I want to enhance or drive the parallel compressor)

3-Guitars:
-my distorted, "Heavies" stereo buss never includes lead guitar, always gets some very light Jade desk compressor, and 9 times out of 10 gets an API 2500 compressor inserted, or alternatively a Drawmer 1968 tube compressor;
-parallel heavies usually is a mono buss for me, a sum of the L&R above put straight up the centre and heavily squashed with a TLA or ART tube comp, or a cleaner & heftier Daking FET II compressor;
-the clean guitars stereo buss always gets some light Jade desk compressor action, plus either a very clean Focusrite Red3 compressor inserted, or a grittier TLA tube comp;
-lead guitar, be it mono or stereo, I tend to treat & think of like a lead vocal, so it either gets very little dynamics treatment except what was done during recording and a light Jade desk compressor; or gets an 1176 compressor inserted, more rarely that ancient RCA tube compressor;....
Andrea, I hope you don't mind me breaking your post up into chunks. The first thing that I keyed in on is that you atypically prefer your API2500 on a guitar bus. (And this is exactly why I made this thread...to get into technique and signal flow without being so samey. So thanks again for this post.)

I will write more about your other sections...but on the topic of guitars Vs drums, is this more because you don't have a 2nd API2500...or have you arrived at these blends of gear chasing something specific? To be honest you write like someone who really knows the sound your after, and I like that.

But back to heavy guitars, any particular settings on the API2500? Or is more because it's so flexible that it can handle complex blends of instruments. I know you lose some sub low end and gain some mid range using it, so I can kind of picture why you'd favor it there right off the bat. I just never hear(or read) people talk about it much other than for drums and 2Bus and I love that you're thinking out of the box.

It's plenty deep as a compressor, but guitars come in all shapes and sizes...I know for heavy guitars in particular there can be a huge range in tones project to project that most people kind of shy from talking about. Not just generic Nue Metal over-compressed guitars.

Really cool post...I will get into this more later if you're cool with that.
Old 21st October 2013
  #18
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
It never ceases to amaze me how flippant some folks get when telling others what they "should" be doing or saying. How the hell would you know what someone else should or shouldn't be posting in query form.
My understanding of this forum, is it gives opportunity for like minded people to express interest , knowledge and insight in a conversational manner.

Your statement might seems holier than thou to most, but I personally find it condescending and rude, and certainly reflective of a mind that has failed to see the expansive nature and possibilities to be gained from asking a very relevant question in the most logical of places.
I doubt seriously you are as shallow and low minded as your rhetoric clearly demonstrated. What is most curious about this post is how you might think it of value or contributing in a positive or insightful manner. I cannot for the life of me see how an intelligent open minded person could arrive at posting a statement like this and feel good about it.

Though it would be a small man made minor miracle to hear or read, an apology seems in order. If not out of respect for the OP as a genuine person, perhaps for your own self respect.
Sad as man. :thumbdown:
Old 21st October 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
once a roadie's Avatar
I like to use a few compressors as well...using a Midas Venice fed by 16 channels of d/a.

Vocal has a drawmer 1968 channel insert...
Bass has a drawmer 1968 channel insert...
Snare has a RNC insert...
Drums (4 ch) go to a group with the TK BC1. 4:1
Also have a ua 2-610 on sends and send a bit of kick snare and bass to this, send some vocal through the second channel...
Chandler little devils sit on the guitar group. These sound great on both acoustic and electrics. If need be you can send something else here too...reverbs sometimes.

Keys have the Elysia xpressor 500 series comp inserted on two channels. Really like what this does for pianos in a mix.

Other sends feed two tape delays that return to last two channels. These sometimes get sent to the drum compressor group.

All that gets summed midas style and sent to a nail then hammer then foote PS3500 on rms gentle. Nail is set for punch with the hard threshold.

