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Author Topic: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend  (Read 44360 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« on: July 22, 2010, 01:45:36 PM »
I've developed a rational relationship with EQ (she's so cerebral), but I've struggled with Dynamic Range- that fiery & passionate muse that can get out of hand, but man what a lover!

A lot of the material I record is highly dynamic and stands to benefit from a reduction of that extreme range for playback on systems owned by mere mortals, who don't listen with their hand glued to the volume knob.  Yet it seems I can never get a compressor to sound really clean and transparent enough.  Instead, even if it sounds OK in isolation, the music sounds squashed and dead in comparison to the fully dynamic version.  It usually works better and sounds more natural if I draw volume envelopes that bring up softer material, but it's a pain to do and still doesn't always get the result I'm looking for.

I also feel like I'd like a tool which allows me to set a separate EQ curve for the softer material verses the loud parts and automatically switches smoothly between them.  If I set EQ so that the quiet parts sound right, things get hard when the levels heat up. If I EQ for the loud sections, the quiet bits sound slightly dull, washed out, thin and distant.

So I finally tried applying a technique I'd read Bob Olhsson discussing (once Motown's mastering & mix engineer, still actively mastering) that was used then and is a now a somewhat standard mastering technique - and it seems to have given me a much better handle on both problems.  It's also discussed in Bob Katz's book on mastering, where he refers to it as parallel compression.

Last night I took a completed 4-mic stereo mix-down of a show that I've been working on, brought the stereo track back into Samplitude, copied it to a new track and left the original alone but applied compression/limiting and EQ to the copy.  I set a low threshold and an aggressive compressor curve with lots of makup gain that radically boosts the low level material and was hard limited above about -10/-15dBfs.  I also strongly EQ'd the heavily compressed stereo copy with a 'loudness' type curve with boosted lows, presence region and highs and scooped lower mids and upper bass.  It took a good bit of listening to the solo'd  track to get the compressor attack and release settings and the EQ near where they should be.  Alone, it sounded very contoured and squashed- nothing like what was shooting for, but not grossly distorted either.  I then unsolo'd the track and brought down the level to something like 20dB below the uncompressed stereo track.  I played around with level and eq of the compressed track a bit more and for the first time ever I ended up with something that was better sounding than the original at both low and high level passages.

The contribution of the compressed track primarily becomes apparent in the lower level passages, where it brings up the details and adds the appropriate EQ at the same time.  It also reinforces the punch and thickness of the drums solo parts that have full peaks (which remain cleanly unsquashed) as well as little bush-work details that now can be clearly heard at sane listening levels.  At high level portions the uncompressed track drowns out the compressed copy completely- no lopping off of the peaks or squashed transients. It really helped to bring out the somewhat buried contribution of the third member of the trio- a muted bass trumpet player that played rather softly can now be heard much more easily.

I'd previously tried doing something similar 'within' an in-line compressor plugin that provides a wet/dry mix control, mixing uncompressed signal with the compressed output, but never got the results I was looking for.  Maybe its the additional control that doing it this way provides, but I suspect it's most likely the seperate EQing of the compressed signal and the way that the separate track technique makes it easy to see, hear and adjust what the relationship is between the compressed and uncompressed material that makes the difference.

I need to go deeper, with it, but I'm thrilled!  If you're struggling with compression, give it a try.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 11:14:29 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2010, 12:59:06 PM »
Another good term for this is bottom-up compression, since it is raising the low level portions instead of reducing the high level parts.  It is a dynamics tool, but in that sense it is quite different than 'normal' compression and serves another purpose.  That hit home last night when I realized I needed to go in an draw some envelopes to reduce a few high level drum hits.  This form of compression does not affect those peaks at all, so if I kept levels low enough for those few peaks not to clip, the RMS level of the music was too low.  After enveloping down the level of a handful of the sharp peaks I could then raise the master output gain and get the RMS level to a reasonable point without the highest transients clipping.  The enveloping worked really well for that and only required a few edits- in this case 5 or so of the strongest hits.  This goes full circle back to the envelope-is-better-sounding than trying to apply a limiter to the master bus thing.

By contrast, parallel or bottom-up compression is a low level enhancement tool.  Bringing out detail and tone in the quieter parts (via both upward dynamics & EQ) which would otherwise drop below audibility.  Different tools for different problems, even if they are all dynamics related.
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Johnny Thunder

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2010, 11:10:33 AM »
I, for one, think this is a pretty sharp technique. I appriciate you sharing your findings with it, and am interested in lookahead, attack and release times you're having success with should you care to share that information. I have several recordings I want to try this with. MUCH better than squasing the upper limits of the dynamic range to match the lower end.

-JT

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2010, 11:40:10 AM »
I've been meaning to write up a post about this for months.  This is a technique that's used everyday in all recording situations.  Parallel comping your drum bus in the studio is a fantastic way to "beef up" your drums but still not make them sound squashed.  Keeps the transient response of the bus but also gives some drive behind it.  I've also seen it used on bass tracks and guitar busses.  It's used in mastering all the time.  Really an amazing tool to have in your arsenal. 

When I'm doing "professional" taping gigs (paid 2 or 4 track location stuff) I pretty much always end up running it through a parallel compressor setup.  It sounds great, raises RMS volume without pushing the transients into peaking.  This technique could absolutely be used for most of the 2 track records here.

Great post! 
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2010, 05:26:31 PM »
Great post, thanks for sharing!
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 07:33:51 PM »
wow i have done this to a few recordings and i think it helps them a lot!  I like dynamic range but some bands are very extreme (low anthem).  this technique sounds great to me!
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2010, 09:50:02 PM »
Great post, thanks for sharing!

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2010, 11:09:30 PM »
Great post, thanks for sharing!

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poetic even. 
I've been struggling with this for awhile.  I have quite a few matrix recordings and "evening them out" always just bring the vocals but still looses the atmosphere of the recording, by bringing those to the front i still set aside the natural aspect of that recording. I give it bass.  Not satisfied with that.
I have a great recording from both sources; audience and sbd, Thomas A. Minor;  I'm listening to it right now.  I hear the bugs chirping in the background and it's wonderful.  Mix the aud/sbd, loose that "air" which in this case adds alot, crickets and banjo, junebugs and stand up bass.  I want that air, that atmosphere, to not be noise, not sure if i can do what your doing with audacity.  I know i lack the knowledge, but do i have the right tools???  :?
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2010, 11:04:31 AM »
You have the tools in Audacity. You just need an extra stereo track with a copy of the audio, leave the original alone, apply EQ and a compression to the copy, then mix that in at a lower level with the original.

Solo the copied stereo track and adjust the eq, compressor, and level of the copied track.  As a starting point, try using way more compresssion than would normally be called for, something like a 10:1 ratio with a very low threshold and enough makeup gain so that you have enough output to vary its contribution to the mix later.  Bump up the high frequencies, maybe the lows, and maybe cut the low mids.  Then unsolo the track and adjust it's level against the un-effected original track, listening for what it's doing for the low level stuff.. to the chirping bugs and background ambient air.  Then play around with the compression settings, the eq and the level of the compressed track under the uncompressed one.

BTW another common name for this technique is New York Compression.

[edited for typo's]
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 12:04:12 PM by Gutbucket »
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2010, 11:57:29 AM »
^  Awesome!  THanks for the breakdown, althrough i do read it in the original post, makes more sense to me now.
  I have something i can already try this with, the same recording i've mentioned.  One is unaltered, the other is compressed and boosted.  I've been playing them, trading song per song over the speakers trying to find what i like better.  Now i'll put them together and do some work.  Exciting prospect; to actually improve upon the recording without losing/Squashing it.  Thank you
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2010, 12:01:35 PM »
Squashing up instead of squashing down-

musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline notsofast

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2010, 01:13:43 PM »
Fascinating, I learned so much and am eager to try and even re-master some of my pulls with this technique.

Thanks for the clear explanation and planting the seed,

Tim
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2010, 01:19:23 PM »
I'm going to try this out on my d'Elf recording from last night.  We'll see how it goes.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2010, 02:49:40 PM »
Let me know how it works for you.

Totally dig the d'Elf.  Thanks for making so many great recordings of them over the years, J!
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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2010, 06:59:36 PM »
Couple questions:
- Can this be done in Wavelab?  Via the Montage feature I assume?
- I recorded a set recently where the artist switches instruments every couple songs (barely-mic'ed acoustic guitar, full electric guitar w/ distortion, barely mic'ed banjo, piano, etc.).  The levels vary wildly from song to song.  Would this be a good candidate for parallel compression?

Thanks for the thread, just having trouble completely wrapping my mind around it . . .

edit: I guess I really just am not getting what numbers and settings to go for to get this to work  . . .
« Last Edit: August 28, 2010, 03:39:54 AM by Sloan Simpson »

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2010, 08:09:45 PM »
Let me know how it works for you.

Totally dig the d'Elf.  Thanks for making so many great recordings of them over the years, J!

I think it worked out very well.
here it is (the mp3's are still deriving)...
http://www.archive.org/details/clubdelf2010-08-26.ck930.flac16
I used parallel compression on this, although I didn't do any EQ on either the straight up version, or the heavily compressed version.

also, I think I'm going to leave the 24 bit version just straight up, with no compression (parallel or otherwise).  the 24 bit files is what I use to listen to at home, in a more controlled environment.  here is the 24 bit version, with no compression:
http://www.archive.org/details/clubdelf2010-08-26.ck930.flac24
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 06:42:00 AM by JasonSobel »

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2010, 09:07:37 PM »
Jason, that Us and Them is pretty stellar!
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2010, 07:17:20 AM »
Jason, that Us and Them is pretty stellar!

because of the parallel compression?  ;)

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2010, 06:22:52 PM »
Jason, that Us and Them is pretty stellar!

because of the parallel compression?  ;)
Me thinks?
Do tell.....
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2010, 12:23:22 AM »
Jason, that Us and Them is pretty stellar!

because of the parallel compression?  ;)

Maybe so, maybe not.

it is nice tho.  :)
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2010, 02:37:45 AM »
it is nice tho.  :)

super good- both musicianship & recording.


Dont't hear any obvious compression listening to the VBR stream- a good thing.
Playing it again straight through- which is good thing too.

I'll be interested to hear the difference in the 24 bit.
& again- thanks for the great music.
super cool.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2010, 06:47:32 AM »
it is nice tho.  :)

super good- both musicianship & recording.


Dont't hear any obvious compression listening to the VBR stream- a good thing.
Playing it again straight through- which is good thing too.

