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Stereo compressor vs 2 mono compressors
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Stereo compressor vs 2 mono compressors

Could someone please help me make a decision on purchasing a hardware tracking compressor. Basically I play and want to record the Cajon. I record the Cajon using two microphones so to be able to compress it as I am tracking I will need two compressors in mono or a stereo compressor of some sort. I've just purchased a dbx 160 a compressor so I wanted to know if it's possible to buy another one and be able to compress both microphones as I'm tracking into my d a w? Or do I need a stereo compressor for this task? And it would be great if somebody could explain the difference to me.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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You should be able to link 2x dbx 160s with a trs cable connecting them via the 'stereo strapping' sockets and set one to be the 'slave'. Works fine on my pair of 163s. But if you're using two different microphones at different distances rather than a stereo mic like the Rode NT-4 you'd probably be best using them as 2 mono compressors.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmark View Post
You should be able to link 2x dbx 160s with a trs cable connecting them via the 'stereo strapping' sockets and set one to be the 'slave'. Works fine on my pair of 163s. But if you're using two different microphones at different distances rather than a stereo mic like the Rode NT-4 you'd probably be best using them as 2 mono compressors.
They are two different mics about 2ft apart. Do you only use stereo compressors when using stereo mikes?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Well, your 2 mics will presumably be picking up different sonorities from the cajon so even if they're equidistant 2 mono compressors will be responding a bit differently to the separate signals whereas a stereo compressor won't.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
They are two different mics about 2ft apart. Do you only use stereo compressors when using stereo mikes?
The "stereoness" of the compressor is not only that it has two channels, but that the two channels are linked in their detectors. If you are compressing a stereo source with two mono compressors and there is a peak on one "side" that side may compress all by itself. This will cause center-panned instruments to appear to "wobble" a bit from side to side. Some people like this, but many people want their left/right stuff to compress together. I sometimes will "try" both options.

it sounds like the stuff you are recording may not really be "left/right" however. Even if you end up panning them left and right in your mix, there are fewer reasons to link these two compressors, and many reasons why you might even want significantly different settings. For example, you might have one mic in front for the "slap" and one mic in the back for the "boom".

Plenty of mono compressors can be linked to another compressor of the same model to create a stereo compressor. On the other hand, some stereo compressors come as stereo and cannot be unlinked. So having the two "monos" may give you greater versatility.

Is your recording solo cajon only? If there are other elements in the mix, you might blend your two mics together first in a mixer and then compress the mono sum of the two.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmark View Post
Well, your 2 mics will presumably be picking up different sonorities from the cajon so even if they're equidistant 2 mono compressors will be responding a bit differently to the separate signals whereas a stereo compressor won't.
Yeah that makes sense. So then is a stereo compressor the way to go here? Or do i need a mixer? And lastly, if a stereo compressor is the way to go will two dbx 160a linked work best?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
The "stereoness" of the compressor is not only that it has two channels, but that the two channels are linked in their detectors. If you are compressing a stereo source with two mono compressors and there is a peak on one "side" that side may compress all by itself. This will cause center-panned instruments to appear to "wobble" a bit from side to side. Some people like this, but many people want their left/right stuff to compress together. I sometimes will "try" both options.
Ok well then having two mono compressors is definitely a no-no because I don't want any wobbling. I basically want to compress the signal as one track. Would a stereo compressor (or two linked mono compressors) be the way to go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
it sounds like the stuff you are recording may not really be "left/right" however. Even if you end up panning them left and right in your mix, there are fewer reasons to link these two compressors, and many reasons why you might even want significantly different settings. For example, you might have one mic in front for the "slap" and one mic in the back for the "boom".
You got it I am not panning them at all. It is just to get the whole sound of the cajon that I use two microphones because the bass comes out the back and the snare and other sounds are picked up from the front. So now that you are more informed, can you help me make a choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Plenty of mono compressors can be linked to another compressor of the same model to create a stereo compressor. On the other hand, some stereo compressors come as stereo and cannot be unlinked. So having the two "monos" may give you greater versatility.
I hear you. well I am eyeing another DBX 160A at the moment but I also see the FMR RNC is actually a stereo compressor and would actually be cheaper than getting another DBX. I bet the DBX would sound better though .... hmmm..... WEll, now that I think about it, speaking about versatility, having two different compressors also is nice because you have two different sounds. So I am not sure what is best really. What would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Is your recording solo cajon only? If there are other elements in the mix, you might blend your two mics together first in a mixer and then compress the mono sum of the two.
I play cajon and several other instruments but I record every instrument apart. So I don't really have or need a mixer and I am not sure if you agree but getting one just to record the cajon (which is the only instrument I record with two mikes...except for maaaaybe an acoustic guitar in stereo spaced pair) might be over the top.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmark View Post
You should be able to link 2x dbx 160s with a trs cable connecting them via the 'stereo strapping' sockets and set one to be the 'slave'. Works fine on my pair of 163s. But if you're using two different microphones at different distances rather than a stereo mic like the Rode NT-4 you'd probably be best using them as 2 mono compressors.
I am using two different microphones at different distances. A kick-drum mic for the bass hole and an SDC for the front panel.I then combine these sounds into one sound. Previously when compressing in my DAW I created a group channel and routed both tracks to one group channel. I later compressed that channel. so now you get what I am trying to do?

