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compress while tracking??

Discussion in 'Recording' started by DISK, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. DISK

    DISK Guest

    Just wondering if anyone else does this and why or why not. I usually record just about everything in this order.

    mic -> pre-amp -> compressor -> Layla24 ->Sonar

    I don't usually squash the signal, just enough to make it a little more "predictable" for setting levels. Is this a bad idea and I'm just not seeing a better way?
  2. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    limit it and when mixing i compress it
  3. johnwy

    johnwy Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Smithtown, NY
    Home Page:
    Definitley not a bad idea in using a compressor lightly just to keep control of your level and tame some transient peaks.

    To take it a step further, if you know what sound your going for while tracking then why not get the sound you would shoot for in a mix? It can mean doing less when it comes time to mix. :cool:

    The only caveat is that it could mean despair if it doesn't work (if you have over compressed for example) because you cannot undo what you have recorded. :(
  4. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Home Page:
    I do that order of mic-preamp-compressor-daw on vocals. For guitars bass, and drums I just go mic preamp-daw adding comp if needed in the box later on. Just me though.


    BROKENBONES Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Home Page:
    just a bit of compression on the way in can set up a real good feel for performers monitoring through cans.vocalists can work around it , though it shouldn't be heavy and unreversable.otherwise you could have a spare uncompressed track to refer to if you squashed too much.the best workable compression may be from 1.5:1 up to 10:1 .The other approach could be peak limiting for maximum signal to noise .After all it can just be the occasional peaks that can ruin a good average level.Peak limiting may be more appropraite to kicks and snares than a female vocal.soft compression can make a mix run smoothly too and benefits tracking and layering because of the nice pockets it can create.
  6. Filip

    Filip Guest

    I wouldn't suggest using comp while recording; only afterwards, since it's near impossible to get rid of.
  7. RichardOtt

    RichardOtt Guest

    Compressing while recording might do a good job when doing classical recordings, where a very low medium sound level occurs. You will have to cut down the peeks anyway, and cannot do this afterwards because of the noise issues and (in former times) resolution problems in AD-concerting.

    I ussually adjust der Preamp that way, that I DO NOT REACH the -12dB level at high loudness, but add an analog compressor with a knee/threashhold at -12dB and a compression of 2:1 in maximum. Then for a very rare number of moments the loudness will exceed this point and be softly limited. This can be done with fornt mics individually before micing them togeh in the console: Thus the pumping will not occure when a very looud individual track dominates the others and would cause also a loudness reducition for the orthers when finally compressing.

    For a full multichannel recording, this is not necessary, sind individual channel compression might be selected and adjusted afterwards before mixdown.

    But keep in mind: A good analog compression ist even better than all digital systems as recently stated in german studio mag, so always try to use analog EQ instead of digital or plugins.
  8. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    usually depends on the musician for me. Some players need a little comp on the way in to get levels right, others dont. In any case I must agree that if you overdo it, its bad.
  9. DISK

    DISK Guest

    thanks for the input guys! Yeah, I understand that I don't want too much (as it can't be undone without re-recording), but in my experience, it is nice being able to get good, strong levels without too much trouble. I always just think that I can add more later, but never take some out, so I am very modest in the amount that I use.

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