I'll be interested to hear the difference in the 24 bit.
& again- thanks for the great music.
super cool.

the 24 bit version is now posted (http://www.archive.org/details/clubdelf2010-08-26.ck930.flac24).  As I said before, no compression on the 24 bit version at all.  However, the fact I didn't use any compression on the 24 bit version isn't a criticism of parallel compression at all.  Merely the reality of when I listen to each version.  I'll only listen to the 24 bit version at home, when I can appreciate the fully dynamic version.  On the other hand, I'll listen to the 16 bit version in the car or on my mp3 player.  And in those cases, it helps to reduce the dynamic range a bit.

Thanks again Gutbucket for posting about parallel compression and bringing this technique to my attention.  I really do think it works better (relative to normal compression) to achieve my goals of reducing the dynamic range, while not killing the feel of the live recording.

- Jason

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2010, 08:50:45 AM »
edit: I guess I really just am not getting what numbers and settings to go for to get this to work  . . .
Sounds like you would work on a copy of the raw track, and compress it a little harder than you normally would (lower threshold, higher ratio), then see what the mix with raw sounds like. Numbers are great as starting points, but nothing like letting the ears tell ya the real answer.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2010, 12:24:46 PM »
Thanks for the thread. I've tried to do low and high level compression before with a single plugin, but I haven't really liked the results and I found it hard to visualize what was going on behind the scenes. This technique makes more sense to me because I can see what's happening, and I'm having a lot of fun playing around with this technique on a matrix mix of an acoustic performance. Really beefs things up without sounding overly processed. I still have fine tuning to do, but I think the result I'm getting is so much better now than when I just applied a bunch of high-level compression to try to bring up the quiet stuff at the expense of the loud transients.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2010, 09:35:38 AM »
I don't spend as much time in my DAW as I should and I'll admit that, because of that, after reading several times, the compression discussion of this thread has my mind spinning.  With that as an intro, I'm asking advance forgiveness for a DAW noob question.  Please bear with me while I develop the background to several questions...which are at the end of the paragraph.

I understand the concept of bottom-up compression that's discussed here, particularly when contrasted by the dynamic range limiting concept of compression that squashes peaks...which could conversely be called top-down compression I suppose.  All this makes total sense to me.  However, in my own post mastering, I've never invoked any compression onto my masters.  For the lower volume songs, I've always opted to simply manually adjust the levels upward with the level tool.  To make transitions transparent, I'll use the fade in and fade out tools. 

I realize that this technique doesn't implement compression continuously throughout the recording, but here is my main DAW noob question...wouldn't this manual technique I've used approximate (on a somewhat macroscopic level) the parallel compression technique that's being discussed in this thread? 

If so, why would the technique I've use be any better or worse than applying compression on the entire performance?

If not, why not?

Thanks in advance!

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2010, 11:09:23 AM »
By manually adjusting the level upwards for the softer parts you are doing a form of manually applied bottom-up compression. It's actually quite similar in a lot of ways, although there are differences- if those differences are good or bad depends on how you look at it.  Some of the differences are sonic, others are more about how you go about doing it and the time required to do so.

Manually drawing level changes and crossfades gives you specific control over each section- exactly how much each part is boosted and how it blends into the surrounding louder sections.. and that requires specific attention to getting the level and fades set for each section.  With enough attention to the crossfades, doing it manually it might be less prone to introducing sonic artifacts than using a compressor plugin, parallel or otherwise.  Some of the potential artifacts I notice are the pumping, or audible modulation of lower level constant background noise in the quiet sections: things like guitar amp hum, HVAC rumble, etc.  Setting up parallel compression takes more time initially to dial in the right settings to avoid those problems, but doesn't require applying it individually to every quiet part. 

So then one practical question is how ‘granular’ you want to get in your dynamic level adjustments.  If there are not very many, you may want the extra control of doing it manually. Then again, if applied automatically as determined by the level of the recording itself, the compression might be more consistent across all sections, even very short segments.  If you slice the pie in small enough pieces, you’d go nuts trying to envelope them all.

Sonically a few things are different as well and again, if those are good or bad, depends.  Parallel compression effects the microdynamics within the quieter sections as well as the overall macrodynamic level of the entire section.  It evens-out the level of sounds within those soft parts, bringing up the background sounds more than just raising the overall level by the same amount would.  For highly transient material which doesn’t have a high average level, it sort of thickens things up.  That can often be heard on drum sections, were it compresses and brings out the lower level trailing resonances after the brief, high-level hit peaks. In mixing, it’s sometimes applied the drum buss for that reason 

Also as mentioned previously, it's a common approach to EQ the compressed copy differently from the uncompressed copy, which has the effect of applying a different EQ curve to the quiet parts verses the loud parts.  Like you, I  haven’t put much time into mastery of the DAW interface and complexities either.  My DAW allows automation of EQ curves so I could manually adjust EQ over time similar to drawing in manual level changes, but I’ve never figured out how to do that.. and it would probably take me way too much time to adjust it all to my satisfaction.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 11:13:46 AM by Gutbucket »
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2010, 11:32:47 AM »
Gb beat me to it, but I was nearly done, so I'll post anyway...

Manually adjusting levels reduces dynamic range between one or more edited sections and the unedited sections.  Compression -- depending on the content one's editing -- may, depending on the configuration one uses, reduce the (micro-)dynamic range within the selected range (whether the whole recording, a section, song, or even portion of a song), as well as the macro-dynamics between the edited and unedited sections.  Manual level adjustment works well, as far as it goes.  But I've often found myself wanting to reduce dynamic range in multiple portions of a recording.  Using manual level adjustment when the portions are very many and/or very short <a> becomes tedious and/or <b> produces audible transitions due to insufficient time to fade level adjustment in or out.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2010, 11:35:40 AM »
Thank you both Gutbucket and Brian.  Awesome responses and very insightful/informative.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2010, 12:12:15 PM »
No problem. 

I'd like to add that there isn't any reason why both techniques cannot be used together at the same time in a complementary fashion.  In that case, wherever the average level is increased manually, the total contribution of the bottom-up compression would be reduced, automatically.  I haven't tried doing that, but it might be a way of using both techniques to their best advantage.

It all depends on what's called for and how much time you have to put into it.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2010, 12:29:40 PM »
GB,
I want to thank you as well. I've used this technique a few times and am really liking how it sounds. Great thread. Thanks!!

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2010, 04:26:34 PM »
The old light-bulb went off in my head and this all makes sense now, thanks to everyone!

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2010, 10:28:04 AM »
I saw this technique being used live by someone recording classical music for a venue. They make recordings of every performance and there was no time for post processing as one-off CD's had to be created for the conductor nightly.

A compressed stereo pair was mixed in with the uncompressed signal and this was mixed on the fly to a CD recorder. The compressed tracks make the average RMS level higher for very soft passages that are harder to hear especially if you are listening in a noisier environment . They were not just recording the compressed audio but a blend of compressed and uncompressed signals.

When I work on recordings that I have made myself there is usually some parallel processing of some kind. Sometimes this can be separate eq to mid and side signals and sometimes the original track is blended in with mid-side signals. I might even compress the mid a bit and leave the sides alone. It depends upon the recording.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2010, 09:32:15 PM »
I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds interesting. All this work should be done on a copy of a 24-bit master before dithering/resampling down to redbook, correct?
Also, I've sometimes wondered about putting a compressor, something like the FMR RNC, in the recording chain. Of course, results would be irreversible. Maybe this processing technique would accomplish the same thing?
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2010, 09:48:13 PM »
I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds interesting. All this work should be done on a copy of a 24-bit master before dithering/resampling down to redbook, correct?

well before yes.

In some ways I'd almost do:

Split tracks > Compress/EQ #2 & EQ #1 > Adjust mix > (render) > Final EQ adjustments > Any mastering functions you do (inc dither/resample)
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2010, 10:03:44 PM »
I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds interesting. All this work should be done on a copy of a 24-bit master before dithering/resampling down to redbook, correct?
Also, I've sometimes wondered about putting a compressor, something like the FMR RNC, in the recording chain. Of course, results would be irreversible. Maybe this processing technique would accomplish the same thing?

The main reason to do this with something like an outboard compressor is if you have to produce a mix in realtime. Given a choice I would prefer to work in software as it offers more control and the ability to undo.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2010, 06:00:47 AM »
Many thanks for this really helpful thread. I'd never used this method before.

I must admit the prospect of using 2 files, EQ-ing, compressing and mixing did fill me with horror, so i tried a potentially simpler way. I used the 'upward compression' preset in Waves C1 compressor plug-in on one of my concert recordings with very quiet and very loud passages. I played around with the threshold until i got about 4dB-6dB of gain on the quiet passages and the result was really impressive. It really brought life and body to the whole recording without loss of dynamics.

I'm not sure this is exactly the same as what has been described, but it does follow the same principle of upward compression, and is extremely easy to implement by novices like me as a plug-in effect.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2010, 01:25:41 AM »
I decided to give one of my classical recordings (a binaural recording of an a cappella chorale) the parallel compression treatment tonight. Even though I felt a bit squicked about applying compression to a live recording, the result was very pleasing. It sounded as if I had moved up right up to the front row! Details that seemed slightly hazy in the original leaped into clarity, and the remastered version has a lot more punch to it without seeming to lose the dynamics. Of course, to be pedantic, it does lose some dynamic range, but this is not the sort of Death Magnetic-style brickwalling that I hate. All in all, it was well worth the fiddling (and yes, this is a fiddly process - it took a lot of fiddling to keep the compressor from pumping).

In Audacity, I came up with -13 dB threshold, -45 dB noise floor, 6.5:1 compression ratio, 0.2 sec attack time, and 10 sec decay time for the compressed track, and then I set the compressed track -5 dB below the uncompressed track. Then, I knocked back the gain on both tracks until there was no more clipping at the peaks, and mixed them together.

I'm going to have to try this on some of my other pulls now...
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2010, 11:10:22 PM »
.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2010, 11:36:34 PM »

BTW another common name for this technique is New York Compression.


^This is what I've heard it referred as when I was taught it. Nashville engineers will know it as parallel compression. Apparently since recording space is limited in NY, engineers would do this to make the tracks more in your face and seem like they were recorded in much larger rooms.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2010, 11:05:22 PM »
There is a name for it....?   I run mostly matrixs and  was digging (compressing) my soundboard channel looking for vocals. I found it and so I mixed this back in....  Along with the uncompressed signal. That was the sound.  Thanks for naming and explaining this so well.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2010, 12:43:09 AM »
When running matrices I was digging (compressing) my soundboard channel looking for vocals

and fiddle and acoustic...this technique works great for compressing a board feed and mixing with an uncompressed audience source.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2010, 04:46:39 PM »
When running matrices I was digging (compressing) my soundboard channel looking for vocals

and fiddle and acoustic...this technique works great for compressing a board feed and mixing with an uncompressed audience source.
 


