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Paralell Compression
Old 17th February 2003
  #1
Gear maniac
 
ultima's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Paralell Compression

What are your thought on the subject?

I have tried it in an attempt to raise the RMS level on a soft section in a tune while mastering and with great apparent results.

Im a bit concerned with phase issues but i havent been able to hear any negative effects in that respect so....

Does anyone use this technique ?

Any experiences to share?

Thanks
Old 17th February 2003
  #2
V interesting topic.

Uncompressed drums
Belended with
Compressed drums

Within a mix is a popular example of parallel compression isn't it?

I have been curious about it on mixes but feeding a mix through various devices & then blending them is fraught with impedance / electronic balancing aggrivation isn't it?

Some folks like to disconnect extra stuff hanging off the mix buss like cassette decks etc...

Old 17th February 2003
  #3
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Yeah im sure that when dealing with outboard this could be a disaster , impedances as well as latency/phase problems.

I did however try this in a DAW with a tune i was mastering and with very good results to my ear.

Its very interesting to try , just make sure you make a null test within the DAW first

I have used this in a mix before but i just recently started trying this on a finished mix and i was quite happy to find out that i could raise the RMS by 3 db in the intended sections without resorting to any downward compression at all.

If anyones interested then here are my settings.

Uncompressed track on one channel.

Copy on the next channel , route to seperate bus , compressor on the bus.
Next thing is checking the phase by setting the compressor to 1:1 and makeupgain to zero and flip the phase to do a null test .

When satisfied with the null test then take the threshold down to -50 db...yeah im serious

Ratio somewhere between 2:1 /3:1.

Makeupgain ca 15 to 20 dB..

what happens is that the compressed track kicks in on the softer sections (as thereĀ“s less compressions) and adds to the original effectively raising the RMS .

Then its the simple matter of raising or lowering the volume on the compressed track to control the gain in the softer sections.

Very smooth !
Old 17th February 2003
  #4
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I do this with drums for probably 90% of rock mixes. Send the drums to a compressor, at really extreme settings, and blend in just a little. It's a really common trick.

There might be phase issues in some technical, abstract sense, but I've never heard them in a way that created a problem. Latency in analog outboard is pretty damn low. (If you're going in and out of DAW to get to the outboard, that's a different story, of course.)
Old 17th February 2003
  #5
Quote:
Originally posted by mdbeh
I do this with drums for probably 90% of rock mixes. Send the drums to a compressor, at really extreme settings, and blend in just a little. It's a really common trick.

There might be phase issues in some technical, abstract sense, but I've never heard them in a way that created a problem. Latency in analog outboard is pretty damn low. (If you're going in and out of DAW to get to the outboard, that's a different story, of course.)

I go beyond this and use it on individual drum tracks,drum submix,bass,guitars and vocals. I feel "sub compression" works best in situations where compressing the original track may take away from its lustre(kicks,snares and bass). For vocals and guitars you can either tame or stress specific frequency sections(a form of frequency dependent compression).

Normally this technique is done with multiple compressors and EQ's on different tracks(for eg a kick mult can involve something like 3-4 "comp/EQ sub tracks).
Old 17th February 2003
  #6
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Cool. I've multed kicks and snares some, with good results. I've got to try it on other tracks sometime.
Old 17th February 2003
  #7
Quote:
Originally posted by mdbeh
Cool. I've multed kicks and snares some, with good results. I've got to try it on other tracks sometime.
On vocals its trickiest.

I only do it in special circumstances(badly tracked or too thin).

I am very anal when it comes to the mid frequencies in my mixes. Since vocals dominate, really defining the mids in the vocals is my main concern when mixing. Sub-comps that attack the mids is crucial. This also helps you avoid problems with sibilance, since the more you define the mids the less highs you are likely to add.

I never liked compressing bass(unless its a synth bass) and sub-compression can really help define the bottomn without taking away from its strengths.
Old 17th February 2003
  #8
urumita
 
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The classics are telephone limited kik and vocals.
under 400 and over 4k, goodbye!! squash the rest and add it with the original tracks. I remember something about listening at really minutely low volumes and making precise fader rides on both channels then listening to the last automation pass really loud on the big boys to check it out.
Good luck. I remember assistng an engineer from japan that parallel processed everything, I haven't ever figured out if he really wanted to do it like that or if he just didn't know how to ask for the tape out patch.
With vocals it can work like an exciter, you can hook up a ducker keyed by the original track to control presence in low volume moments without having to squash the lead track too much.
There are many other fun tricks you can do. I believe for parallel processing as well as de-essing, that it's better to record tracks well in the first place and rely on the short wire good mix theory. Of course good performances help.
Old 18th February 2003
  #9
Smart Research
 

Re: Paralell Compression

Quote:
Originally posted by ultima

Im a bit concerned with phase issues but i havent been able to hear any negative effects in that respect so...
Shouldnt need to worry about this with analogue processors, plus, 'what you hear is what you get' anyway....though Jules is right about 'multing': on a whole mix signal it's worth watching out as many mixer outputs do begin to degrade driving just a few parallel devices (slew rate and distortion get worse quite easily--which is difficult to hear unless your focused on it).

Good thread.....a blend control might come in handy on our next compressor ?.

Another variant I've been thinking around is 'summed' sidechains, so that you blend sevral sets of control settings to work on your signal. For our units a low-ratio low-threshold overall mix setting is common, but you may well wish to add higher ratio or limiting cutting in higher up. Or, you get to play with the sidechains of each independantly. Theres no need to pass a signal repeatedly through different units and yet more VCA's to achieve this...and it would seem espescially useful in our dual/stereo units where the RH controls are currently redundant if working in Stereo.

Al.
Old 18th February 2003
  #10
Gear addict
 
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Re: Re: Paralell Compression

Quote:
Originally posted by Dailydb
a blend control might come in handy on our next compressor ?.

Another variant I've been thinking around is 'summed' sidechains, so that you blend sevral sets of control settings to work on your signal. For our units a low-ratio low-threshold overall mix setting is common, but you may well wish to add higher ratio or limiting cutting in higher up. Or, you get to play with the sidechains of each independantly. Theres no need to pass a signal repeatedly through different units and yet more VCA's to achieve this...and it would seem espescially useful in our dual/stereo units where the RH controls are currently redundant if working in Stereo.

Al.
All cool ideas.

The "blend" control seems really straightforward and useful--it's kind of surprising it's not out there yet. I guess the same effect is already available throught mults, but having it all in one box, on an insert, would be damn convenient.
Old 18th February 2003
  #11
Blend on the Smart Series of compressors would be awesome!

With a REAL WIDE RANGE of volumes for the blending (+10 -10 db?)

Pure audio could join exquisitely 'smashed' audio! With the final output level set with precision.



I've used a bass amp with blend available between solid state and tube sections, it really was cool. Both had attractive qualities, being able to blend them was super cool.

Old 21st February 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
atticus's Avatar
I came across a DIY page with a guy that did a parallel compressor that had a preset amount of blend between uncompressed and compressed. Here's the link:

http://dt.prohosting.com/hacks/what.html

I don't know anything about it but it may be cool. And it is Gear!!
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