Recall is near impossible but lots of fun. The addition of groups and sends through using the small Midas has been good for me and I prefer it over a straight 16:2 summing system.
Old 21st October 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
andreaeffe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
Andrea, I hope you don't mind me breaking your post up into chunks. The first thing that I keyed in on is that you atypically prefer your API2500 on a guitar bus. (And this is exactly why I made this thread...to get into technique and signal flow without being so samey. So thanks again for this post.)

I will write more about your other sections...but on the topic of guitars Vs drums, is this more because you don't have a 2nd API2500...or have you arrived at these blends of gear chasing something specific? To be honest you write like someone who really knows the sound your after, and I like that.

But back to heavy guitars, any particular settings on the API2500? Or is more because it's so flexible that it can handle complex blends of instruments. I know you lose some sub low end and gain some mid range using it, so I can kind of picture why you'd favor it there right off the bat. I just never hear(or read) people talk about it much other than for drums and 2Bus and I love that you're thinking out of the box.

It's plenty deep as a compressor, but guitars come in all shapes and sizes...I know for heavy guitars in particular there can be a huge range in tones project to project that most people kind of shy from talking about. Not just generic Nue Metal over-compressed guitars.

Really cool post...I will get into this more later if you're cool with that.


Hey there -

thanks for the appreciation & kind words (to U too, Gene), glad U find my lonnnnnng post interesting & also clear enough.
Of course I'm completely OK with your asking about some or any stuff & specifics, broken down however U like & prefer.


To answer your question on the API 2500 and guitars buss compression vs. drums buss compression, my initial use for the 2500 was as a main, stereo mix buss comp.
But I later found that I liked what an SSL style compressor does to the main buss a bit more, and using both, one after the other in whichever order, was not something I liked - it was smearing and sort of one fighting the other, instead of complementing. Also, the API "sonic flavour" is quite a strong one, and I didn't always like it on all genres or songs or mixes.
So it became my drum buss compressor, where it absolutely shines at glueing (not just gelling) the drum kit & ambiance together, and giving it a good dose of aggression - again, that is not something I always want, at last not across the entire drum buss, and indeed the slight sub bass dip U mention compared to a midrange push that the 2500 gives, to my ears is superb in some very dense & rocking mixes (to give some examples off the top of my head, think Britrock, or very mid forward guitar rock/poprock/AOR Van Halen style, or Kings Of Leon / Editors / Vines / Strokes etc, where the drums are quite flattened compression for maximum impact, and natural sound or depth is not so much of a priority).
But, on softer singer-songriter stuff with drums or more acoustic music or really heavier metal-type-rock, I found I preferred the combination & versatility of the Orban eq with its' quite crunchy transformers and the capability of boosting or taming specific frequencies feeding into the TF Pro P38, which is a compressor capable of going from invisible to really heavy handed, and has both an almost embarassingly extended low frequency response, fully variable attack/release, and a "stereo widening/narrowing" control.
I usually do very little compression with it, needle barely moving, slowish attack and release timed to the song, and very little tweaking to th stereo image, so it's just transparent control and subtle tailoring, more transparent and more subtle than the 2500 allowed me to do.
On distorted guitras, however, to my ears the 2500 gives instant balls - that midrange push is fantastic and always beats attempting to do it with eq, plus it also allows tons of glue, especially with the variable link option.
My usual goto is a 3:1 ratio with a very slow attack and faster release than one would anticipate, medium thrust (loud gets used very rarely), "old" feed back compression, and linking from halfway to unlinked, depending on if it's double tracked guitars, how tight the playing is, and how much I want it to be jumping from the speakers and attracting the ear's attention or just staying put, like a creamy foundation wall.

Btw, another piece of gear I sometimes (rarely!) use as an insert on double tracked stereo distoted guitars, but not on a buss, is the vintage Barth Dynaset - it has 2 separate VCAs per channel, capable of both doing compression/negative compression/expansion, in whichever order U please... A tricky beast, but it can both save badly recorded or overcompressd & "killed" guitar tracks, or be used to enhance the srumming/pucking and really give a 3D quality to stereo guitar tracks.


