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Compression...again

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  • Compression...again

    I have an ongoing debate on the ddrums forum about compression and I thought I would post my .02 cents about compression here as well.

    A compressor / limiter is a good tool to even the dynamics out before the signal reaches the noise gate. The attenuation controls how much the sound is attenuated whenever the gate closes. Certain gates have as much as 60 db of attenuation. By setting the attention to a closer amount (around 10db of cut) the gate does not close as much or as far and the hiss is reduced but actually still there. It is the total absence of hisses that makes breathing more noticeable. The perfect application is when the envelope of the noise gate follows the envelope of the sound. On percussive sounds this is easy. Drums are always recorded with gates. But be careful when recording live drums. If your gate doesn’t open because your threshold is set too high, your drum won’t get to tape and then there is nothing. Same thing with setting the threshold too high on your keybord. If you play a soft passage be sure that your gate’s threshold is set low enough to open. Another important control is the "Attack" control. This can delay the opening of the gate and can be used to contour the sound. You can take a harsh heavy velocity sounding part and give it the soft curve of a violin on the other extreme.

    Gates are very much a part of todays reverb effects. For instance if you put a lot of reverb on a staccato percussive keybord part and then set the gates release to be short and the amount of attenuation to full tilt, you can achieve an explosive type of reverb effect.
    Exactly like the sound of Phil Collin’s snare drum. The reverb is big and then it dies right off making the snare sound even bigger. Another important control is called ratio. The ratio of a noise gate works exactly oppisite that of the ratio of a compressor/ limiter. Instead of being 2 : 1 the gate’s ratio’s are 1 : 2 and 1: 4 and 1 : 8 and etc. The higher ratio in a noise brings about an interesting phenomena called expansion. Unlike what compression does in smoothing out dynamics, high ratios in a noise will cause expansion and seem to add dynamics to a sound. How much and how these dynamics affect the sound are again dependent on the Attack and Release settings. How fast or slow the dynamics come in to play and how long or short they will last due to the release.

    Some models of compressor have an Auto mode, which adjusts the attack and release characteristics during operation to suit the dynamics of the music being processed. In the case of complex mixes or vocals where the dynamics are constantly changing, the Auto mode may do a better job than fixed manual settings. Peak/RMS operation: Every compressor uses a circuit known as a side chain, and the side chain's job in life is to measure how big the signal is, so that it knows when it needs compressing. Light compression lets you play louder, this has the affect of making the quiet sounds more easily heard thus bring out the dynamics more.


    Also -

    Some people argue that the mastering phase can be skipped or merely consist of diminishing the dynamics of the track and raising the gain- they argue that given that the mixdown is good enough, further mastering such as eq-ing etc. is unnecessary. I don’t think so. There are several reasons for thorough mastering even if the mixdown is very good, although I will not go into debate here, I’ll mention a few reasons. If you are making a CD, you generally want your tracks to have a similar “signature”. Most important here is probably the gain of the tracks. For the listener it would be a pain having to adjust the volume for each tune. Also the frequency response is important- a track with lots of response in the bass area being followed by a track with lots of high end and no bass, don’t give a coherent feel.


    There is a range of effects operating on the dynamics of the sound. The dynamic range of a tune is the difference between the loudest level and the lowest one; a sound with both very high levels as well as low ones has lots of dynamics, the opposite, let’s say a sine wave with constant amplitude, is a sound with no dynamics.

    Using an expander will increase the dynamics to aid compression (if compressing heavily) that is why I use my BBE-482 and my Aphex C-104 in conjunction with my compressors.

    ------------------
    Outboard gear: Focusrite Compounder, Drawmer MX-30, BBE-482, Aphex C-104, Behringer T1951 4-Band Parametric Tube EQ, Lexicon MPX1, Mackie 1402-VLZ, (Crown K2 amp & Cerwin Vega V-253 speakers = 1600 watts @ 4 ohms continues power, peak at 3000 watts) and Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones.