QFT     (Bump to the top... this is too important . )
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2010, 04:45:02 PM »
Trying this out and i get phasing what am i doing wrong?

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2010, 10:18:20 AM »
Any suggestions for a better compressor,im looking for free VST plug in.Currently i have sony track compressor,classic compressor and gcomp.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2010, 10:34:54 AM »
Haven't tried it myself, but I've heard good reports about the transparency of the free Weldroid Courvoisier recently. I'm sure there are a number of others worth considering.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2010, 11:29:21 AM »
Voxengo Elephant is really good but no free. Try the demo!

You will need to provide more details of the setup to get some advice on the phasing. Is this using outboard equipment or parallel processing of tracks in a DAW?
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2010, 01:06:20 PM »
I've been doing some multi-tracking and mixing with Reaper (software).  Reaper comes with a bunch of plugins, and in particular there is one I use called "ReaComp".  Once you open up the plugin, you can fiddle with all the attack/release settings, or you can pick a drop down preset that some intellegent person left for you.  One of those presets is "New York compression", and it works pretty slick.  I tend to leave most of the settings per the preset, and then change "100% wet" to "50% wet".

The plugin was free, and it's a VST plugin.  I'm just not sure if all VST plugins are created equal, and if you can use it in your editor.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2010, 02:30:26 PM »
Hey thanks for the reaper vst link.They work fine in Sony Vegas but there is no presets in reacomp for NY compression....could you tell me all the parameters in that preset.....and in the spirit of sharing great free VST plugins here are over 30 fantastic full interface Antress VSTs .....i use Modern Channel all the time .If you don't have these already Merry Christmas....
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2010, 02:43:10 PM »
When running matrices I was digging (compressing) my soundboard channel looking for vocals

and fiddle and acoustic...this technique works great for compressing a board feed and mixing with an uncompressed audience source.
 


QFT     (Bump to the top... this is too important . )

Yep, it's saved my hide a couple of times. In a similar vein, the general motions worked on a recent show. The room mix had drums being just a touch too prominant at the show. I get home and find out that the board feed has vocals, and drums, (and some guitar, but it's really burried) and the drums are about 20db louder then the vocals (which are almost non-existant on the audience pull).

Trying this out and i get phasing what am i doing wrong?

Sounds like the resulting output from the plugin shifts in the timeline just a bit. Izotope's Ozone does that for all non-EQ/Amp-only operations in my experience so I make a single sample mark at 0db near the beginning of all of my files and then after I'm done processing, I go back and find it and move the processed file back to where I made the mark on the raw tracks, then adjust back and forth to taste for stuff that's smeared or shifted (usually the adjustments after re-alignment are counted in single ms forward or backward).
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2011, 04:49:22 PM »
Trying this out and i get phasing what am i doing wrong?

If doing this in the computer, your software has to have latency compensation to adjust for latency added when using plugins.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2011, 01:38:04 PM »
I mix in Adobe Audition (3.0) to mix my matrixs   I load the board  track into AA  twice..  Put  one of these tracks into the multitrack side straight up.  on the other I use "hard limiting process"  I boost the input 13 to 15 db  and then "limit max amplitude" to -1 and then move this on to the multitrack side.  So when I mix I have a Mic stage right track,  A Mic stage left track , the soundboard signal untouched, and then the compressed to shit soundboard track (and if I'm lucky a track with just vocals)  With it all layed out it is easy to "see" what you are working with.  Often I do a mixdown to new stereo file  and then put this back with the other tracks on the multitrack side and mix it again... there is a certain blending that occurs.  Then   I do another mixdown to stereo file and it becomes my stereo master.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2011, 02:41:47 PM »
To keep things in phase in Samplitude/Sequoia you really only need to keep the cursor at the same position or put it a the border of an object or split point. I render a file (ie. bounce) with the compression and then import that file into the project. To align it you snap the new object to the cursor position (on another track) at the start of the range of the bounce.

Where things can get out of phase is if you are going outside of the daw and then bringing the compressed audio back in on an auxillary input. Once you go outside of the DAW you have to blend the compressed output and the original track in the analog domain or capture the audio to a file and somehow align it to the original.

DAW software will buffer/delay the playback to accomodate any delays introduced by the plugins in use.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2011, 11:37:17 PM »
I have an AUD recording of Corey Harris solo. Corey was playing mostly quiet stuff and crowd was really quiet during the songs but not so quiet between songs. Do you think this technique would work well?

If this is not the technique to use (I'm sure this has been answered before...too lazy to search) what is a good way to boost the songs and decrease the between song crowd noise while maintaining some level of cohesiveness?

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2011, 11:55:48 PM »
I have an AUD recording of Corey Harris solo. Corey was playing mostly quiet stuff and crowd was really quiet during the songs but not so quiet between songs. Do you think this technique would work well?

If this is not the technique to use (I'm sure this has been answered before...too lazy to search) what is a good way to boost the songs and decrease the between song crowd noise while maintaining some level of cohesiveness?

What I'd do if I were in your shoes depends on one thing: How much range do you have between the loud audience sections and the quiet music sections? If it's barely 5db, I'd use a clean limiter (I prefer Izotope's Ozone for the job, but ymmv) and just squish it. If you have like 15 or 20db difference, then I'd look at compressing it on a curve and if that's not enough, limiting the result a little.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2011, 04:39:12 AM »
..what is a good way to boost the songs and decrease the between song crowd noise while maintaining some level of cohesiveness?

Parallel compression is not the tool you want for adjusting this.

What page describes can work if you set things correctly so that the limiter / compressor only works on the loud, between song portions and doesn't do much to the songs.  But for what you want to do, I'd suggest manually drawing volume changes with the envelope tool- higher when he's playing and lower when when the loud crowd comes in.  If all the loud parts are mostly between songs there shouldn't be too many events to make doing that overly difficult and its easy to make the change up and down happen as quickly or slowly as needed by adjusting the slope between points.  Alternately you could achieve the same thing using fader automation if you prefer working that way and your software does it.

Why?
If I understand correctly the dynamic range during the songs themselves is not the problem and doing it this way doesn't change it at all.   You'll preserve the existing dynamics within the music segments and and within the louder between song segments, but will make difference between them less which is what you want.  Compression or limiting will change the sound of the song portions, even if set well. Standard compression reduces dynamics by working most on the loudest parts and transients.  Parallel compression instead changes the quiet end of things- which in this case are the song portions.  Your recording may or may not benefit from that, but it's a separate dynamics issue than the song/applause level differences.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #55 on: March 20, 2011, 09:13:17 AM »
^thanks for the info.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #56 on: March 22, 2011, 08:49:05 PM »
When working with a continuous live recording that varies widely in dynamic range from acoustic to full band, how should I go about parallel compression? For example, working on a recent Trey show where first set is all acoustic minus the last two songs where it's full band and very loud. I can use a lot of compression on the parallel track to where the acoustic majority sounds great, but the last two are highly brickwalled. Is it bad to mix in any portion that might be brickwalled? Do I need to apply different compression amounts and cross fade it?

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #57 on: March 22, 2011, 09:35:11 PM »
Do I need to apply different compression amounts and cross fade it?

I would do this.  the dynamics change a lot from the acoustic portion to the full band playing for the last two songs, so it makes sense that they two portions require different post processing.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2011, 08:09:21 PM »
I love to run matrixes... It is what I do better than 90% of the time.  Last night I'm recording a blues man (Louisiana Red) in my favorite club. (Rhythm Room)  So channels 1 and 2 are split (8') omnis at the stage lip between the monitors and PA. I split the board signal between channels 3 and 4... channel 5 is an aux out of the board with straight vocals. Channel 3 is normal and I set the trim to get a decent level... on channel 4 I turn the limiter on and set the gain as high as it will go. I had wondered if the limiter was robust enough to handle this and it is... I just  turned down this channel into the mix and it worked like a champ .  on the fly New York Compression in Phoenix...  Right now I'm mixing the 5 channels (and the mix)   God I love this machine.
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Offline Patrick

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #59 on: June 05, 2011, 02:02:39 PM »
I love to run matrixes... It is what I do better than 90% of the time.  Last night I'm recording a blues man (Louisiana Red) in my favorite club. (Rhythm Room)  So channels 1 and 2 are split (8') omnis at the stage lip between the monitors and PA. I split the board signal between channels 3 and 4... channel 5 is an aux out of the board with straight vocals. Channel 3 is normal and I set the trim to get a decent level... on channel 4 I turn the limiter on and set the gain as high as it will go. I had wondered if the limiter was robust enough to handle this and it is... I just  turned down this channel into the mix and it worked like a champ .  on the fly New York Compression in Phoenix...  Right now I'm mixing the 5 channels (and the mix)   God I love this machine.
Yea yea... I know this in recording section but this subject  just needs to be at the top once in while

What are you recording on?  Depends what type of limiter you're hitting but I can't imagine a built in limiter on a recording deck would be useful in this situation.
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Offline bdasilva

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #60 on: June 06, 2011, 02:54:35 PM »
Recording on the Tascam 680...  It works like a champ
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Offline ashevillain

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #61 on: June 10, 2011, 07:05:25 PM »
Can someone help me out for a second? I'm still trying to wrap my head around this technique. I've got a show that I'm working on where I recorded 4 channel SBD/AUD. I've duplicated the SBD tracks in Audition so I effectively have 6 channels that I'm looking at right now. I think I only want to use this technique on the SBD channels and just let the AUD be there a couple dB down for the ambience factor (the SBD mix was pretty good). The band was sort of an Indian fusion band so there are traditional elements like sitar and tablas and other percussion...but there are also electric guitars, bass and keys/samples at some points. A lot of the songs begin with just the sitar and percussion at relatively low levels and then work there way up into a frenzy. So there are very quiet parts and very loud parts.

I think what I'm going for with the compression is during the quiet parts I want the compressed track to be higher levels than the original and during the loud parts I want the original uncompressed track to be higher. Overall so the highest levels aren't touched but the lowest levels are brought up a bit? Also I think I saw this in a previous post but should I also be limiting the compressed track? (basically so the loudest parts of the compressed track are kept away from the loudest parts of the original?) Does this make sense?

I can tell as I'm fiddling around that I'm able to make this sound better than, say, the raw untouched matrix would sound but I want it to sound the best that it possibly can!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 07:09:07 PM by ashevillain »

Offline bdasilva

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #62 on: June 13, 2011, 04:01:03 PM »
 Put  one of these tracks into the multitrack side straight up.  on the other I use "hard limiting process"  I boost the input 13 to 15 db  and then "limit max amplitude" to -1 and then move this on to the multitrack side. 
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #63 on: June 13, 2011, 05:07:34 PM »
I think I only want to use this technique on the SBD channels and just let the AUD be there a couple dB down for the ambience factor (the SBD mix was pretty good).

