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Unsuccessfully trying many comps on snare Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 7th July 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 
BlackBeauty's Avatar
 

Unsuccessfully trying many comps on snare

Hi have recently got a Waves bundle after using some UAD plugs for nearly a year.
At the begingin when mixing I was surprised on how good the snare sound was after applying generous compression. After some months i have realised that the fact is that it sounded so good for m because of the level rise. Now always i put a compressor on it I try to match the compressed level with the original, for example at -12dB, identical...and i never like the compressed sound even just compressing 2 or 3 dB's. When compressing more, the sound always is thin and loses a lot of body.

I always let go the transients and play with the release. So i try to not get a dully sound!

Also i have noticed that API2500, UAD4K, LA2, LA3, 1173 sound similar when just compressing 2-3 dB at máx. (maybe LA2 and LA3 sound a bit diferent due to not having attack adjustment).

The only way to get a a not really bad diferent compressed sound is with parallel compression and then equ this to get a diffent feelling.

So, how do you guys do to get a compression about more than 6 dB and also getting a fully rich snare sound??? I can't, so i have just decided to compressed a couple of dB without modifying the original sound jus for some control and get a more dynamic and powerfull sound only with paralell Drum buss compression in case of. And let the master limiter to do the job controlling crazy dynamic snares...



This is the same with all percusive sounds...

Sorry because it has been written a lot in gearslutz, but everybody talk about how good such compressor works and so...or people that just says that don't like compression anyway.

I always try compression with slowest attack in UAD4K, API2500, 1176 (from 10ms and then longer, i never like fastter than) and then play with the release depending on the decay time and the song tempo.

Any help or comments are really welcome.

I use Logic9, Focal solo6, Profire2626 and a semitreated room...about 10 bass traps :D (I record with GreatRiver and UA610)

Sorry for the english if something is not understood!
Old 7th July 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Seb RIOU's Avatar
 

Maybe you don't need a compressor
Old 7th July 2010
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeauty View Post
Also i have noticed that API2500, UAD4K, LA2, LA3, 1173 sound similar when just compressing 2-3 dB at máx. (maybe LA2 and LA3 sound a bit diferent due to not having attack adjustment).
Hard to say from your post if your referring to the hardware units when referring to the above comps.

I do think if you were referring to the HW units that you would find that they do sound and act quite different from each other.

In my world, software compression hasn't been able to emulate the real deal...yet...
Old 7th July 2010
  #4
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BlackBeauty's Avatar
 

A really good answer...

the fact is taht i never like the compressed sound more than the raw material. it always loses something.
Old 7th July 2010
  #5
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Marando's Avatar
It sounds like you need something like a SPL Transient Designer. UAD has this plugin, but there is also a native version from SPL. Sonnox Oxford Transient Modulator is also an option!
Old 7th July 2010
  #6
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Paul Russell's Avatar
 

Try the Softube Valley People Dynamite. It makes the snare snap like nothing else ITB that I've ever heard.
Old 7th July 2010
  #7
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Kingtone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeauty View Post
A really good answer...

the fact is taht i never like the compressed sound more than the raw material. it always loses something.
stick with the original then!
im not a fan of software compression. You should borrow or rent a couple of hardware units and see if any of them get the sound you might want.
Old 7th July 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeauty View Post
A really good answer...

the fact is taht i never like the compressed sound more than the raw material. it always loses something.
It looks like you don't need to compress your snare then.
I really like the UA 160VU and the UA 1176 plug ins for snare.
Hardware wise, you might want to try the Drawmer 1968, the Chandler TG1 or Api 2500. You can use them on hte snare or on the drum buss too as these are dual mono/ stereo units.
Old 7th July 2010
  #9
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honestly i've never found much luck compressing close mics.

sometimes i smack the snare around with something really strong. but only sometimes. and very rarely the kick or the toms. i find volume automation much more helpful there.

i try to get the squeeze factor from compressing room mics, or the drum bus, or occasionally overheads.
Old 7th July 2010
  #10
Vogon
Guest
IMHO - You need to focus on what you want the compressor to do for you, in context, then work towards that. You may be "thinking" too much about what the controls should be doing, rather than being trully objective (?).
Then, you may simply not like the sound of compression... But the transient designer suggestion is worth following up.
Old 7th July 2010
  #11
Deleted User
Guest
are you using real drums and mics or samples?