If I take your suggestion and compress both mics seperately, what about this "wobble" effect the other poster mentioned?
Old 1 week ago
  #9
I would get a stereo (2 channel) compressor with the ability to use it in mono or stereo, not 2 mono comps. But that is me and those are my preferences. You can chose 2 of the same mono comps if you like.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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The 'wobble' joeq speaks of is what you might get from using a stereo compressor over 2 disparate mono mic sources rather than using 2 unlinked mono ones over them.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmark View Post
The 'wobble' joeq speaks of is what you might get from using a stereo compressor over 2 disparate mono mic sources rather than using 2 unlinked mono ones over them.
Hold on. I read an article on sos on this topic which says the opposite of what you are saying:

If you use separate, unlinked compressors for the two channels, then if one compressor reacts to a peak that the other doesn't see, the stereo image will pull towards the uncompressed side, and your listeners will start to feel very sea-sick

Isnt that the wobble you are talking about?
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
Hold on. I read an article on sos on this topic which says the opposite of what you are saying:

If you use separate, unlinked compressors for the two channels, then if one compressor reacts to a peak that the other doesn't see, the stereo image will pull towards the uncompressed side, and your listeners will start to feel very sea-sick

Isnt that the wobble you are talking about?

True but ignore the wobble. Its simple. One mic is picking up different frequencys and levels vs the other. You dont want that compressor effecting the other. I would use 2 mono compressors here. I actually would just use 1 for now and not compress the other if you can get away with it.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cap217 View Post
True but ignore the wobble. Its simple. One mic is picking up different frequencys and levels vs the other. You dont want that compressor effecting the other. I would use 2 mono compressors here. I actually would just use 1 for now and not compress the other if you can get away with it.
Yes but a stereo compressor would reduce gain on both signal though as though i had routed both signals to a bus.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
Yes but a stereo compressor would reduce gain on both signal though as though i had routed both signals to a bus.
You are not reading what is being written.

Get a second 160A. Slave one and you have a stereo compressor. Otherwise you have 2 compressors. You can explore various combinations at your leisure.

Enjoy
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
You are not reading what is being written.

Get a second 160A. Slave one and you have a stereo compressor. Otherwise you have 2 compressors. You can explore various combinations at your leisure.

Enjoy
Ok but would something like this work too? https://m.thomann.de/es/fmr_audio_rn...UaAjq1EALw_wcB
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
Ok but would something like this work too? https://m.thomann.de/es/fmr_audio_rn...UaAjq1EALw_wcB
Work for what? It is a stereo compressor
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
Work for what? It is a stereo compressor
You said to get a second 160a and slave it so then I would have a stereo compressor. Well, instead of that would getting the FMR RNC also achieve the same thing?
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
You said to get a second 160a and slave it so then I would have a stereo compressor. Well, instead of that would getting the FMR RNC also achieve the same thing?
I was addressing your question in your original post.

Without understanding your question, yes any stereo compressor will function as a stereo compressor. You can not separate the channels on the RNC.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
Could someone please help me make a decision on purchasing a hardware tracking compressor. Basically I play and want to record the Cajon. I record the Cajon using two microphones so to be able to compress it as I am tracking I will need two compressors in mono or a stereo compressor of some sort. I've just purchased a dbx 160 a compressor so I wanted to know if it's possible to buy another one and be able to compress both microphones as I'm tracking into my d a w? Or do I need a stereo compressor for this task? And it would be great if somebody could explain the difference to me.
Buy a stereo compressor, that you can switch to 2x mono. In either situation, you'd be able to compress both mics in the way in. If it's something you can compress together, use stereo. If it's like a source and a room track, compress separately.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
Ok well then having two mono compressors is definitely a no-no because I don't want any wobbling. I basically want to compress the signal as one track. Would a stereo compressor (or two linked mono compressors) be the way to go?
Most mono compressors have the ability to link for stereo operation. You can look on the back and see the jacks for the link ("strapping") and there ought to be a "link" button on the front. I think on the dbx it is called "slave".