I suggest mixing the AUD and SBD to taste first, then applying parallel compression to that stereo mix to bring up the details and softer parts.  Doing it that way keeps the process simple and also makes it much easier to hear what the parallel compression is doing to the final sound.  It's often the best aproach regardless.

Of course it's possible to process only the SBD or only the AUD, but mentally juggling what effect processing one or the other alone before combining them will have is not as obvious as one may imagine.  If you have the time and inclination, try it all three ways and make 3 mixes to compare: 1) EQ each source and mix 1st, then play with applying parallel comp to the resulting mix; 2) EQ each and parallel comp only the SBD before mixing the sources; 3) EQ each and parallel comp only the AUD, then mix.  The difference between them may not be what you expect.

Actually if using standard compression on one of the two sources, and not compressing the other, you end up with a form of parallel compression on the end product once mixed.  By performing parallel compression on just one source before mixing you effectively parallel your parallel compression.  In otherwords, the relationship between things get complicated.  It' might sound fine, but it gets harder to draw clear conclusions about why it does and exactly what is going on.

Quote
I think what I'm going for with the compression is during the quiet parts I want the compressed track to be higher levels than the original and during the loud parts I want the original uncompressed track to be higher. Overall so the highest levels aren't touched but the lowest levels are brought up a bit?

This is exactly what parallel compression applied to the stereo mix does.

Quote
Also I think I saw this in a previous post but should I also be limiting the compressed track?

Parallel compression is 'bottom up' and does nothing to the peaks of the uncompressed paralleled material.  That's the whole point really.  You may want to control the peaks of the final mix, or the components making up that mix, but that is a seperate issue. 

What bdasilva is doing might be more accurately called 'parallel limiting'.  Its attractive since he has extra tracks available on the recorder that would otherwise go unused.  By doing that he eliminates the work in the DAW of setting up the compressor on the paralleled tracks, at the expense of flexibility in dialing in the compression characteristics.  Because the compression applied with the parallel technique needs to be pretty heavy to be effective, and because the technique does a pretty good job of obscuring the compression artifacts of standard compression in general, pushing the limiter on the recorder hard on those extra tracks is an effective way to do this 'quick and dirty' in the field.
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Offline ashevillain

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #64 on: June 13, 2011, 05:31:34 PM »
^Thanks

Offline bdasilva

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2011, 11:29:12 PM »
I guess what i do could be called Parallel Limiting but I've only done it on the fly once (with great results)  I use this technique all time in my DAW during post using Hard limiting instead of compression... I have done both... compared them side by side and I like my method (and results)  better.
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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #66 on: July 15, 2011, 03:05:33 AM »
Have made a couple of my recent recordings better with this technique this week, very happy with it!

Offline bdasilva

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #67 on: September 14, 2011, 03:36:21 PM »
To the top....    This is an important thread...
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Dorsey-Mod MK-012 w/ O, C, H and RED L/D Caps
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #68 on: September 14, 2011, 08:34:19 PM »
I've been really digging this simple little VST compressor recently, just used normally & not paralleled.  My editing computer with DAW software is down and I've been using this for playback in Foobar with a VST wrapper on a work laptop I have at home.  Very paralley sounding in bringing up details, clarity and a subtle shimery air in the 'clear mode' with conservative settings around those shown below.  Simple enough interface and one of the eaiser comps to get a good sound of the ones I've messed around with.  The only thing that slighly concerns me is that subtle settings like those shown here seem to make most every live recording I put through it sound better, which sets off alarm bells in the moderating, skeptical part of my brain.
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #69 on: November 12, 2011, 02:50:26 PM »
I was using this technique on a show this morning and got a noticeable amount of PA hiss between songs. Any idea what I should do differently to avoid making that so prominent?

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #70 on: November 12, 2011, 05:39:13 PM »
The only thing that slighly concerns me is that subtle settings like those shown here seem to make most every live recording I put through it sound better, which sets off alarm bells in the moderating, skeptical part of my brain.

That's a trademark sign of audio crack right there. Starts out nice but you get addicted to it.

I can't say much though, I get the same sensation from Ozone. Use a little bit all the time (in various areas or conservative settings) and everything sounds wonderful compared to before, but crank on something and it can turn to ass quickly. I actually got to the point where I looked for an mp3/ogg/flac playback program for osx that would do VST bridging so I could insert Ozone into everything I was listening to (for pleasure)...  :-X
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Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #71 on: November 12, 2011, 06:14:27 PM »
Read this thread, started trying NY Compression. My 2011-10-31 New Monsoon show got the treatment, http://www.archive.org/details/nm2011-10-31.scoobiesnax.flac16.

What do ya think?

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Offline capnhook

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #72 on: November 12, 2011, 06:36:32 PM »
The only thing that slighly concerns me is that subtle settings like those shown here seem to make most every live recording I put through it sound better, which sets off alarm bells in the moderating, skeptical part of my brain.

That's a trademark sign of audio crack right there. Starts out nice but you get addicted to it.

I can't say much though, I get the same sensation from Ozone.

A parallel thought....I guess I do the same thing somewhere else.  I send my PC analog out to my audio rack, and the first thing it goes through (besides a Behringer HD400 2-Channel Hum Destroyer to break the ground loop) is a BBE Sonic Maximizer......

I see there is a VST plug-in for that, too...........M U S T   M O D E R A T E   :bigsmile:
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #73 on: November 12, 2011, 11:52:57 PM »
A parallel thought....I guess I do the same thing somewhere else.  I send my PC analog out to my audio rack, and the first thing it goes through (besides a Behringer HD400 2-Channel Hum Destroyer to break the ground loop) is a BBE Sonic Maximizer......

I see there is a VST plug-in for that, too...........M U S T   M O D E R A T E   :bigsmile:

you seriously need a DAC.  :o
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #74 on: November 13, 2011, 02:05:00 AM »
A parallel thought....I guess I do the same thing somewhere else.  I send my PC analog out to my audio rack, and the first thing it goes through (besides a Behringer HD400 2-Channel Hum Destroyer to break the ground loop) is a BBE Sonic Maximizer......

I see there is a VST plug-in for that, too...........M U S T   M O D E R A T E   :bigsmile:

you seriously need a DAC.  :o

Haven't found one that i like the sound of   ;D :P

/hijack off
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #75 on: November 15, 2011, 09:33:07 PM »
I was using this technique on a show this morning and got a noticeable amount of PA hiss between songs. Any idea what I should do differently to avoid making that so prominent?

Anyone?  :P

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #76 on: November 15, 2011, 10:49:19 PM »
I was using this technique on a show this morning and got a noticeable amount of PA hiss between songs. Any idea what I should do differently to avoid making that so prominent?

Anyone?  :P

Hmm, if I were going to do it, I'd do the following:

Make your heavy compressed pair and then before mixing it, do a low-pass filter up in the region of >8khz or so (depending on where the hiss is). If the hiss looks like a spike in a certain band, you could do a massive EQ cut in that band on the compressed pair, but other then that, it's a just knocking out that upper region on the compressed pair to taste.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #77 on: November 16, 2011, 10:56:54 AM »
I was using this technique on a show this morning and got a noticeable amount of PA hiss between songs. Any idea what I should do differently to avoid making that so prominent?

Anyone?  :P

Hmm, if I were going to do it, I'd do the following:

Make your heavy compressed pair and then before mixing it, do a low-pass filter up in the region of >8khz or so (depending on where the hiss is). If the hiss looks like a spike in a certain band, you could do a massive EQ cut in that band on the compressed pair, but other then that, it's a just knocking out that upper region on the compressed pair to taste.
That makes sense, I'll try it on the next one. Thanks.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #78 on: November 16, 2011, 11:24:46 AM »
I was using this technique on a show this morning and got a noticeable amount of PA hiss between songs. Any idea what I should do differently to avoid making that so prominent?

Anyone?  :P

Hmm, if I were going to do it, I'd do the following:

Make your heavy compressed pair and then before mixing it, do a low-pass filter up in the region of >8khz or so (depending on where the hiss is). If the hiss looks like a spike in a certain band, you could do a massive EQ cut in that band on the compressed pair, but other then that, it's a just knocking out that upper region on the compressed pair to taste.
That makes sense, I'll try it on the next one. Thanks.

oh, almost forgot, go for reduction, not annihilation in your compressed pair (unless it's a very tight band of hiss, then have at). Just enough to push it back to distant micro-detail is all.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #79 on: November 16, 2011, 11:45:33 AM »
I was using this technique on a show this morning and got a noticeable amount of PA hiss between songs. Any idea what I should do differently to avoid making that so prominent?

Anyone?  :P

Upwards or parallel compression is going to pull up and enhance lower dynamic details and if they are saturated in hiss unfortunately that gets brought up as well.  The first line of compromise is probably fiddling with how much compressed signal you mix in with the uncompressed signal, and how hard you compress it.  Try backing off a bit until the hiss is acceptable (acknowledging that once you start listening for his, it will be obvious, so leaving a bit more is often is OK).   If you can't reduce the his enough that way without loosing the compression goodness as well, then try EQ'ing the compressed signal to reduce the his.  I tend to dislike the sonic heavy hand of HPF or LPF filters and prefer to craft my own curves with peaking and shelving filters.  I like EQ'ing the compressed signal pretty heavily anyway, so I'd shoot for targeting the hissy sounding band with a peaking filter.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Patrick

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #80 on: November 22, 2011, 10:19:32 PM »
A parallel thought....I guess I do the same thing somewhere else.  I send my PC analog out to my audio rack, and the first thing it goes through (besides a Behringer HD400 2-Channel Hum Destroyer to break the ground loop) is a BBE Sonic Maximizer......

I see there is a VST plug-in for that, too...........M U S T   M O D E R A T E   :bigsmile:

you seriously need a DAC.  :o

please don't over use that BBE box.  I've used the plug in and the thing sounds pretty terrible.  Are you bussing the output back into your DAW or just using the BBE box for monitoring?