I read thru and could not determine..

for me when I am using samples and all hits are the same level the comp is just a tone control.

if it is 'live' I will use the comp to get a more even level and no more. as it starts to sound 'flat and dull'

everything does not need a comp
Old 7th July 2010
  #12
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 

You don't always need a compressor on snare or drums in general. It often hits harder without it. Sometimes it helps the audio though. I've had luck with every compressor in my rack: NTP 179-160, RNLA and the RNC. Depends on the sound of the snare. 1176 is cool on snare. But really most compressors will do the job. keep the ratio low and not too fast of an attack. Don't kill the transient.
Old 7th July 2010
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Yeah, just ride the fader for extremely uneven snare playing. Compression definitely can be tricky business here. You could have the drummer come in and show him how off his dynamics are with that particular song/session. If you are considering doing the latter, be subtle and have some taste. Most people do not have the right psychological backing to happily accept criticism, so you have to pander to them in some way or another. "I think maybe..." is always a good place to start. Make him think that it was his idea. It always works out better that way. Hope editing goes well.
Old 7th July 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeauty View Post
I always try compression with slowest attack in UAD4K, API2500, 1176...
Just an idea, but maybe you have your attack too slow? That won't always work for every occasion.

You didn't mention which Waves bundle you have. If you've got platinum, you might want to try the TransX plug-in on Snare. The "punch" preset is a good strating point for THWACK but you will probably want to dail it back some. Also, the H-comp is pretty sweet on snare and also for parallel compression.thumbsup
Old 7th July 2010
  #15
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laperlestudio's Avatar
MAybe just move the mic around to find the sweet spot of the snare where you get bottom and top, then when you'll compress you'll have the bottom you want, and if you slow the attack on the compressor, you'll still get your first attack and just compress the resonance and bottom of your snare.
Old 7th July 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
+1 SPL transient designer is really nice for some extra crack n punch and is just like candy on a snare in the right situation. I've used it on electro/dance music for the snare with a api 2500 on the drum buss. I think that's a great idea if compression isn't working for you on the snare. The native version in Logic 9 is what I remembered using and it was great with not much cpu power on my quad. I see no reason for UAD cards really the native plug would be fine.
Old 7th July 2010
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Slap that SSL E channel strip on that B*tchhhhhh! lol. Seriously... 4:1, -15 threshold or so.. pretty quick release.. make sure u get that red light lit up with the output and you'll get that sweeeet SSL saturation. Sounds amazing on drums...
Old 7th July 2010
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laperlestudio View Post
MAybe just move the mic around to find the sweet spot of the snare where you get bottom and top, then when you'll compress you'll have the bottom you want, and if you slow the attack on the compressor, you'll still get your first attack and just compress the resonance and bottom of your snare.
I checked your MySpace out dude... u got some cool grooves. Very cool.
Old 7th July 2010
  #19
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
What does the snare sound like to start with. Different snare sounds respond differently to compression.

I use a mix of hardware and software compression on my mixes, but the drum are always getting hardware.
Old 7th July 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny_Vance View Post
Slap that SSL E channel strip on that B*tchhhhhh! lol. Seriously... 4:1, -15 threshold or so.. pretty quick release.. make sure u get that red light lit up with the output and you'll get that sweeeet SSL saturation. Sounds amazing on drums...
That "sweeeet saturation" you're getting from the red light on your output is just your plugin clipping digitally. People like this sound more than they realize. I think tons of people also love compression because of the makeup gain alone. I've found that in a lot of situations matching the level down to the original and a/b-ing the compressed version rarely moves me. Not that I don't still use compression but people are way too crazy for it imo. Some fader automation would do just as much if not more in many cases. Basically to me some of the allure of a compressor is that you can, by controlling the dynamics (read: smashing), get the signal louder without overs... oy what have I done... bring on the angry mob...
Old 7th July 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeauty View Post
A really good answer...