I appreciate your remark on thinking out of the box... in fact, I think that's one of the major pluses, beauties and fun factors of this craft & job - instead of being encouraged to conform, music encourages one to differ.


A
F
Old 28th October 2013
  #21
Gear Addict
 
smackmastering's Avatar
I normally only do mixbus compression. I dont typically compress submixes or stems. I prefer to use some automation for the submixes over compression.

With that said, their are no rules.... I've used an SSL bus compressor on drums before.
Old 28th October 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Most of the time it's:

• SSL on stereo bus
• 2254's on main drum bus - lightly compressing, but output pushed then padded 10dB
• another SSL on parallel drums
• Transient Designer on another parallel
• sometimes an ELOP on vocal bus

Sometimes it's nothing and no subgroups at all.
Old 28th October 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Obviously it depends from song to song, but my preferences do tend to be towards (ITB unfortunately):
Master buss:
Usually none, occasionally UAD Ampex tape compression
Vox: none if I tracked it myself (as I usually track vocals through the UAD la2a compressor plugin printed - brave, I know! :-) ),
If I didn't track it, then usually the UAD la2a. Sometimes UAD1176

Drums: parallel compressed through API2500, or logic stock compressor

Guitars: if they are heavy guitars then none directly, as they are compress enough already. Maybe a touch of parallel compression through API2500...emphasis on maybe
Clean guitars: either logic stock or API2500 or UAD Fairchild

Bass: almost always I use the UAD1176, occasionally with a logic stock compressor before it to tame the transients.

Others (synth, piano, effects): depends. I usually experiment around between what I have, though I do tend to start with the logic stock compressor
Old 28th October 2013
  #24
Lives for gear
 
andrewj's Avatar
In the past I had only the Fatso, Alan Smart C2M and the comp in the TF Pro Stereo Channel Strip (No fan of it).

Usually I used the C2 in front of the Fatso with 2:1 or 4:1 on the C2 and as moch flavour and compression from the Fatso as needed

Usually less was always more.

For my subbusses I always relied on the Waves and URS Comps, usually Waves CLA, API, sometimes the Neve or SSL. URS Chanel Strip Pro was also often used.

Two nice underrated comps for Less-Is-More jobs are Waves Rennaissance comp and Cubase internal Vintage comp that gave me some nice results here and there.

These days I am trying to setup a mobile solution to track and mix. I think I will choose a lunchbox with some nice comps for that job like two Action comps or two Chandler Little Devils combined with a bus comp like the Dual Vandergraph, the SSL comp or the Serpent Audio, maybe another one!?!?!?
Old 28th October 2013
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I have 8 buses on my Yamaha PM2000...but two get used at a time in stereo. I know Mixwell (Who's worked on my desk before when Mercenary used to own it) isn't a fan of buses on my console...but I intend to upgrade the Op-amps and see if that helps things feel a bit better. He claimed that things are a bit on the muddier side when they're in use, so cleaner VCA topologies might be better choices to minimize distortions
That old'y yaMAMAha....when you get posting about that big boat anchor...I guess I get some strange sentimental feelings for that big beast. Having spent long hours working on it,

A while back I talked with Dave and Joe about why we never touched the program modules, I am reassured why I personally [me, myself] wouldn't invest any money on op amps...but hey...whatever you prefer best. This is a "What I would do", situation only, so pass the salt...

I would re-wire the faders around newly designed amplifiers. I think throwing new op amps inside the program modules won't address or deal with the environment already there. I would want a much cleaner path than what is there.

They are pretty dirty sounding, to my ear. Which was the whole reason we needed to build the 2-bus Box in the first place! The Matrix sounds so bad, I would just GUT that whole section and put a 500 series rack or something in there. Or something kool, that would be useful.

