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Old 17th February 2003
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).