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I know what parallel compression does, but what's the point of the rear-bus?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Question I know what parallel compression does, but what's the point of the rear-bus?

Parallel compression raises the quiet parts like a pseudo upward compression. If you do that to every track (to taste) and mixed everything relative to each other, what's the point of the rear-bus compression?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Guru
 

What's a "rear" bus?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Lunar Attic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
what's the point of the rear-bus compression?
The interesting bit -at least for me- of shared parallel compression is that it can create some movement.

When, for instance a lead vocal is the loudest element and triggering the compression first, interesting things will start to happen on the rear bus as soon as the vocal stops and the next loudest element in the mix will start driving the compressor.

As a result the density you're adding will move and breath with the overall dynamics of the material as opposed to adding static density to the mix when every element is compressed in parallel individually.

This, by the way, is a good reason to not include drums and bass in the shared compression bus; they will be likely to always trigger the compressor first (and, most often continuously).

Anyway, don't ask me, go talk to Andrew!


T
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunar Attic View Post
The interesting bit -at least for me- of shared parallel compression is that it can create some movement.

When, for instance a lead vocal is the loudest element and triggering the compression first, interesting things will start to happen on the rear bus as soon as the vocal stops and the next loudest element in the mix will start driving the compressor.

This, by the way, is a good reason to not include drums and bass in the shared compression bus; they will be likely to always trigger the compressor first (and, most often continuously).

Anyway, don't ask me, go talk to Andrew!


T
How much do you push into the mix to get that sort of "mixing" compression that you've described?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Lunar Attic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
How much do you push into the mix to get that sort of "mixing" compression that you've described?
I'll typically have a post fader send on all the tracks I want to include in the rear bus. All at unity gain. All following the main pan position. The send levels therefor mirror the main track fader.

If one element starts to get a little too dominant to my liking I might pull back on the send a bit. Or take it out of the rear bus altogether.

I'll start raising the rear bus level until I start to feel something happening (as opposed to actually hearing it or noticing it as a 'thing'. It's a fine line. It doesn't usually take much (in terms of level) to get the effect I'm after.

If there are active mix elements that are hard panned I like unlinking the L/R channels of the rear bus compressor, the effect will be more pronounced and you might need even less of it overall.

You may want to experiment with different compressors and attack/release settings to get different 'flavors'.

I believe Mr. Schepps these days uses multiple instances of shared parallel compression just to be able to mix different flavors? That's getting into Michael Brauer territory if you ask me; a whole other can of worms. Ha ha!

I'll usually default to the lowly Bomb Factory BF-76. Multi mono. Medium (default) attack (3) fast release (7). 4:1 ratio. I'll typically spend some time finding the sweet spot on the input gain knob.


Thanks for this by the way, I had no idea I'd have so much to say on this subject!

T
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Guru
 

What's a "rear" bus? I haven't heard that in the two+ decades I've done this...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Lunar Attic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
What's a "rear" bus? I haven't heard that in the two+ decades I've done this...
Really? You've either been working too hard or been asleep to not know about this.

It's a phrase coined by Andrew Scheps for a technique of using an unused/spare 'rear bus' of his Neve console to send all mix elements (except drums & bass) to a parallel compressor (originally a pair of 1176's).

Andrew Scheps "Rear bus" Technique

Google is your friend here, there are plenty interviews/videos with Andrew going into great lengths explaining the intricacies of this particular technique.

Next stop; Michael Brauer.

T
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Guru
 

I simply haven't heard the phrase before and I guess it's because it's a fairly poor description of what a person is doing. If the rear bus used to be a literal bus at the rear of a console that 'nobody' uses today then it seems more clear to use a phase or word that describes the process instead.... like "parallel compression" if that's what's being done.

No DAW has a "rear" bus. Hence my confusion.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

To be fair, the term gets used a lot because Andrew Scheps does it on so many major productions. And his version is a specific type of parallel compression - all harmonic mix elements, no (or very little) rhythmic mix elements.

OP, to reinforce what lunar attack said, it's being used like most mix compression, to create movement, glue, etc to the overall track. The removal of rhythmic elements is to keep from overdoing the movement - he likes to hear interaction between vocal, guitar, piano, etc, but he often doesn't like to hear the drums actively pumping the track.

You should experiment with different settings, turning it off and on, to see what you like. I think from memory, he runs it at 2:1 with fast attack. But experiment. higher ratio/blended lower, lower ratio/blended higher, etc. Listen for things like, does the vocal now duck the guitars a little and sound more like a record? or, did my guitars get a little flat and lose punch? Etc.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Quote:
No DAW has a "rear" bus. Hence my confusion.
Agreed, i dont care who used the term on some video

ALL bus's are equal. There is no difference between the first bus and the last bus at the rear. So 'Rear bus' for me just adds to confusion as all bus's can do the same thing, no matter ware they are on the board or in a DAW. JUST call them Bus's
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunar Attic View Post
Really? You've either been working too hard or been asleep to not know about this.
i think Mattiasynk works hard in audio every day.

not everyone spends their lives looking at you tube interviews on other peoples engineering techniques.

in fact if you live in a studio, and record and engineer every day, you will probablly never even look at one.

when you retire you might take a look at things like that. just for fun.

Buddha
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Matti's Avatar
Rear bus as a term comes from surround capable consoles.
Any decent DAW can do surround as well BTW.

Matti
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Muser's Avatar
personally I won't be forgiving Andrew Scheps for inventing words anytime soon. It might takes years.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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quite a few older analog desks have a quad bus so it's not much of a surprise someone makes use of it by routing some signals into the 'rear bus' and process differently than the 'front bus' even though all buses then get mixed together for conventional stereo...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Like Lunar Attic said this approach is about subtle movement and an additional layer of interaction between instruments and vocals. Done right, it will add exactly that. So it's less about glue, punch or thickness and more about adding excitement, although it will definitely thicken up the mix, too. Don't use too high of a ratio and too short of an attack.
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