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Author Topic: Parallel compression, my new love & best friend  (Read 44423 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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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!
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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.
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Offline Stagger

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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.
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Offline bdasilva

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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.
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 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.
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 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 »
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 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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