    [This message has been edited by szvook (edited February 18, 2002).]
    Studio

  • #2
    very intersting, thanx for the info szvook.

    ------------------
    -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,
    -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,

    Comment


    • #3
      Bobby Nathan's

      Keyboard Magazine "In The Studio"

      Article # 18

      Using Noise Gates with Keyboards.

      by Bobby Nathan
      http://members.aol.com/uniquenyc/key18.htm

      Dude I would have thought you'd have learned your lesson about taking credit for other people's work by now. Sad really.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, it's not Schmunk...

        TD-8, Pintech pads, Pearl rack, Mackie SRM-450, Behringer 802 mixer and DSP1400 UltraMizer, Electric Sticks.

        Comment


        • #5
          I gotta say that when I first read it, I assumed this came from a book and not from Steve. It was so obvious to me I assumed he wasn't taking credit for it. However, some quotes and a footnote certainly are in order for something of this magnitude. What we gonna do wit ya Szvook?
          Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.

          Comment


          • #6
            amazing. i was pretty sure the girlfriend and the powder thing were both total BS but i'm relieved to know that everything he's been spewing about gear is farcical. i don't know much about that stuff but most of what he's been saying hasn't added up against the small amount i do know.

            thanks for the expose.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Boingo:
              I gotta say that when I first read it, I assumed this came from a book and not from Steve. It was so obvious to me I assumed he wasn't taking credit for it. However, some quotes and a footnote certainly are in order for something of this magnitude. What we gonna do wit ya Szvook?
              I was bored at work… so shoot me for voicing my view on using compression and using a quote to get my point across.

              No it’s not from me, which is why I posted as a quote(s). I just noticed that I added my own footnote at the bottom, which wasn’t supposed to be included with the quote(s).

              I just did not have all of words on the matter and I had the article with all the points mentioned so I put it here. Since I do not put quotes here, I thought you would notice this post as a quote. Sorry for the footnote with the quote, my bad.

              Good to see you all on your toes, still...

              Oh and thanks for your view’s about me (just got finished reading the rest of the post here and at ddrums).


              ------------------
              Outboard gear: Focusrite Compounder, Drawmer MX-30, BBE-482, Aphex C-104, Behringer T1951 4-Band Parametric Tube EQ, Lexicon MPX1, Mackie 1402-VLZ, (Crown K2 amp & Cerwin Vega V-253 speakers = 1600 watts @ 4 ohms continues power, peak at 3000 watts) and Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones.

              [This message has been edited by szvook (edited February 20, 2002).]
              Studio

              Comment


              • #8
                here's an important lesson for you szvook - when you quote something you are required to attribute that quote to the source. when you just put some text in a quote you imply that you are quoting yourself.

                personally, i think you have delusions of grandeur and take everyone on this board for a moron. and of behalf of the v-drums crew, i say, most of may be but thankfully some of us (jude, arriguy, hans, others) aren't!

                [This message has been edited by digitsone (edited February 20, 2002).]

                Comment


                • #9
                  cyberspace....... Don't ya just love it.

                  For the last week, I would lurk on, I mean log on to the site and get really disappointed. You've seen those really exciting posts, like... what do you clean your heads with, has anyone ever thought about triggering rythmn travelers, do you wear shoes when you play drums... complete with more detail than you'd ever want to know. I was going into a depression. I was getting to the point where an addict starts to lose his craving for the next fix. I thought, maybe I won't log on today. Ya know what I'm sayin?

                  Today, was different. I got my fix! Thanks dudes and dudettes.
                  Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by c. jude:
                    And for the record, I don't think szvook is intentionally trying to cheat anyone ...
                    i guess it depends how you define "cheat." in the creative game, claiming other people's words and ideas as your own definitely constitutes cheating in my book. i agree though that it is not done for much more then a clear and sad need to cultivate cyberprops by acting like a bigshot constantly.

