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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => j. hall => Topic started by: j.hall on May 15, 2008, 01:06:05 pm

Title: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on May 15, 2008, 01:06:05 pm
so, i'm re-thinking some of my "standards" and looking to play around a bit, see if something cooler won't present itself to me.

i have an SSL 384 buss compressor that sits on my stereo buss.

i hardly ever touch it.

i've always doen 4:1 ratio, the fastest release and the slowest attack

release is 100ms attack is 30ms

i'm typically compressing a mix between 1 to 3 dB

anyone have any buss comp settings that i should give a go at?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: NelsonL on May 15, 2008, 01:39:25 pm
Pretty much the same here only Tube Tech LCA 2B.

The best thing I've heard on my 2 buss is still tape--not so much for compression, but it does glue things together.

A lot of our clients can't or won't swing it though.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: rankus on May 15, 2008, 04:08:08 pm


I virtually never use 2 bus comp.

(Adding another perspective)


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Fig on May 15, 2008, 04:33:11 pm
rankus wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 15:08



I virtually never use 2 bus comp.

(Adding another perspective)





I never use a virtual two bus comp. Rolling Eyes

Back when I was trying to get my mixes as loud as others' masters we would use a variety of 2-bus comps (usually at like 2:1) - but not anymore.  Now I just use the control room monitor volume knob and let the program be dynamic.

J, 4:1 seems like a LOT to me on the 2-bus.  If you're seeing 1-3 dB of reduction, that's 4 - 12 dB of dynamic range you are sucking up.  'Course, it all depends on the material I guess - in your case(s) it might be just the thing.

I like to mix with nothing between my console's outputs and the converters.  I feel it makes me a better mixer, and that produces better mixes.  Works for me.

YMMV,

Fig


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on May 15, 2008, 04:39:51 pm
I've been utilizing about 2 db MAX at 2:1 lately.  It seems to keep my mixes more open.  This is a reduction from about 4 db MAX at 4:1.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on May 15, 2008, 05:16:10 pm
Fig wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 15:33

oom monitor volume knob and let the program be dynamic.

J, 4:1 seems like a LOT to me on the 2-bus.  If you're seeing 1-3 dB of reduction, that's 4 - 12 dB of dynamic range you are sucking up.  'Course, it all depends on the material I guess - in your case(s) it might be just the thing.




i only have 3 choices on the SSL.  2:1, 4:1, and 10:1

they all sound different (when you match the GR) and 4:1 sounds the best to me.  i like aggressive compression

10:1 actually sounds cool on certain stuff with the GR meter hardly moving.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Adam Miller on May 16, 2008, 04:09:48 am
Fig wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 21:33


J, 4:1 seems like a LOT to me on the 2-bus.  If you're seeing 1-3 dB of reduction, that's 4 - 12 dB of dynamic range you are sucking up.  



Eh? How does that work?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on May 16, 2008, 09:12:31 am
Adam Miller wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 03:09

Fig wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 21:33


J, 4:1 seems like a LOT to me on the 2-bus.  If you're seeing 1-3 dB of reduction, that's 4 - 12 dB of dynamic range you are sucking up.  



Eh? How does that work?



4 to 1

4 times 3dB of reduction = 12db of dynamics you're sucking up!
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: beau on May 16, 2008, 11:05:58 am
J-Texas wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 06:12

Adam Miller wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 03:09

Fig wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 21:33


J, 4:1 seems like a LOT to me on the 2-bus.  If you're seeing 1-3 dB of reduction, that's 4 - 12 dB of dynamic range you are sucking up.  



Eh? How does that work?



4 to 1

4 times 3dB of reduction = 12db of dynamics you're sucking up!


not really the case from what i understand.

A compressor reduces the gain (level) of an audio signal if its amplitude exceeds a threshold. The amount of gain reduction is determined by a ratio. For example, with a ratio of 4:1, when the (time averaged) input level is 4 dB over the threshold, the output signal level will be 1 dB over the threshold. The gain (level) has been reduced by 3 dB. When the input level is 8 dB above the threshold, the output level will be 2 dB; a 6 dB gain reduction.
A more specific example for a 4:1 ratio:
using a digital dbfs meter.

Threshold = ?10 dB
Input = ?6 dB (4 dB above the threshold)
Output = ?9 dB (1 dB above the threshold)

paece

beau
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: beau on May 16, 2008, 11:26:48 am
jay, do you find that the 4:1 sounds smoother than the 2:1 on your ssl comp? i am using the al smart c2 and prefer 2:1 for the same reason you prefer the 4:1 i love compression, and for some reason on the c2, the 2:1 sounds more aggressive than the 4:1  

usually medium attack straight up at 1 i believe, with fastest release.  1-3 db of compression is all i can handle on the 2 bus, before mastering guys get mad at me.

peace

beau
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Fig on May 16, 2008, 12:12:42 pm
beau wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 10:05



not really the case from what i understand.

A compressor reduces the gain (level) of an audio signal if its amplitude exceeds a threshold. The amount of gain reduction is determined by a ratio. For example, with a ratio of 4:1, when the (time averaged) input level is 4 dB over the threshold, the output signal level will be 1 dB over the threshold. The gain (level) has been reduced by 3 dB. When the input level is 8 dB above the threshold, the output level will be 2 dB; a 6 dB gain reduction.
A more specific example for a 4:1 ratio:
using a digital dbfs meter.

Threshold = ?10 dB
Input = ?6 dB (4 dB above the threshold)
Output = ?9 dB (1 dB above the threshold)

paece

beau


I'm sorry, I was just jumping to a conclusion with the simple math.

Perhaps I am generalizing and all devices actually behave differently, but the way I understand it -

when only concerned with above threshold signals at 4:1 ratio - when a 4 dB increase goes in, only a 1 dB increase comes out (not very noticable) - the GR meter reads 3 dB down.  So you gotta put in a whopping 12 dB increase to get a 3 dB increase out (a noticable increase) -- you're right though, that's only 9 dB of GR - and its NOT what J is doing, either.  But the implications are astounding to me.

Time constants and the actual program material can yield different results ( as can different compressors, even at the "same" settings).  That may sound really cool on some room mics or something, but it seems excessive for the whole mix, IMO.

The 4 dB input increase is sure to be noticed by the listener if left uncompressed (not a bad thing in my mind) - the resulting 1 dB increase in compressed output slips by relatively unnoticed.  To get a 3 dB increase at the output (again something noticable by the listener) the program has to increase by 12 dB!  I guess I'm just hoping that the majority of the mix is below threshold, and therefore behaving linearly.

Lately I have been going for "dynamically open" mixes (no bus comp) and truly enjoying the 6-10 dB of dynamic range from peaks versus average levels (the clients dig it too).

I understand why a lot of modern rock recordings strive for a dynamic range of 2 or 3 dB between peaks and average - but it bothers me sometimes when I know there is so much more there that is being "contained" by bus compression.

Don't get me wrong, I loves me some juicy comp - just not on the whole mix.

Different strokes, right?

Fig

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Podgorny on May 16, 2008, 12:50:16 pm
I think somebody misunderstands how the metering on their compressors works.

I GUARANTEE I'm not taking 48dB off of a guitar track when I'm compressing 12:1 on an 1176.

As far as your mix buss comp goes, I never move away from 4:1, but the attack varies between 10ms and 30ms, depending upon the music.  Release is usually is on auto, but once again, it depends upon the music.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Fig on May 16, 2008, 01:17:12 pm
Podgorny wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 11:50


I GUARANTEE I'm not taking 48dB off of a guitar track when I'm compressing 12:1 on an 1176.




Methinks you misread what I miswrote! Cool
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on May 16, 2008, 02:02:20 pm
beau wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 10:05

J-Texas wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 06:12

Adam Miller wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 03:09

Fig wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 21:33


J, 4:1 seems like a LOT to me on the 2-bus.  If you're seeing 1-3 dB of reduction, that's 4 - 12 dB of dynamic range you are sucking up.  



Eh? How does that work?



