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-   -   Okay, so how much does hardware vs software compression really matter? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/1215315-okay-so-how-much-does-hardware-vs-software-compression-really-matter.html)

whiteaxxxe 24th May 2018 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elegentdrum (Post 13313269)
The main limitation of digital is that the rate of feeback (measure volume, adjust volume) is limited to the sample rate vs. the speed of light (electricity).

That stated, a hardware compressor I really like is digital, the TCE M5000 MD2. It is a great multi band compressor from 20 years ago.

Depending on the digital compressor design, and if working with existing recorded material, look ahead solves this problem.

In real time, and to help out the converters with a stronger signal (more bits used) this is where analog is the only way to go.

If doing all compressing after the fact, a plug makes sense for ease of control, recall, and cost.

If you want to hear the compression in real time while singing, in the box is a poor choice.

Each has it's place and sound. Use each tool to maximum benefit and to fit your budget. There are no rules be creative!


Have it ever occurred to you that you have no clue what the f*** you are talking about? This speed of light thing in the first sentence is the biggest BS I have read in weeks... on gearslutz. :facepalm: Go and read a book about physics.

dracul 29th March 2019 08:26 AM

I think your music needs a kind of finesse to it and to be more stripped back, to hear the differences better, if you have a crazy busy mix with tons of stuff, maybe you will not hear much of a difference. In my opinion after a few years of experiments and the ears hearing over and over the differences which are kind of subtle, i think the plugin compressors deliver a bit of a "hard sound" on the master buss, difficult to describe...but when i use the analog compressor, i hear that the sound is a bit more pleasing, as if the sound is not "SO hit with limiters" ... when using same gain reduction. The difference is subtle though and nobody will say the track sucks because you used this vs that, only if it is an amazing production with superb mixing and sounds in it, you will probably take advantage of the analog.

audioloud 29th March 2019 12:31 PM

Those hardware compressors you have are just not suited for mastering work.
Wrong topology, low quality.
Analog mastering requires top analog gear.
At that point you are better off with software.
Just because it's analog doesn't mean it's better, in this case if it's low quality and has characteristic that are not suited for the task.
Also what AD DA converters are you using? If you are using ones that are not hi quality enough you are actually adding inaccuracies.
Top plugins costing slightly less then your hardware will obtain better results.
Regards

Franco 29th March 2019 09:52 PM

<mod delete>

I love my C502V.

EDIT: I'm sorry, I was trying to be funny and did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings by misquoting something they typed on a message board. Some people get seriously wrecked emotionally if you "misquote" them apparently (I don't believe I misquoted that person, I specifically said I "fixed" their text but whatevers). Basically, I should have known better and should have been more sensitive to people being super butthurt by that. I apologize. Okay, so that this isn't a complete waste:

It's all about digitally-controlled analog. If you're not living that life, please brother, get familiar.

T_R_S 29th March 2019 10:13 PM

always analog

https://scontent-den4-1.xx.fbcdn.net...c8&oe=5D0E5319

eternalsound 30th March 2019 08:58 AM

Interesting posts being that I thought it was in the ear and not the gear. confoosed

FabienTDR 30th March 2019 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elegentdrum (Post 13313269)
The main limitation of digital is that the rate of feeback (measure volume, adjust volume) is limited to the sample rate vs. the speed of light (electricity).

This is a bit like saying: The biggest problem of modern rockets is the shape of their sails. It sounds cool to laymen, but of course it doesn't make any sense.

A dynamics processor is something taking a value, and returning one. Instantly.

Here's a dynamic range compressor:

y = tanh(x)

What exactly is the problem of finding out the value of y?!


A compressor doesn't have to "wait" for results. It simply looks at the input, and returns an output. Maybe the best counter example, perfectly showing how ridiculous this idea of a "delay problem" is: Digital clipping.


Quote:

Originally Posted by elegentdrum (Post 13313269)
Depending on the digital compressor design, and if working with existing recorded material, look ahead solves this problem.

