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Author Topic: when DO you use multi-band comp?  (Read 4318 times)

pg666

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when DO you use multi-band comp?
« on: April 26, 2004, 02:16:27 pm »

hey (first post here since they changed boards. howdy)

i was reading the 'how far do you go' thread and one thing that was brought up was only using certain things when absolutely necessary, especially MB compression. what *is* a situation where MB is perhaps the best and even only solution to a problem? from my very  'not-a-professional-engineer-but-very-dedicated-listener-and -musician' standpoint, i'm having a hard time visualizing what multi-band can do that a versatile buss compressor couldn't. is it strictly for very specific frequencies (uh, if the EQ doesn't solve it..)? specific instruments?

thanks for your inquiries.
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OTR-jkl

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2004, 02:39:29 pm »

Here's one 'for instance':

I just had a track that had a few "wild" bass notes while, at the same time, the lowest bass notes were barely distinguishable. I used some MB comp to squeeze the entire bottom and get the level right. After that, the wild noted were under control and the lowest ones were able to be heard. Made the bottom end more stable and uniform...
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J Lowes ยท OTR Mastering
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Innominandum

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2004, 05:35:51 pm »

I'm curious as to why Brad doesn't like multi-band compression in certain cases. The only thing I can think of is possible crossover artifacts or the trouble of effectively placing crossovers on a stereo mix.

In my experiments multi-band compression seems to reduce compression artifacts, especially when dynamics can be localized in a band. On material with minimal compression, it seems to make the whole mix firmer and consistent.
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bblackwood

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2004, 05:49:20 pm »

Multiband can work wonders as a de-esser or as a way to control a kick drum or bass gtr. They are appropriate for dynamic freq control - a kick drum or an 'ess' may only be offensive at it's 'peak'...
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Brad Blackwood
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bblackwood

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2004, 05:51:11 pm »

Innominandum wrote on Mon, 26 April 2004 16:35

I'm curious as to why Brad doesn't like multi-band compression in certain cases. The only thing I can think of is possible crossover artifacts or the trouble of effectively placing crossovers on a stereo mix.

In my experiments multi-band compression seems to reduce compression artifacts, especially when dynamics can be localized in a band. On material with minimal compression, it seems to make the whole mix firmer and consistent.

IME, MB changes the mix too much - I only want to change the mix like that if there are problems that have to be corrected.
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Brad Blackwood
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2004, 12:43:08 pm »

The crossover networks in most MBs do nasty things to the body of the sound. Two in a row such as one in mastering and another at a broadcaster is often not very pretty sounding at all.

My personal rule is that anytime multi-band or even single-band bus compression improves a mix, it's a real good idea to take a serious look at the underlying balance. This is because it's often the kind of an improvement that only works in the room where the controls were set unless you have mighty good monitors.

OatBran

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2004, 04:53:32 pm »

  There are a number of problems that revolve around using multi-band compression.  The timbre of the instruments in the mix can be greatly effected.  Cymbals, vocals, and sometimes guitars tonal balance can be altered.  Small phase issues also occur with any type of crossover network as well as EQ.  It is also a tool that can very easily be abused and over used.

 I use it for problem solving much like others in this topic.  De-essing, LF control, and extreme dynamic issues are problems.  In general, I agree with Mr.Blackwood, though.  I prefer to avoid it unless needed.  If your mix is sitting right frequency wise, you shouldn't need it.  It does alter the sound of the mix in ways that we should not be altering the mix IMO.

OatBran
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mcsnare

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2004, 11:08:29 pm »

Yeah, what those guys said..... If I get something that is waaay smashed or maybe not that compressed, but a weird balance between the instruments in the low end, I sometimes reach for the low band of the multiband comp in the dbx Quantum. I'll set it for LESS than 1:1 (which is expansion) and dial the xover for somewhere in the 80hz range. I can then add a little low end beef in a way that static eq can't. Doesn't work all that often, but when it does, it's really cool.
Dave McNair

lowland

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2004, 04:51:06 am »

mcsnare wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 04:08

I sometimes reach for the low band of the multiband comp in the dbx Quantum. I'll set it for LESS than 1:1 (which is expansion) and dial the xover for somewhere in the 80hz range. I can then add a little low end beef in a way that static eq can't. Doesn't work all that often, but when it does, it's really cool.


Hi everyone, this is my first post in the gleaming new incarnation - all the best with it.

Nice tip, Dave. I had no idea the Q's MB compressor went below 1:1 in spite of owning one for years, I thought that was only the BB comp. You can be sure I'll give this a whirl ASAP!

I concur with what's already been said, finding MB invaluable for de-essing and bass control - I'll typically use the 'auto' setting and gentler ratios for these in the Quantum - but I also regularly engage a mid band for restraining the odd peaky vocal moment which escapes the BB compressor upstream, a Sintefex. One other Quantum note: a little adjustment of the look-ahead function or TCM can help me fine tune the response a bit when I'm de-essing, so I can get a soft compression effect with a fast reaction - I just need to check I'm not adversely affecting other bands.
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Nigel Palmer
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Jason Phair

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2004, 01:47:46 pm »

I'm not an ME, but I love multi-band compressors on a stereo drum buss when mixing.
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Jason Phair
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Get that fucking thing off my vocal will ya?

Thanks.

mcsnare

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2004, 09:14:09 pm »

Nigel, good to see you. I'd love to hear a Sintefex, I've heard they are pretty cool.
Jason, MB compression is awesome when mixing. I use a BSS DPR 902 all the time on vocals and stuff. But as far as mastering, it's more of a last resort tool.
Dave

Ronny

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2004, 02:38:09 am »

OatBran wrote on Tue, 27 April 2004 16:53

  There are a number of problems that revolve around using multi-band compression.  The timbre of the instruments in the mix can be greatly effected.  Cymbals, vocals, and sometimes guitars tonal balance can be altered.  Small phase issues also occur with any type of crossover network as well as EQ.  It is also a tool that can very easily be abused and over used.

 I use it for problem solving much like others in this topic.  De-essing, LF control, and extreme dynamic issues are problems.  In general, I agree with Mr.Blackwood, though.  I prefer to avoid it unless needed.  If your mix is sitting right frequency wise, you shouldn't need it.  It does alter the sound of the mix in ways that we should not be altering the mix IMO.

OatBran



You won't get phase issues with linear phase MB's and eq's. I seldom use multiband, very seldom. Not because I'm wary of the down the road effect, but because I find that I don't need it that much.
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------Ronny Morris - Digitak Mastering------
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lowland

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2004, 03:24:58 am »

Dave,

Should you want to pursue the Sintefex idea the distributor for Eastern US is Jonathan Wyner of M-Works mastering in Cambridge, Mass.

jonathan@m-works.com
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Nigel Palmer
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mcsnare

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2004, 01:23:51 pm »

Thanks, man.
Dave

PP

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Re: when DO you use multi-band comp?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2004, 05:43:41 am »

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