4 to 1

4 times 3dB of reduction = 12db of dynamics you're sucking up!


not really the case from what i understand.

A compressor reduces the gain (level) of an audio signal if its amplitude exceeds a threshold. The amount of gain reduction is determined by a ratio. For example, with a ratio of 4:1, when the (time averaged) input level is 4 dB over the threshold, the output signal level will be 1 dB over the threshold. The gain (level) has been reduced by 3 dB. When the input level is 8 dB above the threshold, the output level will be 2 dB; a 6 dB gain reduction.
A more specific example for a 4:1 ratio:
using a digital dbfs meter.

Threshold = ?10 dB
Input = ?6 dB (4 dB above the threshold)
Output = ?9 dB (1 dB above the threshold)

paece

beau


I know you can't figure this out with an equation like I wrote! That was the only thing that would equal twelve.

Geez, I go to lunch and look what happens!  Rolling Eyes


Here's some good poopoo reading: http://www.barryrudolph.com/mix/comp.html
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Adam Miller on May 17, 2008, 08:17:41 am
Not that I want to derail this topic, but if the gain reduction metering on Js mixbuss comp reads 1-3 dB, then he's reducing the dynamic range of his music by....

...take a wild guess. The metering ballistics of the SSL comp are another matter, but let's assume it gives a pretty accurate representation of what's going on.

There's not a whole load of parameters to mess about with on an SSL - try 3ms attack, 300ms release, 2:1 with 2-3dB reduction.  
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Electric Warrior on May 17, 2008, 08:26:01 am
Adam Miller wrote on Sat, 17 May 2008 14:17

Not that I want to derail this topic, but if the gain reduction metering on Js mixbuss comp reads 1-3 dB, then he's reducing the dynamic range of his music by....

...take a wild guess. The metering ballistics of the SSL comp are another matter, but let's assume it gives a pretty accurate representation of what's going on.



1-3 dB.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on May 18, 2008, 11:21:49 pm
beau wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 10:26

jay, do you find that the 4:1 sounds smoother than the 2:1 on your ssl comp? i am using the al smart c2 and prefer 2:1 for the same reason you prefer the 4:1 i love compression, and for some reason on the c2, the 2:1 sounds more aggressive than the 4:1  

usually medium attack straight up at 1 i believe, with fastest release.  1-3 db of compression is all i can handle on the 2 bus, before mastering guys get mad at me.

peace

beau



i'm not completely sure, but to my ears, 2:1 is softer.  not as aggressive, and i don't like it as much.

even when i get the same GR levels.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Jason Livermore on May 20, 2008, 09:08:03 pm
Andy Wallace set his at 4:1

attack 1 ms
auto release.

3-6 db of gain reduction

Works good for me too.

Got the Shadow Hills mastering comp  a month back, so I'm trying all kinds of new stuff!


Jason Livermore

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on May 21, 2008, 03:52:34 pm
i'd love to hear your thoughts on the shadow hill when you've gotten comfy with it.

doesn't take much to get 6dB of GR with the .1 attack time.  auto release with that attack probably works great.

slower attacks with auto release just doesn't do it for me.  feels really choked and small.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: duckhunter on May 23, 2008, 02:33:47 pm
The best advise I ever got regarding the so called 2 bus compression.  "Remember that the compressor is working even if the meter is not moving".
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on May 23, 2008, 09:29:06 pm
dguidry wrote on Fri, 23 May 2008 13:33

The best advise I ever got regarding the so called 2 bus compression.  "Remember that the compressor is working even if the meter is not moving".


care to explain?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on May 24, 2008, 04:18:45 pm
in the analog world, meter balistics are often slow, to show you the "average" not the entire peak.

different meters vary.....
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: duckhunter on May 27, 2008, 12:58:23 pm
grant richard wrote on Fri, 23 May 2008 20:29

dguidry wrote on Fri, 23 May 2008 13:33

The best advise I ever got regarding the so called 2 bus compression.  "Remember that the compressor is working even if the meter is not moving".


care to explain?

I don't use any outboard gear at all so my experience with with plug ins only, but the same principal should apply.

I use Smack as a stereo compressor after my eq.  I adjust the parameters as follows: ratio 2:1, warm, attack 9.9 (slowest is 10), release .10 (fastest is 0).  I adjust input to where the needle barely moves at the loudest point in the song then I back it off ever so slightly so that it never moves.  The needle indicates nothing is happening but your ears will hear the compressor working.

My mastering chain in Pro Tools 7.1 is:  Multimono dig eq7, multimono Smack, multimono Waves L-16, Benchmark DAC.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Daniel Farris on May 29, 2008, 11:56:19 am
J-Texas wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 06:12

4 to 1

4 times 3dB of reduction = 12db of dynamics you're sucking up!


License to use a compressor: Revoked.

DF
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on June 06, 2008, 01:42:48 pm
Daniel Farris wrote on Thu, 29 May 2008 10:56

J-Texas wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 06:12

4 to 1

4 times 3dB of reduction = 12db of dynamics you're sucking up!


License to use a compressor: Revoked.

DF




Laughing  ... but I really need to use one today!
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on June 06, 2008, 02:04:43 pm
J-Texas wrote on Fri, 06 June 2008 12:42




Laughing  ... but I really need to use one today!


sorry, the compressor police have spoken.


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: seedyunderbelly.com on June 06, 2008, 07:30:04 pm
Hpw is that Shadow hills?

I tried the Atomic Squeeze Box on two mix.  Nerha reccomended it.  I love it.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Jason Livermore on June 07, 2008, 09:27:44 pm
The Shadow Hills has replaced the SSL master comp in our 6000E.  The VCA section behaves much the same, but it is much clearer and bigger at the same time. The different trannies are cool also, but I mostly have been using Iron for mixing into.  The Iron setting doesn't work as well if you don't mix into it from the start, as it is darker and has more  tranny glue/slowness.  The side chain is useful also in letting the kick/bass not suck down the whole mix..  Opto only needs to be hit very very lightly, as it will do some serious transient reduction if hit more than 1-2db.  So far so good!


Jason



Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on June 07, 2008, 09:29:48 pm
cool.

thanks for update.  i've wanted to play around with one of those for a while.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: mixwell on June 24, 2008, 11:06:45 am
The InnerTube ASB is amazing....

That is all I can say...
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on July 22, 2008, 08:42:18 pm
I'll say that the pumping in Free's "All Right Now" is an almost perfect fine line that you would want to hit on a hard rockin' tune! Man that thing slams.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Devin Knutson on July 23, 2008, 12:06:19 am
J-Texas wrote on Tue, 22 July 2008 17:42

I'll say that the pumping in Free's "All Right Now" is an almost perfect fine line that you would want to hit on a hard rockin' tune! Man that thing slams.


When the context is "compression", the words "pumping" and "perfect" should never, ever be seen in the same sentence.

Ever.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Patrik T on July 23, 2008, 12:37:48 am
j.hall wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 19:06

i've always doen 4:1 ratio, the fastest release and the slowest attack

release is 100ms attack is 30ms

i'm typically compressing a mix between 1 to 3 dB


I have never come across two things that are equally optimal with the same ratio, attack and release. At least not in a repetitive manner like this.

Quote:

anyone have any buss comp settings that i should give a go at?


None apart from on or off. The rest of the controls are very song-dependant.


Best Regards
Patrik
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Greg Thompson on July 23, 2008, 07:41:59 am
Devin Knutson wrote on Wed, 23 July 2008 05:06

J-Texas wrote on Tue, 22 July 2008 17:42

I'll say that the pumping in Free's "All Right Now" is an almost perfect fine line that you would want to hit on a hard rockin' tune! Man that thing slams.


When the context is "compression", the words "pumping" and "perfect" should never, ever be seen in the same sentence.

Ever.



says who?
One man's trash is another man's treasure
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on July 23, 2008, 08:51:12 am
i can't recall the last rock mix i've heard that hasn't been pumping to some degree or another.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Devin Knutson on July 23, 2008, 12:31:29 pm
Well, each to their own, and all that I suppose.