No. There is no general problem. Zero difference to analogue circuits. Takes an input, returns an output. Simultaneously.

lamusica 30th March 2019 01:05 PM

I don‘t care If software is able todo everything theoretically the Same as hardware. At any stage of my musical career the invest in highend hardware took me a significant step further. I Don ‚t care why. Most Important for me that it works for me.

phantomcenter 30th March 2019 03:15 PM

It really only makes sense to me to use outboard to master if the conversion to and from the outboard is helping... try an A/B between straight ITB and from your pitch AD/catch DA and see what you find there. If I don’t have access to very high-end conversion/clocking then I will keep the master totally ITB.

elegentdrum 30th March 2019 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FabienTDR (Post 13895390)
This is a bit like saying: The biggest problem of modern rockets is the shape of their sails. It sounds cool to laymen, but of course it doesn't make any sense.

A dynamics processor is something taking a value, and returning one. Instantly.

Here's a dynamic range compressor:

y = tanh(x)

What exactly is the problem of finding out the value of y?!


A compressor doesn't have to "wait" for results. It simply looks at the input, and returns an output. Maybe the best counter example, perfectly showing how ridiculous this idea of a "delay problem" is: Digital clipping.




No. There is no general problem. Zero difference to analogue circuits. Takes an input, returns an output. Simultaneously.

This is true for analog. Not for software. In software a measurement has to be taking, oh it's volume 5, so X=5. Then that goes into the software, get's your math done to it. then that reports back to the signal and adjusts the signals level. It takes at least one sample, and very often many samples for the signal to have it's level changed. The first sample of "Too loud" does not get compressed unless some "look ahead" is built into the software. This is typically the case. That introduces lag.

So sure it can work that way. But in the digital world, at the cost of lag. In the analog word, no lag required. Even though in practice, they way compressors are designed, it's lag rate is commonly what's desirable about how it operates.

scraggs 30th March 2019 05:14 PM

So this, ahem, "lag rate" is the thing that is desirable but also the problem.

Makes sense.

FabienTDR 30th March 2019 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elegentdrum (Post 13895671)
This is true for analog. Not for software. In software a measurement has to be taking, oh it's volume 5, so X=5. Then that goes into the software, get's your math done to it. then that reports back to the signal and adjusts the signals level. It takes at least one sample, and very often many samples for the signal to have it's level changed. The first sample of "Too loud" does not get compressed unless some "look ahead" is built into the software. This is typically the case. That introduces lag.

So sure it can work that way. But in the digital world, at the cost of lag. In the analog word, no lag required. Even though in practice, they way compressors are designed, it's lag rate is commonly what's desirable about how it operates.

No! It's nonsense. There is no lag, ever.

Take a clipper, and its results. Explaining why the first sample does not overshoot will likely be the only lag in this operation ;)

The reason a dynamics processor lags is when it decides to trade distortion against time, i.e. the operator increases attack/release time. This is a logical result of the smoothing ("history dependency", so it needs some of it to fulfill its function), the logical result of any lowpass. But it's a completely misleading digital vs analogue argument!

melopie 30th March 2019 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elegentdrum (Post 13895671)
This is true for analog. Not for software. In software a measurement has to be taking, oh it's volume 5, so X=5. Then that goes into the software, get's your math done to it. then that reports back to the signal and adjusts the signals level. It takes at least one sample, and very often many samples for the signal to have it's level changed. The first sample of "Too loud" does not get compressed unless some "look ahead" is built into the software. This is typically the case. That introduces lag.

So sure it can work that way. But in the digital world, at the cost of lag. In the analog word, no lag required. Even though in practice, they way compressors are designed, it's lag rate is commonly what's desirable about how it operates.

With all due respect, I think you should stop arguing with someone that clearly posses superior knowledge about the subject at hand kfhkh

Jerry Tubb 31st March 2019 04:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Outboard Hardware Compression. Here’s a peak [sic] at some of my secret settings! :-o}>
that said i do use ITB compression for band specific tasks such as de-essing.
jt

Raaphorst 1st April 2019 10:03 AM

I prefer digital. Look-ahead and total control.

ardis 1st April 2019 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raaphorst (Post 13898536)
I prefer digital. Look-ahead and total control.

Yeah but no accidents.....all the good stuff happens by mistake.....!

