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How to use a compressor when tracking stereo instruments
Old 12th May 2006
  #1
How to use a compressor when tracking stereo instruments

If you where tracking an instrument in stereo, would you link the two sides of your compressor or have them as dual mono? Or does it depend on what instrument is being recorded and where the mics are arranged?
Old 12th May 2006
  #2
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Seek and ye shall find...Dual Mono v Stereo Compression (From two days ago!)
Old 12th May 2006
  #3
Ah, I see. And there was me thinking I was starting an interesting topic for discussion.
Old 12th May 2006
  #4
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It depends on the instrument.

For a acoustic guitar I use always linked compression because on one side of the guitar, where the body is, will be probably more (low) energy and cause a stronger gainreduction then the side of the fingerboard. A unlinked comp. can cause unwanted movements from left to right.

For a percussion group I'd use an unliked comp. A short hard left beat say on a conga would cause also a gainreduction on the left which could cause movements from front to back when linked.

Andreas
Old 12th May 2006
  #5
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

I rarely use the link. I think both sides of spectrum need to be treated individually.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 12th May 2006
  #6
Yeah, that's kinda what I thought. I guess its a case of seeing what works best for each scenario. What about overheads?
Old 12th May 2006
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEMAS
If you where tracking an instrument in stereo, would you link the two sides of your compressor or have them as dual mono? Or does it depend on what instrument is being recorded and where the mics are arranged?
The latter is true.

First thought that comes to mind is a guitar with a close mic and a room mic. Since there's a time delay, you can be pretty certain that you don't want the two channels of compression interacting. Then again, maybe it makes for a cool effect.


If I were to make a sweeping generalization (which of course is wrong by definiteion) I'd say always go dual mono. You're recording with two mics because you want differences between the two signals, so keep your compression unique to each signal.


The real question is, why are you using compression at all? For peak limiting? Won't each signal need slightly different amounts? For leveling? Won't each signal need different amounts? Are you using a binaural head? Maybe you do want to link in that case.
Old 13th May 2006
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey
The real question is, why are you using compression at all? For peak limiting? Won't each signal need slightly different amounts? For leveling? Won't each signal need different amounts? Are you using a binaural head? Maybe you do want to link in that case.
Well that is a good question.

The fact is, I've owned (and since sold) several reasonable compressors in my time - TL Audio 5051 channel strip, TF Pro P2 dual channel strip, Joe Meek SC2.2, but never anything decent. I don't really dig heavy compression on the mix buss, if any at all - I like maximum dynamic range when I mix and use software to master. I can't remember the last time I even tracked with a compressor, but I'm building a new studio for which I've invested in some high end pres and think that a good compressor may compliment the signal(s) going into the DAW to (hopefully) add a little weight and save me relying on software dynamics. I'm in between the Gyratek 10, Thermionic Phoenix and RND 5043. But the more I think (or read) about it, nothing will be as versatile as the Phoenix.
Old 13th May 2006
  #9
I've only used at 5043 a couple of times, so I haven't compeltely formed my opinion, but it's certainly a good compressor. The Phoenix is great and you've have hard time getting a bad sound out of it.
Old 13th May 2006
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey
The Phoenix is great and you've have hard time getting a bad sound out of it.
And in the UK, its relatively quite good value. I know that sounds crazy, but in the U.S the Phoenix is the same price as the VT-7; In the Uk, the Phoenix is 2/3 of the price of VT-7.

The G10 would probably be my first choice for a 2-buss and if I could afford a second 2-buss comp then the C2 would probably be up against the SSL. For tracking, of course it would be great to choose between a pair of distressors, a pair of MC77s, an LA2a, 1176, 5043, etc, etc, but that really isn't an option for me - I have a budget for only one that will allow me a track mono and stereo instruments AND to use on the mix buss.
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