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Standard vs Parallel Compression
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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goom's Avatar
Question Standard vs Parallel Compression

In my experience so far, standard compression in a mix is more balanced from low to high, but not very dynamic … and lacks life or bounce.

Parallel compression is more dynamic and moving, but is harder to balance from top to bottom.

Is this typical?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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Parallel is compression mixed with original signal.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
In my experience so far, standard compression in a mix is more balanced from low to high, but not very dynamic … and lacks life or bounce.

Parallel compression is more dynamic and moving, but is harder to balance from top to bottom.

Is this typical?
Standard compression gives u more precise control. Parallel compression does some of the work for u and the attack and release times aren’t as critical. Not saying they not important but not as. I personally love parallel. It allows a quick easy vibe without worrying too much if u overshoot here or there. I’ll take that over precision. Both are awesome of course. In terms of which one is more dynamic versus harder to balance, it depends on the blend u go with on parallel. Generally though yes, on a very dynamic track, that dry will remain. In an extremely dynamic situation I wanted to be even, I’d go without the parallel. Then again, if it was 80% parallel.... I like parallel also because it stops me overthinking if I’ve used too much. U just pull up that fader and no visual cue will tell u if right. U have to listen.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
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goom's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
Parallel is compression mixed with original signal.
I know that.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Standard compression gives u more precise control. Parallel compression does some of the work for u and the attack and release times aren’t as critical. Not saying they not important but not as. I personally love parallel. It allows a quick easy vibe without worrying too much if u overshoot here or there. I’ll take that over precision. Both are awesome of course. In terms of which one is more dynamic versus harder to balance, it depends on the blend u go with on parallel. Generally though yes, on a very dynamic track, that dry will remain. In an extremely dynamic situation I wanted to be even, I’d go without the parallel. Then again, if it was 80% parallel.... I like parallel also because it stops me overthinking if I’ve used too much. U just pull up that fader and no visual cue will tell u if right. U have to listen.
Is it uncommon to do regular compression on each track, then parallel on the group buses?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
Is it uncommon to do regular compression on each track, then parallel on the group buses?
That’s totally fine. The reverse works as well.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Quote:
Is it uncommon to do regular compression on each track, then parallel on the group buses?
It all depends on how the dynamics are originally and ware your end goal is on the sound you want.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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in 35+ years of professional work, i can only remember very very few occasions in which i preferred parallel compression over singleband or multiband compression (or the use of a dynamic eq) - it seems to have become way more popular these days though...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
I've always found parallel compression to be useful when I want something to hit harder. I use it in addition to, never as the only thing, and really I only use it on drums. With inline compression it's all about the compressor choice and dialing in the right settings. In general I use low ratios and mess around with the attack and release on parametric compressor . These days I use an SSL clone as a parallel compressor for the drum kit.

Last edited by Musiclab; 1 week ago at 05:45 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Standard compression gives u more precise control. Parallel compression does some of the work for u and the attack and release times aren’t as critical. Not saying they not important but not as. I personally love parallel. It allows a quick easy vibe without worrying too much if u overshoot here or there. I’ll take that over precision. Both are awesome of course. In terms of which one is more dynamic versus harder to balance, it depends on the blend u go with on parallel. Generally though yes, on a very dynamic track, that dry will remain. In an extremely dynamic situation I wanted to be even, I’d go without the parallel. Then again, if it was 80% parallel.... I like parallel also because it stops me overthinking if I’ve used too much. U just pull up that fader and no visual cue will tell u if right. U have to listen.
Some very good points here. Another advantage is that you can get really creative with your parallels. Something like Andrew Scheps' rear buss concept is a great way to add movement and thickness to a mix which you can't achieve with regular compression. A great thing is you can setup as many parallels as you want and use them to control specific aspects of the mix. Having them on a fader is a really intuitive way to work.
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