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Compression before / after EQ Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 6th September 2008
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Question Compression before / after EQ

Hi Dave,

A second question for u : which is you way to go when inserting EQ and compressor ?
What would be your rule of thumb ?


Old 15th September 2008
Guest Moderator - September 08
Dave Pensado's Avatar

1st ask if you wanna EQ the compressor, or compress the EQ. Think about this for a minute. Say you have a fat lo-endy kik. You don't want all that 60-80 triggering the compressor. So compress it first to bring out the knock, and EQ the lo end back in. On a guitar you might want to EQ it to get all the strings to sound, or to bring out a certain frequency, then compress it a tad to keep it in a certain dynamic range, or to bring out the attack. Remember, if you put the EQ 1st, then you have to reset the compressor everytime you make an EQ change. But always remember, there are no rules, just what sounds good to you. Experiment.
Old 15th September 2008
Lives for gear

what do you think about this:

usually put a compressor, an analog 1176 or some plug ins, i the attack and release, and maybe other parameters like knee, ratio etc.. and i leave the threshold in a middle position.

than i put an eq before the compressor (or whatever i like if i need) and i start finding the loudest freq that makes the compressor work, and i reduce it, maybe with a narrow Q or maybe not. than i push, maybe with some uad eq, or with an air eq, the freq i like, to characterize the track, to add harmonics.

i do some really big boost.. sometimes some enormous boost..

what i feel is that seems like filling the hole in the freq spectrum with the freq that works better in the track and in the mix.

you say that every eq changes means you need to reset the compressor..

i don't think so, i think in this case the compressor guide my choices and if i change it i lose what i obtained.

is this an objection because working in this way really gives me some very great result, so i'm asking you if what i'm saying doesn't have sense, if i can compromise something in this way, if it's not correct etc..

and maybe if you work in this way too..

to me having a compressor before the eq means, most of the time, as having a guide that says you.. hey that low cut is exactly at 30 not 50, because you hear quickly where the sounds is too much, or where you have cut too much.

what do you think?
Old 18th September 2008
Gear nut
paintitblack's Avatar

if cutting.. eq before compressing,

if boosting.. eq after.

so your compressing up your good frequencies much more than your bad ones.

I got this from David Moulton himself. but of course he said it in like ten minutes
Old 18th September 2008
Lives for gear
Jorg's Avatar
Originally Posted by Dave Pensado View Post
Say you have a fat lo-endy kik. You don't want all that 60-80 triggering the compressor. So compress it first to bring out the knock, and EQ the lo end back in.
If I don't want that low end to trigger my comp, wouldn't I rather EQ first?
Or did you mean you don't want the low end to trigger the 2bus comp?
Old 23rd September 2008
Gear nut
eman kayker's Avatar

Since I never know how to do this, I always put an eq after the eq+compressor...
And sometimes when I'm in doubt I add another compressor... this way, I can't be wrong.
Old 29th September 2008
Lives for gear
to reset the compressor totally?
i mean, a lot of time i set a compressor than i eq in it to cut some freq the compressor brings out, or to push some freq.. i see i can push more certain frequencies in the compressor and seems it guides me..
Old 30th September 2008
Lives for gear
strings's Avatar
Great answer!
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