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How Much Vocal Compression?
View Poll Results: How many db of reduction do you usually use on vocals (in general)
1-3 db
14 Votes - 10.29%
4-6 db
51 Votes - 37.50%
7-9 db
25 Votes - 18.38%
10-12 db
9 Votes - 6.62%
More than 12
20 Votes - 14.71%
No Compression
0 Votes - 0%
I like to keep my options open on being annoying?
17 Votes - 12.50%
Voters: 136. You may not vote on this poll

Old 14th July 2009
  #31
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.......I have to say I'm sitting here open mouthed at what the pros are using, 10-15 db's when conservative, is that with hardware or software? Typically what ratios are you using? Me well I wouldn't call myself an engineer, most of what I have learned has been right here. Typically I'll use no compression on the way in, two or three db's witha fasti-sh comp on the peaks and then r comp in warm opto mode 4:1 or even 2:1 maybe 5 or 6 at most. I have never dared to use more but think I might give it a shot, might be missing something. What are your reasons for using this much compression, is it necessary or just the sound that everyone wants to hear?
Old 14th July 2009
  #32
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
.......I have to say I'm sitting here open mouthed at what the pros are using, 10-15 db's when conservative, is that with hardware or software? Typically what ratios are you using? Me well I wouldn't call myself an engineer, most of what I have learned has been right here. Typically I'll use no compression on the way in, two or three db's witha fasti-sh comp on the peaks and then r comp in warm opto mode 4:1 or even 2:1 maybe 5 or 6 at most. I have never dared to use more but think I might give it a shot, might be missing something. What are your reasons for using this much compression, is it necessary or just the sound that everyone wants to hear?
Hardware. Not all sound good when pushed that hard though.

Ratios, on an 1176 for example I've compressed vocals 15-20 db with all but 20:1 (so 4:1, 8:1, 12:1).

Reasons? It sounds gooood!

I prefer lots of automation and only lightly compressing ITB, 5 or 6 db is pushing it for me with software... relax, your ears aren't broken.
Old 15th July 2009
  #33
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Radiogal's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB View Post
Well, if you have your meter set to GR then it is essentially measuring "how much do you compress" your vocals by.

Although most meters are VU so react very slowly and don't show you the whole picture etc, etc, yadaa, yadda blah.

But yeah it's so dependent on material and other things. Like, if you balance your attack and release well around the source you can measure ridiculous gain reductions, like -20, -15 and sound less compressed than some guy doing -6 reductions.
The real sound of compression is how it shapes the envelope of the sound rather than the amount of gain reduced.

Kindof stating the obvious here, sorry.
I do understand all that. Hell yeah, I watch my meters
But it´s all depending on the input signal, the theshold and ratio...
But still I find the poll question a lill to simple to answere.. it depends on if you´re recording or mixing and also what you want out of it. Just for clipping protection, transparent compressing or as a coloration, or sustaining effect.... and for sure, what kinda music ur working with!!!
Old 16th July 2009
  #34
I'm sorry, you forgot to put in an option for just the right amount.

While I have regular starting places, I certainly have never found one size fits all practices in hardly any aspect of recording.

I always adjust any modification to sound appropriate to the task at hand.


PS... I also tend to automate the post-tracking equivalent of fader riding in my DAW, before compressing.
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