Reminds me of a story:   I let someone patch off me with his DAP-1 during Langerado 2006.  My JB3's hard drive went south shortly after the weekend, losing most of the material recorded at the festival.  Fortunately, I had this guy's contact info, who promised to upload everything to LMA that he could, and bittorrent the rest.  Turns out, he ran all his DAT transfers through a TC Finalizer box, applying some extreme limiting and compression to recordings before sending them to his computer.  Some really bad "pumping" style compression.  Exhausting to listen to.  I felt bad about emailing him asking for the clean masters... but his post production totally sucked!  I don't think he ever came through with the DAT tapes of that weekend.  :(
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Offline capnhook

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #81 on: November 27, 2011, 08:46:11 PM »
Just using the BBE in my analog rack that I listen to everything with......BBE, parametric EQ, graphic EQ, Carver sonic holography unit, Carver receiver and amp, Klipsch Heresy's.
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BSCS-L->JB-mod [NAK CM-300 (CP-3) and/or (CP-1)]->LSD2->CA CAFS-Omni->Sony ECM-907**Apogee MiniMe Rev. C->CA Ugly II->**Edirol OCM R-44->Tascam DR-22WL->Sony TCD-D8


"Don't ever take an all or nothing attitude when it comes to making a difference
and being beautiful and making the world a beautiful place through your actions.
Every little bit is registered.  Every little bit.  So be as beautiful as you can as often as you can"

"It'll never be over, 'till we learn."
 
"My dream is to get a bus and get the band and just go coast to coast. Just about everything else except music, is anti-musical.  That's it.  Music's the thing." - Jeb Puryear

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #82 on: November 27, 2011, 09:22:57 PM »
..Carver sonic holography unit..

OT, but tell me more about your experience with that part in your playback chain, Kevin.  Do you need to stay glued to the sweet spot?
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #83 on: November 28, 2011, 01:35:14 PM »
..Carver sonic holography unit..

OT, but tell me more about your experience with that part in your playback chain, Kevin.  Do you need to stay glued to the sweet spot?

To hear the effect, that's the best place to experience it with the C-9.  That Bob Carver was onto something.....or ON something  :P
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #84 on: November 29, 2011, 11:18:44 AM »
I have one of those that has been laying idle for years and just recently thought about seeing if it would be useful now.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #85 on: January 26, 2012, 11:34:37 PM »
Time to bring this to the top
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #86 on: January 29, 2012, 11:30:10 AM »
So... has anyone considered doing parallel smear/coloration in addition to parallel compression? e.g:

tracks 1/2: no adjustment
tracks 3/4: parallel comp -> coloration/saturation

So for stuff that's really dynamic you would be smearing the low level stuff and then when someone takes a solo or surges they would pop out into a clear window. Conversely, for far field recordings, you're crowd noise between songs would smear but the band wouldn't.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #87 on: January 29, 2012, 05:35:52 PM »
Please explain "parallel smear/coloration". You talking EQ?
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #88 on: January 29, 2012, 06:50:55 PM »
Please explain "parallel smear/coloration". You talking EQ?

transformer modeling, old neve console modeling, tube saturation.

All of these can induce a variety of coloration, harmonics, and soundstage smear (where you have more trouble getting a pinpoint vision on stage of where an instrument sits in space). For example, the sonosax induces smear (among other things) on the soundstage, it also widens it, but it smears it so you have more trouble pinpointing in a razor sharp way where an instrument is. If a trumpeter is at 10:30 in your mix, with the sax or other gear that induces soundstage smear, you might say they were somewhere between 10 and 11. You know it's forward and left, but you couldn't close your eyes and pinpoint exactly where they are. That in trade can create euphoria so sometimes it's wanted. One instance where smear didn't bother me as much was in PA taping (what is your soundstage; it's 2 stacks and a bunch of drunks. I don't necessarily need to know it's 2 stacks that are 30 degrees in front of me). One place where it irked me was taping stuff on stage. If you like that razor clear soundstage, smear is evil. If you want euphoria in your soundstage, then it's a valid trade.

So take that concept and now think about running a parallel comp and then using something to smear or color that set of tracks and mix it back in with the non-colored/compressed. The theory** being that stuff would pop out when they surge or solo and would smear when they don't. Another example would be if the band was quiet and the drummer did a sharp cymbal crack. You would hear the crack off of the non-comp/color track and then hear your coloration on the decay.

** This is a theory because different plugins have an inherent delay in rendering than others do. For example, the Softube FET compressor delays it's output from the plug by 44 samples, so I can't just mix that back in with the original signal (because it sounds like ass, I tried), I have to delay the unprocessed signal by 44 samples and then mix. The URS Saturation plug doesn't seem to. I measured by creating a single sample spike in an otherwise silent 2ch wav, processing one channel and counting sample differences afterwards. The theory part is did you measure it accurately. The more accurate the measurement (even down to half samples or quarter samples if your DAW will handle that) the better the result.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #89 on: January 30, 2012, 11:00:32 AM »
I don't see why it wouldn't work.  The basic thing to consider is which range you want a particular effect to act upon.  Anything which you would like to act primarily on the quieter, lower level sections would be best done in the parallel compression chain, whereas a effect or flavor you want to target primarily at the higher level, loud sections would be best applied to the non-parallel chain.

Some DAWs automatically apply sample delay compensation for whatever plugins you use, which means you don't need to think about the delays the processing causes.  I know Samplitude does this.  If the DAW you are using does not do that automatically, there are other plugings which can do the compensation by delaying everything else to match.  I think Voxengo has a free VST dedicated to offsetting the delay compensation of other plugins, but I'd have have to check.  Im sure there are others as well.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #90 on: January 30, 2012, 01:30:10 PM »
I don't see why it wouldn't work.  The basic thing to consider is which range you want a particular effect to act upon.  Anything which you would like to act primarily on the quieter, lower level sections would be best done in the parallel compression chain, whereas a effect or flavor you want to target primarily at the higher level, loud sections would be best applied to the non-parallel chain.

Some DAWs automatically apply sample delay compensation for whatever plugins you use, which means you don't need to think about the delays the processing causes.  I know Samplitude does this.  If the DAW you are using does not do that automatically, there are other plugings which can do the compensation by delaying everything else to match.  I think Voxengo has a free VST dedicated to offsetting the delay compensation of other plugins, but I'd have have to check.  Im sure there are others as well.

I'm not sure it's the DAW so much as the plug itself, I have others that are peachy keen on rendering the altered audio in it's original position. I've gotten this effect in three different places now with that compressor, so I'm tempted to say it's something with the plug. Anyway, Reaper has a delay function that can work at fractional sample rates, so I can get it lined up, but figuring that out took a test or two first.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #91 on: January 30, 2012, 02:18:27 PM »
The automatic delay compensation feature simply looks at the precessing delay imposed by the plugin and then delays everything else that didn't pass through the plugin to match.  Its a feature of the DAW that corrects for the delay imposed by the plugin, to avoid unintended delay effects like combfiltering.

It sounds like you are doing the same thing by calculating and applying the same compensation manually, which achieves the same result, but requires you to do the work.

But agreed that the necessity for needing to make the correction (either automatically or manually) is determined by the behavoir or the plugin itself, not the DAW.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #92 on: January 30, 2012, 09:46:51 PM »
The automatic delay compensation feature simply looks at the precessing delay imposed by the plugin and then delays everything else that didn't pass through the plugin to match.  Its a feature of the DAW that corrects for the delay imposed by the plugin

that's hawt.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #93 on: January 31, 2012, 12:47:28 AM »
OwhYeah.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #94 on: February 01, 2012, 05:07:04 PM »
..Carver sonic holography unit..

OT, but tell me more about your experience with that part in your playback chain, Kevin.  Do you need to stay glued to the sweet spot?

To hear the effect, that's the best place to experience it with the C-9.  That Bob Carver was onto something.....or ON something  :P

I also had one of those Carver boxes.  The sonic holography thing never really worked well.  Also had some broken buttons and an intermittent channel.  It was scrapped for parts (cool looking knobs!)
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #95 on: February 03, 2012, 01:39:08 AM »
OwhYeah.


soo yeah...

it was due to the lookahead function being turned on in the plug (44.1 samples corresponds to 1ms at redbook rates). :-[

learn something every day.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #96 on: May 20, 2012, 07:17:06 PM »
To the top....  Use this and your recordings WILL sound better
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #97 on: May 21, 2012, 09:45:13 AM »
Parallel processing....not just for compression!

I've been playing around lately with using parallel processing with EQ and stereo width, and have found it to make a huge difference, especially with big room/far field recordings where the bass can get out of hand. What I've been doing is duplicating the track, then placing a high pass filter on one track & a low pass filter on the other, effectively splitting the frequency range into independent signals. You'll have to fiddle around to find the optimum cross over point of the filters of course. Next, the real key - on the bass track, reduce the stereo width down as low as you can go. This should concentrate all the bass & kick into the center of the stereo field, and add a crispness to the edges because all of the low frequency information is gone. You can add a little width to it, but I personally prefer keeping mine as centered as possible.

At this point, I like to add an EQ and a compressor to both the high & low chains, and adjust until I have everything balanced nicely, volume & tone wise. Then I combine both of those signals into one, and run that mixed signal through a final super gentle compressor (sometimes with no gain at all) just to sort of glue the 2 frequency ranges back together a bit, and stick a hard limiter on the end to keep everything in check.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #98 on: May 21, 2012, 03:45:04 PM »
That's great Matt. 

Historically, limiting stereo width in the low bass region was an important step in mastering for technical reasons when everything was released on vinyl, and still is if vinyl is the target medium.  High levels of side component (width) in the bass region produce vertical cutting head undulations which can cause the playback stylus to jump out of the groove.  That limitation goes away completely with digital media, but there can still be sonic reasons for wanting to modify width of the low bass besides trying to make things sound like LPs.  It's a technique often used in bass heavy music styles to maximize bass loudness and impact.  To a lesser degree, managing low frequency width may also be important for optimizing playback on satellite systems which share a single subwoofer as opposed to systems with stereo woofers.  In that case the low frequency rage is summed to a single woofer and the difference components in that range tend to cancel.  In our case, I can see how it could help manage the often problematic bass region with some AUD tapes.

Like anything else, be judicial, use your ears and don’t go overboard in mono-ing the bass.  Low frequency phase differences contribute strongly to spatial envelopment (the sensation of being in the environment in which the recording was made) and externalization (sound seeming to emanate from the world around you, rather than from ‘inside your head’).  When it behaves, I prefer slightly wider that just ‘wide enough’ bass because I'm somewhat of an envelopment junkie, but if narrowing it helps improve things in the bass or in the overall, I’m all for making adjustments that improve things.

