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How do you guys go about compressing stacked hooks/chorus?
Old 17th October 2013
  #1
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How do you guys go about compressing stacked hooks/chorus?

To go into further detail. I've always tended to bus mix the compression for hooks, which is essentially the same thing as bouncing all the stacked vocals into one track and slamming down my compression on that one track. This has worked for me for a while now.

How do you guys go about it? Anybody do what I do, or are each vocal takes compressed separately in your guys' mixes?

Reason I ask is because I'm venturing out to hardware compressors, and (going against some rules & risk a bit) will be getting 90% of my compression in print in the tracking stage (1176 followed by an LA2A). However I'm hesitant to do so when it comes to the recording of any chorus that's stacked 3-4 times with my prior process on how I've compressed hooks, as I have attempted to mix some stacked hooks separately and it just doesn't sound right to me - not as glued together as the sound I'm used to making when I throw all the takes in a bus an squash it down.

Thoughts?
Old 17th October 2013
  #2
It all depends on the material. Sometimes stacked vocals need compressed individually, sometimes they don't. And even if they do, sometimes they need to be compressed as a group also.
Old 18th October 2013
  #3
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So it isn't necessarily abnormal to crush a stack of uncompressed vocals as a group?
Old 18th October 2013
  #4
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phillipc421's Avatar
 

I usually apply basic compression for transients and some eq cuts to each track individually. Then run them all to a bus and throw another compressor on there as well
Old 18th October 2013
  #5
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Hm, so maybe my 90% compression in the tracking stage won't work for the chorus. Maybe just a little LA2A in chorus tracking then and finish ITB. I have to admit my goal was to avoid having to go DA and AD back. I'm not a fan of the process of using hardware to route as effects mainly because I was also trying to avoid the cost of buying two of each unit. Re-routing the cabling would be a timely B using the intended tracking hardware.
Old 18th October 2013
  #6
I usually compress both the individual tracks and the whole group. The buss comp is just doing some minor compression -1-2db (1176) just to glue the parts together
Old 18th October 2013
  #7
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Typically I will have buss compression on a chorus vocal stack. Whether or not there is compression on the individual tracks as well really depends. Usually there will be some. But sometimes none. It all depends. Much of the time I have no choice because if the record was tracked with compression, then that's what I have to work with as a mix engineer. Usually it doesn't really matter because I will compensate elsewhere. In other words, I don't worry about whether or not there's individual compression on the tracks.

FWIW - when I cut vocals, I usually get the bulk of my compression on the way in and not too much at mixdown. If you have a control room, this isn't too difficult with experience. But if you are in a one room setup and have to monitor on headphones, it can be really difficult to get right.
Old 18th October 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
Typically I will have buss compression on a chorus vocal stack. Whether or not there is compression on the individual tracks as well really depends. Usually there will be some. But sometimes none. It all depends. Much of the time I have no choice because if the record was tracked with compression, then that's what I have to work with as a mix engineer. Usually it doesn't really matter because I will compensate elsewhere. In other words, I don't worry about whether or not there's individual compression on the tracks.

FWIW - when I cut vocals, I usually get the bulk of my compression on the way in and not too much at mixdown. If you have a control room, this isn't too difficult with experience. But if you are in a one room setup and have to monitor on headphones, it can be really difficult to get right.
The first paragraph is what I've always done, just a hair of tracked compression then bussed over for the real squash.

Your second paragraph is more or less what my goal was with the 1176/LA2A. However I am in a one room setup, so the plan was to really spend a lot of time completely learning these comps in chain and find multiple set and forget dialings, mark them, for various sources and vocal projections. I was just a bit worried my volumes would get all out of wack with them compressed separately. But I want back last night and messed with another older session, comped separately with an 1176/LA2A plug and then bussed over and hit a little bit of RComp to glue them together just that much over - really liked the sound actually.
Old 21st October 2013
  #9
Gear Addict
bus vocals to an aux with a comp for all vocals treat them as one vocal, use 3 tracks l r and center, even i use 2 more for l / r overdubs on a second aux, pan the l / r vocals out and eq bass out of l/r sides and have those playing at lower volume, it will sound full and wide but wont take up all the space in your mix
Old 22nd October 2013
  #10
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e-are's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
Hm, so maybe my 90% compression in the tracking stage won't work for the chorus. Maybe just a little LA2A in chorus tracking then and finish ITB. I have to admit my goal was to avoid having to go DA and AD back. I'm not a fan of the process of using hardware to route as effects mainly because I was also trying to avoid the cost of buying two of each unit. Re-routing the cabling would be a timely B using the intended tracking hardware.
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