I can't recall the last recent rock mix I heard that didn't sound like complete and utter ass.

Even As Tall As Lions, which is my current favorite of the crop...  I can't listen to it all the way through.  It hurts.

A while back, my son bought American Idiot from iTunes, and deleted it from his player two days later.  He said he really liked the song, but it didn't sound very good at all, and he couldn't listen to it any more.  He's 11.

I guess I just don't get it.  I don't understand how folks can go around with straight faces saying "I keep making uber-modern, super squashed, distorted and pumpy records like everyone else...  why won't anyone buy them?"

Also... yes, I do realize that I'm being something of a crotchety old fart here, but c'mon.  There's a reason that your neighbor's kids are still listening to Led Zeppelin, and it ain't JUST the songs.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on July 23, 2008, 01:41:58 pm
Quote:

There's a reason that your neighbor's kids are still listening to Led Zeppelin, and it ain't JUST the songs.


As a young fart, i can say that I love some Zeppelin tunes.

I just have to turn it off after about 10 min because I don't like how it sounds.

TO EACH HIS OOOOWWWWWN.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on July 23, 2008, 01:58:30 pm
Hey, there are some great Zep tunes that have a little squash and pump. It's POWER.

I don't see anything wrong with just the right amount of balls for power (which is what I hear in the song I mentioned).

Devin, what you describe is lifeless, brickwall crap and I agree with that. Not at all what I was talking about you old fart.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: MGA on July 23, 2008, 03:32:24 pm
J-Texas wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 13:02

beau wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 10:05

J-Texas wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 06:12

Adam Miller wrote on Fri, 16 May 2008 03:09

Fig wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 21:33


J, 4:1 seems like a LOT to me on the 2-bus.  If you're seeing 1-3 dB of reduction, that's 4 - 12 dB of dynamic range you are sucking up.  



Eh? How does that work?



4 to 1

4 times 3dB of reduction = 12db of dynamics you're sucking up!


not really the case from what i understand.

A compressor reduces the gain (level) of an audio signal if its amplitude exceeds a threshold. The amount of gain reduction is determined by a ratio. For example, with a ratio of 4:1, when the (time averaged) input level is 4 dB over the threshold, the output signal level will be 1 dB over the threshold. The gain (level) has been reduced by 3 dB. When the input level is 8 dB above the threshold, the output level will be 2 dB; a 6 dB gain reduction.
A more specific example for a 4:1 ratio:
using a digital dbfs meter.

Threshold = ?10 dB
Input = ?6 dB (4 dB above the threshold)
Output = ?9 dB (1 dB above the threshold)

paece

beau


I know you can't figure this out with an equation like I wrote! That was the only thing that would equal twelve.




Sure you can calculate the gain reduction with an equation.

The ratio defines HOW MUCH the signal gets compressed (once it is over the threshold).

The gain reduction just tells how much gain is reduced, nothing more, no more calculation nothing. 3dB gain reduction = 3dB less dynamics, simple as that (note this doesn't take into acount the attack and release so the overall dynamic reduction might be much lower due to the attack still letting spikes thru etc., but the instantious dynamic reduction at the time the meter reads a value is exactly that value and nothing else (this is highly dependent on the accuracy and lag time of the meter though)).

So to comeback to that formula thing:
in: is your input signal, in dB
out: output, in dB
thresh: threshold, in dB
ratio: ratio, given as a ratio like x:1 = x
gr: gain reduction, in dB

so let's see, let's say in will go above the thresh, then you'll get: (THIS IS JUST THE OUT(t) = F(IN(t)) FUNCTION, attack and release come in to play on how fast the compressor will reach the desired output level)

thresh + (in-thresh)/ratio = out

with this gr can be calculated as follows:

gr = in - out

so an example in = -6dBFS, thresh = -10dBFS, ratio = 4:1 = 4
(calc with units omitted)
(-10) + ( (-6) - (-10) ) / 4 = (-10) + (4)/4 = -9

gr = -6 - (-9) = 3 dBFS


This is how ratio on a compressor works anyway ... for any further information refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_level_compression

Hopefully you'll understand the concept of a compressor after reading this and can finally get license to use a compressor back.

Sorry for this long technical post but I just couldn't not post Smile.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on July 23, 2008, 03:35:38 pm
Is this a joke? (because mine was)

edit for clarification - "I know you can't figure this out with an equation like I wrote! That was the only thing that would equal twelve."
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on July 24, 2008, 11:52:33 am
i strongly urge you to listen to the new seether record and tell me it sounds like crap.

if you think so, then fine.  but that record is so brilliantly recorded and mixed it's sick!

no pumping on zep records.......HAHAHAHAHAHA  that's the funniest thing i've ever read!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Chris Ilett on July 24, 2008, 01:31:36 pm
(+) sum(*)times rules = made to be broken

divided by

Listen and play until it sounds good.

= make it rock like a beast.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on July 24, 2008, 01:57:16 pm
MGAudio wrote on Wed, 23 July 2008 14:32



Sure you can calculate the gain reduction with an equation.




how about a vari-mu comp?

i'd like to see that math.

and actually, let's make a bit harder.  tell me the ratio.  i have a meter that tells me GR.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: MGA on July 25, 2008, 09:15:26 am
J-Texas wrote on Wed, 23 July 2008 14:35

Is this a joke? (because mine was)



Sorry if it was, but in that case I guess your license to make jokes should be revoked, since obviously no one got your joke  Confused .
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: MGA on July 25, 2008, 09:33:32 am
j.hall wrote on Thu, 24 July 2008 12:57


how about a vari-mu comp?

i'd like to see that math.

and actually, let's make a bit harder.  tell me the ratio.  i have a meter that tells me GR.


Sorry I have to pass on that one since the vari-mu is all tubes (right?), and tube math isn't very well explored since everyone switched to transitors, so there was no reason to futher study tubes.
In the vari-mu case it is even more complicated since (as far as I heard) it uses dynamical re-biasing of the tubes to achieve compression and it has a very very wide knee (in limiting mode) which makes it more unpredictable, especially if the tube math is unknown.
I was born long after tubes were popular, so I'm happy I even know what a tube is (so that's why the above might not be correct Razz).
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on July 25, 2008, 01:08:51 pm
the vari-mu is not tube only.  however, it is variable ratio past threshold.  the ratio increases the higher you go above threshold.


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: YZ on July 25, 2008, 01:15:14 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 24 July 2008 14:57

MGAudio wrote on Wed, 23 July 2008 14:32



Sure you can calculate the gain reduction with an equation.




how about a vari-mu comp?

i'd like to see that math.

and actually, let's make a bit harder.  tell me the ratio.  i have a meter that tells me GR.



It is not actually hard, today we have the computing power to do that in real-time at a reasonable cost.

But IMHO it would have little practical use, since you cannot set neither the ratio nor the knee.

Much easier to do in a plug-in than in hardware, but it would cost processing power in a plug.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on July 25, 2008, 03:23:15 pm
YZ wrote on Fri, 25 July 2008 12:15



But IMHO it would have little practical use, since you cannot set neither the ratio nor the knee.






that was kinda my point.....

none of this math is very relevant.  if it sounds good, who really cares how much GR is happening.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: NelsonL on July 25, 2008, 03:41:01 pm
I'm typically more worried about income reduction-- this can can be related to improper gain reduction.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: loudsongsinc on July 26, 2008, 10:00:56 am
j.hall wrote on Thu, 24 July 2008 10:52

listen to the new seether record and tell me it sounds like crap



The sound on that album is wonderful.  Everything is very well recorded and mixed.  The guitars sound great as well as the bottom end.  

There seems to be a stereo field treatment of some kind happening with many of the rhythm guitars and some of the backing vox.  It makes them sound WIDE.  Anybody know what's going on in there?  Is  one side shifted in time?  Listen to Like Suicide when the Rhythm Gtrs come in and it gets heavy.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on July 26, 2008, 11:13:45 am
i only have "fake it" and "fallen"  the guitars are super wide on "fallen" but i hear that as just hard panned.

it doesn't cancel much in mono.  does the song you're talking about have a lot of mono cancellations?


