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Cymbals and compression

Discussion in 'Rides & Cymbals' started by eddies880, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. eddies880

    eddies880 Guest

    What type of compressor do you think is better suited for compression of cymbals (crash-pang cymbals).
  2. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    When i used to record music, I always tried not to add compression to overheads. Cymbals by their very nature are designed to be hugely dynamic - adding too much compression will just make them sound funny.

    Saying that i did sometime apply a little compression but it was usually to compensate for the big gorrilla with the tree trunks hitting them so hard.
  3. Angstaroo

    Angstaroo Active Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    DeKalb, IL
    Home Page:
    I used compression on my overheads in the mix stage, but definitely not to tape. I rarely use a separate hi-hat or ride mic, so I rely on my overheads to pick them up. Since -most- drummers have their hi-hats and rides much lower than the rest of their cymbals, and since I have my overheads placed above them, crashes and chinas tend to be louder than hi-hats, rides, and even splashes. A little compression can help even things out a little bit more.

    As far as what type of compressor/compression? I used to use multiband, because then I could set the frequencies rather narrow and compress the highs and high mids a little bit differently, while using a high pass to pull out the lows at whatever frequency sounds best. Try not to brick-wall limit it, you're just looking for similar volume levels out of the cymbals, so no cymbals are getting lost, and no cymbals are blaring in your face.

    Lately, I've been using the PSP VintageWarmer on my overheads, along with a little bit of the Waves Linear Phase EQ to add a little bump in the 2-5k range, and another little bump around the 7-12k range, depending on what I'm dealing with.

    Basically, use your ears. If you can hear everything you want to hear, and everything sounds good, leave it alone. If there's something missing, run it through some compression and let your ears be the guide.
  4. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Depends on the kind of music you are doing.
    If you are doing blues, jazz, old rock and roll, pop, etc. then I'd recommend using an Opto compressor, like a Buzz SOC1.1 Pendulum OCL-2. The vintage Optos out there don't link very well, they will sound good on individual tracks, but not for stereo applications.

    If you are doing aggressive forms of music, hard rock, metal, punk...a FET comp/limiter may be best, something like vintage 1176s, Chandler TG-1, Purple MC77s, Buzz DCS2.2.
  5. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    Jul 13, 2004
    Home Page:
    I would ask the question: "What are you trying to get out of compressing the cymbals?" Then it's easier to give advise.

    I generally don't compress cymbals, as by compressing the kick/snare/toms/rooms I've already compromised some dynamics. By leaving the cymbals uncompressed, I feel I leave some "life" in the track. If I need more/less, I automate.

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