In any case, if both tracks are panned center (or to the same point anywhere) they will not 'wobble' from left to right even if they are not linked.

Quote:
You got it I am not panning them at all. It is just to get the whole sound of the cajon that I use two microphones because the bass comes out the back and the snare and other sounds are picked up from the front. So now that you are more informed, can you help me make a choice?
what you are describing could conceivably be done with one compressor - just combine the two mics first. But then you need a mixer. It's not as versatile in terms of sound design, because as I said before, you would likely want to process the two sonic elements differently.

Quote:
I hear you. well I am eyeing another DBX 160A at the moment but I also see the FMR RNC is actually a stereo compressor and would actually be cheaper than getting another DBX.
the RNC is "really nice" - pun intended - but it is one of those compressors I was thinking of when I said some comps are stereo-only. That means that if you want to apply 4:1 with a low threshold and a long release on your "bass" mic and 10:1 with a high threshold and a quick release on your "slap" mic, you won't be able to do it.

The RNC will just apply the same settings to both channels. Considering that you have two different mics, facing different parts of the instrument, getting two different sounds, the odds against you finding one perfect setting for both are pretty slim. Now, for true stereo (left/right) operation, with two of the same mics in XY or ORTF etc, matching them is quite important. And most people go for linking the detectors as well.

You could always get the RNC and keep your dbx. Then use just one channel of the RNC, and send the other mic through the dbx. And if in some other application you need stereo, you've got it.
Quote:
I play cajon and several other instruments but I record every instrument apart. So I don't really have or need a mixer and I am not sure if you agree but getting one just to record the cajon (which is the only instrument I record with two mikes...except for maaaaybe an acoustic guitar in stereo spaced pair) might be over the top.
It does seem like any money you put towards a mixer just to get two mics into one compressor is money that you could be putting towards getting a second compressor.

Until you DO have a second compressor, one other thing you could do is reamp the second mic with the compressor.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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I can't thank you enough.. this post really answered so many of my questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
In any case, if both tracks are panned center (or to the same point anywhere) they will not 'wobble' from left to right even if they are not linked.
I always pan both of them center and I always compress the track as one track in my DAW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
what you are describing could conceivably be done with one compressor - just combine the two mics first. But then you need a mixer.
Ok can you recommend something inexpensive for this? Have no idea even where to begin. just a 2 channel mixer? Do those exist?


[QUOTE=joeq;14257814]It's not as versatile in terms of sound design, because as I said before, you would likely want to process the two sonic elements differently. Oh do you mean once they are already recorded in my DAW. so for example EQ etc? I always have EQ'd them as one group channel in my DAW (also EQ cause phaseshifts so I was taught to always taught to EQ the group together)? Obviously, if using one compressor I would end up with one mono compressed recording of the combined sonic elements in my DAW if I go the mixer route right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
the RNC is "really nice" - pun intended - but it is one of those compressors I was thinking of when I said some comps are stereo-only. That means that if you want to apply 4:1 with a low threshold and a long release on your "bass" mic and 10:1 with a high threshold and a quick release on your "slap" mic, you won't be able to do it.
hmm interesting. I hadn't thought of that before but would something like that ever be considered by an engineer? I mean, is compressing like that a good alternative to have? Or do you think I can just mix both together via a mixer and compress as one sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
The RNC will just apply the same settings to both channels. Considering that you have two different mics, facing different parts of the instrument, getting two different sounds, the odds against you finding one perfect setting for both are pretty slim.
I hear you. If you were recording a Cajon like this with two mikes, what do you think you would do if you were me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Now, for true stereo (left/right) operation, with two of the same mics in XY or ORTF etc, matching them is quite important. And most people go for linking the detectors as well.
Could you give me some example of this please? Like real applications in the studio where an engineer would use this setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
You could always get the RNC and keep your dbx. Then use just one channel of the RNC, and send the other mic through the dbx. And if in some other application you need stereo, you've got it.
good point, or I could get the other DBX as I am sure and then I will also have the possibility for stereo since you said I could link them. I think the compression in the 160 should be better too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
It does seem like any money you put towards a mixer just to get two mics into one compressor is money that you could be putting towards getting a second compressor.
Yes true but wouldn't having the mixer allow me to do something that I can't achieve with two compressors OR a stereo compressor? And that is, to be able to compress both signals as ONE mono signal? Isn't that something that only the mixer will allow me to do?
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
Ok can you recommend something inexpensive for this? Have no idea even where to begin. just a 2 channel mixer? Do those exist?
I really would not bother. You can mix things in the DAW. For that matter you can compress them in the DAW. Even if you prefer the sound of the hardware, experimenting using plugins on a dry recorded track is the quickest way to learn what settings work best for you.