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: bblackwood on July 26, 2008, 11:53:24 am
Probably just doubled.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: loudsongsinc on July 26, 2008, 09:56:48 pm
There's really no mono cancelling to speak of, it doesn't comb filter like a panned mult shifted would.

There's something more than doubling or panning going on. . . I think?

On "Fallen" it's just hard panning.  Sounds like a real tight doubletrack panned L/R.

Check out "Fake It" at 0:15 when it comes out of lofi and the crunchy gtrs come in.

The gtr player(s) is/are tight.  REAL Tight, SUPER tight, the rhythm is spot on.  But isn't the left channel a few miliseconds earlier than the right?  And in the palm muted part staring at 0:46 the right channel seems to lead the left.  Again, the gtr doubles are played TIGHT!

Awesome album.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: marcel on July 27, 2008, 02:19:58 am
loudsongsinc wrote on Sat, 26 July 2008 18:56

The gtr player(s) is/are tight.  REAL Tight, SUPER tight, the rhythm is spot on.

Shuffled in Protools tight, I bet...
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: rankus on July 27, 2008, 02:11:18 pm


Perhaps re-amped and panned?  I dunno, I haven't heard the track, but have in the past used several re-amped tracks panned out to make some pretty huge ultra tight "doubles"

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on July 29, 2008, 02:20:51 pm
loudsongsinc wrote on Sat, 26 July 2008 20:56

There's really no mono cancelling to speak of, it doesn't comb filter like a panned mult shifted would.

There's something more than doubling or panning going on. . . I think?

On "Fallen" it's just hard panning.  Sounds like a real tight doubletrack panned L/R.

Check out "Fake It" at 0:15 when it comes out of lofi and the crunchy gtrs come in.

The gtr player(s) is/are tight.  REAL Tight, SUPER tight, the rhythm is spot on.  But isn't the left channel a few miliseconds earlier than the right?  And in the palm muted part staring at 0:46 the right channel seems to lead the left.  Again, the gtr doubles are played TIGHT!

Awesome album.



i know the some mixers use very mild stereo imaging effects on guitars.  i haven't a clue about CLA's practices.  i know his mixes are generally spot on, are aggressive, and his top to bottom balances are rarely anything shy of perfect.  other then that, i know VERY little about his work flow.

to my ears, fake it and fallen don't have anything going on that i'd call "tricky", or "fancy"  it's just a rock band, being a rock band, mixed incredibly well.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Colorblind on August 08, 2008, 11:38:29 am
I thought this was an indie rock forum?  Are seether really indie rock?  Am I at the wrong meeting?   I'm sure the record sounds great, but I'll never be able to listen to it due to the horrible songwriting on any single they've ever pooped out.

C
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: bblackwood on August 08, 2008, 12:03:40 pm
Colorblind wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 10:38

I thought this was an indie rock forum?  Are seether really indie rock?  Am I at the wrong meeting?   I'm sure the record sounds great, but I'll never be able to listen to it due to the horrible songwriting on any single they've ever pooped out.

So you're unable to learn tips and techniques from other styles or genres of music?

That's too bad.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on August 08, 2008, 01:09:03 pm
Colorblind wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 10:38

I thought this was an indie rock forum?  Are seether really indie rock?  Am I at the wrong meeting?   I'm sure the record sounds great, but I'll never be able to listen to it due to the horrible songwriting on any single they've ever pooped out.

C


I'm not a fan of them either.

But their records sound HUUUUUGE.  

Call me crazy and all, but I listen to Nickelback for the same reason.  I don't like their music, yet a lot can be learned from the way their records sound.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Podgorny on August 08, 2008, 03:58:34 pm
Come on, Grant.
You listen to nickelback because you like the lead singer's hair.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on August 08, 2008, 05:53:44 pm
bblackwood wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 11:03

Colorblind wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 10:38

I thought this was an indie rock forum?  Are seether really indie rock?  Am I at the wrong meeting?   I'm sure the record sounds great, but I'll never be able to listen to it due to the horrible songwriting on any single they've ever pooped out.

So you're unable to learn tips and techniques from other styles or genres of music?

That's too bad.


his screen name is "color blind" and it's his first and only post.........  the subject matter of the post makes perfect sense...................

how bout shudder to think's pony express record?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on August 08, 2008, 10:05:44 pm
Podgorny wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 14:58

Come on, Grant.
You listen to nickelback because you like the lead singer's hair.


ya got me.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Colorblind on August 11, 2008, 01:13:29 pm
sorry, I didn't get that last post.  Yes, PER is great. do I know you?
Smile


j.hall wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 16:53

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 11:03

Colorblind wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 10:38

I thought this was an indie rock forum?  Are seether really indie rock?  Am I at the wrong meeting?   I'm sure the record sounds great, but I'll never be able to listen to it due to the horrible songwriting on any single they've ever pooped out.

So you're unable to learn tips and techniques from other styles or genres of music?

That's too bad.


his screen name is "color blind" and it's his first and only post.........  the subject matter of the post makes perfect sense...................

how bout shudder to think's pony express record?

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on August 11, 2008, 04:37:58 pm
Colorblind wrote on Mon, 11 August 2008 12:13

do I know you?




i doubt it......
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: marcel on August 11, 2008, 05:30:26 pm
Podgorny wrote on Fri, 08 August 2008 12:58

Come on, Grant.
You listen to nickelback because you like the lead singer's hair.

Like the rest of you, I'd love to hate those guys because of everything their music stands for.

The problem is this:  They're very friendly, unassuming people, with a totally workman-like attitude to what they do, and no illusions about what it is.

Still doesn't mean I buy their records, just saying...

It could happen to you.

LOL
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: rankus on August 11, 2008, 07:53:05 pm


Very true.  The few times I have had pleasure to meet (and do a little work for) them they were very cool, very friendly, and very grounded.  Nice "normal" guys all around.

If I'm ever bashing... it's the editing that I'm not too fond of.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: IntenseJim on September 28, 2008, 11:12:20 am
I know there no rules but do you find most mastering engineers like or dislike when you compress the stereo mix? Or it just varies.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on September 29, 2008, 10:49:45 am
i haven't worked with an ME yet who was unhappy about my buss compression.  or better yet, no one has said anything about it.


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: IntenseJim on September 29, 2008, 08:02:05 pm
Thanks. BTW, I don't think I conveyed that I was addressing the collective 'you' that views this thread and certainly did mean to imply anything negative about your skills or work.  

(I think another recording forum has me being extra polite or tippy toeing around).

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on September 29, 2008, 09:19:24 pm
i assumed it was the "universal you", i was just chiming in with my personal answer.


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: eightyeightkeys on October 29, 2008, 08:13:18 pm
Generally, I've worked without buss compressors, but, I just tried the UAD Neve33609 and this plug may have just changed my mind.

I did a couple of mixes and there are a couple of observations :
Kick and bass tightened right up. Solid. Beefy. (I think next time I'll mix with the Neve33609 already inserted instead of applying it after) Beautifully warm overall. I like the limiter section quite a bit. You get a real nice firm ceiling without any ducking or pumping.

The other important thing I noticed is that things didn't fall apart. The mix was still very dimensional. Front to back was still pretty much front to back and reverb tails still sounded very natural. Not the "in-yer-face" flattened shite that I detest so much.

A big thumbs up on this plug.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on October 29, 2008, 09:29:48 pm
+1.  That compressor plugin is unreal.

I agree with you completely.  Warm, tight, beefy.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Ryan Slowey on October 30, 2008, 11:55:55 am
I've been using the Massey CT4 plugin lately and am liking it.

At very subtle settings (1 - 3 db of reduction at most) it definately tightens things up, while remaining transparent.

It seems to add a subtle extra something to the midrange that I like.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: T. Mueller on October 30, 2008, 12:18:17 pm
Quote:

I've been using the Massey CT4 plugin lately and am liking it.


