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#1595182 - 12/15/18 02:01 PM NEWB ALERT! Help required
MrSpock Offline
Space Cadet


Registered: 12/11/18
Posts: 20
Loc: UK
OK I'll be completely honest, I haven't a clue when it comes to using compression - I'm a 'Compression NEWB!' I'm not new to music-making though. I've been using a BOSS BR1600 for years so even though the VS2480 is quite an old bit of kit now, compared to what I've been using, it's definitely a step up for me on th eproduction front. Thing is, I'm aware that I've very much become a 'Presets Guy' down through the years and I've seemingly developed with a lot of bad habits from just using the presets built into th eBR1600 for pretty much all of my recordings. For example, when recording stuff 'on mic' (such as: Vox; Acoustic; Percussion; etc.) 9 times outta 10 I would just record (& print) with effects using one of the built-in BR1600 effects chains (chains that incorporated for 'Male Voice' say: a preset compressor; EQ; Noise Gate; settings - I wouldn't fiddle with these setting I'd just press record & that was that). Thing is, now I'm starting to tentatively track with this VS2480 I'm not actually using anything ... yet! All the tracks I've recorded so far have been just 'dry with no effects' which is making for a very different tracking/recording experience - not what I'm used to at all. So, to cut to the chase here, I'm fairly familiar with applying reverb as a send/loop effect (post-recording) and, even thought I don't tend to use EQ very much, I get the principles of it. WHAT I DON'T GET (like, AT ALL!) is COMPRESSION! Are there any jumping off starting points anyone can share for a complete newb in relation to this? (And in particular for using the Compressor built into the VS2480.) Any help/advice would be much appreciated 'cause going from a BOSS unit to what was once the Roland flagship recorder seems like a fairly BIG jump for me - all rather daunting of late in fact (I'm missing the familiarity & ease of my old, 'simple' recorder!) It appears I need all the help I can get with this new-to-me VS2480 but, where there's a will there's a way as they say. CHEERS!

Edited by MrSpock (12/15/18 02:09 PM)

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#1595185 - 12/15/18 02:18 PM Re: NEWB ALERT! Help required [Re: MrSpock]
uptildawn Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8052
Loc: Iowa
Seriously, two things come to mind.....

1- check out youtube videos for how to use the various processing tools you are not knowledgeable about. Although you might have to search through a few to find one or two that seem to match your speed and you can relate to, I'd bet it won't take you long to find a good deal of basic info to help you understand how the compressor and its controls work.

Then, being able to test the ideas, along with watching the examples explained in a video, I think, far outweigh whatever written advice we can offer you in the sense of a tutorial. These things can be VERY deep and it's easy to over-explain.

2- Please, write in paragraph form - for me, if for nobody else - who cares about them?...... HA!!!! It is SO hard to read a really, really long paragraph with 4-5 ideas all strung out in a big mass.



Edited by uptildawn (12/15/18 02:20 PM)
_________________________
uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
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These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1595187 - 12/15/18 03:05 PM Re: NEWB ALERT! Help required [Re: uptildawn]
MrSpock Offline
Space Cadet


Registered: 12/11/18
Posts: 20
Loc: UK
Thank you (and point noted on paragraph chopping for any future posts!)
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#1595247 - 12/16/18 10:14 AM Re: NEWB ALERT! Help required [Re: MrSpock]
Big Ian Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/12/99
Posts: 1346
Loc: Gloucestershire, UK
Hi MrSpock

So Compression.....

If you are not using compression when mixing you are probably doing the job a compressor does manually to control the level of a track. Here goes:-

When mixing you will at times have to pull down a track fader slightly as it has a high level peak for some reason at one point, eg the singer moved a bit too close to the mic. In doing that you had to make the decision at what point to pull the fader down, just how far to pull it down and then when to push it back up to the original position. That is basically what a compressor does but there are certain terms such as Ratio, Threshold and Release that you will see on the compressor knobs.

Taking the above scenario Threshold sets the level when the fader needs pulling down. Ratio determines how far the fader is pulled down and then Release is how long before the fader is pushed back up to its original position. The example I have given is often referred to as a form of limiting as you are preventing a track from going over a certain level.

To even a track out we use the word compression and the only other control I haven't mentioned is the Gain. Because a compressor is an electronic device its reflexes are so much quicker than yours and can therefore be use to smooth out all the peaks on a track or even compressing the level of all the track by a small amount. This has the effect of lowering the overall volume of the track so the Gain control is used to raise the level back up. We often say that a compressor squashes the dynamic range of a track by reducing the difference in level of the loudest and quietest parts. You will see how much the compressor is "pulling down the fader" on the gain reduction meter.

So why do we use compression? Put simply it helps the mixing process by making a track sit better in the mix and means that you the mixing engineer don't have to ride all the faders all the time. In time your ears will be able to pick up what a compressor is doing. Some bands are well known for their over compressed sounds where the whole song seems to be at one very high level with no dynamic range at all. Compressors are used on individual tracks, on groups of tracks and then as part of the final mastering process.

There is a great deal written about compressors that I believe on the whole makes them sound far more complicated than they need to be.

Hope the above helps.

Ian

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#1595259 - 12/16/18 11:21 AM Re: NEWB ALERT! Help required [Re: Big Ian]
MrSpock Offline
Space Cadet


Registered: 12/11/18
Posts: 20
Loc: UK
Thanks SO much Ian for your straightforward, logical reply. I'm not the world's most technical guy. I guess I'll find some general settings for the stuff I record (on mic acoustic-based) and tweak to taste from there. Thanks again!
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#1595266 - 12/16/18 12:02 PM Re: NEWB ALERT! Help required [Re: MrSpock]
Starliner Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 2668
Loc: Florida - Dunnellon
Good, concise explanation... thanks, Ian.

Starliner
_________________________
Half The Lies They Tell About Me Aren't True!

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