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Mastering compressor/limiter that doesn't destroy the kick? Dynamics Plugins
Old 2nd February 2011
  #31
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lucey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Gabriel View Post
I've had experience with several plugin compressors in the mastering process such as L2, Waves RComp and some others and I've noticed that they all smash the bassdrum and take a little bit of its power and punch.
What mastering compressor or limiter would you recomend that won't hurt my bassdrums too much. VST only.

Thanks guys.
I use the Alpha comp from Elysia ... they have a new plug ... not sure if it's VST... good luck.
Old 2nd February 2011
  #32
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BushmasterM4's Avatar
 

Slate FG-X !!! Try the demo, you will be glad you did.
Old 2nd February 2011
  #33
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janjaal's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushmasterM4 View Post
Slate FG-X !!! Try the demo, you will be glad you did.

uhum...
Old 2nd February 2011
  #34
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lucey's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BushmasterM4 View Post
Slate FG-X !!! Try the demo, you will be glad you did.
It wont kill the kick, but it does some BBE-era enhancements to the mids and top ... not a cure all.

Although I've used it on Metal bands like Goatmill to great effect!
Old 3rd February 2011
  #35
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laboso's Avatar
 



shhhhhh
Old 3rd February 2011
  #36
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Gabriel View Post
I've had experience with several plugin compressors in the mastering process such as L2, Waves RComp and some others and I've noticed that they all smash the bassdrum and take a little bit of its power and punch.
What mastering compressor or limiter would you recomend that won't hurt my bassdrums too much. VST only.

Thanks guys.
Found the Oxford limiter to be the best after trying many a digital vst limiter, it will keep everything sounding nice if used correctly.

Compressors I just can't get a feel for them in software but the best I like are from URS (vintage stuff)
Old 4th February 2011
  #37
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miro's Avatar
 

maybe a multiband compressor? I just bought Wave Arts | Plugins | MultiDynamics 5 and had no idea that I could actually ever become friends wth a MB compressor.
Per band compression/expansion and an excellent interface makes this one a winner for me. Leaving the kick alone
(or maybe even giving it some accent) is fun with a tool like this.

Super happy with the purchase, so I had to throw it in here
Old 5th February 2011
  #38
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I agree with what's been said on the FG-X as an owner of it.

It's great for doing metal and punk so the (usually triggered) kicks, snares, toms, can really punch out of the mix, in the style of CLA / Brendan O'Brien etc.

But for softer music, it can do some pretty violent things to your music. Even with the ITP on 'Soft'.

I did a punk album for a band in the pre-FGX and pre-trigger days and the best solution I found to getting the kick drum to stick out, was to bounce the kick track, and import that alongside the pre-master, when doing the mastering. Then I could still adjust the kick volume when doing the mastering. It's not ideal but it did work.
Old 14th May 2016
  #39
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If your limiter of choice has got an Attack feature, try and bring it down to a very fast setting. That will help to avoid distortion on the kick - at the cost of sucking a little of the song breathing ...
Old 14th May 2016
  #40
Gear Nut
 

i use elysia alpha compressor, exceptional unit when u dial in sidechain and their eq. Also make sure that you cleaned up the mix - do a bell sweep with your eq around the kick and the highs and cut any highly resonant mud. This will help give room for cleaner compression. I use aireq for that. Lastly I also use the Dynamic Spectrum Mapper also from brainworx; it works like a compressor but much cleaner because it only affects the wavetable and doesnt process the actual audio signal, it makes changes to the wavetable = big and loud.
Old 19th May 2016
  #41
Lives for gear
 

A lot of good suggestions floating around, all pretty much good input.

To answer your question more directly the IK Stealth Limiter is worth a look. However, there are other things you could and probably should consider. Some of it mentioned above.

To state the rather absurdly obvious... You could try bringing the kick down a little to compensate, or both kick and bass. Because you are driving up the overall level, it may ultimately bring them back up to an acceptable level, or maybe not.

However, problem like this is often a little more complicated than just turning something down.

Next thing too consider is too much bass energy is causing the kick to distort, unless it is the transient causing the issue.

If it's the bass, rolling off some of the extreme lows (under 30) in both kick and bass can help. You could also try a multiband and just compress the low frequencies in those instruments a bit more just to keep it more under control.

Warren Huart habitually compresses his bass 250Hz and below with a C4 Multiband to keep the energy constant and inline. I know this is the bass, but if the bottom end is distorting the bass could be contributing to this.

Adversely if it's the kicks upper frequencies are clipping you can either try to hard limit a bit more on the track or soft limit it.

Typically this can be done with any compressor by setting a low threshold and a low ratio, under 2:1. You want the attack to be reasonably quick to catch the initial transient, but you can set the release to taste. It also works seemingly better if you have a soft-knee.

You could theoretically reduce up to 8dB or so which sounds like a lot. Since the nature of the ratio is very low, it's not as noticeable in this case. That's what you would be aiming for is compressing those peaks as much as required, but doing it in a very transparent way.

Adversely you could try the same with a multiband, but instead target everything between 900-4K, or thereabouts. Whatever works in this instance. Doing that however will most likely lead to the kick being more boomy, since you are taking away its punch and presence. So care should be taken if you go this path.

In terms of soft clipping, though, some compressors come with one built in, such as the Alpha Compressor. IK also have a plugin called Clipper that can be used to the same effect. Or there is tape compression which is also good at that.

So there are heaps of ways to tackle this issue. Which way, or number of ways you choose really comes down to the exact nature of your problem and what tools you have at your disposal.
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