There are some plugins, including free ones I think, which do similar multiband stereo width processing simply, in one process.  If you do this regularly it may be worth your time checking them out since they eliminate the need for you to do the track duplication, crossover filtering, and summing after processing.  The terminology used varies- some call it mono-izing the bass region, some may refer to it as reducing the Side component and increasing the Mid component of the bass region.. it's the same thing.   You can also do this manually another way by converting the stereo signal to Mid/Side, equalizing the Mid and Side components differently, and then recombining them.  Reducing the level of the Side-signal while introducing a complementary, offsetting boost in the Mid-signal has the same effect of narrowing the stereo width.  Where in the frequency range you make the boost/cut determines at which frequency range that width adjustment takes place- it basically gives you as many stereo width adjustment bands as you have in the equalizer.  I see more and more stereo plugins (EQ, compression, etc) offering a way to switch from Left/Right mode to Mid/Side mode which takes care of the stereo>M/S>stereo conversion all within the plugin.  I use Samplitude which has stereo width control functions built in that feature mulitband options allowing adjustment via one, two or three separate bands. 


One clarification- I don't mean to be pendantic, and only mean to help clarify the terminology here- but the correct term for splitting the audio regions up and processing them this way is mulitband processing as opposed to parallel processing.  The difference is that multiband splits the audio into two or more frequency ranges, does separate processing on each rage, then combines them again.  Parallel processing does it’s thing on a full frequency copy (mult) of the audio and mixes that with the original. Mulitband processing it's most often used for compression, or things like stereo width adjustment you are doing.  EQ is already multiband by nature.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #99 on: May 21, 2012, 05:26:40 PM »
This free VST plugin is a mid-side eq.

http://freemusicsoftware.org/1780

One of the presets is to center (tighten) the bass.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #100 on: May 23, 2012, 11:44:45 AM »

It's a technique often used in bass heavy music styles to maximize bass loudness and impact. 



Yes, and this is what I'm taping 99% of the time. This technique has really allowed me to put a lot more focus on the kick, which is the heart of everything in the music I tape.


There are some plugins, including free ones I think, which do similar multiband stereo width processing simply, in one process.  If you do this regularly it may be worth your time checking them out since they eliminate the need for you to do the track duplication, crossover filtering, and summing after processing.  The terminology used varies- some call it mono-izing the bass region, some may refer to it as reducing the Side component and increasing the Mid component of the bass region.. it's the same thing.   You can also do this manually another way by converting the stereo signal to Mid/Side, equalizing the Mid and Side components differently, and then recombining them.  Reducing the level of the Side-signal while introducing a complementary, offsetting boost in the Mid-signal has the same effect of narrowing the stereo width.  Where in the frequency range you make the boost/cut determines at which frequency range that width adjustment takes place- it basically gives you as many stereo width adjustment bands as you have in the equalizer.  I see more and more stereo plugins (EQ, compression, etc) offering a way to switch from Left/Right mode to Mid/Side mode which takes care of the stereo>M/S>stereo conversion all within the plugin.  I use Samplitude which has stereo width control functions built in that feature mulitband options allowing adjustment via one, two or three separate bands. 


It's actually remarkably easy to do all this stuff in Ableton. Instead of making a 2nd track, Ableton allows you to process parallel chains in a single track, then you can drop your effects onto the separate chains, and the output is summed automatically at the end of the track. It allows you a ton of versatility, and it can all be played with real time as opposed to rendering out a file to listen to the changes. I use T-Racks Deluxe a lot, and it definitely allows you to process L/R or M/S, but I haven't played with that feature much as Ableton has a built in plus in called Utility that allows you to go from 0% to 200% Stereo width.



One clarification- I don't mean to be pendantic, and only mean to help clarify the terminology here- but the correct term for splitting the audio regions up and processing them this way is mulitband processing as opposed to parallel processing. 


Ah yes, you're totally correct.  I had a brain fart since I'm always in Ableton mode in my head, and they tend to refer to anything processed with chains as parallel, as opposed to serial (one effect after the other). That is the technique I use but yes, outside Live's terminology it's definitely not a parallel process.
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #101 on: July 29, 2012, 11:30:33 PM »
For the most part, this seems to work great :)

However, an unfortunate side-effect is some low-intensity crowd noise (during quiet music) which was barely noticeable before is much more noticeable after parallel compression.  What do you guys do in this situation?

I'm thinking about just leaving parallel compression on the whole recording since most of it does sound better.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #102 on: July 30, 2012, 09:18:20 AM »
High levels of side component (width) in the bass region produce vertical cutting head undulations which can cause the playback stylus to jump out of the groove.  That limitation goes away completely with digital media

Or you can just tape a nickel on.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #103 on: July 30, 2012, 09:42:21 AM »
..unfortunate side-effect is some low-intensity crowd noise (during quiet music) which was barely noticeable before is much more noticeable after parallel compression.

It's sometimes referred to as 'bottom-up' compression because it brings the quiet details up in level, which could just as well be crowd noise as well as musical sounds.  Cast a big net and you get some bycatch.

The simplest answer is to find compromise settings that work well enough for the whole recording.  If its worth the time and effort to do so, sometimes I set automation to adjust the level of the compressed portion for some portions and between songs.  If doing that be careful so that the changes aren't obvious, noticable audible changes in background level are more destracting to me than clearly hearing the background crowd noise.

High levels of side component (width) in the bass region produce vertical cutting head undulations which can cause the playback stylus to jump out of the groove.  That limitation goes away completely with digital media

Or you can just tape a nickel on.

I've heard stories of the cannon fire on the Telarc 1812 LPs actually ripping needles out of cartridges!
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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #104 on: August 13, 2012, 09:16:55 PM »
Just reread the thread, and was also rereading the Bob Katz book (Mastering Audio), and wanted to mention Katz's starting points for numbers . . .

In the "Transparent Parallel Compression" section, he lists:

  • Threshold -50
  • Attack time "as fast as possible", one millisecond or less if available
  • Ratio 2:1 or 2.5:1 (he prefers 2.5)
  • Release time medium length: "experiments show that 250-350 milliseconds works best to avoid breathing or pumping"
  • Crest factor set to Peak
  • Output level or makeup gain adjusted to taste

Obviously using one's ear is key, but I thought others might be interested in fiddling with this as a beginning . . .

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #105 on: August 14, 2012, 04:31:07 AM »
Just reread the thread, and was also rereading the Bob Katz book (Mastering Audio), and wanted to mention Katz's starting points for numbers . . .

In the "Transparent Parallel Compression" section, he lists:

  • Threshold -50
  • Attack time "as fast as possible", one millisecond or less if available
  • Ratio 2:1 or 2.5:1 (he prefers 2.5)
  • Release time medium length: "experiments show that 250-350 milliseconds works best to avoid breathing or pumping"
  • Crest factor set to Peak
  • Output level or makeup gain adjusted to taste

Obviously using one's ear is key, but I thought others might be interested in fiddling with this as a beginning . . .

I would also add that he mentions to use lookahead.

This is pretty much the combination that I use to implement parallel compression. Use Softube's FET Compressor plug in, it makes this so easy every time.....

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #106 on: August 14, 2012, 05:43:26 PM »
This is pretty much the combination that I use to implement parallel compression. Use Softube's FET Compressor plug in, it makes this so easy every time.....

Softube's unit is good, especially the lookahead function when you're doing 2bus-style compression. I don't always like the coloration though.

The other compressor I like is "The Glue" (which is a steal at $99). I think it's cleaner, but lacks the lookahead so I do a two-stage compression. One with super fast attack and release, the other (with a slightly deeper dig) for a slightly slower attack (but still around 1 or 3ms) and almost a half/three quarter second release. Then just wet them by various combinations to produce the sound you want. The first one shaves off errant spikes, the other smoothes it out a little and retains a touch of punch (courtesy of the slower attack).

I can't recall doing that on a bus mix which I didn't start with more than 3 tracks on...
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

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Offline Stagger

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #107 on: April 06, 2013, 11:45:25 PM »
Been a while but thought y'all might want to see this... I haven't tried it yet (mainly because I'm using Ableton these days) but here is a free "All in one" NY compression plug in. Claims to perform parallel compression in one plug-in. I'll try to compare it to the real thing in the next few days if nobody beats me to it.

Easy-NY plugin VST
Selling: SD 722
Current Setup: AKG c34 > S42 > Kimber Hero > DR-680

Nikon D7000, SB-700, Nikkor 18-200 f3.5-5.6, Nikkor 50 f1.8D, Sigma 10-20 f3.5, and way too many do-dads to list...

Playback: Denon DVD3910>Audio Experiences Symphonies Tube Pre [Electro-Harmonix/12AX7 Gold Pin ]>Rogue 88 Amplifier [Genalex Gold Lion KT88s, ultralinear]>Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home & Martin Logan Depth i - AudioQuest Jaguar and CV-8 DBS cable, Panamax M7500Pro conditioner.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #108 on: April 07, 2013, 11:27:37 AM »
My newest tendancy is to incorporate a parallel comp with muting/gating (done post-comp).

So lets say I have a loud show (recorded in a tincan, so lots of low level reverb) but super quiet between song banter. To bring that up without enhancing the reverb ill do the parallel compressor on a seperate track and then mute the track during songs to keep the reverb to a minimum. Delicate part in the middle of the song? Unmute it but drop the post-compressor volume by 6 db or so, then have that envelope close and the mute kick in when it grows louder. I can take a picture and sample later if someones interested.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #109 on: April 09, 2013, 03:02:34 PM »

Been a while but thought y'all might want to see this... I haven't tried it yet (mainly because I'm using Ableton these days) but here is a free "All in one" NY compression plug in. Claims to perform parallel compression in one plug-in. I'll try to compare it to the real thing in the next few days if nobody beats me to it.

Easy-NY plugin VST


Nice, I don't see too many people using Live for taping purposes. How do you like it? It took me a bit to get used to it's workflow coming from CoolEdit back in the day, but I love love love it now. And not sure if you've had a chance to try Live 9, but the new EQ8/Compressor/Glue compressor devices are lovely. And both the regular Compressor & Glue feature Dry/Wet controls, so you can dial in parallel compression if you want.
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Offline Duncan

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #110 on: April 17, 2013, 06:48:43 AM »
Sorry if this is a dumb-arse question but can this be done using layers instead of channels?

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #111 on: April 17, 2013, 11:21:07 AM »
Sorry if this is a dumb-arse question but can this be done using layers instead of channels?

I suspect that's a software specific question. I create "virtual channels" in Reaper and mix those together when I do it, but each software will handle it differently. It's the concept of what it's doing and how to tell that you've achieved a desirable result that stays the same.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #112 on: May 01, 2013, 12:19:22 PM »
I drive a 17 year old car, but I just returned a rental car after taking a trip from FL to NC and back and really enjoyed listening to some of the recordings I made through the modern car stereo system via its line-in jack.  Between the bass/mid/treble equalization controls of its stereo system and the graphic EQ on the R-44 I was using to play the files I dialed in the sound nicely.  Interestingly, the car stereo had a level compensation feature which turned the volume setting down by up to 7dB at low speeds and back up at high speeds to compensate for the rising engine and road noise floor.  It could be set for anywhere between -1 to -7dB of compensation in 1 dB steps or turned off entirely.  Nice feature.