+1
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: strewnshank on November 19, 2008, 08:36:52 am
I'm a big fan of Buss compression, but I run it in parallel (kind of) as I use a Safesound Dynamics Toolbox that has a "blend" knob on it. So I overcompress it first, then blend it back to where it sounds good. I'm a fan, but I overdid it the first time I used it and got a wrist slap from the ME. I've also used, and enjoyed, distressors on the 2buss.


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on November 19, 2008, 08:43:28 pm
J-Texas wrote on Tue, 22 July 2008 19:42

I'll say that the pumping in Free's "All Right Now" is an almost perfect fine line that you would want to hit on a hard rockin' tune! Man that thing slams.





I found out that the version I like so much is the single (radio version) not the album version.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: stevieeastend on November 28, 2008, 02:07:29 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 15 May 2008 19:06

so, i'm re-thinking some of my "standards" and looking to play around a bit, see if something cooler won't present itself to me.

i have an SSL 384 buss compressor that sits on my stereo buss.

i hardly ever touch it.

i've always doen 4:1 ratio, the fastest release and the slowest attack

release is 100ms attack is 30ms

i'm typically compressing a mix between 1 to 3 dB

anyone have any buss comp settings that i should give a go at?


I ALWAYS adjust attack, release to the tempo and threshold to the character of the song.

I agree that 4:1 makes a cool thing to the mix. Some would say THE thing but usually, if mixing on a large format console, a mix would do without as well.

To be honest, if times would be different I wouldn´t use it at all and give the mastering engineer more room to work but it´s almost impossible to give a mix to bands/managers etc. without stereo bus compressor. Everybody is used to this artificial radio sound...
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: mcsnare on November 30, 2008, 04:17:48 pm
I don't think it's a great idea to give an M.E. an uncompressed mix with the intention of him/her compressing it. If you think the concept of bus compression is valid, you should do it on your own. Even a very small amount of compression will change the relationship of the mix elements. If you put it on early in the mix process you can get the glue, density, smack, whatever you call it, and adjust levels within the mix to be what you want them to be. If you get perfect levels and then add compression as a separate process, it can easily change things for the worse. If you end up getting the exact mix you want without compression, the M.E. should be instructed as such. Then the M.E. can use their judgement about how best to preserve the quality of the mix that is a result of using no bus compression. I have one client every now and then that will tell me, they have not mixed with stereo compression, but they want to leave that up to me. It usually works out OK, but I always have a sense of trodding on ground that wasn't meant to be disturbed in the way that usually happens. If you are new to compression, have your M.E. give a quick listen prior to mastering and give a little advice about what they hear happening, and possible ways to achieve a better result.

Dave
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: stevieeastend on December 01, 2008, 06:17:19 am
Hi Dave,

I am definitely not new to compressing a stereo mix, as matter of fact I am doing it for years now.  
Maybe I was not making things clear though...

When I started I always compressed 2:1 using the bus compression. Only slightly used, just to give it this "glue" and a little colour.
Now I compress 4:1, really heavy to make clients, A&Rs and managers happy.
...I wasn´t aware that mastering engineers nowadays are also happier with heavy compressed stuff?

I think that an experienced mastering engineer still got a lot more tools and knowledge on giving a mix THE rockin thing... I had very good experiences giving away (almost) uncompressed mixes to Stephen Marcussen, Louie Teran and Joe Yannece... f.e....
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 01, 2008, 02:15:50 pm
any ME that asks me to take off my buss compression and re-submit mixes is an ME that just got fired.


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Adam Miller on December 01, 2008, 02:34:25 pm
j.hall wrote on Mon, 01 December 2008 19:15

any ME that asks me to take off my buss compression and re-submit mixes is an ME that just got fired.




What if it was Bob Ludwig, and taking the compression off made it better?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Podgorny on December 01, 2008, 04:32:30 pm
What if God made a rock he couldn't pick up?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Jonah A. Kort on December 01, 2008, 05:25:15 pm
My band has recorded with J. hall a few times and he has mixed a

good chunk of songs for us.  I can honestly tell you I'd fire the

ME if they wanted the buss compression to come off, even if it was

Bob Ludwig.  All the songs J. has mixed for my band SLAY, I believe  

buss compression is big part of that sound.  It's like a engineer  

telling drummer not to hit hard because his microphones and gear

are sensitive, dude would get fired.  


Did that make any sense?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on December 01, 2008, 06:05:06 pm
Yes Jonah, I agree.  Last week, I had an ME ask for no buss compression before he heard the mixes.

There were no complaints upon delivery...


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Adam Miller on December 01, 2008, 08:19:01 pm
Jonah A. Kort wrote on Mon, 01 December 2008 22:25

My band has recorded with J. hall a few times and he has mixed a

good chunk of songs for us.  I can honestly tell you I'd fire the

ME if they wanted the buss compression to come off, even if it was

Bob Ludwig.  All the songs J. has mixed for my band SLAY, I believe  

buss compression is big part of that sound.  It's like a engineer  

telling drummer not to hit hard because his microphones and gear

are sensitive, dude would get fired.  


Did that make any sense?


Absolutely, and I don't want to cast aspersions on anyone's mixing abilities. But I don't see any point in being dogmatic for the sake of it- if a hugely experienced engineer (be it recording, mixing, mastering, whatever) recommended I do something based on what they had heard of my work- then I'd seriously consider doing it. I'd be open to the advice of any highly experienced pro, at any stage in the record making process- IF they offered it on the basis of what they heard in my work, rather than as part of some 'preset' way of working.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: iCombs on December 02, 2008, 11:29:49 am
Adam Miller wrote on Mon, 01 December 2008 13:34

j.hall wrote on Mon, 01 December 2008 19:15

any ME that asks me to take off my buss compression and re-submit mixes is an ME that just got fired.




What if it was Bob Ludwig, and taking the compression off made it better?


Shouldn't matter who it is.  I'd tell anyone to get bent if the suggestion was detrimental to the project from my perspective (which isn't to say I wouldn't listen to their input).  The ONLY thing that matters is whether or not the product leaves mastering in better shape than it showed up.  If a little less smashy-smashy made it sound better, I'd be good with that.

I can't speak for j., but by listening to his mixes I can tell you that the way he uses buss compression is a big part of his mix style, and to ask for him to change that would probably be asking for a near total remix.  I could be wrong on this, but it just seems that way from where I sit.

I, being a bit more of a rook than j. and some of the others here, tend to print mixes with and without buss compression, though I'm really learning how to hear/use that 2 Buss comp and may be rapidly approaching the day where I just print my mixes with buss comp and to hell with the ME, that's how I want it to sound...not just yet...but perhaps in another few projects.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: stevieeastend on December 02, 2008, 02:15:36 pm
It´s not the point taking away the bus compression if it´s desired by the mixer, producer and band.

The point is that I wasn´t aware of the fact that stereo bus compression on a mix should be the better option for the mastering engineer IN GENERAL.

To me it really depends on the music and style, tempo of the song.

If you´re mixing mainly independent rock music, no matter what tempo, I can see the benefit of bus compression there.

I only wanted to point out though that I cannot agree on the fact that a given ratio, release and attack should be working for ALL kind of music.

cheers
St
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Greg Thompson on December 02, 2008, 07:59:40 pm
for what it's worth,  I was mastering a project for a friend a few months back.
He had printed the mixes with a large amount of compression plus brickwall limiting.
I was unable to add brightness without harshness, and unable to attain any additional loudness without introducing more gain reduction artifacts.

I had him remove the brickwall limiting and resend the mixes and then I ran it through my mastering chain and put my brickwall limiting on at the end.

I managed to bring out more top end shine and gain a few dB of loudness.

And he didn't fire me for asking for a less compressed mix.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Podgorny on December 02, 2008, 10:57:36 pm
No one is debating whether you should deliver limited mixes to the mastering engineer; you shouldn't.

