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Author Topic: 2buss comps  (Read 24176 times)

thomsbrain

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2005, 03:17:34 pm »

I'm pretty much a recording newbie, but I've been reading this thread with interest, and have a question for you folks:

If most "pop" recordings are going to see a fair amount of compression during the mastering process, wouldn't it make sense to at least throw a comp on the 2Bus every once and a while, so you can get a better sense of what your mix will actually sound like in the end?

I can understand not wanting to turn in your final mix with any compression (let the mastering guy do his thing), but I feel like it could be useful to set levels and individual compression settings (or at least do a quick check now and then) within the context of the "finished product." You're going to want to know how much the mix is going to pump with those big kick drum hits, or whether 2buss compression makes the guitars stand out too much...

Anyway, just curious about that.

nobby

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2005, 06:57:51 pm »

thomsbrain wrote on Thu, 17 March 2005 15:17


I can understand not wanting to turn in your final mix with any compression (let the mastering guy do his thing), but I feel like it could be useful to set levels and individual compression settings (or at least do a quick check now and then) within the context of the "finished product." You're going to want to know how much the mix is going to pump with those big kick drum hits, or whether 2buss compression makes the guitars stand out too much...



Well, I'm not exactly a seasoned professional myself, but as far as drums go, I compress the snare and kik a bit and then compress the drums mix, so I'm not concerned about what happens down the 'pike.

With distorted guitars, the output (tube) stage of the amp tends to add a lot of compression, little if any is needed; clean guitars, season to taste. I compress the vox while tracking, a bit of mild compression on the backround vox submix (again, compressed while tracking), bass guitar gets it's own compression, and so on.

So I actually am using a fair amount of compression, but as needed on individual tracks and submixes, not on the 2 buss.

(No record company mooks to impress Wink )

Then on to a ME who can be trusted not to turn the mix into roadkill.



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compasspnt

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2005, 07:23:25 pm »

thomsbrain wrote on Thu, 17 March 2005 15:17

... wouldn't it make sense to at least throw a comp on the 2Bus every once and a while, so you can get a better sense of what your mix will actually sound like in the end? ...


Absolutely a good idea, if you have an array of several great stereo compressors (all suitable for mastering) from which to choose, and a good knowledge of which ones do what different things to a stereo mix in different mastering situations.

Go for it.
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bblackwood

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2005, 04:53:02 am »

zmix wrote on Mon, 14 March 2005 16:20

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 14 March 2005 16:46

wwittman wrote on Mon, 14 March 2005 14:30

The ultimate in craziness is what's coming next... in that people are starting to bring their ProTools rigs to mastering with the mix running "in the box" and "adjusting" the mix in the mastering room.

This to me is stunningly insecure.

Insecure? Perhaps, but not too far fetched. I recently had a mastering guy ask me to bring my "Pro Tools files" (which I do not use, and didn't bring) to the session.

Whatever it takes to make a better record, eh?

That's what they say, but you have to ask yourself - has blurring the lines between mixing and mastering generally helped or hurt audio over the years?

I think the latter, personally.

Sure, I could probably double my billing if I promoted working from stems, but:
1) it's not about the money, and
2) I have no subconscious (or otherwise) aspirations of becoming a mixer.

I wonder if either of those options come into play when  a mastering engineer recommends the mixer bring stems...

It reminds me of the mastering guys that recommend that you not use buss compression so they can make sure it's "done right" in the mastering room, ignoring that fact that as soon as you strap a compressor across the buss the balances of the mix are changed. I just don't get it...
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Brian Kehew

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2005, 05:39:03 am »

thomsbrain wrote on Thu, 17 March 2005 11:17


If most "pop" recordings are going to see a fair amount of compression during the mastering process, wouldn't it make sense to at least throw a comp on the 2Bus every once and a while, so you can get a better sense of what your mix will actually sound like in the end?


Yes, IF they are going to smash the mix in a heavy way. But my records get mastered so they sound (hopefully) like a slightly better version of the raw mix. The mastering gives my work 10-15% more "polish", but there's not much change that normal people would notice. Not that my mixes are perfect by any means - but it's mainly EQ choices to make, and a touch of compression or limiting.

In other words - for some people's music, yes. For those people, it even makes sense to have a compressor on ALL the time, as your mix "reacts" to it. But, as pointed out above, mastering guys have better compressors, and may know how to work them better than you or I. Your "experiments" beforehand might deceive you, if the mastering guys don't squash it the same way you did when testing...

So why not let them have "your mix" as you intended it, and let them do their thing afterward; do not look on their work as CHANGING the sound, as much as removing the rough edges from your work... so you won't have to GUESS what it will sound like after they do their thing to it.
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rush909

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2005, 07:19:57 am »

you bring back an interesting point...  what are people's thoughts on mixing with bus compression ON all the time...  I tried this a couple of mixes and it really made my mixes Different...   not sure if they were better, but I really got scared when I would remove the bus compression and realize how horrible everything sounded...  so I backed off the practice..  but it did make my mix pump and flow in ways I don't normally achieve.  and since I always add buss compression afterwards, it was almost an immediate gratification type of thing...

just interested to see people's thoughts on mixing WITH buss compression on all the time...

r.
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Otitis Media

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #51 on: March 18, 2005, 07:35:01 am »

It's like with anything else, you have to practice with it.  I find that when I mix through a compressor, my mixes end up getting mushy.  I have better results mixing first, compressing the bus later.  That's just me, though.  I don't have a lot of practice with it on music.  I used to use 2-bus compression a lot when I was mixing TV spots and I was always aware of what the comp/limit would do to the spectral balance (low end came further up in apparent level, etc) as well as what the dynamic range reduction would net.  

