mastering, which is first, eq or compression?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by rpehr8, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. rpehr8

    rpehr8 Guest

    i know there is probably no right or wrong answer. but when mastering a stereo track through hardware which is better from those of have the experience, eq then compress, or compress than eq?

    i am experimenting on mastering to a 1/2" tape machine, and wanted to know my best hardware or software routing for a final dump down.

  2. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Are you doing all the mastering yourself? PQ and etc...
    I've been going directly or through a tube amp/compressor to 1/4" and then done final processing afterwards.

    Best Regards,
  3. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    You're right - There is no right or wrong answer.

    *Typically* what might occur is this -

    (1) Clean-up & corrective EQ (buzz, hum, overtones, VDO noise, etc.)

    (2) Compression

    (3) "Shaping" EQ

    Of course, that's not a rule, but it's fairly typical. No sense in compressing video noise or low-end overtones - You won't be able to get rid of it afterward.

    The shaping EQ is a totally subjective thing, dictated by the needs of the mix. Sometimes it's better before compression. I tend to apply it after when I can.
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I mostly have my eq before the compressor.
  5. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member


    I always (99% of the time) EQ before compression. Exceptionally, I will use comp first with "special mixes" if I do not want to use a Multi band comp.

  6. markwilder

    markwilder Guest

    Mostly EQ pre Compression. I'm often looking to persuade the compressor to react a certain way and a touch of eq will help that happen. The mix has to be very well balanced to take the compressor before EQ.

    Mark Wilder
  7. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    I eq out anything that may drive the compressor (frequencies that may be resonant, or if I put on any filters I apply them pre-compressor), then I do some additional EQ after compression, then kiss a limiter (not much!) to make sure I don't have any overs.
  8. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    This is how I often like to do it (if I use a full chain):

    -Shaping EQ
    -Gentle Comp
    -Notch filtering and/or very broard band EQ

    The shaping EQ and Gentle comp react together as a soundbase of how I would like to have it sound like.
    But I often find it better to take one or two thing out of the chain...

    Best Regards,
  9. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    Are you compressing 2 different times and then limiting?

    PS I EQ before compression in most cases. If the eq is bad the comp won't react properly.
  10. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Yes, I sometimes use a gentle varimu comp(Max. 1db) only to give some color and then a digital comp and limiting.

    Do you always use one comp stage before limiting?
  11. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    A lot of times I use 2 compressors, 1 for color or vibe, 1 for controll.
  12. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    I can't think of anything I've used 2 compressors on . By definition a limiter is a compressor so I guess were talking about 3. I do ofter use a compressor for dynamic control and then put Limiter and the back end for catching overs.
  13. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Well, if you also add a desser as a compressor it would bring it up to 4. Sometimes a little tube saturation and that would be 5? Tape compression 6? transformers 7? these are what I mean about color and vibe and control. With all digital mixes, I find that I use some of these things to add a little color or vibe, others to control. Analog mixes have already gone through many of these processes and don't need it, maybe just a little control.
    Depends on the material. Sometimes I use none.

Share This Page