But we're not talking about limiting.  We're talking about bus compression.
It's not about loudness, it's about a sound. And I don't want the mastering engineer to get my sounds for me, thanks.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on December 03, 2008, 12:05:32 am
Podgorny wrote on Tue, 02 December 2008 21:57

No one is debating whether you should deliver limited mixes to the mastering engineer; you shouldn't.

But we're not talking about limiting.  We're talking about bus compression.
It's not about loudness, it's about a sound. And I don't want the mastering engineer to get my sounds for me, thanks.



Very well put.

You should give a ME plenty of headroom to make the mixes loud.  That's his job.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Tricklecharge on December 03, 2008, 02:20:15 am
grant richard wrote on Tue, 02 December 2008 23:05

You should give a ME plenty of headroom to make the mixes loud.  That's his job.


How much headroom on a db scale?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: iCombs on December 03, 2008, 02:33:46 am
Depends on the ME...but if your mix peaks at -10 to -6 dBFS, you should be okay...-12 is probably preferable.  If you're working in 24 bit, you still get better resolution at -12 than full bits at 16...so erring on the side of a little more headroom is probably good policy within good standards of judgment.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Podgorny on December 03, 2008, 03:02:57 am
Tricklecharge wrote on Wed, 03 December 2008 01:20

How much headroom on a db scale?




It doesn't work that way.  There is no "correct" amount of headroom, as the dynamic range of any given mix is dictated by the recorded tracks.
What might be right for my solo "Bach Rocks.. On the Lute!" record may not be right for your next instrumental square-wave-synth-pop-masterpiece.  And besides that, there can be no benefit to gain-changing the final mix after the fact just to conform to some standard that you read on an internet forum.


If you're delivering your mixes to be mastered..

a. Don't clip the inputs to your master recorder (or Pro Tools' outs).
b. Don't add any processing to the "to be mastered" mixes for the sake of making them loud.


It isn't the mastering engineer's job to try to turn your mix disaster into something amazing, and to be honest, they really can't.  Get the sounds you want when you mix, and let the ME assemble your mixes into a cohesive work.  If the ME wants more control over your mixes (requesting stems, etc.), ask them what they dislike and readdress any problems on your end.  Otherwise, you'll end up with their interpretation of the mix, and more importantly, you won't learn how to improve your work.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: grantis on December 03, 2008, 08:27:11 am
I usually print mixes to have their loudest point at -10 db...ish.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 04, 2008, 02:36:50 pm
Adam Miller wrote on Mon, 01 December 2008 13:34

j.hall wrote on Mon, 01 December 2008 19:15

any ME that asks me to take off my buss compression and re-submit mixes is an ME that just got fired.




What if it was Bob Ludwig, and taking the compression off made it better?


i've never worked with bob, but i'd imagine (based on his discography) that he'd say very little about appropriate buss compression.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 04, 2008, 02:52:59 pm
iCombs wrote on Tue, 02 December 2008 10:29



I can't speak for j., but by listening to his mixes I can tell you that the way he uses buss compression is a big part of his mix style, and to ask for him to change that would probably be asking for a near total remix.  I could be wrong on this, but it just seems that way from where I sit.



i can speak for J.

yes, buss compression is a portion of my over "style" or "Vibe", whatever.

i'm by no means heavily compressing the buss. (i average around 2.5dB peaking out around 4, which is rare)  i certainly compress heavily other elements

taking off my buss comp would indeed be a giant pain in the balls.  not only does the SSL buss comp have a tonal character, but as any good compressor does, it's part of my balances.

Quote:


I, being a bit more of a rook than j. and some of the others here, tend to print mixes with and without buss compression, though I'm really learning how to hear/use that 2 Buss comp and may be rapidly approaching the day where I just print my mixes with buss comp and to hell with the ME, that's how I want it to sound...not just yet...but perhaps in another few projects.


first off, 2buss compression only really works if you mix *into* it.  it HAS to be on the stereo buss before you even push up the first fader.  you HAVE to build your mix through the comp the entire way.  if you do this, taking it off *should* leave you not liking your mix.

i mixed without buss compression for a LONG time.  i never really understood using one properly until i was taught how to.  previous to using buss compression my masters would always come back different.  balances would be off, things weren't where i put them.

since i've been using buss compression that simply doesn't happen anymore.

masters come back louder and tonally balanced (if i missed something, which is typically the case)

i've also learned that your kick and snare need to be the tiniest bit too hot.  cranking up a master will knock those transients back down just a touch.

sometimes i nail it, sometimes i miss, hey i'm human!
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: breathe on December 04, 2008, 09:57:12 pm
I've only read the first page of this thread but I thought I'd lend my thoughts on the subject.

I  have the Drawmer 1968ME which I like, and take off WAY more than 3db off the mix with this, plus on a lot of stuff I like to overload the tubes.  I think both I and the client basically want to have what's coming out of the monitors be as close to the mastered record as possible.  Bus compression makes that possible.  Also, I've found that the balances in a mix change RADICALLY when compressing a mix in mastering to bring it to a commercial level.  If I can make a compressed mix that I like then the mastering engineer's work is not likely to surprise me.

Nicholas
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: mcsnare on December 05, 2008, 12:25:28 am
Leaving headroom is a total non issue for me with regards to mastering. As long as your stereo buss doesn't have any overs, any level is fine. If you have plugins on the stereo buss inserts just make sure you are not hitting them too hard, cause most don't sound good with lots of level. I routinely get mixes from A list mixers that sound amazing and peak at -.1 dbfs. The mix doesn't have to be that loud to sound good, but if proper attention has been paid to gain staging in the stereo bus inserts, and nothing is clipping, I don't think it matters.

Dave
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Tomas Danko on December 05, 2008, 06:30:10 am
mcsnare wrote on Fri, 05 December 2008 05:25

Leaving headroom is a total non issue for me with regards to mastering. As long as your stereo buss doesn't have any overs, any level is fine. If you have plugins on the stereo buss inserts just make sure you are not hitting them too hard, cause most don't sound good with lots of level. I routinely get mixes from A list mixers that sound amazing and peak at -.1 dbfs. The mix doesn't have to be that loud to sound good, but if proper attention has been paid to gain staging in the stereo bus inserts, and nothing is clipping, I don't think it matters.

Dave


My mastering engineer will normalize the audio files to full scale regardless, then send it through his Pacific DAC into an analog chain before recapturing it back into the digital domain. But I still deliver mixes peaking at -6 dBfs down to 12 dBfs eventhough in this particular case it's not needed.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: rankus on December 05, 2008, 06:40:37 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 04 December 2008 11:52

 2buss compression only really works if you mix *into* it.  it HAS to be on the stereo buss before you even push up the first fader.  you HAVE to build your mix through the comp the entire way.  if you do this, taking it off *should* leave you not liking your mix.


Hey J,  I'm curious as to your workflow here.  Do you start with all faders up... or do you introduce one track at a time and re-adjust your threshold on an ongoing basis?

j.hall wrote on Thu, 04 December 2008 11:52


previous to using buss compression my masters would always come back different.  balances would be off, things weren't where i put them.



Best argument I have heard.  You may have just converted me!

Cheers Rick

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Tricklecharge on December 06, 2008, 03:38:09 am
This may be off topic, but under project setup in Cubase, there's a place to select "Stereo Pan Law/Low".  
Selections are -6dB, -3dB, 0dB.

Can anyone shed light as to what this is?
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: NelsonL on December 06, 2008, 06:30:29 am
Tricklecharge wrote on Sat, 06 December 2008 00:38

This may be off topic, but under project setup in Cubase, there's a place to select "Stereo Pan Law/Low".  
Selections are -6dB, -3dB, 0dB.

Can anyone shed light as to what this is?


http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/245762/898/?src h=pan+law#msg_245762

There are a few other threads too if you want to go deeper.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: T. Mueller on December 08, 2008, 09:37:34 am
mcsnare wrote on Thu, 04 December 2008 23:25

Leaving headroom is a total non issue for me with regards to mastering. As long as your stereo buss doesn't have any overs, any level is fine. If you have plugins on the stereo buss inserts just make sure you are not hitting them too hard, cause most don't sound good with lots of level. I routinely get mixes from A list mixers that sound amazing and peak at -.1 dbfs. The mix doesn't have to be that loud to sound good, but if proper attention has been paid to gain staging in the stereo bus inserts, and nothing is clipping, I don't think it matters.

