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Tracking: EQ before or after comp?
Old 7th March 2019
  #1
Gear Head
Tracking: EQ before or after comp?

Hi. My chain: Focusrite ISA, Klark Teknik Pultec, Klark Teknik 1176, Klark Teknik La2a.
In wich order do you plug them?
I use to do: ISA...EQ...LA2A...1176.
But some like to put the 1176 before the LA2A, or cut the hair firs (176) and then EQ and finally the LA2A.
Or maybe do I need a patch?

If I track a bass, is better to add some low end before compressing, or maybe putting the comp first and then EQ the compressed signal?
Don't know wich is the right or better way.
Old 7th March 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tioconhuevos View Post
If I track a bass, is better to add some low end before compressing, or maybe putting the comp first and then EQ the compressed signal?
That specific scenario, the compressor will probably kick harder in reaction to the boosted lows. So I'd probably put the compressor before the EQ.
Old 7th March 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Konfus's Avatar
 

It's confortable for me, when I use the EQ after compression: I can fiddle around with the frequencies without have to re-adjust everytime the compressor. But it depends.. on the 2bus an other story, when interventions more subtle.. try both - compressor after eq can be a bit more "gluey", but in mixing on single tracks i don't want/need this.
Old 7th March 2019
  #4
Gear Head
Thanks...
and... LA2A before 1176 or after?
I use to comp, then limiting. But some people like the opposite.
Old 7th March 2019
  #5
If you have the gear a little before and a little after the EQ can be effective. There are no rules but I’d do 1176 (or fast vca or pwm) - eq - la2a (or opto or mu type). Sometimes a boost that is compressed can sound nice but yes it will level the other frequencies less so IME.
Old 7th March 2019
  #6
I would do 1176 to catch the peaks first, and then the LA2A, then EQ if necessary. That's my general setup actually.

I prefer to do cuts before compression and boosts after compression... usually. So, cleaning up mud or harshness and de-essing - I do before compression. Boosting lows and highs with broad strokes is usually going to work better after compression. But like Brent said, in this case I'd go after if your boosting bass on bass guitar.

If you're trying to do the pultec boost and cut on the same frequency - maybe before compression would be okay.

I'm curious though - are you tracking direct or through a bass amp and mic? I rarely feel the need to boost bass during tracking so that's why I'm asking.
Old 7th March 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
If you’re boosting the low-end, EQ after comp. Otherwise the compressor will overreact to the low-end content. If you’re cutting low-end, then put it before the comp. No one here can tell you whether to put the 1176 before the LA2A or after. You really need to try both out. But you may only need one of them or none. Last week for bass overdubs I ended up getting the best sound going straight into my P-1 hi-z input, a pultec EQ and no compressor. I initially ran it through both a Urei 1176 and a vintage LA2A, but they weren’t helping the tone in this case.
Old 7th March 2019
  #8
Yeah it's definitely true that more hardware / longer chain does not equal better.

And definitely just take the time to experiment. Easy way to do this is with a loop pedal!

Just the other day we were running EG through a whole pedalboard of expensive pedals with multiple expensive mics on the amp and I knew "this isn't working" so we removed everything except for one pedal and used one mic and it was exactly the tone we needed.

Simliar with tracking bass - depending on the player I've found I might not need much compression or eq - unfortunately most musicians these days are very undisciplined. In other news, I find the more I try to EQ bass rather than get it right at the source, the worse it sounds.
Old 8th March 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Allow me to suggest another approach: Do as little as humanly possible during tracking. Any processing you do on recording is difficult to undo if the shape of your mix changes. I recommend a pre to DAW path with only a compressor set to limit at a high threshold to save a take from being destroyed by an overenthusiastic moment. You can always squash and EQ till the cows come home after the fact and still change your mind later as long as your source hasn't been whacked around.

As always, YMMV.
Old 8th March 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
Allow me to suggest another approach: Do as little as humanly possible during tracking. Any processing you do on recording is difficult to undo if the shape of your mix changes. I recommend a pre to DAW path with only a compressor set to limit at a high threshold to save a take from being destroyed by an overenthusiastic moment. You can always squash and EQ till the cows come home after the fact and still change your mind later as long as your source hasn't been whacked around.

As always, YMMV.
If you or the artists don‘t have a clear vision of the finished product, this approach may be the safest.
But with growing experience, you start to shape sounds during recording, as that takes a lot of guesswork and pondering of decisions and alternatives out of mixing and overdubbing.
The thing with experience is that it can only be attained first-hand via trial-and-error...
Old 8th March 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

My advice comes after about 40 years of professional experience, so.....
Old 8th March 2019
  #12
Gear Head
Thanks for the advices. I-m recording only myself for 30 years at home. Very few times I record another bands. I like using heavy compression and limiting when tracking because I really like this sound that plugins can-t give me. There is no one plugin that really do what an 1176 do. EQ is different. I can achieve great resuts with EQ plugins, but I like to spend more time whn tracking and get a finished sound.
Old 8th March 2019
  #13
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Norton View Post
I'm curious though - are you tracking direct or through a bass amp and mic? I rarely feel the need to boost bass during tracking so that's why I'm asking.
I record a Fender precision through DI with a Focus ISA and the sound is great, but boosting some lows with a Pultec EQ make the bass to sound huge. I love it.
Old 8th March 2019
  #14
Gear Head
As I record only to myself, and I hate patchbays, I'd like to have only one route for the incoming signal. Most of my tracks need a low cut, so Eq should be the first process. Usually I go to the La2a and then to the 1176, but some people prefer to limiting peaks first and then compress. My question now is... is there some situations when is better to limit before comp and others when is a better choice the opoposite? Is just a matter of taste?
Old 8th March 2019
  #15
Gear Head
I've just found this article
Chaining the 1176LN and LA-2A Compressors for Maximum Control | Universal Audio
So maybe the most logic order is 1176 - EQ - LA2A
Thanks
Old 8th March 2019
  #16
Quote:
Tracking: EQ before or after comp?
This question can be answered by asking yourself those 2 questions. Because there is no right or wrong answer. What you do depends on the sound that you want.