However, what would be much better would be the addition of a parallel-compression function linked a cabin noise floor sensor.  It would be set to vary the parallel compression output to always keep the quiet sections slightly above the noise floor of the vehicle.  It would increase the compression output at high speeds or if driving with the windows down, etc. and lower it at low speeds or with the windows up, and reduce it to zero when parked with the engine off but the stereo on.  As described, it would work well in combination with the 0-7dB level compensation. 

At high speeds with the windows down (appropriate battle field for a loudness war) you'd get a highly compressed output with only a few dB of total dynamic range.  Parked in the driveway in your sonic cocoon you'd get the full dynamic range of the recording.  It would actively adjust between those extremes based on the current noise floor.  I bet some modern luxury car systems do something like this, and I know some do active noise cancellation at low frequencies to lower the road noise level, which is far more demanding than what I’m suggesting, but this was just a cheap Ford Focus.  Wouldn't cost much to implement in even budget car audio systems however, yet would be very valuable given the huge benefit it would provide, transparent to the end-user.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 12:24:42 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Stagger

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #113 on: June 26, 2013, 03:08:45 PM »

Been a while but thought y'all might want to see this... I haven't tried it yet (mainly because I'm using Ableton these days) but here is a free "All in one" NY compression plug in. Claims to perform parallel compression in one plug-in. I'll try to compare it to the real thing in the next few days if nobody beats me to it.

Easy-NY plugin VST


Nice, I don't see too many people using Live for taping purposes. How do you like it? It took me a bit to get used to it's workflow coming from CoolEdit back in the day, but I love love love it now. And not sure if you've had a chance to try Live 9, but the new EQ8/Compressor/Glue compressor devices are lovely. And both the regular Compressor & Glue feature Dry/Wet controls, so you can dial in parallel compression if you want.

I never really used 8 so 9 is all I know. As with any DAW it has strengths and weaknesses. I did get an APC 40 which helps a ton when in comes to controlling Ableton. The thing is that Ableton is really about creating tracks and performing live sets. In terms of what I usually need to do with my live recordings, I actually find Presonus Studio One 2.5.1 to be a great tool as it has an entire section devoted to mastering with very clearly set up spectrum monitoring, track splitting, plugin slots for tracks, masters, and post mixdown plugin slots. Then again, Sonar is damn nice too if you are on a PC ;)

I have also had some time to play with the Easy NY plug in. I have to say, I set up some tracks in Ableton, Audition, and Studio One (just to make sure there was no DAW difference) with a traditional parallel comp (as described in the initial post) using Waves C4 and V-Comp and I had a very hard time telling the difference between those and the same tracks with just the Easy NY plugin. Don't get me wrong, if I was making studio multi-track recordings in proper isolation, I would certainly be able to tell the difference in the comps. With an aud recording, its tough to tell any difference. The Easy NY and Voxengo's Elephant EQ (which lets you pull the spectrum from one recording and apply it to another... basically, find a recording you did a good job on and make your new show sound more like that one) are my go-to these days.
Selling: SD 722
Current Setup: AKG c34 > S42 > Kimber Hero > DR-680

Nikon D7000, SB-700, Nikkor 18-200 f3.5-5.6, Nikkor 50 f1.8D, Sigma 10-20 f3.5, and way too many do-dads to list...

Playback: Denon DVD3910>Audio Experiences Symphonies Tube Pre [Electro-Harmonix/12AX7 Gold Pin ]>Rogue 88 Amplifier [Genalex Gold Lion KT88s, ultralinear]>Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home & Martin Logan Depth i - AudioQuest Jaguar and CV-8 DBS cable, Panamax M7500Pro conditioner.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #114 on: June 26, 2013, 06:05:09 PM »
I haven't had a chance to check out that Easy-NY plugin yet, thanks for the reminder.


Forgive me if I’ve already mentioned all this earlier in the thread..   I’ve found it useful to think of compression as addressing three separate issues of dynamics, and to think in terms of applying it in three separate stages with quite different settings used to address each.  It’s not always necessary to use all three, just what ever is called for.  Sometimes just one or two alone is enough.* 

Three different aspects of dynamics compression:
1) Top down- limiting wild, errant peaks (high threshold, high ratio, fast attack, moderately fast release).  At strong settings this acts as a peak limiter.
2) Full range- controlling the overall range of dynamics across the entire range, similar to making volume knob adjustments while listening back (low threshold, low ratio, moderately fast attack, medium to slow release)
3) Bottom up (parallel comp, ‘NY’ comp)- bringing up the quiet parts and bringing out details hidden in the dynamics (low threshold, high ratio, paralleled with the uncompressed but limited audio) Can be similar to full range, but works 'within' the loud parts too, unlike adjusting the  'volume' knob while listening.

Recently I’ve been using mild full range compression frequently for listening to my on stage recordings, with a very low threshold and a low ratio, partly because it is very quick and easy to set to get things listenable and enjoyable.  I sometimes use the internal playback compressor on the R-44 to do this when listening directly off the machine.

This thread focuses on bottom up primarily, and it's the parallel use of it which is unique in dynamics processing.  You can do both top down and full range with the envelope tool and a lot of time- Peak limiting by zooming in and making lots of very fast small tweaks to bring down each individual errant peak, and full range by zooming out and making big, broad level changes.  I find getting top down to sound right the most challenging, which is unfortunate as it is probably most common with standard default settings in most compressors.


*As an example, an AUD of a big PA may benefit from full range or parallel compression, but not need much if any top-down compression since the loudest peaks will have already been compressed and limited by the PA gear.  In contrast, an on-stage recording without a PA will often have a considerably larger overall dynamic range and is also likely to have wild, high-level peaks, especially if a drum kit is in close proximity to the mic position, in addition to quiet details obscured by dynamic level masking.

All of this is different than simply shifting the overall level of the recording upwards until the peaks are somewhat close to 0dBFS- either manually or via peak normalization, although the make-up gain control on a compressor can be used to perform that function.  An AUD of a PA recorded with a comfortable amount of recording headroom will usually stand to benefit from bringing up the overall level (manually, via peak normalization, or via make-up gain) simply so that the listener doesn’t need to crank the playback volume so much just to get a reasonable listening level, even if there aren’t wild peaks eating up the excess the recording headroom.  But that adjustment isn’t dynamics compression, it’s simply shifting everything in the recording up in level by the same amount.

musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Stagger

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #115 on: June 27, 2013, 02:25:54 PM »
*As an example, an AUD of a big PA may benefit from full range or parallel compression, but not need much if any top-down compression since the loudest peaks will have already been compressed and limited by the PA gear.  In contrast, an on-stage recording without a PA will often have a considerably larger overall dynamic range and is also likely to have wild, high-level peaks, especially if a drum kit is in close proximity to the mic position, in addition to quiet details obscured by dynamic level masking.

Exactly right! I should mention that this is mainly what I record with my mobile rig. The last shows I recorded, WsP in Raleigh, had a dynamic range of about 14dB as recorded with no limiting or processing. Just the 24/48 files out of the 722. This is a pretty narrow range to begun with. My main goal with a recording like that is to give the impression of a more "present" or "crisp" recording without actually squashing the dynamics much more then they already are. This is what parallel compression does a good job on. If I was doing a club show, acoustic, or stage recording (or a multi-track for that matter), I would want a compression scheme that would have a much more drastic effect on the dynamics. This could be a classic buss compressor or something like a Waves C4 or C6 multiband (or fill in your preference here). As always, it's a matter of selecting the right tool for the job.
Selling: SD 722
Current Setup: AKG c34 > S42 > Kimber Hero > DR-680

Nikon D7000, SB-700, Nikkor 18-200 f3.5-5.6, Nikkor 50 f1.8D, Sigma 10-20 f3.5, and way too many do-dads to list...

Playback: Denon DVD3910>Audio Experiences Symphonies Tube Pre [Electro-Harmonix/12AX7 Gold Pin ]>Rogue 88 Amplifier [Genalex Gold Lion KT88s, ultralinear]>Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home & Martin Logan Depth i - AudioQuest Jaguar and CV-8 DBS cable, Panamax M7500Pro conditioner.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #116 on: June 27, 2013, 04:02:46 PM »
Yep, I right with you.

If I was doing a club show, acoustic, or stage recording (or a multi-track for that matter), I would want a compression scheme that would have a much more drastic effect on the dynamics. [snip] As always, it's a matter of selecting the right tool for the job.

With you there too, although 'drastic' sort of implies the inevitable creation of sonic problems while fixing other bigger issues to me, but I agree that more compression and a multi-faceted take on it applying it is useful in those situations.  I got bogged down in specifics, but what I really wanted to point out in that last post was this simple idea: In situations where more radical manipulation of level dynamics may be called for, I usually find it easier to get the results I want if I think of it (and usually physically do it too) as three seperate processes, instead of trying to address it all through just one stage of compression, regarless of how advanced that one tool may be.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #117 on: June 28, 2013, 01:46:38 AM »
I'm messing around with Easy NY tonight, and I don't really get it. Can someone explain how to set it?

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #118 on: June 28, 2013, 09:03:51 AM »
My newest tendancy is to incorporate a parallel comp with muting/gating (done post-comp).

So lets say I have a loud show (recorded in a tincan, so lots of low level reverb) but super quiet between song banter. To bring that up without enhancing the reverb ill do the parallel compressor on a seperate track and then mute the track during songs to keep the reverb to a minimum. Delicate part in the middle of the song? Unmute it but drop the post-compressor volume by 6 db or so, then have that envelope close and the mute kick in when it grows louder. I can take a picture and sample later if someones interested.

Missed this a couple months back.  I'm interested.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #119 on: June 28, 2013, 10:00:18 AM »
My newest tendancy is to incorporate a parallel comp with muting/gating (done post-comp).

So lets say I have a loud show (recorded in a tincan, so lots of low level reverb) but super quiet between song banter. To bring that up without enhancing the reverb ill do the parallel compressor on a seperate track and then mute the track during songs to keep the reverb to a minimum. Delicate part in the middle of the song? Unmute it but drop the post-compressor volume by 6 db or so, then have that envelope close and the mute kick in when it grows louder. I can take a picture and sample later if someones interested.

Missed this a couple months back.  I'm interested.

haha, I had to read that 2 or 3 times to figure out what show I was working on then. Yeah, I'll post pics tomorrow. Tonight I think I'm out with the gear.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #120 on: June 28, 2013, 12:37:56 PM »
No rush, just interested in your technique.