Dave


+1.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 08, 2008, 10:56:32 am
rankus wrote on Fri, 05 December 2008 17:40



Hey J,  I'm curious as to your workflow here.  Do you start with all faders up... or do you introduce one track at a time and re-adjust your threshold on an ongoing basis?



i pull everything down and start fresh (unless i tracked the record)

i have 3 setups for my ssl that i really like, though it's rare that i change it from my main setup (setup being ratio, attack and release)

i was taught to just continuously adjust your threshold as the mix develops.

to be totally honest, i've been mixing in this room, with *this* calibration for so long, i hardly ever touch the ssl anymore.  if i'm hitting it to hard i'll just grab me "all" group in PT and back it off a few db.  i don't really recommend that in the beginning stages of using buss compression.

honestly, i started not touching it cause i'm lazy and got sick of taking all my recall notes across multiple projects that are in various stages of completion at any one time.


Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on December 08, 2008, 11:23:44 am
I don't understand how you can leave the release the same, J.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: T. Mueller on December 08, 2008, 11:32:38 am
J-Texas wrote on Mon, 08 December 2008 10:23

I don't understand how you can leave the release the same, J.




How?  Simple.  He just doesn't touch them.  (Kidding.)

In all seriousness, I don't really understand how the mixes end up as consistently good as they do without adjusting the release, either, but my guess it's from the fact that he's got enough experience making the output sonically/dynamically similar from mix to mix.  What REALLY doesn't make sense to me is that each mix has enough character to distinguish itself from others that he does.

They sound pretty effing good.  

+1, Mr. Hall.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on December 08, 2008, 11:58:00 am
The only thing that I can figure on this, is that the mix isn't hitting the SSL hard enough to really make a difference on the release. Maybe? I mean, J. has said that he does most of his compression individually. If the buss compressor is just used primarily to "pack it in" nicely together and reign in the transients, then it really wouldn't matter the release. Am I off here?

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: T. Mueller on December 08, 2008, 01:49:43 pm
Quote:



my guess it's from the fact that he's got enough experience making the output sonically/dynamically similar from mix to mix


Your summary is pretty much what I meant my quote above.  J Hall will probably correct me, but I think he's mixing individual tracks in a way that tames the majority of transients enough so that the SSL isn't slammed.  The mixes I've gotten from J. Hall are definitely not hyper-compressed/limited.  Maybe more than for my taste, but certainly excellent.

I'd be interested to see the meters on the SSL during a session, definitely, but I'm going with your theory.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 09, 2008, 02:33:54 pm
because it sounds good!  must we over think and analyze it?

the attack, ratio and release on the SSL are *not* variable

the release time has so little to do with my work sounding different from project to project.  it seems like you guys are giving my SSL all the credit for my mixes.  it's just a piece of gear.....a tool

"thank for this award, but i can not except it, i must pass it to my ssl buss compressor, it does all the real work, i just change the lamps and dust it regularly"

like i said, i do 2 - 4 db of gain reduction on the ssl.  it all depends on the song and the feel i'm going for.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: NelsonL on December 10, 2008, 12:17:03 am
I've never found myself wanting a slower release time on buss compression anyway.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Podgorny on December 10, 2008, 01:21:15 am
j.hall wrote on Tue, 09 December 2008 13:33

my ssl buss compressor, it does all the real work, i just change the lamps and dust it regularly"



You've got an original G384, right?  Does yours eat bulbs too?



Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: iCombs on December 10, 2008, 03:46:15 am
T. Mueller wrote on Mon, 08 December 2008 08:37

mcsnare wrote on Thu, 04 December 2008 23:25

Leaving headroom is a total non issue for me with regards to mastering. As long as your stereo buss doesn't have any overs, any level is fine. If you have plugins on the stereo buss inserts just make sure you are not hitting them too hard, cause most don't sound good with lots of level. I routinely get mixes from A list mixers that sound amazing and peak at -.1 dbfs. The mix doesn't have to be that loud to sound good, but if proper attention has been paid to gain staging in the stereo bus inserts, and nothing is clipping, I don't think it matters.

Dave


+1.


Just reading through this thread again and remembered the best reason for leaving some headroom...EQ.

It seems as though having enough room at the top so that additive EQ can be used without pushing anything into clipping would probably be ideal.  Past that, I hear what you guys are saying...as long as the levels are reasonable it should all come out in the wash, so to speak.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 10, 2008, 09:53:54 am
Podgorny wrote on Wed, 10 December 2008 00:21

j.hall wrote on Tue, 09 December 2008 13:33

my ssl buss compressor, it does all the real work, i just change the lamps and dust it regularly"



You've got an original G384, right?  Does yours eat bulbs too?






yes, and not anymore.  i changed out the lamps for LED lamps.  they haven't burnt out yet and it's been nearly a year.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on December 10, 2008, 10:46:39 am
j.hall wrote on Tue, 09 December 2008 13:33

because it sounds good!  must we over think and analyze it?

the attack, ratio and release on the SSL are *not* variable

the release time has so little to do with my work sounding different from project to project.  it seems like you guys are giving my SSL all the credit for my mixes.  it's just a piece of gear.....a tool

"thank for this award, but i can not except it, i must pass it to my ssl buss compressor, it does all the real work, i just change the lamps and dust it regularly"

like i said, i do 2 - 4 db of gain reduction on the ssl.  it all depends on the song and the feel i'm going for.




I don't think that I personally WAS over-analyzing anything, J. Rather, trying to understand your way of doing things. My guess is that it would be fairly irresponsible for someone in your position to be leading guys/gals, who are trying to learn, into thinking that release doesn't matter in compression (or attack, or ratio, etc. for that matter). I would also guess, after listening to your work and reading your posts, that you do a massive amount of compression before it ever gets to that SSL (or whatever you're using at the time). In which case, you would be more or less leveling instead of compressing with that thing and, no, release wouldn't be that big of a factor.

This post reads like you just stick something on across your mix and it doesn't really matter what you set it on. It would be really confusing if I didn't have my own set of beliefs about it in the first place. "Oh, don't even touch that knob, J. Hall said it doesn't even do anything for the mix." I didn't say that's how you put it, but it's like playing the "telephone" game.

Are we jiving here? Forget the SSL. We're talking about buss compression.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 10, 2008, 12:25:19 pm
well, i never said that A, R, RE didn't matter.

however, i'm the first to always say, "use your ears"  

i think that the recording community (in general) spends too much time looking at meters and knobs and not nearly enough time listening to audio.

Liam said it best:

Quote:



I've never found myself wanting a slower release time on buss compression anyway.



i want the fastest release i can get away with.  if that doesn't make sense, then set your buss compressor on it's fastest release, and hit it hard, and hear what happens.  if it doesn't pump like crazy and the lowend still sounds open and big, i think you've found your release time.

BTW, if there is anyone out there that has opened their mouth and said, "i do it this way because j.hall said to on the internet".  i'd imagine that would be the same person who reads The Onion and believes it.

i can't recall the last time i've dished out anything other then my own opinion or personal workflow.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: J-Texas on December 10, 2008, 12:36:30 pm
j.hall wrote on Wed, 10 December 2008 11:25


BTW, if there is anyone out there that has opened their mouth and said, "i do it this way because j.hall said to on the internet".  i'd imagine that would be the same person who reads The Onion and believes it.


Razz

Thanks for the clarification.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: T. Mueller on December 10, 2008, 01:33:18 pm
Quote:

BTW, if there is anyone out there that has opened their mouth and said, "i do it this way because j.hall said to on the internet".  i'd imagine that would be the same person who reads The Onion and believes it.


Mmmm... I love me some guacamole...

