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Leveler Vs Compressor for Vocals?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by YOUNGMOE, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. YOUNGMOE

    YOUNGMOE Guest

    I've heard of a lot of people doing this...
    what are the benefits
     
  2. Guest

    Moe,

    I think both are just different ways of using compression. On the Aphex Compellor,for instance, you can switch between levelling and compressing, but you can accomplish much the same thing with any compressor, and you can throw in limiting as well.

    if you use a high threshold and a high ratio, for instance, you will accomplish limiting. you are essentially only affecting the highest peaks, keeping most of the dynamic range intact. To make a really effective limiter you would also dial in the fastest possible attack time.

    on the other hand, if you used a lower threshold and lower ratio, still with fairly fast attack time, you end up levelling out the program dynamics.

    But compression can be used for more than limiting or levelling. Let's say you slow down the attack time quite a bit but with a low threshold and a high ratio. on sounds that have spiky attack transients and quick decays, you can effectively increase the sustain dramatically. Use a fast attack and fast release and you smooth out the sound by eliminating the dramatic difference between the attack and the decay.

    Just a few of many examples of how compression can be used to do many tricks.

    the actual design of the compressor can effect how well it does certain tasks. for instance, you wouldn't want to use an opto-compressor as a brickwall limiter, because of the nature of the design you won't be able to get a fast enough attack time to tame the transients.

    By the way, if I've mis-stated any basic principles, everyone please jump in and correct me. Theory is not my strong suit, and sometimes I confuse myself!
     
  3. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    Youngmoe, did you know that when the compressor was invented it was actually called a "levelling amplifier"? The original reson for the invention of the compressor, was to gain a higher overall average volume in order to "bury" the noise floor. You probably know this, but the noise floor refers to the level of noise inherent in your recording system. In the tape days, this was signifigantly higher then it is today, due to digital technology and better knowledge of electronics and power.

    As little dog says, you can refer to the fuctions of "leveling", "Limiting" or "compressing", separately, but you should understand that the are just different functions of the same device.

    The control section of a good compressor will give you an enormous combination of tricks for any type of sound.

    I will assume that you know what each parameter on a compressor controls, but a compressor is one of the most commonly misused processors, and not always completly understood. Should you have any questions about some basic settings, or the operation of compressors, just ask.

    Steve.
     
  4. YOUNGMOE

    YOUNGMOE Guest

    so basically, one that is just a Tube Leveler like teh Summit Audio TLA-50 is very limited to what it can do?

    cus i'm basically looking for a tracking vocal compressor, and the TLA-50 seems like a pretty cool route to go...
     
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Good mic technique works well too.I like to ride the fader at tracking and add a compellor later.
     
  6. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    I like compressors with fewer knobs. Like the DBX 160. Unless I'm going for a compressor effect.
     
  7. Bobby Loux

    Bobby Loux Active Member

    Young Moe,

    as a vocalist, i really like using the RNC for tracking vocals. set to the Super Nice mode, you cant even hear the compression (which is ideal for vocals) yet you get great control and a very transparent signal (no peaking) going in that you can tweek with more compression later (if desired) once in the mix!
     

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