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Bob Olhsson

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2005, 12:03:29 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 18 March 2005 03:53

...
That's what they say, but you have to ask yourself - has blurring the lines between mixing and mastering generally helped or hurt audio over the years?
It's been a slippery slope since the Mastering Lab and Sterling introduced the concept of "custom mastering" in the late '60s. The idea was a specialist service that would take more time and care than the mastering room at the record label or pressing plant would.

Where things got worse was when mixers began counting on mastering to bail them out. This is what led to using NS-10s and totally ignoring full-range monitors instead of insisting that studios fix mains that weren't translating. Now we've gone further with tracking being fixed in the mix and polished in mastering.

Part of this story is economics. Many begin their album on the cheap and use roughs to secure the money for mixing and mastering. Mixing and mastering are both "save jobs" far too often today but our job remains making what we are handed the most that it can be.

bushwick

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2005, 03:07:45 pm »

This is terribly late to chime in but a hot topic for me and visiting engineers to the studio. I used to squish for effect because that seemed like the sound people were after. But I almost always talk people into getting it mastered by someone who knows what they are doing - Scott Hull usually gets my recommendation as he has been terrific.

So its down to minimal comping with either a Massenburg 8900 or a pair of Dakings. The Massenburg can cover the speed range and can be devastatingly clear. The Dakings can be very colored and give a song more weight without a whole lot of compression.




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slicraider

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2005, 05:52:48 pm »

I have been wondering about the API 2500


Very cool unit! I had been using one at a particular stdio for a while. It's very flexible and you can really sculpt the sound. The variable link is a fantastic mod too. The input sensing is a very powerful tool. The problem is no rental company here in NY has one.

This all brings up the issue that I have yet to see in this thread which is "frequency dependent" compression. I have been using some form of 2 buss compression for years but I always route things such that any bass frequencies are not hitting the same compressor as my mid and hi frequency info which gives me a much smoother vibe and helps maintain dynamics in my mix.

Rick Slater
NYC
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compasspnt

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2005, 06:41:00 pm »

slicraider wrote on Fri, 18 March 2005 17:52

I have been wondering about the API 2500


Very cool unit! I had been using one at a particular stdio for a while. It's very flexible and you can really sculpt the sound. The variable link is a fantastic mod too. The input sensing is a very powerful tool. The problem is no rental company here in NY has one.

This all brings up the issue that I have yet to see in this thread which is "frequency dependent" compression. I have been using some form of 2 buss compression for years but I always route things such that any bass frequencies are not hitting the same compressor as my mid and hi frequency info which gives me a much smoother vibe and helps maintain dynamics in my mix.

Rick Slater
NYC


Hi Rick,

Thanks for the input on the API...gotta try one.

Would you mind writing a bit more about your freq dependent compression technique?  What console are you using when you do this, how do you go about the patching, what compressors you use for which bands, etc.....
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J.J. Blair

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2005, 08:33:07 pm »

You wanted the best?  You got the best.  I have this in the Vac Rac unit, but Inward Connections makes these in a single rack now.  One of the best compressors you will ever own, and it just kills on the stereo buss.  

http://www.boutiqueaudio.com/pictures/TSL1-34.gif
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stevieeastend

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2005, 06:02:25 am »

Hi,


I can also second Rick on the 2500. In comparison to a SSL stereo bus it is tighter and faster/harder IMO. It is a cool unit, you can get an amazing punch and loudness without any pumping when used properly.

I also use a form of "split"- compression sometimes, but find it not that necessary though as I do not compress the mix too heavily anyway and find that if I adjusts the attack/release and ratio of the SSL stereo bus properly in respect of the tempo and character of the song, this will work more often than not. The "split" way may give the track also a little "split" character but maybe thats just me being paranoid Smile.

Maybe I should mention that I had my SSL bus compressors (I got one on each bus, A,B,C and the stereo, so all in all four SSL -style stereo compressor on each bus) modified by a german tech and it is working now VERY smooth. He moved the compressors to another place in the signal chain and got rid of a VCA, but don?t ask me how, I only ask for sound changes and he realizes it for me.

Back on topic.... If you got two or three buses you can easily split the material into two parts by sending them to different buses. Now you can compress these buses seperatly with the bus compressor and/or different compressor on the inserts of the busses. If the track is EQed very carefully (roll offs!!) this will work fine.The stereo bus will remain uncompressed. I found this useful on dance/electronic mixes.  

cheers
steveeastend

Brian Kehew

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2005, 06:37:54 am »

I just realized a point that ought to be made about the history of mixing. When mixes (pre-1985) were done, it had to be to tape. This added its own multiband compression and response - still, nothing drastic usually. But it sometimes "came back better" at that stage.
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nobby

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2005, 06:56:12 am »

slicraider wrote on Fri, 18 March 2005 17:52

I have been using some form of 2 buss compression for years but I always route things such that any bass frequencies are not hitting the same compressor as my mid and hi frequency info which gives me a much smoother vibe and helps maintain dynamics in my mix.

NYC


Okay, but is that really 2 bus compression or are you compressing seperate submixes/stems?


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