Question 1: Do you want the EQ you boosted and/or cut compressed?
Question 2: Do you want the EQ you cut and/or boosted no compressed
Quote:
If I track a bass, is better to add some low end before compressing, or maybe putting the comp first and then EQ the compressed signal?
Don't know wich is the right or better way.
There is no right or wrong way. The better way for each specific instrument you track depends on:
1.) The sound of the original instrument
2.) The sound you want form the original bass
3.) How it fits in the mix with the other tracks in the song
4.) How you want it to feel in the song

As you see, each song and each specific instrument track, like the bass will depend on many variables. So there is no right or wrong way and there are no best settings. The best settings are the settings that get you the best sound for that specific track in that specific song
Old 8th March 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
...shape sounds during recording, as that takes a lot of guesswork and pondering of decisions and alternatives out of mixing and overdubbing.
Here, the tracking gear chain becomes part of the instrument, and part of what the artist reacts to while tracking. A nice bit of compression going in can affect an artist's performance... usually to positive results. It sounds a bit more polished which boosts artists' confidence. And with something like bass or rhythm guitar, it can affect how the player attacks the instrument and works with compression release "bloom."

As far as the chain here, it's always 1176 first, then LA2A. 1176 offers much more control over its functionality, and that's going to be first.
Old 8th March 2019
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tioconhuevos View Post
Hi. My chain: Focusrite ISA, Klark Teknik Pultec, Klark Teknik 1176, Klark Teknik La2a.
In wich order do you plug them?
How do you like all the Klark Teknik stuff?
Old 8th March 2019
  #19
Gear Head
Hi again.
I made some tests.
Look at the waves.
Above...ISA>KT76>KTPQ>KT2A
Down...ISA>KTPQ>KT2A>KT76

Listening to the audios I like more putting the 76 at the first place of the chain, although placing it at the end the signal is much more controlled.

Now I think I need a patchbay.
Attached Thumbnails
Tracking: EQ before or after comp?-dalt-el-76-al-final-baix-el-primer.jpg  
Attached Files

ISA eq la2a. 76wav.mp3 (580.1 KB, 645 views)

ISA 76 eq la2a.wav.mp3 (580.1 KB, 646 views)

Old 8th March 2019
  #20
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
How do you like all the Klark Teknik stuff?
For the price? a steal.
Old 19th June 2019
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tioconhuevos View Post
Hi again.
I made some tests.
Look at the waves.
Above...ISA>KT76>KTPQ>KT2A
Down...ISA>KTPQ>KT2A>KT76

Listening to the audios I like more putting the 76 at the first place of the chain, although placing it at the end the signal is much more controlled.

Now I think I need a patchbay.
That second clip sounds great! DI? What's the bass? Sounds good!
Old 19th June 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
subtractive eq before compressor because ..why have it respond to that which won't be there?.. once set let alone or you will be threshold futzing..if you need to put some back do it on the additive side after compressor
Old 19th June 2019
  #23
Now I think I need a patchbay.[/QUOTE]

That was my 1st thought.
Old 19th June 2019
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
subtractive eq before compressor because ..why have it respond to that which won't be there?.. once set let alone or you will be threshold futzing..if you need to put some back do it on the additive side after compressor
Thanks! Any hardware EQs you recommend?
Old 19th June 2019
  #25
getting a patchbay was a gamechanger for me. I lack the decades of experience of many up here, so take this with a grain of salt, but my patchbay gave me 2 things I value.
1. easy splitting of signal for parallel processing on any signal coming into the patchbay ..
2. ..which in turn prompted me to start experimenting heavily with parallel processing during tracking, which gave me the freedom to be bold with processing without fear of damaging the unprocessed signal.. which seems to have accelerated my experimentation, and in turn, my learning and experience using my outboard.

I’m also far more likely to experiment with signal path, so questions like the OP about the sequence of things are easy to experiment with on my own, since i no longer need to crawl around behind the rack with a flashlight.. or be cautious about how much I can lean into the outboard since I’m not worried about damaging the signal.

that said, I’ve learned that either order can work depending on the material, what you are trying to do and the outboard in question. There is probably not one right answer.. as the wise ones above have rightly illustrated
Old 19th June 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
If you or the artists don‘t have a clear vision of the finished product, this approach may be the safest.
But with growing experience, you start to shape sounds during recording, as that takes a lot of guesswork and pondering of decisions and alternatives out of mixing and overdubbing.
The thing with experience is that it can only be attained first-hand via trial-and-error...
BOOM! The winner.

It's not about "This before that" or whatever...

It's about KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH.

I.E Vison

If you have a vision all this other B.S goes out the window because you know what you are looking for, and achieve it by whatever means are at your disposal.

It's lack of vision..and in many cases, lack of REALISTIC vision ("Why doesn't this sound like a major label record from the 80's that was made on tape in the best studios in the world with top producers and engineers and a $1 million dollar budget? I KNOW! Put the EQ BEFORE The Compressor!!") that spawns a lot of these types of questions.

You must have VISION Daniel-san
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