Quote:
Oh do you mean once they are already recorded in my DAW. so for example EQ etc? I always have EQ'd them as one group channel in my DAW (also EQ cause phaseshifts so I was taught to always taught to EQ the group together)?
I have never let that stop me from EQing individual mics! As far as phase relationships are concerned, remember your mics are several feet apart and are pointing towards each other! You will need to check the phase, no matter what - EQ or no EQ.

Quote:
Obviously, if using one compressor I would end up with one mono compressed recording of the combined sonic elements in my DAW if I go the mixer route right?
yes but IMO, you are limiting yourself. The reasons to choose pre-combining mics are:
a) you have a fixed, limited amount of tracks available (such as recording a project on a tape deck)
b) you have a limited number of simultaneous inputs (such as live-tracking a band on a smallish interface)
c) you are desperate to "include" your one hardware unit at every possible juncture
d) you believe that "committing to a sound" early in the process is good for the Art. (In the same way that eating oatmeal is good for your colon.)

IMO, "c" is bogus, and "d" is rather quaint. And while "d" has some merit, it is mostly a tool for those with a lot of experience. Those who can (at the time of tracking) predict what they will need later at the time of mixing! Which IMO needs a lot of experience.

Quote:
hmm interesting. I hadn't thought of that before but would something like that ever be considered by an engineer?
processing them differently to 'bring out' the characteristics of each mic would be my default workflow.

You are sitting right on the box! Nobody hears it quite like you do, which I presume is why you thought of having two mics!

You are already aware that there are different sounds predominating in the front and back. You are already aware you need two mics to capture those two sounds. Why limit yourself to just a volume balance of the two mics? Why not EQ them differently, compress them differently, even add reverbs differently? Think of the possibilities of sculpting the sound to get the ideal blend. You can make it larger than life. Or if your mix is kind of crowded already, make it smaller than life.

If someone sent me some tracks to mix, I usually appreciate that they kept these kinds of tracks separate.

The real issue here is you have a hardware compressor. In the end, it does the same job as the plugin compressors in your DAW. Reamping is a PITA and involves extra conversions. The most sensible place to use a hardware comp is on the way in. I have a dbx 160x and while I like to track bass and some vocals through it, once I am in the box, I tend to stay in the box. My Neve Portico and my Distressor are the only compressors I would consider worth reamping with, and even then, not very often.

Quote:
Could you give me some example of this please? Like real applications in the studio where an engineer would use this setup?
I have a string quartet sitting in 4 chairs left-to-right in my room. I place two mics about 6 feet in front, one pointing towards the right, one pointing to the left. The two mics are like your two ears. When I put on my headphones, I can almost "see" the layout of the musicians. Doesn't have to be multiple instruments. A single acoustic guitar will radiate sound out asymmetrically in the room. The room will have its own characteristics and reflections. I will use true stereo not just for chamber music but for drum overheads, acoustic pianos, some acoustic guitars, groups of background singers. sections: Horn sections, string sections, percussion sections.


A true stereo recording will have that "picture" of the instrument-in-the space. But for that, you would want two of the same mic, matched levels, identical 'angles', and almost certainly true stereo compression. In many serious classical recordings, the mics must be "matched" - meaning not just same brand and model, but actually tested to make sure they have the same response. Consecutive serial numbers is a 'thing' in some circles!


Quote:
Yes true but wouldn't having the mixer allow me to do something that I can't achieve with two compressors OR a stereo compressor? And that is, to be able to compress both signals as ONE mono signal? Isn't that something that only the mixer will allow me to do
no, you could easily do it in the DAW.

You could combine both signals to mono in the DAW, and reamp it. Send the mono signal out to your compressor and compress it. Then back into the DAW to re-record. Nudge for latency. But of course, you could also achieve nearly the same result (with a lot less hassle) using a plugin compressor and a mono aux inside your DAW. With no reamping. You would need to try it both ways to see if you can even hear the difference. I would not be so 'desperate' to work my hardware into every track. The dbx has a nice 'color', but it is not the only 'color' in the world, or even necessarily the best. Don't feel it is required all the time.