Hmmm, you've got me wondering if I should make the effort to record tonight too.  There's a monthly outdoor jazz show at a contemporary art museum which can be very good as long as the band/artist doesn't fall into the overly 'contemporary' category as well (meaning that smooth, elevator-musak-like, Kenny G style, saccharine blech music), but I haven't had time to check youtube clips of tonight's artist to determine which side of the good/bad music devide this one falls.. also depends on the weather. 

I had the gear running up front with 5 mics setup in a small tree growing third row center last summer, while chilling out on a picnic blanket in back with some good friends, some good food, and a few good bottles.  Best of both worlds, simultaneously!
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Stagger

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #121 on: June 28, 2013, 02:12:04 PM »
I'm messing around with Easy NY tonight, and I don't really get it. Can someone explain how to set it?

I'm about to head out but I'll post some of my findings for you later Sloan. I can attach a preset or 2 I think as well.
Selling: SD 722
Current Setup: AKG c34 > S42 > Kimber Hero > DR-680

Nikon D7000, SB-700, Nikkor 18-200 f3.5-5.6, Nikkor 50 f1.8D, Sigma 10-20 f3.5, and way too many do-dads to list...

Playback: Denon DVD3910>Audio Experiences Symphonies Tube Pre [Electro-Harmonix/12AX7 Gold Pin ]>Rogue 88 Amplifier [Genalex Gold Lion KT88s, ultralinear]>Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home & Martin Logan Depth i - AudioQuest Jaguar and CV-8 DBS cable, Panamax M7500Pro conditioner.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #122 on: June 28, 2013, 02:18:07 PM »
Yep, I right with you.

If I was doing a club show, acoustic, or stage recording (or a multi-track for that matter), I would want a compression scheme that would have a much more drastic effect on the dynamics. [snip] As always, it's a matter of selecting the right tool for the job.

With you there too, although 'drastic' sort of implies the inevitable creation of sonic problems while fixing other bigger issues to me, but I agree that more compression and a multi-faceted take on it applying it is useful in those situations.  I got bogged down in specifics, but what I really wanted to point out in that last post was this simple idea: In situations where more radical manipulation of level dynamics may be called for, I usually find it easier to get the results I want if I think of it (and usually physically do it too) as three seperate processes, instead of trying to address it all through just one stage of compression, regarless of how advanced that one tool may be.

Drastic is probably a poor word selection. I should probably just say that "when higher ratios are called for" due to a much wider dynamic range, such as those in the examples we both gave. I'm not trying to turn a live rock, jazz, classical, etc recording into EDM at any point in time... ever... I'm more talking about controlling the dynamic range of a stage recording with horns, drummers, and some guitarists that go crazy on their stage levels and everyone else.
Selling: SD 722
Current Setup: AKG c34 > S42 > Kimber Hero > DR-680

Nikon D7000, SB-700, Nikkor 18-200 f3.5-5.6, Nikkor 50 f1.8D, Sigma 10-20 f3.5, and way too many do-dads to list...

Playback: Denon DVD3910>Audio Experiences Symphonies Tube Pre [Electro-Harmonix/12AX7 Gold Pin ]>Rogue 88 Amplifier [Genalex Gold Lion KT88s, ultralinear]>Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home & Martin Logan Depth i - AudioQuest Jaguar and CV-8 DBS cable, Panamax M7500Pro conditioner.

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #123 on: June 30, 2014, 04:00:22 PM »
to the top... Can you wrap your head around this discussion... it alone improved my recordings
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #124 on: July 14, 2014, 06:27:35 PM »
Maybe I'm just getting better at using compression, but recently I've been getting somewhat comprable results with normal compression by using careful adjustment of settings, or perhaps improved quality compresser plugins which better preserve transients and achieve transparent sounding results without artifacts.  Even more so if there the compresser includes a mix or wet/dry controls.  Those controls effectively 'parallel' the compresser in the signal path without the need to make two copies, applying the compression to one coply while leaving the other uncompressed in parallel.

However, I still think there are several important advantages to doing it the 'old-fashioned' way with seperate mix channels.  First it's easier to monitor and control with seperate mute/solo controls on both channels.  More important though is the ability to EQ the compressed curve diffrently than the non-compressed curve.  That's not something I think can be done easily with a mix or wet/dry controls on the compresser.  A sort of loudness type smiley-shaped EQ cuve which is only effectively applied to the low level stuff that is being brought up in level by the parallel comp is often an important element of it's sonic magic. 
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline hoserama

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #125 on: July 14, 2014, 10:04:40 PM »
Well, the wet/dry adjustments is the same principle as parallel compression. I still generally do the separate channel because I like being able to mute the comp track, put extra eq steps on the comp track, maybe do some m/s compression, and do a couple different comp tracks of differing compression ratios.
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Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #126 on: July 15, 2014, 12:31:03 AM »
Sloan, what you have is more a candidate for using a volume envelope and manually doing between songs.

I use parallel compression when I have a source with wide dynamic range within a track I want to compress. By using parallel compression, I'm preserving the transients and peaks. Bringing the bottom up.

For your project? Try it and see what it sounds like.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #127 on: July 15, 2014, 10:23:53 AM »
Someday I will write a giant comp plugin that includes all of this  :-X 

Here's a tool I've wanted for years specifically for live music recordings:
A mastering EQ-compresser (a dynamic equalizer which also controls dynamics), but different than any dynamic EQ I've seen.  Simply set a few EQ curves, with each targeting a different overall signal level (maybe 2 or 3, 4 different curves at most), and the plugin then morphs between them as the signal level varies.  That's basically it.   

Tresholds follow the EQ curve and vary with frequency. Ratios are automatically determined by the relationship between the cuves and so also vary with frequency.  Optional advanced settings could allow control over the transition between curves- attack/release, knee, etc. as well as the behaviors when the signal level rises above the highest level curve and below the lowest level one.

It would work something like a multi-band compresser, but would approach the job instead as a multi-level EQ.  I think it would be conceptually easier for users to understand what it's doing and easier for them to determine appropriate settings.  Just set the most appropriate EQ curves by ear for each major level difference in the program material: One at the bottom for the quiet moments between songs, when someone is talking on stage, etc.  Another for typical mid level stuff (perhaps managing that bloated bass and weird vocal eq through the PA which requires a quite different curve than the low one), set yet another for the loudest moments when things start to get opressive and would otherwise be a bit too in your face if the mid-level curve was retained, or for the loud nearly-peaking applause segments.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #128 on: July 15, 2014, 10:50:46 AM »
Maybe Ozone could get you close.  There's a pre and post EQ, and you can also drag the order of filters any way you want (see screenshot).  You could set one of said filters to process stereo for certain bands, and another to process mid/side to help your bloated bass issue.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #129 on: July 15, 2014, 11:39:20 AM »
I'd have to look deeper at it but that Ozone chain seems to basically put an EQ section before and after the compression section.  I can do the same by inserting an EQ before and after a stand-alone compresser in the signal chain. That's useful, but it seems to me Ozone simply condenses those existing functions into one tool, at least in this regard.  What I have in mind would behave quite differently.

The basic concept turns the typical multi-band compression approach on its head.  The user's primarily control over the behavior of this tool would be through dividing the program material into a few descrete level 'bands' rather than dividing into a few descrete frequency bands.

Rather than providing dynamics control across multiple frequency bands, it would provide frequency control across multiple dynamic levels.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #130 on: July 15, 2014, 12:43:00 PM »
I said above "The user's primarily control over the behavior of this tool would be through dividing the program material into a few discrete level bands" which is what makes using this simple for the user.  However part of what would make this so powerful is that behind the scene, between each seperate level-specific EQ set by the user, it would be acting as a multiband dynamics control with threshold and ratio varying by frequency.  It derives the necessary dynamics control settings based upon the relationship between the EQ curve for this signal-level 'band' and the other EQ curves above or below it ('bands' in this case made up of various signal level ranges rather than a 'bands' of frequency ranges).  The user applied EQ curves are the targets, and the routine derives whatever dynamic control values are necessary to smoothly modify the signal to hit those targets.

Somewhat more akin to what I'm describing is the Voxengo Sonifier.  It is essentially a multiband compressor with something like 32 compression bands.  The interface is key, it does not provide compressor controls for each band in isolation, and doesn't provide any control over frequency band placement or crossover settings between bands.  It instead offers the ability to create smooth curves for each parameter's value across the entire group of narrow frequency bands, and provides way of visualizing those control curves, overlaid on a 32 band RTA meter.  The user draws or modifies the control curves for each traditional compressor control parameter, and they vary smoothly across all bands. 

Sonifier is similar mostly in regards to it's curve-drawing interface, and also by way of it's extreme multilple-band nature which allows the actual control input values to approximate those curves.  However, it is still essentially based on the standard compression paradigm of dynamics control across multiple frequency bands, rather than frequency control across multiple dynamic levels which I'm suggesting.  It is also not as intutitive for the user as I imagine the approach of setting different EQ curves for a few obviously different program levels would be.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 01:16:08 PM by Gutbucket »
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #131 on: July 15, 2014, 01:48:23 PM »
Correct.  What I'm suggesting is primarily a basic rethinking of the control interface so that it to better suits what we are trying to achieve, not a radical change on the signal processing side.  EQ the loud parts to sound good, EQ the quiet parts to sound good.  Doing that is simple and straight forward.  The plugin manages the dynamics control required to fit those EQ curves.  Simple.

I'll have to think through what you say here:
Quote
The only trick to coding a multiband as you describe would be if you wanted the levels to work in an arbitrary manner that couldn't be achieved by setting a multiband to a fixed EQ position + compression or expansion (or both).  If you limit yourself to three level bands it ought to be possible with a standard multiband unless you want expansion on the top volume level.
At first glance I think what I'm describing could be achievable with several instances of a multi-band compressors all set appropriately, but it would certainly not be intuitive to setup nor to use.  To be certain of that I need to think through the details though.  Still, that's academic.  It's the very different approach in user control over the program material which would be the innovation.

Other than the transparency and transient presvervation of the parallel technique (which I mentioned can now achieve with carefully set good-quality standard compression algorythms), part of what is going on with parallel compression when the compressed channel is equalized differently than the uncompressed channel is achivieving a form of this frequency control based up on dynamics thing.  In that sense I see what I'm suggesting here as sort of a more advanced parallel compression technique which is easy to apply correctly.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline phil_er_up

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #132 on: July 17, 2014, 07:40:20 AM »
Great thread. I DL'ed Easy NY and it did ok. Maybe I did not know how to work it. There is no help file with it.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 07:43:36 AM by phil_er_up »
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Offline beatkilla

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Re: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend
« Reply #133 on: January 17, 2016, 12:47:16 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnKgDAImZtg

B&H video all about parallel compression.

 

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