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Stereo compression
Old 2nd May 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
BigAl's Avatar
 

Stereo compression

If you compress the heck out of the drums and you compress the bass and other instruments to control dynamics, then why do people still use another compressor on the stereo buss? I'm just curious because why compress strings instruments? I could be wrong, but does anyone else feels that the compressor is being used too much on tracks today? Everything is being compress over and over again.
Old 3rd May 2005
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl
If you compress the heck out of the drums and you compress the bass and other instruments to control dynamics, then why do people still use another compressor on the stereo buss?
Compressing a group of instruments is different from compressing an individual instrument. Compressing the group can help make them move and breath as one thing. Compressing individual tracks can help you to match the levels of different track the way you want to. Like if the the acoustic gtr is peaky and all over the place, compressing it can control it and help you balance it correctly against the other instruments. Then if you compress them together, it glues them together a bit.
(Does that make sense? Try it sometime.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl
I'm just curious because why compress strings instruments?
To keep them in place. It can be hard to get a cello to stand out against rock instruments, for example, because it is very dynamic but doesn't have a big slam of an attack. Compressing it can help it sort of stand forward and stay there, if you need it to, so that you can still hear it against the drums and bass and so forth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl
I could be wrong, but does anyone else feels that the compressor is being used too much on tracks today? Everything is being compress over and over again.
Absolutely. Just because it sometimes helps doesn't mean it always does, an a little goes a long way.
Old 3rd May 2005
  #3
Agreed - Compressors, even several of them, don't have to "compress the heck" out of anything unless you want them to.
Old 3rd May 2005
  #4
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Personally I compress the "hell" out of stuff...

Compression is always about dynamic range control, but sometimes for different effect. The cello vs a rock mix is a great example, in that you can bring up the low strums and keep the loud strums in check so the instrument can be heard more present in the mix.

Compression on the stereo buss can be nice as a glue though. Until you hand it off the Vlad the Impaler's Mastering House Extraordinaire and they kill the dynamic range...

War
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