Compressor on the Master Output

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#1
I was just wondering whether it is essential to put a compressor on the master output when exporting a project to mp3 ready to play out and send to other dj's just for pure loudness to stand up to the volume of other tracks. I normally just put an Oxford limiter on my master out as well as an EQ and Multimeter, is it essential to put a compressor on too? And why? :) I know there should be nothing put on the master output when sent for mastering but i purely want to know for a pre master, club/ radio play export if you should compress the file before limiting it.

Many Thanks,

Myles.
 
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#2
If you've got a limiter on there too then there is no point unless it is giving the entire track character. A limiter is what's pulling the overall volume up to commercial level so with both I'd say your at risk of loosing dynamics throughout the track and the compressor isn't necessary. If the mixdown is tight, in theory, you should need very little master processing.
 

Agenz

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#4
I don't think it's essential to put a compressor on the master, some people do some don't. Like Pride said, it's the Limiter what's giving you the loudness. If I was to put a compressor on the master then it would be very light (1-2 db GR, Ratio 2:01) to pull things together a bit.
 

miszt

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#7
tbh I wouldnt bother with compression or limiting on the master output until you understand what they are doing and how best to use them, focus on getting your mixdown as fat as possible, use compression on your drum kits and other sounds so you can practice using them and understand what they do and how

Compression on the master is very useful, and should be done before volume boosting with a limiter, compression helps to shape the transients of your sounds and when done correctly can fatten your mixdown up no end, but it takes practice and time to tune your ears and learn the subtleties of good compression. Same goes for the Limiter, which is infact just a high ratio compressor, you can bring allot of extra apparent loudness into a track, by sacrificing dynamics and quality (esp in the digital domain)

Compression should absolutly NOT be used for volume boosting, it is not the same using a Limiter to maximise apparent loudness

Personally I think this kind of thing should be done by someone with plenty of experience (ie a mastering engineer), they have the right tools for the job such as analog compressors and limiters which are able to offer far more dynamic range and compression without distortion than digital options, although the Oxford is an excellent tool, its difficult to justify using it as a standard on every track, unless its the only option available. They also have the experience to know what to do, and how much is too much, and most valuably of all, its a second pair of ears which have not tuned out problems in the mix by over listening and personal attachment to the mix of sounds

Then theres multiband compression...
 
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RUSSLA

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#8
I was just wondering whether it is essential to put a compressor on the master output when exporting a project to mp3 ready to play out and send to other dj's just for pure loudness to stand up to the volume of other tracks. I normally just put an Oxford limiter on my master out as well as an EQ and Multimeter, is it essential to put a compressor on too? And why? :) I know there should be nothing put on the master output when sent for mastering but i purely want to know for a pre master, club/ radio play export if you should compress the file before limiting it.

Many Thanks,

Myles.
To play out then I'd put some subtle compression like stated then do what you're already doing with the Oxford Limiter (which is badman btw - use it every track)

Imo you can smack the fuck out of it if you like, who the hell is guna know the difference on a loud, probably shit club system? But usually just a couple of db reduction should tidy it up enough to play out.

You really need to know this inside out when sending stuff for mastering tho, or just let them do it which is what happens the majority of the time . HTH
 
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