Does everything in a track need compressing?

Discussion in 'Production' started by Cat Gas, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Cat Gas

    Cat Gas Aka Basis

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    See, i've always wondered, but never asked, do you compress every track in your tune?
    Cause i generally don't, infact I tend to use a compressor on a return to sort of glue several sounds together, or on one track just to get a particular kind of noise.

    But is it regular practice to compress everything?
     
  2. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    NOOOOOO! Over compression loses alot of dynamics of a track! The only thing I usually compress is my drum racks to help gel the beats together, and sometimes a bass group to gel the split frequencies back together. Thats it.
     
  3. 1Dotlone

    1Dotlone New Member

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    So would you compress every element in a drum track?
     
  4. `Matt

    `Matt Member

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    I mildly compress my bass's and drums nearly always helps glue them together and bring them out abit. Other elements i leave if they sit nicely without compression, why try and fix something if it doesnt need fixxing?
     
  5. Equilizyme

    Equilizyme Member

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    Hey MN friend! I used to live in St. Cloud but now im in Canada, but hey anyway!

    There is not hard and fast rule about this. the best way to determined what needs to be compressed is to understand what the compressor can do for you (transient processing, dynamics control, sidechaining, etc.) and decide if you want to apply those things to change your sound. Every time you put a compressor on, use the "gain" control on the compressor so that you can equalize the peak level of the input/output. then A/B the compressor (like listen to the sound with the comp on/off) and do a blind test so you can determine if you like the sound better w or w/o compression. If you cant tell the difference, tweak the settings or just leave it off. only leave it on if you know you can hear the difference and you like it better with it on. be sure to listen in the context of the whole mix. :)

    One more tip: I used to use all different compressors becuase i could download them free etc, but now imo its better to just pick a good one and pay for it (or use the native one with your DAW and save CPU) and stick with using that one so you learn ALL its functions. then your theoretical knowledge will improve and you will be more effective with a compressor rather than just laying them on blindly. I use to just strap em across everythign and it sounded shit. :(

    anyway, most important just use yer ears! tweak the knobs in all directions and try to understand! :)

    oh and have fun. and enjoy MN winters becuase they are a blessing. we have shit winters in this place honestly. Rain all the time. snow is much better you are lucky ;)
     
  6. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    No mate, I would have my drum rack ( In ableton ) with all my percussive elements like Kicks, snares, shakers, hats etc. then I would throw one compressor on the entire rack, and then turn the threshold down a little with a ratio of about 1:3 (guess?!).
     
  7. Fragmentz

    Fragmentz New Member

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    As said above you should never compress everything, that's a sure fire way to screw your track up.
    I only ever compress high end drums and when making either a snare or a kick i use some compression but not inside a tune, it makes it dip too much unless that is the effect your going for. Plus any noises that i have put a delay and reverb on so that it brings out the fx on the channel.
    There's also that whole trick of sending all your drums to one channel and compressing the shit out of them then turning the mix down to get that body of the drums filled out, only works on tracks that are quite noisy anyway....
     
  8. ApeCat

    ApeCat Human Dubplate

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    I only just got into compressors so I only use them when I really need to, on spiky samples and stuff.

    I use CamelCrusher for distortion, it's got a knob called "compressor" but seeing as it's just the one parameter you're manipulating I'm not quite sure what it does apart from make everything sound louder.. I usually hit it up on kicks and snares, in moderation, I find it gives the sounds more punch.
     
  9. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

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    I don't compress much elements in my tracks. Although I use compression on most individual elements of my drums & percussion! It just gives em more punch imo :)

    Then I run a plugin called Flux Bittersweet II on the whole drum buss and lean it towards bitter. It doesn't make a massive difference but I like the sound it gives :)
     
  10. 1Dotlone

    1Dotlone New Member

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    Hello equil from no where land! Haha I'm in (crap) southwest MN, but may move to st. cloud, I like that city.

    On topic, I just tried compressing drum tracks slightly and it does indeed glue them a bit. Thanks for the tip!
     
  11. spyre

    spyre sample all the things

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    Lately ive been using multiband compressors, mostly on my bass channels
     
  12. Alert

    Alert Oblivion Fringe

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    The more you EQ each element of the track (sculpt out what's not needed with low or high cuts), the less compression you will need, as everything will have its own sonic breathing room.

    :cool:
     
  13. oversight

    oversight Member

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    i hardly compress anything, im not saying thats right, but its how i do it
     
  14. Skuff

    Skuff Well-Known Member

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    Not in all cases, but most vocals sound better with a touch of compression too.. But like what others have said, the main thing is the drums and percussion
     
  15. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    i dont know any more. compression, its that thing what makes the soundwave look like a block isnt it. i like it a lot less when its blocky, i like dynamic whats it called.
     
  16. Elzerk

    Elzerk 00111100 00110011

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    I like it blocky and loud, more equal in sound levels.

    Unless you have components that vary in levels and compensate each other, then slap the same compress for those and it sounds mad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012