Compress/Sidechain on the way or after a certain point?

Discussion in 'Production' started by Mason John, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    Hey peeps; I'm doing a lot of reading on drum programming b/c I want to work more on making drum beats (starting out w/ them instead of how I usually start by focusing on the pads almost exclusively), and I understand a lot of the basics. Layering, how and when to use effects processing etc.

    Been doing a lot of reading on compression and am just wondering something: When starting with making different drum hits (kick, snare, tom, hihat, cymbal etc.) and a combination of drum synth and samples, after doing all the basic editing (and maybe some EQ'ing/effects processing on certain parts), compiling and such...should I focus on fine-tuning the composition at that point and go back doing EQ->Compress sweeps afterwards, and if so-particularly w/ compressing/sidechaining-should I save that for general track mixdown and mastering?

    Basically, after I finish focusing on the initial hits and then start adding the pads, bass, fx and such, should I wait until I have all the elements in my composition before doing any serious EQ and compression/sidechaining work, or focus on doing that one element at a time while building out the track? Particularly regarding the drums?

    Just thinking about it it'd seem easier to do the comp first and then do EQ cleanup and compress/sidechain work, but I know a lot of character from drums and percussion comes not just from how you layer them but how you compress them.

    Maybe I can do "static" compressing per hit, resample, bounce back and then do more dynamic compressing once the track is fleshed out more?

    Sorry about the length; I can never manage to make a short thread. Thanx in advance!
     
  2. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    Well I think if you're using, say, your kick drum as a sidechain source I'd wait until it was totally processed before routing any sidechains because you don't want to to set your compressor, then process the drum a whole bunch and completely change the peak/envelope information; if you're using a ghost kick then...who gives a fuck? Also I think it depends on your motivation for doing the sidechain, if you're sidechaining your kick to your bass with a really quick envelope just for mixing purposes of having the bass clear out of the way then yeah finish your drum processing first, but if it's a sidechain like you hear in every house track made since we invented the wheel then the release time is pretty much going to negate any difference the subtleties of the processing are going to have on your peak information.
     
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  3. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    ^Ghost kick....welp time to hit up Google again!*

    Yeah that's one of the main reasons I was asking, 'cuz I know about the potential clashing that can come from the kick and sub-bass in a mix. Is it a good idea then to approach kicks (and most drums/percussions) in a path like wav edit (click removal and cross-fade in/out mainly)->effects->EQ->compress->sidechain? B/c I'd still like to start scratching out pads/chords and basses along the way here and there before being completely done w/ the drum processing, even if I'm giving the drums priority from now on from the jump.

    And still on subject, I know I can wiggle back and force btwn effects and EQ'ing, not really compressing and sidechaining, but after compressing and sidechaining the track on the near-master, can I do some subtle effects on top and if so which sorts (obviously the subtle kind, like small phasing perhaps)?

    I've also heard about using sidechaining for transient pad effects, but that isn't something I feel ready to take on yet.

    -----------

    *No it's not; I'm very familiar w/ ghosting, but turns out I didn't know it by that name. Whatevs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  4. Raptor's Den

    Raptor's Den Member

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    Think to yourself.... "what is easiest and best and most effective for me?" whatever answer you get from that.. then voila, thats whats best for you!

    Tbh some tips on a compessor, use it ONLY when it seems fit on a sound, and that you should, for example, you could use one, but definitely dont need a compressor for white noise, hi hats, and some other stuff. I mean you could, and it brings them out and together and a bit more tighter if you do it right, but thats what the final compressor also is for.

    Any premastering compression should really be done with kicks, snares, and basslines(if it really needs it or could use it. Not every bassline requires it.

    Just think of it this way! You are playing with frequency. You have many different things to control that sound and/or bring it out, such as the compressor, equalizer, saturators, etc! So use whatever is made for its use and whatever tool seems fit and necesary for the job!
     
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  5. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    Thnx Raptor (also long time no see xD). It was mainly in regards to kicks and basses where it can be bothersome, b/c I know it's done for those, but not exactly at what point in the sound "sculpting" process, or if done iteratively.

    I guess if I keep a few rules in mind (basic frequency ranges for them, db threshold, leaving headroom etc.), that should help as a sort of overhead manager. Just need a solid spectrum analyzer running in the DAW I guess.
     
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  6. Raptor's Den

    Raptor's Den Member

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    haha yeah man nice talking with you again, definitely i see. Yeah well ill have a video tutorial up soon once i can find me an i.link cable... it sucks. but once i do ill show you how to properly bring your sounds out in the compressor. and all sorts of compression techniques like sidechain, and my special sidechain recipe! people do it probably but it seems rare to me and its insanely awesome the results! good talking with you again...