Last edited by joeq; 1 week ago at 11:00 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
Ok can you recommend something inexpensive for this? Have no idea even where to begin. just a 2 channel mixer? Do those exist?
Short answer:
If you're looking for an inexpensive 2ch compressor that is able to operate as a dual mono compressor, you might wan't to check out the art pro-vla ii. It goes for $360 and you might even find a better deal used.

Long answer:
I would suggest doing some research on the basic's of recording and the recording chain. That way you can make sure you get exactly what you're looking for. You don't really need a mixer anymore if you have an interface with enough i/o's. Your basic recording chain will look something like the following: Mic -> MicPre -> outboard gear (Compressor/EQ) -> Interface. So if you're recording two channels you will need 2 mics, 2 mic pres, 2 channels of Out board gear, and a interface with two inputs.

With that said, all you NEED will be 2 mics and an interface with two inputs. Something like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. The interface has 2 inputs with 2 built in micpre's. You will be able to do all your compression and EQ in the software after you record. This can get pretty convoluted so I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible. Hope this helps.

Last edited by A Fak; 1 week ago at 07:16 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fak View Post
Short answer:
If you're looking for an inexpensive 2ch compressor that is able to operate as a dual mono compressor, you might wan't to check out the art pro-vla ii. It goes for $360 and you might even find a better deal used.

Long answer:
I would suggest doing some research on the basic's of recording and the recording chain. That way you can make sure you get exactly what you're looking for. You don't really need a mixer anymore if you have an interface with enough i/o's. Your basic recording chain will look something like the following: Mic -> MicPre -> outboard gear (Compressor/EQ) -> Interface. So if you're recording two channels you will need 2 mics, 2 mic pres, 2 channels of Out board gear, and a interface with two inputs.

With that said, all you NEED will be 2 mics and an interface with two inputs. Something like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. The interface has 2 inputs with 2 built in micpre's. You will be able to do all your compression and EQ in the software after you record. This can get pretty convoluted so I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible. Hope this helps.
thanks for your help... ok so the mixer idea is out the window then. FYI asking you nice folk IS doing research

I guess the whole point of this thread for me was to try understand the difference between

1) 2 X mono compressors compressing 2 X microphones recording one source vs
2) 1 X stereo compressor compressing 2 microphones recording one source

That is the part that has been most confusing for me but I am getting there
Old 1 week ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
thanks for your help... ok so the mixer idea is out the window then. FYI asking you nice folk IS doing research

I guess the whole point of this thread for me was to try understand the difference between

1) 2 X mono compressors compressing 2 X microphones recording one source vs
2) 1 X stereo compressor compressing 2 microphones recording one source

That is the part that has been most confusing for me but I am getting there
As has already been said several times, from the description of your needs you are certainly looking at scenario 1: 2X mono compressors. Think of the stereo compressor situation like with a pair of overheads over a drum kit. These would be two identical mics carefully placed in an arrangement to give a stereo picture of the drum kit. Let’s say they are panned hard left and right in the mix. When the drummer moves from the hi hat to the floor tom the listener also follows the move from the right speaker to the left. Meanwhile the kick drum stays in the center of both mics. If you were to use 2x mono unlinked compressors here, then the different triggering of the compressors would cause the kick drum to be louder in one channel than the other and this appear to move to that side at any given moment. It would no longer be stable in the center. In such a case both overhead mics need to be compressed together as though they were one thing, yet maintaining the two channels for the stereo image. It’s late and I’m probably not describing this as well as I could, but suffice it to say that this is not your situation at all.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zasterz View Post
As has already been said several times, from the description of your needs you are certainly looking at scenario 1: 2X mono compressors. Think of the stereo compressor situation like with a pair of overheads over a drum kit. These would be two identical mics carefully placed in an arrangement to give a stereo picture of the drum kit. Let’s say they are panned hard left and right in the mix. When the drummer moves from the hi hat to the floor tom the listener also follows the move from the right speaker to the left. Meanwhile the kick drum stays in the center of both mics. If you were to use 2x mono unlinked compressors here, then the different triggering of the compressors would cause the kick drum to be louder in one channel than the other and this appear to move to that side at any given moment. It would no longer be stable in the center. In such a case both overhead mics need to be compressed together as though they were one thing, yet maintaining the two channels for the stereo image. It’s late and I’m probably not describing this as well as I could, but suffice it to say that this is not your situation at all.
You totally explained it well.... I understand. However, if I was to pan one mic from my recording to one side and the other mic to the other side (I don't see wh I would do this but let's just say I did) then I could no longer use 2 X mono compressors I would either have to use a stereo compressor or link two mono compressors right?
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
You totally explained it well.... I understand. However, if I was to pan one mic from my recording to one side and the other mic to the other side (I don't see wh I would do this but let's just say I did) then I could no longer use 2 X mono compressors I would either have to use a stereo compressor or link two mono compressors right?
In the case where you are close-micing the different parts of the drum you would be fine because you wouldn’t have a shared thing– like the kick drum in above example– in between the mics that needs to give the illusion of being located in a specific place in the stereo image. Your panning left and right would be more for an almost “special effect” if you think about it– it doesn’t really have any bearing on what the instrument is like naturally, you know? You’re already trying to almost split the instrument apart, so it would just enhance that.

