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  #1  
Old 11-16-2023, 05:35 AM
Lupin Lupin is offline
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Default Compression on tracks and then on Master

Good Morning. First of all I am total newb but by now I am making tracks and breaking things ;-)

I am a singer songwriter.

I wanted to hear what others are doing for finalizing the songs. At this point I have learned how to use EQ and Compression plug ins on individual voice and instrument tracks and then also on the final overall master.

I need to go back to redo a song I worked on because after I listened to it outside of my studio headphones it 'seemed too compressed and harsh'

It is most likely because I did not give it enough dilligence but I also wondered if the final compression on the master is even necessary or in other words does double the compression present trouble?

...or is it (as it probably it) just about "time in the seat" - I just need to sit down and give it more time to gain further experience
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2023, 05:50 AM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

Nothing is necessary, unless there is a problem you need to fix.

As far as master fader is concerned, try setting a limiter with -1.0 output and set the threshold so that max 3dB is cut. If you don't know what you are doing, that is enough for protecting your bounce from clipping.

If you think it is overcompressed it definetely is!
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2023, 12:55 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

Indeed, experience(and messing up) is the best teacher. With that said, here are some suggestions to experiment with(this assumes you recorded with no compressor before the DAW interface)
1-try using more than 1 compressor plugin. Example, I often have an 1176(doing very gentle compression at 4:1) and follow that with an LA2A style plugin. This second compressor adds a bit of "flavor to the sound and helps to level things out more, but in a way that is less harsh than a single compressor doing a lot of compression.
2-Look thru your plugins and see what you have available, and try them all. Example, the stock Digirack compressor is just not that "nice" sounding, while the stock BF76 does sound nicer(to my ears).
3-Create a Waves account(if you haven't already) so you get emails about special deals and look at something like the CLA76 as a step up from the stock stuff.
4-Master track compression is another beast entirely and that enters into "mastering". Having some mastering plugins doesn't make you(or me) a mastering engineer, so tread lightly. The free(or cheap) Izotope Ozone version can do a good job here. Waves L2 can also do good, but again, I would stack 2 in series and have each plugin do very gentle gain reduction(think 2db or less).
Now, get to experimenting. Maybe this will help, or maybe you will hate all of it, but discover a fresh approach that does work for you
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2023, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

keep an eye on your ''gain reduction'' meters when you compress.Just give your tracks a little gain reduction unless you are going for a real compressed sound that would be different like the All In Buttton effect on 1176 compressor.You will get it keep trying
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Old 11-24-2023, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

keep an eye on your ''gain reduction'' meters when you compress.Just give your tracks a little gain reduction unless you are going for a real compressed sound that would be different ...You will get it keep trying
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Old 11-27-2023, 06:23 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

While we are trying to teach a little, maybe more info will matter, so here's another batch of "help".
#1-you never mentioned what compressor plugins you are using and they are not all the same by any means. Some are really good for vocals(like an LA2A style or TubeTech CL1B), or for bass(like an 1176) but none of those really belong on the master.
#2-Some comps that are good on the master are an SSL bus comp(Waves, SSL or Cytomic's "the Glue". But these are not the usual for individual instruments.
#3-the stock DigiRack Compressor plugin may be liked by some, but I find it rather nasty sounding and don't use it at all. BF76 isn't the best 1176-style out there, but it does work pretty well and I use it a lot on bass and vocals(on vocals, it gets followed by SMACK! which is Avid's version of the LA2A).
#4-master tracks often get limiters, but this delves into "mastering" and I suggest you concentrate on mixing for now(learn to walk before you start running)
Let us know what plugins you have and what instruments you want to compress and the good folks here will offer plenty of solid recommendations. Some might seem expensive, but many(Waves, especially) are often on sale. Create a Waves login and you'll get emails for all their deals, but remember that sometimes you can get even better pricing thru Audiodeluxe.com or dontcrack.com(this one requires you to sign up to access the PrivateDealZone). I have bought from both and both sites are very good
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2023, 10:05 AM
Lupin Lupin is offline
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

#1-you never mentioned what compressor plugins you are using and they are not all the same by any means. Some are really good for vocals(like an LA2A style or TubeTech CL1B), or for bass(like an 1176) but none of those really belong on the master.


