Is compression necessary with good dynamics?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by MediaMurder, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. MediaMurder

    MediaMurder Guest

    So if a vocalist has good control over his or her dynamics is compression necessary?

    If you increase the gain slightly and pull the vocalist a little bit back from the mic can you dispose of the pop filter?

    If a tree falls in the woods... nevermind.

  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Compression compresses (hehe) sound into a tighter, easier to use package. The voice can be controlled fairly well by the right person, but nothing is as quick as an and / or / nor / xnor digital gate on a silicon chip, which - truth be told - is what most of us rely on nowadays...

    Compressors have the ability to take a millisecond peak and bring it down to match the signal immediately before and after, especially all those cool comp. and brickwall plugins in your window / mac box.

    In the grand scheme of the electronic things, this helps us concentrate on the mix and ride the faders a little less.

    I wouldn't forego the pop filter, nor would I have the singer stand away from the mic, unless I wanted some room ambience, or if the cat was gonna scream like bloody murder (at which point I would re-gain the mic and send that to a separate track altogether).
  3. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    adding to what bent said, compression makes it easier to put the vox into the mix and make it more cohesive. usually the only vocals i would NOT put vocal on...would be an operatic singer and such just because of the huge dynamics and such which gives the feel of it all.
  4. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Are you talking tracking or mixing??

    If you can get the level you need without hitting the red, then don't use it.
    If not , then use the minimum amount needed to control the dynamics.

    I was taught to mix without compression. If I have a problem getting voice to sit right in the mix, then I reach for a compressor.

    Only use a compressor whenyou really need it.
    Too many people out ther saying, yeah use a compressor on everything, makes the mix tight, wrong, it just makes mud.
  5. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Sorry, TV's right, don't put comps or gates to tape (or disc as the case may be).

    You always want the pristine untouched sound available for future remixes.

    But, you're gonna put comps on the mix, oh yes!

    And, you're probably gonna have too much "ssssssssssibilance" in that vocal so you're also gonna put a de-esser on it as well.

    And the ME is gonna push it all through some brickwall limiter at some point (there is a Loudness War going on, don't ya know)!

    That's a fact, jack!
  6. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    ...dammit. he's right.

    kinda forgot that big rule of "if it aint broke...dont fix it."
  7. Re: Let me get one thing straight (legit question)...

    Compression is never necessary. Some make their living by avoiding it altogether. For a typical vocal performance, though, good dynamic control often goes hand-in-hand with relative placement to the microphone, and moving back even 6" in sections can have a dramatic effect on tone thanks to room ambience and proximity effect. It's generally not a problem, as the ear expects these phenomena, but if a.) the room has errant acoustic problems or b.) a vocalist's sound is largely dependent on eating the microphone, static placement with moderate compression may be the best option.

    Some claim you can, but moving the vocalist back but on-axis with the mic' is not very effective. I see a lot of recordists today suspend a microphone above a vocalist with the diaphragm around nose level and angled downward toward the mouth without using a filter.
  8. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Patrick, in studios that is most often the case.

    And in live sound, it is damn near always the case.
  9. Respectfully: if you are recording tracks with a slight chance someone may later mix them, recording with a compression setting you envision (enauralize?) for the project is more favorable than chancing that a future mixer will get it close. Also, if I'm ever in a setting where I have access to a megabucks outboard compressor, you'd better believe I'll print with it rather than mixing at home with...Sony DX track compressor.
  10. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    I appreciate that, but I still wouldn't do it.

    You never know when the next new pristine piece of gear is gonna hit the shelves, and then you're gonna sit around saying "why the hell did I commit that POS DBX 166 to that track when I could have used our brand new (your new favorite current brand inserted here)?"
  11. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    BTW: Enauralize?

    Nice, that's right up there with the double secret Heineken top and bottom mic phase flip eq freak Guinness induced comp gate exciter through a tube on a hot plate move!

    Let Remy try and steal that one!!! :lol:
  12. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    I used to think this way about compression, but these days, I track sometimes through two comps. It may just be the type of music I'm doing, but I love the sound.
    I'll use one comp with low ratio of like 3:1 fast attack, medium to slow release compressing no mer then 3db reduction, than go through a heavier comp (distressor, or 1176) at a harder ratio 8 or 10:1 slower attack just to grab the peaks. Call me Crazy!!!
  13. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    here's how i've been doing it lately:

    mic -> comp -> pre -> comp -> comp w/(comp -> eq) sidechain -> mixer w/comps on main inserts -> comp -> sonic maximizer -> DAW

    this method gets me that sick sound that everyone's been looking for!!
  14. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    Could you please post a sample?
  15. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    "mic -> comp -> pre -> comp -> comp w/(comp -> eq) sidechain -> mixer w/comps on main inserts -> comp -> sonic maximizer -> DAW "

    Are you making fun of me? Or just being a d$%k?
  16. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    not much of either.
    i just took the idea and ran with it..

    dont be so hostile please
  17. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    Sorry, not trying to be hostile.
    I guess I just thought you were be sarcastic about my post.

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