I would just use the group faders themselves and build new discrete amplifiers around the faders with active balanced insert send/return points - Summed into the Master Active Combining Amplifier. Class A. Hand wired. Make the switch a float from the Master 2-mix. I would use my buddy Karl's new op amps for all buffering stages, with a transformer-LESS design.

As Fletcher always says, YMMV.....



peace
a.j.b
Old 28th October 2013
  #26
Gear Head
 

I usually use a CLA-76 (black) on my vocals for that nice thick/full quality it gives.

I make a mix of trap/hiphop with chillwave/80s sounds and tend not to use a whole lot of compression except for the vocal and master bus. If anything I use a little Fab Filter Pro G to tighten something up here or there.

Then on my master bus, in my chain I have 3 compressors. waves API-2500 as the "mastering glue", waves c6 as a multiband compressor (where most of my mix compression takes place), then finally a little last push from PSP Mixpressor2. It sounds like a lot but I like the way my tracks come out now. If you check out my soundcloud my most recent mix was mastered that way, also with the new J37 tape sim, which I just gotta say sounds amazing.
Old 28th October 2013
  #27
Here for the gear
 

compressors

on my soundcraft 6000 i have a couple of stereo compressors always patched in for easy access

I have an SSL xr626 compressor that I use for the drum buss

I have a TSL vac rac limiter/compressor that I use on the toms or backing vocals depending on which is more prominent in the song

I have a standard level-or set up for whenever I need overdrive on a vocal, bass, or guitar

I have a CLA-2 which I use on guitar

I am tempted to get a API 2500, If i had the money i would buy one today
Old 28th October 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

My set is damn similar to andreaeffe! I use a Fatbustard summing so its 12 subs plus a stereo one with fx to FB.
Drums Bus Clean / Drum bus Process ( Distressors and 5500 or drawmer1968 and apis eq)
Gtr clean/Gtr process ( vintage design c1s or drawmers)
Vocals: Amtec eq /1073 and LA2A
Bass: 1176 plus Amtec eq/1073 or c1 vintagedesign
Synths: Drawmer1968 or nothing
Clean sub: Everything else that gets no comp or eq outboard
Fx from PT Sub

all to Fatbustard, out to TkBC-1 to APi 5500 or Amtecs to Pendulum Limiter

Print to PT or tape
Old 29th October 2013
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
That old'y yaMAMAha....when you get posting about that big boat anchor...I guess I get some strange sentimental feelings for that big beast. Having spent long hours working on it,

A while back I talked with Dave and Joe about why we never touched the program modules, I am reassured why I personally [me, myself] wouldn't invest any money on op amps...but hey...whatever you prefer best. This is a "What I would do", situation only, so pass the salt...

I would re-wire the faders around newly designed amplifiers. I think throwing new op amps inside the program modules won't address or deal with the environment already there. I would want a much cleaner path than what is there.

They are pretty dirty sounding, to my ear. Which was the whole reason we needed to build the 2-bus Box in the first place! The Matrix sounds so bad, I would just GUT that whole section and put a 500 series rack or something in there. Or something kool, that would be useful.

I would just use the group faders themselves and build new discrete amplifiers around the faders with active balanced insert send/return points - Summed into the Master Active Combining Amplifier. Class A. Hand wired. Make the switch a float from the Master 2-mix. I would use my buddy Karl's new op amps for all buffering stages, with a transformer-LESS design.

As Fletcher always says, YMMV.....



peace
a.j.b

I wonder...what new amplifier designs would cost.

I love your ideas man. And I'm pretty sure if Mr. Diehl helped design whatever was implemented it would work.

So if it's transformerless amps, my question is could the amps in the modules just be replaced leaving the routing the same? Or is that way more complicated than it sounds?
Old 29th October 2013
  #30
Not Worth It...
In my mind, it will be way easier (and far more beneficial) to build out simpler higher performance buffering circuits and summing rail. It would be like an 8-channel Active Balanced Summing box right on the console


peace
a.j.b
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