Audio Compressor Question.

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

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Re: Audio Compressor Question.

Post by Mixedup »

Wise words from many fine folks here...

Also worth mentioning the side-chain (the signal that the compressor reacts to, which may or may not be identical to the one that's being processed).

First, some compressors react to signal peaks, others to an average signal. For very brief high level sounds, this could affect the compressor's action. You can also choose to filter the side-chain signal — eg use a low pass filter, high shelf cut/boost, tilt EQ or a regular boost/cut to make the compressor more or less sensitive to the cymbal. You can even automate that so that it's only more/less sensitive at certain times.

But in this specific situation, I think I'd be editing the guitar part where that cymbal strikes! Maybe taking notes from elsewhere to cover it up. Maybe using a spectral editor to remove the worst excesses of the cymbal. Etc.
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Re: Audio Compressor Question.

Post by Wonks »

The cymbal was just an example. The actual problem is a rock singer who occasionally shouts/sings/screams very loud, so in this instance it's all the same sound that's being processed. The peak vs RMS setting is a good one to consider here.
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Re: Audio Compressor Question.

Post by shufflebeat »

Fixing a vocal level individually with automation would be much more transparent and natural sounding than relying on an algorithm, almost like having a singer with decent mic technique. This frees up the compressor to do what it does best, coaxing rather than hammering.

Specific compressors have their own character and role in the process, of course, and it's difficult for anyone to pronounce chapter and verse without hearing the context so all advice here (particularly mine) will be pretty generic and come with caveats.
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Re: Audio Compressor Question.

Post by Jack Ruston »

Yeah if this is a vocal, automate it.
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Re: Audio Compressor Question.

Post by Mixedup »

Yeah. Automation. Or editing and clip gains. Or both.

I mean, if you're really lazy, you can tackle this to an extent using multiple compressors. But the results won't be as good...
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