JP__ 1st April 2019 08:14 PM

Digital stuff is great if you want to alter the audio in a technical way. HQ analog is great if you want to alter it in a asthethical, enhancing way.
Technical compression always leads to the lost of space, depth, 3D whateveryouwanttocallit, while asthetical compression might lead to an enhancement (often without any real compression work going on).
A lot of mixes do not really needs no broadband compression in a technical sense but could be improved in aesthetical way.

Those kind of discussion are really very theoretical, the more pratical kind of guys knows what to use to achieve certain results. In the end its about ears not about theoretical arguments. Its about art, not science. Always.

soundmodel 16th April 2019 05:55 PM

I cannot afford both in $$$ and in space and effort to have large OTB compressors. Also, we practically could not all have our own Fairchild 670s or whatever. It's only through digitalization that music production has become so accessible. Thus I like the easiness and availability of plug-ins.

Plug-ins are also particularly good, when you want to do something without introducing unwanted noise. Since particularly affordable OTB tends to be noisy (I have some Behringer composers).

I have some OTB, but my motivation for it is not in order to mix or tune, but rather "fine tune". The purpose it is to be able to possibly add "that last bit" to something, if I'm not satisfied with plug-in sounds.

It can also be used the other way around. Smash drums through OTB to get them "gritty". Then clean them ITB.

I would suggest using "best of the both worlds".

TheMagician 16th April 2019 06:05 PM

IMO this all depends on a lot of variables. I have both and use both depending on who the client is and what the genre is. If I doing something organic/retro I tend to use a lot of analog outboard, something more modern plugins only generally speaking. If I absolutely know there is a good chance I’ll be recalling it possibly multiple times I’ll lean away from the analog and only use stuff on the mix bus that would need manual recall. Bottom line is I can get to pretty close to the same place with either but I personally find analog more enjoyable to work with and much faster to get the result I want.

crackmandu 16th April 2019 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb (Post 13897326)
Outboard Hardware Compression. Here’s a peak [sic] at some of my secret settings! :-o}>
that said i do use ITB compression for band specific tasks such as de-essing.
jt

Any chance I can persuade you to take that picture again from the left side for....reasons....? :heh:

Paul_G 17th April 2019 04:55 AM

This is all stuff that should be in "Mastering for Beginners" The forum seems to be getting clogged up with ITB vs OTB type of stuff.

Paul_G 17th April 2019 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soundmodel (Post 13929161)
I would suggest using "best of the both worlds".

You started the thread.

eternalsound 17th April 2019 06:59 AM

I see another GS mastering thread has followed its first and foremost rule to implode again.

Paul_G 17th April 2019 09:49 AM

So which are we supposed to use again? Analogue or Digital?

biksonije 15th May 2019 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul_G (Post 13930668)
So which are we supposed to use again? Analogue or Digital?

...or hybrid? Hehehehe...

:-)

Krešo

philip 15th May 2019 01:52 PM

peachh

JP__ 15th May 2019 07:34 PM

Someone seem to have a bad day today...:heh:

Carl Freeland 16th May 2019 03:14 PM

blue silk
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb (Post 13897326)
Outboard Hardware Compression. Here’s a peak [sic] at some of my secret settings! :-o}>
that said i do use ITB compression for band specific tasks such as de-essing.
jt

Seems like you have the 'blue silk' switched on but the blend all the way down?

Jerry Tubb 16th May 2019 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl Freeland (Post 13986332)
Seems like you have the 'blue silk' switched on but the blend all the way down?

my threshold is wide open too!

so i wouldn’t take these “settings” too seriously!

because... it depends on the mix.

best, jt

biksonije 16th May 2019 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soundmodel (Post 13315354)
I'm actually waiting for plug-ins to sound more and more like expensive hardware. Because then it's nice to get multi thousand dollar sound with just few hundred at most.

Millenia TCL-2 and Vertigo VSC-2 are pretty good at this already. Lindell and airwindows stuff also.

I think they could be getting there.

Previously people have argued that digital "quantization" and such could make it impossible to "match" analog tone, but I believe that given sophisticated and complex enough computations, it will eventually be able to approximate analog tone well enough.

Some digital things have even surpassed the analogue gear. E.g. U-he Diva was preferred in a blind test over hardware, analogue Oberheims and stuff.

You're in for a long wait my friend! A long wait... ;-)