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/bill_clinton_agr ees_to
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: NelsonL on December 11, 2008, 12:41:59 am
T. Mueller wrote on Wed, 10 December 2008 10:33

Quote:

BTW, if there is anyone out there that has opened their mouth and said, "i do it this way because j.hall said to on the internet".  i'd imagine that would be the same person who reads The Onion and believes it.


Mmmm... I love me some guacamole...

 http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/bill_clinton_agr ees_to


One time the A/V section said something nice about my band. I knew it was too good to be true...

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Podgorny on December 11, 2008, 02:00:48 am
j.hall wrote on Wed, 10 December 2008 11:25

i want the fastest release i can get away with.  if that doesn't make sense, then set your buss compressor on it's fastest release, and hit it hard, and hear what happens.  if it doesn't pump like crazy and the lowend still sounds open and big, i think you've found your release time.



My attack time changes based on the material, but release time always stays on auto.  
The faster release times can sound exciting when you a/b, but I like how the auto mode behaves (and how I respond to its behavior).
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: T. Mueller on December 11, 2008, 07:56:06 am
Quote:



One time the A/V section said something nice about my band. I knew it was too good to be true...





Are YOU the promising local area band??  No WAY!!!
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: NelsonL on December 11, 2008, 08:43:40 am
T. Mueller wrote on Thu, 11 December 2008 04:56

Quote:



One time the A/V section said something nice about my band. I knew it was too good to be true...





Are YOU the promising local area band??  No WAY!!!


We show up, but that's about the only promise we can be sure of.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 11, 2008, 10:08:14 am
Podgorny wrote on Thu, 11 December 2008 01:00

j.hall wrote on Wed, 10 December 2008 11:25

i want the fastest release i can get away with.  if that doesn't make sense, then set your buss compressor on it's fastest release, and hit it hard, and hear what happens.  if it doesn't pump like crazy and the lowend still sounds open and big, i think you've found your release time.



My attack time changes based on the material, but release time always stays on auto.  
The faster release times can sound exciting when you a/b, but I like how the auto mode behaves (and how I respond to its behavior).



auto release is great.  you have to get used to mixing into it.  totally a different approach.  i've also found that auto release works best with faster attack times.

have you tried the fastest attack with the 10:1 ratio on auto release?  just barely tickle the GR meter......i mean barely!
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 12, 2008, 02:46:46 pm
maybe this will help, maybe not.

http://www.thetarhythm.com/BussCompression/Repair.mp3

i did that mix last friday 4dB of buss compression.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Jonah A. Kort on December 12, 2008, 06:49:30 pm
j.hall wrote on Fri, 12 December 2008 13:46

maybe this will help, maybe not.

http://www.thetarhythm.com/BussCompression/Repair.mp3

i did that mix last friday 4dB of buss compression.


the sound of rock n roll.  



P.S. New LIJ kills, J.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: osumosan on December 14, 2008, 09:06:13 pm
J, Do you mind telling us how the tape stop bass note was achieved at that break near the end? Did you just run the mix and stop the machine at that point and then edit the mix pieces back together? Inspired. The low end is so big and really open, too.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Podgorny on December 15, 2008, 01:18:43 am
osumosan wrote on Sun, 14 December 2008 20:06

J, Do you mind telling us how the tape stop bass note was achieved at that break near the end? Did you just run the mix and stop the machine at that point and then edit the mix pieces back together? Inspired. The low end is so big and really open, too.




The effect is called Vari-Fi.  It's part of Digidesign's D-Fi plugin pack.

http://www.digidesign.com/index.cfm?langid=100&navid=115 &itemid=1009

If you're on PC/VST, there's a free plugin called "TapeStop" that will do the same thing.



PS: J, I tried your mix bus compressor settings, and now my mixes sound awesome.  THANKS!
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 15, 2008, 02:50:28 pm
Podgorny wrote on Mon, 15 December 2008 00:18



PS: J, I tried your mix bus compressor settings, and now my mixes sound awesome.  THANKS!


glad it's working for you!
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: rankus on December 15, 2008, 09:37:03 pm


Thanks for all the tips and the posted example J.  I am going to give Bus Comp another look... Although quite happy with my current workflow / results, it's always good to get a few more tricks in the bag.

Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: j.hall on December 15, 2008, 09:56:15 pm
not sure that example helps at all.  i just don't like tons of talk about overall techniques when there isn't really anything tangible to base it on.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: bob ebeling on January 09, 2009, 10:20:00 pm
Hey J.
One suggestion for a different preset to try on the SSL.  
I think this could have some use for you because I use an Alan Smart C1 very similarly to how you are using the SSL.
Also, the mp3 you've got up really shows your preset because of a lack of transient punch.

Set the Attack to 10 (seecond to slowest)
and Release to -3 (second from fastest)

These presets, especially at 4:1 with 2-4db gr, give the beginning of the phrase more grab.  I think it's more the attack
that is doing it, so you could leave your favorite release.  It's really the sound of these units, the punch and bump at 80hz.
For some reason when the attack is at it's slowest (30), everthing smooths over more, less punch.

Also, thanks for the tip on auto release in conjunction with faster attack settings.  After 20 years of engineering I still can't get myself to quicken attack times or slow down release times, but this setting will help alot I have a feeling.

This actually brings up a possible new subject...hell, I'll go start it.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Nick Sevilla on January 10, 2009, 02:54:51 pm
I tend to not use a mix buss compressor.

That said, sometimes a client opens their wonderful mouth and says they want a louder rough mix.


Then I tend to use software like the Focusrite D3, the Waves SSL comp, or even the API 2500 comp. Depends on the song.

I set them to Limit only, set the threshhold so it only grabs the biggest peaks of the whole song, and comp to 1:1.5, or the lowest it has, fast attack, and fast release.

I listen to make sure I do not really hear it going. My aim is to hit onyl the peak transients, and allow the mix to come up in level a few dB.

When I deliver to mastering, I always take off any of the mix buss stuff. I let the mastering guy do his job.

Cheers
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: bob ebeling on January 10, 2009, 06:31:12 pm
'wonderful mouth' lol

Depends for me on several factors.  First, if the mixes are never gonna make it to an A-list mastering, or even B or C, then I'll smack that ass just enough to hear skin on skin but not leave a hand print.  
If the mixes are destined for some good objective next step, then it's up to musical style.  Rockin' jams and club bangers will get the sexy spanking.  Smooth jazz and feelings music maybe not.
I do love hearing great masterings that do it up right.  It gives records more of a unique signature when they don't have the smack in a box sound.  But the mastering budget has to be up there for me to trust that this will happen.  
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: T. Mueller on January 12, 2009, 10:32:02 am
Quote:


My aim is to hit onyl the peak transients, and allow the mix to come up in level a few dB.


RMS, or peak?  Just curious.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Nick Sevilla on January 13, 2009, 12:30:54 pm
T. Mueller wrote on Mon, 12 January 2009 07:32

Quote:


My aim is to hit only the peak transients, and allow the mix to come up in level a few dB.


RMS, or peak?  Just curious.



Peak Transients. If I did RMS, it would be squashed beyond all comprehension...

Cheers
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: red cross on January 14, 2009, 01:40:40 pm
Nick Sevilla wrote on Tue, 13 January 2009 11:30

T. Mueller wrote on Mon, 12 January 2009 07:32

Quote:


My aim is to hit only the peak transients, and allow the mix to come up in level a few dB.


RMS, or peak?  Just curious.



Peak Transients. If I did RMS, it would be squashed beyond all comprehension...

Cheers


Are the comps you use fast enough to catch those peaks? I almost always end up having to resort to brickwall limiters if I need to "louden" mixes that are already peaking near FS.
Title: Re: buss compression
Post by: Nick Sevilla on January 15, 2009, 04:56:32 pm
Are the comps you use fast enough to catch those peaks? I almost always end up having to resort to brickwall limiters if I need to "louden" mixes that are already peaking near FS.

The way I set them up, they almost do limiting, and sometimes I do have to use a limiter. the Focusrite D3 has a Limiter in it, I just set it so it grabs only the worst peaks.

Cheers