the fact is taht i never like the compressed sound more than the raw material. it always loses something.
Thats why I've fell in love with parallel compression. I get to keep all the good stuff of the original and the benefits of the compressed track.
Old 7th July 2010
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
Thats why I've fell in love with parallel compression. I get to keep all the good stuff of the original and the benefits of the compressed track.
and you're absolutely sure that your comparison is level-matched? that you're not inadvertently preferring "louder" as "better" ?
Old 7th July 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan jetter View Post
inadvertently preferring "louder" as "better" ?
IMHO this happens SOOOOO much around here it's bananas.
Old 7th July 2010
  #24
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DrFrankencopter's Avatar
Sounds to me like you might be approaching it from the wrong angle.

Instead of starting with a long attack time, why not dial in a short one, and pull it back until you've got the right amount of the transient 'crack' coming through. Forget what the meters say...close your eyes and adjust it by ear (hardware rules here BTW). You need to get some gain reduction happening in order for the release to be able to build back up the body of the snare (if that's what you're looking for).

Or, perhaps you just don't like the sound of compression on a snare....

Sometimes I prefer a peak limiter to compression on close drum mics. L1 can work nicely here.

Cheers

Kris
Old 7th July 2010
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan jetter View Post
and you're absolutely sure that your comparison is level-matched? that you're not inadvertently preferring "louder" as "better" ?
Yeah, I know how to balance my tracks when mixing

Last edited by ZenMaster; 7th July 2010 at 09:50 PM.. Reason: clarification
Old 7th July 2010
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
unclejoe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeauty View Post
At the begingin when mixing I was surprised on how good the snare sound was after applying generous compression. After some months i have realised that the fact is that it sounded so good for m because of the level rise.
If it sounded better with a level rise, then it sounded better. Maybe the snare just needed turning up and the compressor just happened to get you there. If it sounds good, why analyze too much? Sometimes we can overthink as to why something is sounding as it is rather than just mixing by feel and it is usually instinct and feel rather than thought that leads to a great result.

just a thought.
Old 7th July 2010
  #27
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Kingtone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan jetter View Post
and you're absolutely sure that your comparison is level-matched? that you're not inadvertently preferring "louder" as "better" ?
what are you talking about? louder IS better!! heh
Old 7th July 2010
  #28
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glenn Taylor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seb RIOU View Post
Maybe you don't need a compressor
Back in the 80's I used a 2" 30 ips 16 track machine to record on. The only compressors I had were a dbx 161 and a Orban . They never made the drums sound better.
+1 on maybe you don't need a compressor?
GT.
Old 7th July 2010
  #29
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theothermarkwilliams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejoe View Post
If it sounded better with a level rise, then it sounded better. Maybe the snare just needed turning up and the compressor just happened to get you there. If it sounds good, why analyze too much? Sometimes we can overthink as to why something is sounding as it is rather than just mixing by feel and it is usually instinct and feel rather than thought that leads to a great result.

just a thought.
Well, mainly because if it is merely the "louder" factor that you like in this situation, rather than the "compression" part, it would be a smart move to just turn up the snare's volume, rather than having a compressor do it. At least try it that way. You may like the "uncompressed but louder" snare the very most.
Old 7th July 2010
  #30
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Eloheim's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
Yeah, I know how to balance my tracks when mixing
I assume you know what you're talking about heh, but just for the sake of discussion:

You're adjusting the levels, by ear (ie. not peak meter), so that the original [dry sound] is at the same volume as the paralleled [dry+compressed] version, in a setup where you can instantly A/B back and forth between the two, to make sure it actually sounds better? I've heard this can be difficult in some setups when you're dealing with parallel processing/auxes.

I fully understand the benefits of parallel compression and you seem to like it for the reasons many of us do, but I'm just wondering how many people actually do like the above.

Peace.
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