I don't have any purchased or free installed plug-ins right now. All vanilla that installed with the initial setup. My current compressor is Dyn3 Compresor/Limiter

#2-Some comps that are good on the master are an SSL bus comp(Waves, SSL or Cytomic's "the Glue". But these are not the usual for individual instruments.


Ok Thanks for the info.

#3-the stock DigiRack Compressor plugin may be liked by some, but I find it rather nasty sounding and don't use it at all. BF76 isn't the best 1176-style out there, but it does work pretty well and I use it a lot on bass and vocals(on vocals, it gets followed by SMACK! which is Avid's version of the LA2A).

I don't even see it on the list of default installed Compressors unless DigiRack refers to the D3 moniker titles


#4-master tracks often get limiters, but this delves into "mastering" and I suggest you concentrate on mixing for now(learn to walk before you start running)
Let us know what plugins you have and what instruments you want to compress and the good folks here will offer plenty of solid recommendations. Some might seem expensive, but many(Waves, especially) are often on sale. Create a Waves login and you'll get emails for all their deals, but remember that sometimes you can get even better pricing thru Audiodeluxe.com or dontcrack.com(this one requires you to sign up to access the PrivateDealZone). I have bought from both and both sites are very good



Ok. Thanks for the info. I have to say that every day I know more My current instruments are various ukuleles, mostly via internal amp and plug in cable. There are some exceptions that are so rare they are hardly necessary to mention such as a banjolele which I recorded via a microphone.

Then Voices (i.e. my singing)

I have tried to insert some organs into a song that I wanted to have a reggae groove. I tried to play the "bubble" - that sounded terrible lol. But I tried.

I also tried to do some percussion and that sounded terrible too when combined with acoustic instrument. For both of these I tried either XPand! or GrooveCell

I am preparing to do a visit to a friend who will play electric bass on some songs as well as some friends who will add harmony voices to some songs that I already recorded.

Predictably the first song I ever recorded now sounds so mangled that I am considering rerecording it from scratch.

I have learned already various things such as creating automations, fade in fade out, cleaning up tracks from excessive voice breathing, I tried Beat Detective (mixed feelings about this one), grouping tracks into folders (somewhat mixed on that) etc etc...

Interesting that you have said that mastering should come way after learning how to do the normal mixing. I find myself drawn to knowing this skill now. Either way ... I am chugging along... trying and breaking things along the way.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2023, 11:09 AM
nsureit nsureit is offline
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

If you are not satisfied with the original recordings, forget about mixing and plug-ins for now and focus on recording your voice. What kind of microphone are you using, which interface, are you watching your gain setting, are you setting a low buffer in Pro Tools playback engine when you record? If your source recording is bad, there’s nothing you can do in the mixing process to make it better.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2023, 11:21 AM
Lupin Lupin is offline
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

actually the voice and instruments are good. it is the post processing I applied that kind of screwed it up and sometimes I don't even know how to undo it. For example on the first song recorded that I mentioned. I used Beat Detective and adjusted timings but it kind of shifts everything around like in a wave with flotsam and I don't necessarily like it. And, perhaps one of the tracks the amp that needs to be periodically charged was not strong enough and I am getting some distortion there. And somehow I had applied (unknowingly) some automation so I had to work on undoing it well you get the idea...just comedy central. Interestingly enough everyone likes the track lol but I hear and see the errors in there.

I use Focusrite 212, Shure SM58, Boss Compression CS-3 pedal that's about it ...
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2023, 12:13 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Compression on tracks and then on Master

"My current compressor is Dyn3 Compresor/Limiter"
That is the one I said is nasty sounding. Try the BF76(which is also a stock plugin) and check out any presets it may have. Buying better plugins is a great idea, but learning good techniques is far more important for you at this point in time. We all make some messes as we get started on this journey. I've been doing this for 40+ years and I still learn new stuff all the time
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