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#1555778 - 12/26/17 12:52 PM Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen.
powermac Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 91
Kind of a follow up question from my last thread.

I haven't done much compression with the 2480 (or ever) and am trying to dive into it at this point. I'm working on a song with a lot of dynamics, and I'm a little confused when reading the various meters, and what they mean. I was wondering if anyone had a link or could point me in the right direction in order to have a template to understand while I'm making adjustments. I have a basic understanding of threshold, ratio, etc, but just need to make sure I'm reading the signals properly.

Thanks in advance.

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#1555827 - 12/27/17 08:05 AM Re: Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen. [Re: powermac]
wjgypsy Offline
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Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 196
Loc: Athens, GA
Depending on how hard you're hitting the compressor with input signal and where your threshold/ratio is set, the attack and release parameters can help shape the characteristics of how the comp works a good bit.

Attack (when the compressor grabs the signal)
Release (when the compressor lets the signal go normal)

Also learn to read the GR (Gain reduction meter) on the comp as that can alert you to what's getting punched down or chopped off by the comp, then salt to taste.
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#1555883 - 12/28/17 05:25 AM Re: Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen. [Re: wjgypsy]
Big Ian Offline
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Registered: 12/12/99
Posts: 1318
Loc: Gloucestershire, UK
There is a lot of good stuff on the web about compression and the many ways it can be used, ie as a limiter, taming the peaks or squashing something to within a few dB of its life. I would suggest you start by having a look at some of these. I was going to include some links but there is that much of it I'm sure you will find something that explains it in a way that is good for you.

The VS compressors work no different to any other standard compressor. From reading your question the key for you is the gain reduction meter. As you increase the amount of compression by either changing the threshold or ratio you will see the gain reduction meter showing more reduction. I would suggest you turn off the auto gain and apply the make up gain manually. This way you will start to understand what's going on better.

Do some drastic stuff to start with as you will then quickly pickup what the various parameters do, set a very high ratio and you will see massive gain reduction but the effect of this is to leave very little dynamic range (life) in the audio and it will sound squashed. A quicker attack and release time can be used to make the audio 'pump' and a longer attack and release time will let the audio breath but not necessarily tame the peaks. As well as looking at the meters listen to what the compressor is doing. The main use of a compressor at mixdown is to sit a track (audio) in the mix better by reducing the dynamic range and allowing the track fader to be left in one position most of the time. This is most noticeable on vocals with a singer who doesn't have a very good mic technique and the dynamic range can be massive.

Ian

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#1555990 - 12/28/17 05:07 PM Re: Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen. [Re: Big Ian]
croaky Offline
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Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 71
Loc: UK Kent
Top advice Ian, all to often tutorials make subtle changes and expect us to hear the difference. Making big changes, hearing the difference and then pulling the controls down is great advice...

Frank

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#1556191 - 12/30/17 03:22 PM Re: Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen. [Re: croaky]
powermac Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 91
Thanks for the replies, guys. Another few questions regarding the meters on com/exp. If I'm looking at the Ch edit page and am on Comp/Exp, and am looking at the meters from left to right, what are they telling me?

From left to right I've got the In and Out meter. Then have the GR meter E and C. Then on the bottom right (below the EQ) there is also an In and Out meter.

Thanks so much for your help.

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#1556463 - 01/02/18 08:47 AM Re: Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen. [Re: powermac]
Big Ian Offline
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Registered: 12/12/99
Posts: 1318
Loc: Gloucestershire, UK
OK, so lets just focus on the compressor at the moment.

In; this is the level going into the compressor.

Out; this is the level going out of the compressor after its applied the compression. Turn off the auto gain to really see what the compressor is doing to the output level. You can then make the gain back up using the level control.

GR; this is the gain reduction being applied by the compressor and will be dependent on all the settings of ratio, threshold, attack and release. The more gain reduction, the lower the output level will be and the more makeup gain will be needed.

The meters below the EQ; input is the level going into the eq and the output is the level after making adjustments to the eq. If you boost frequencies it will increase the output level and vice versa if you cut frequencies.

The reason for all these meters is so that you can see an overall picture of the gain structure as you change parameters throughout the mix. Its not just the track faders that change the level of a signal. Compressors, eq, effects etc can/will all change the level. Its important that signal level is not overloaded anywhere in the chain.

You should also keep an eye on the main meter display which allows you to select the different signals to be displayed such as inputs channel, track levels, efx returns and output levels.

And don't forget, use your ears as well as your eyes..!!

Ian

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#1556583 - 01/03/18 11:55 AM Re: Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen. [Re: Big Ian]
keeppracticing Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 1088
Loc: Atlanta
I suggest investing $10 for 1 months worth of http://www.Groove3.com tutorials (on everything music related). Their instruction is terrific and worth way more than they charge.

Edited by keeppracticing (01/04/18 05:16 PM)

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#1556708 - 01/04/18 04:31 PM Re: Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen. [Re: Big Ian]
powermac Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 91
Thanks Ian. Compressing and EQing by ear is what I've been doing up until a week ago, so won't be a problem using my ears. Ha, ha... I really appreciate your instruction and taking the time to explain what I'm looking at.
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#1556709 - 01/04/18 04:33 PM Re: Reading the various meters on compressor/ dynamics screen. [Re: keeppracticing]
powermac Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 91
I'm going to check this link right now. That's Keeppracticing.
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