                    Originally posted by c. jude:
                    ... Also for the record, I never said that szvook doesn't know anything about gear ....
                    it may be that he does know something about gear but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who has read the recent days' posts and will pay him any mind at all on most topics.

                    so sad.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I guess that you may have to 'rebirth' yourself after this one Szvook. A pity, I think you added a bit of spice to this place.
                      I guess your only claim to fame left standing is your relationship with Peter Hart. Or is that something else you would like to 'come clean' on?
                      See ya
                      Steve

                      'I only ever quote myself - except when I quote someone else' - me

                      , plenty of , and , , triggered acoustics, , and a plethora of PA blah blah freakin blah...I mean does anyone care about the specifics of pedals, speakers, processors, hardware or anything that I'm using?? :confused: Hmmm, maybe this is an appropriate place to mention that I tried out a new cymbal stand the other day...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        the girlfriend thing?missed that one
                        -i can levitate birds and no one cares-----------V-CONCERT,CY12H-CY15R/SPD-20-XP-60 V-STUDIO 1824CD,DAUZ PADS,NO RYTHYM AND MISC.CRAP 9"HART SPLASH/AKAI S5000/ASSLOAD OF SAMPLES

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hhhmmmmmmmmm.....

                          ------------------
                          -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,
                          -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Some of you dudes have no sense of humor...

                            I'm sure that Szvook is a cool guy, just a little crazy sometimes... Sounds just like me.

                            Go practice on your "V's" instead of getting your panties all knotted up over Szvook.

                            Jesus, enough already !!



                            [This message has been edited by suuntov (edited February 21, 2002).]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by suuntov:
                              Some of you dudes have no sense of humor...

                              I'm sure that Szvook is a cool guy, just a little crazy sometimes... Sounds just like me.


                              [This message has been edited by suuntov (edited February 21, 2002).]
                              Well...

                              As the one who fired the first shot of this cute little flame war over at the ddrums board, hopefully this will be my last post on the subject.

                              I like to think I have a pretty decent sense of humor. That's part of the reason I still lurk on these two forums. Of all the music forums I go to, I enjoy here and the ddrums board the most 'cause they're some funny m*therf*ckers roaming this land (even if the dutch humor can very dry).

                              But even more than that, is the incredible knowledge base. Even most of the newbies seem to have a better sense than most. Who would have thought from a bunch of drummers! This might be because electronic drums cost so damn much. If you want to know something about electronic drums these two boards are probably the best resource on the whole planet. And we are lucky to have it.

                              Comments about "Lars Ulrich's time-keeping abilities" or "Britney Spears' mysterious changing bust size" are one thing. Hell, I've laughed at some of Szvook's more outrageous claims ( like the girlfriend thing).

                              But there's a line. Making music is hard enough, but to have someone take your music and claim it as their own? That's grounds for a Vic Firth 5B up the pooper! And Szvook did that. And people forgave him. And I didn't say anything. And time went by, and he would make the occasional ridiculous statements, and the occasional post to stir things up, and mix generally useful information on equipment with some half truths and even completely false statements. And I didn't say anything. And then he moved his little show over to the ddrum forum. And that was it for me.

                              Rob Van Putten asks for some advice on compression. And Szvook starts in with his "I know better than you do attitude" backed up with half correct information. I got to thinking about how people rely on the information they get here to make important decisions about the gear they buy (especially for ddrums because you can't demo them anywhere). So I finally called his bluff. And then Arriguy and Kildrum expose yet another blatant theft of someone elses work! Unf*ckingbelieveable!

                              When I challenged Szvook in the General section some people pointed out my low post count and asked "well what have you contributed?" Well generally when I've had something to say, somebody has already said it and said it better. So I keep my mouth shut. But not this time. And if pulling some of the crap that Szvook has is considered "funny" or "making a meaningful contribution" than count me out. Szvook has provided a lot of people (including me) with some good advice. Just remember, it probably wasn't his.

                              Johnny

                              P.S.

                              Arriguy- "Early bird catches the szvook."

                              NOW THAT'S FUNNY!

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