The time to use a stereo compressor is if you set up in a nice concert hall with a stereo pair of mics further away from you, capturing the instrument in a position in a room, more like a traditional folk recording or whatever. Then you wouldn’t want the mics compressed differently because the different reflections of your drum bouncing off of different surfaces, arriving at the left and right mics at slightly different times will trigger the compressors differently and cause the image to waver, moving the location of the Cajon– like that kick drum above– a little bit left and right with the fluctuating amounts of level.

I do think if possible it would be nice to have the stereo option in the future if you could get a duplicate, linkable, comp to what you already have. You might decide to experiment with it and surprise yourself.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zasterz View Post
In the case where you are close-micing the different parts of the drum you would be fine because you wouldn’t have a shared thing– like the kick drum in above example– in between the mics that needs to give the illusion of being located in a specific place in the stereo image. Your panning left and right would be more for an almost “special effect” if you think about it– it doesn’t really have any bearing on what the instrument is like naturally, you know? You’re already trying to almost split the instrument apart, so it would just enhance that.

The time to use a stereo compressor is if you set up in a nice concert hall with a stereo pair of mics further away from you, capturing the instrument in a position in a room, more like a traditional folk recording or whatever. Then you wouldn’t want the mics compressed differently because the different reflections of your drum bouncing off of different surfaces, arriving at the left and right mics at slightly different times will trigger the compressors differently and cause the image to waver, moving the location of the Cajon– like that kick drum above– a little bit left and right with the fluctuating amounts of level.

I do think if possible it would be nice to have the stereo option in the future if you could get a duplicate, linkable, comp to what you already have. You might decide to experiment with it and surprise yourself.
Ok I understand perfectly now. Before posting this I actually wanted to get a vocal compressor (like an opto compressor) which I could also use with the DBX when I wanted to record Cajon but I am not sure about that option because I think an optical compressor wouldn't sound good on Cajon.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Lives for gear
I personally prefer mono compressors unlinked generally. There is never ever any audible wobble that sounds bad to me. I just find the sound more interesting, strangely more ‘stereo’ and more effective of doing its job ie compressing. I have had some bad luck linking mono compressors as well. Sometimes the detector circuit is not all it should be. Struck this a few times. Maybe it’s just me. Obviously if u buy the link, try both ways. No doubt this is all v personal. I know Andrew Scheps likes to unlink all stereo compressors and use them as dual mono. Tchad Blake likes that sound also. Keep in mind, compressing an actual stereo source would be even more subtle because the stereo info on both sides is going to be extremely similar. My guess is both will work great. Get whatever is flexible down the road
Old 1 week ago
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camomiletea View Post
Ok I understand perfectly now. Before posting this I actually wanted to get a vocal compressor (like an opto compressor) which I could also use with the DBX when I wanted to record Cajon but I am not sure about that option because I think an optical compressor wouldn't sound good on Cajon.
You know I REALLY recommend doing a ton of experimentation with plugins. You don’t need to buy the hardware immediately unless you have to get rid of your money right away for some reason! Everything we’re talking about works just as well in the computer and it’s easier to try a bunch of things and learn what you love and it will only help you make more informed decisions about what to buy, if you actually need to buy anything. You absolutely don’t need hardware compressors to make amazing sounding recordings. If you use logic you can mess around with stereo, 2x mono, optical, fet, vca model compressors. I have access to a lot of hardware but I still end up preferring and using the Logic 1176 emulation on vocals a lot of the time. (I even have a real vintage 1176 and I still use that plugin instead sometimes!)
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