multiband compression

Haven't used it in a while. It just occurred to me to try using it on a "synth" buss and a drum buss separately. Seems like a novel approach to getting a bit more loudness while being able to control harsh treble ranges.

What do you think? How/why do you use multiband compression?


sam the dnb man

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I tend to leave compression as a last resort.
I prefer to do a lot of EQing at automation.

One thing I prefer to do though.....

I may have several versions of one sound that are fading in and out of eachother.
I will route them to a buss.
Set the buss to no output.
Use 3 or 4 aux sends on a pre fader setting.
Route them into a master buss and call it... Atmos 1 Master or whatever.

On each Aux send I will have different EQ settings that will split the incoming signal into different frequencies. That way you can ensure that the lower frequencies are in mono and add add modulation effects such as chorus to the higher frequency sends that would have muddied the lower frequencies.
Also it means that your atmosphere can have a lot of depth and maybe some actual sub but when the main part of the track actually begins you can mute the lower frequencies.

Im not very good at explaining but this is something you can try.
Don't worry about loudness for now. Just make sure it sounds pleasing to the ear on multiple setups.
Metallica did an album which was heavily limited and very loud but it was fatiguing to listen to.
Louder is rarely better and no matter what executive producers or label bosses may say... it isnt the loudness of a track that makes a track stand out...its the content
That's an interesting approach to BGs. Very similar to classic strategies for a nice reese. I'd be a little concerned at the overlap of frequency ranges when using EQs and may prefer filters.

I shouldn't have used the word "loudness" cause that's a loaded term. What I find with my songs that use tons of reese automation is that one bar may have the right EQ and sound "pleasant" while the next bar is harsh - so instead of loudness, I'm really just hoping to smooth out the balance of different frequency ranges between complex automations...which may result in some extra headroom or at least perceived "loudness" or "warmth".

I haven't tried it yet, but my plan for the drum buss would be to compress and turn up the 80-300Hz range for more thump, and then apply very little or no compression to the rest of the ranges to maintain "snappiness" with the possible exception of the 8Khz and above region that I'd really like to experiment with.

And I couldn't agree more about the issues with loudness, it just drives me crazy as, at heart, I'm in love with limitless acoustic sound or analogs. One thing that is separate from loudness but similar is the "relative loudness" the way that fuller, well EQ'ed, and well mastered tracks sound. Hell, for all I know some folks are simply pushing limiters and saturating with soft clipping...and sometimes that sounds good to me which is why I'll never be a mastering engineer.


Burns Easily in the Sun
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I find a drum bus mixed with parallel compression does the trick. If you're using logic, go the the compressor on the drum bus and open the hidden menu (click on the "triangle" at the bottom left hand corner). Then go to distortion and select "soft." More often then not, this little trick will add a nice fat warmth to your mix.

Multiband compression, like standard compression, is best when used sparingly. I find it's most helpful when trying to attenuate some of the higher frequencies.
So parallel compression could be set to a slow attack to crisp up the sound or fast attack to fatten the release then? I haven't used it, but the second one makes more sense to me.

Wow, 48db/oct slope, nice.

I use Reason (but don't trust it!) and generally use the stereo imager to split frequency ranges. Awww f'kit all anyway, I'm gonna make some Stevie Wonderful Frenchcore and then get into the "world of VSTs"