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Parallel compression/printing compressor question
Old 11th October 2011
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Parallel compression/printing compressor question

Let's say I have one hardware compressor that I really like and many tracks I've already recorded that I'd like to use parallel compression on. So I run the first track out to the compressor, smash it good, and print it to a new track.

When I go to mix, will I have problems with delay/latency between the original track and compressed track? Is there a plug-in or something that can help me realign them? Besides being time consuming, are there other problems that I'll run into if I try to do this?
Old 11th October 2011
  #2
mrc
Lives for gear
you will have a delay but if you know your system delay it should be easy to compensate.

the way i see it, when you have a track itb and another one going out and in again, the second one will not be idenical so, when combining the both you might get some audible artefacts. never tryed it so it might just work.
Old 11th October 2011
  #3
Registered User
Most daws allow you to nudge your tracks back or forward by indivual samples. No plugin required to line up the peaks. There are plugins that can delay in samples ... but your tracks with latency don't need delay, so you have to nudge them forward anyway if you want to do it this way.

Many DAWS have latency compensation - that may or may not work as advertised. Read the manual.
Old 11th October 2011
  #4
Registered User
There will be frequency dependant phase shifts through analog gear - so simple delay compensation may not be enough. There are phase adjusting plugins if you want to go there.

Easiest way to do parallel compression is with a compressor that has a Mix knob. Either software or hardware.

If it sounds good, its good. Don't worry too much about it ... real acoustic music is full of time delays and phase issues.
Old 12th October 2011
  #5
it might be easier to align it manually
Old 12th October 2011
  #6
I'm all about the re-run through outboard, and here's how I deal with what you mentioned.

Once you've calculated your return trip latency (at one buffer setting) it will not change. Send a nice drum machine rimshot out and back through the compressor. Do not compress it. Write down it's reprinted position in samples somewhere. Zoom in and line it up to the original non reprinted position. Write down the orig sample position. Just subtract the orig from the new position and you will calculate your exact return trip latency. from now on you can just subtract that number on any rerun tracks and punch it in for it's start point.



I just liked the aliens for this one, don't know why.
Old 12th October 2011
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the help everybody, I like Starfish's solution to the problem. Hopefully the tracks won't lose too much going back in and out, seems like the quality of the A/D and D/A conversion would be a big factor in how well this would work.
Old 12th October 2011
  #8
I use an SSL alphalink w antelope ocx clock and lose no quality at all, In fact I make up to 3 in out return trips. Every track in and out through comp and or eq. Then out again into summing mixer and print mix back. Then sometimes yet again for hardware mastering. The audio keeps it's quality and gets better every time from the new processes. Pain in the ass, yes, but the sound is worth it. In fact many tracks are reprinted several times with multiple settings as options at mix down. Mixes take me a very long time, 12 hours plus.
Old 12th October 2011
  #9
Here for the gear
 

and another thing...

As an adjunct to what Starfish said - once I've got my delay time figured out I put two markers that far apart at the start of my session. Then I simply highlight the zone in between and hit delete and my tracks align right...saves a bit of time if you're doing a bunch of tracks!
Another sneaky low-rent thing I do is run my stereo submix or main stereo bus into my best mono compressor/eq chain one track at a time (L channel on one pass then R channel). If it's a drum bus or some other vaguely balanced pair it's pretty easy to predict how the R channel will respond when you're listening to the L. Once you've printed both you can then listen back to the stereo processing and make any subtle adjustments needed on another pass. Time consuming and a bit of a pain in the arse yes but here's the rub - you get perfect phase coherence as the processing path for each channel is totally identical.
Old 12th October 2011
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greg walker View Post
As an adjunct to what Starfish said - once I've got my delay time figured out I put two markers that far apart at the start of my session. Then I simply highlight the zone in between and hit delete and my tracks align right...saves a bit of time if you're doing a bunch of tracks!
Another sneaky low-rent thing I do is run my stereo submix or main stereo bus into my best mono compressor/eq chain one track at a time (L channel on one pass then R channel). If it's a drum bus or some other vaguely balanced pair it's pretty easy to predict how the R channel will respond when you're listening to the L. Once you've printed both you can then listen back to the stereo processing and make any subtle adjustments needed on another pass. Time consuming and a bit of a pain in the arse yes but here's the rub - you get perfect phase coherence as the processing path for each channel is totally identical.
If your compressor has a sidechain input you might want to bounce a mono version of your mix before and use that into the sidechain as trigger for both compression passes (L and R), as then you get the same compression action on both sides....but then you might not as different sides can be funky.
Old 12th October 2011
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg walker View Post
As an adjunct to what Starfish said - once I've got my delay time figured out I put two markers that far apart at the start of my session. Then I simply highlight the zone in between and hit delete and my tracks align right...saves a bit of time if you're doing a bunch of tracks!
Another sneaky low-rent thing I do is run my stereo submix or main stereo bus into my best mono compressor/eq chain one track at a time (L channel on one pass then R channel). If it's a drum bus or some other vaguely balanced pair it's pretty easy to predict how the R channel will respond when you're listening to the L. Once you've printed both you can then listen back to the stereo processing and make any subtle adjustments needed on another pass. Time consuming and a bit of a pain in the arse yes but here's the rub - you get perfect phase coherence as the processing path for each channel is totally identical.
yes I make an empty block/region that size and use it as a spacer and measuring stick.
Old 3rd January 2012
  #12
Gear Addict
 

I wanted to come back and update an old thread and get some more feedback.

I've got my recording setup in place and I did a test to see how much system latency I have to deal with. I recorded some handclaps, ran the track out to an FMR PBC-6A compressor, recorded it on the way back in, then went to line up the waveforms of the two tracks. Zoomed in all the way, there was no offset between the waveforms. I tried this with the PBC on and bypassed, then again with an RNLA on and bypassed and kept coming up with the same thing.

So is it possible that my system has no latency? Is there an auto correction that I'm not aware of?

I'm using a Mac G4 laptop with 1.5 GB of RAM, with a Digi 002R with a BLA tweakhead mod, recording to an external hard drive. My hardware buffer size is set to 64 samples and low latency monitoring is on. Also I'm recording in PTLE 7.4, and after doing some gearslutz research I figured out that I had to recalculate my waveforms for them to be accurate, so thanks to everybody on the forum for the help with that one.

One last question, right now my hardware buffer only goes down to 64 samples, but I could swear I had it set to 32 samples last time I was recording and now I don't see that option. What would change the minimum buffer setting?

Thanks in advance for the help!
Old 4th January 2012
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Anybody have any help?
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