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Not Another Noob Question.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, May 25, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I know you hate questions like these because there really is no way to truly answer them but... When you want that kick or snare hit to really come through and pump, what would be a good attack setting for a compressor? Currently I have it set at 35ms. Should it be more? Should it be less? Should I give up? :shock: Nahhhh! 8)
  2. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    The first thing to address is the sound source itself. If you're recording an acoustic bass drum, then you you'll want to look at different: beater, head, insulation, and mics/mic positions. If you're using plugins, then you will also want to consider height, depth, plies, and wood type in addition to the previous mentioned factors. From what I've heard you do mostly pop/rock stuff, so if I had to guess, I'd say use: a 20-22" kick drum, 16-18" deep, wooden beater, and mute it until you get more of a thump then a boooom. After you get as close as possible to your sound and if it isn't good enough (hint hint, it should be), then you want to start playing with EQ, namely boosting the subs. Hard limiting to -3 or so will also help out if boosting that magical sub frequency makes it peak too much. And then, if you are at 99.9% perfection and want the extra .01%, try using a compressor to make things pump. But then I'd just start from square one again and get it right. 8)
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I think you also have to ask yourself do you want RMS or peak sensing? Plus, I think you need to do this by ear? Tommy can you hear me? Ground control to Major Tom. Give me a head with hair. I worked three hours and I ain't got a hum.

    I'm not all that hot on convoluted reverb. No plate program sounds like a plate. Germans know how to do reverb. Americans tried to reach the lexicon of reverbs & came close. Yamaha makes better pianos & motorcycles, digital effects, than they do reverb. It's too dark probably because they're piano's are so bright?

    What about layering different reverbs in parallel? This way you're dealing with multiple algorithms going on simultaneously. It's just one company's idea of reverb. What's wrong with 2? More equations that even Bob can handle.

    I never got further than algebra 1
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    LOL ok. I will be using RMS sensing because I find it more transparent then peak sensing. But if for whatever reason you guys think it better to use peak sensing for those tracks in a mix that must slam through, then I will compromise.

    If I had the luxury of recording them again then I would, but I am mixing a song for a contest and I can only use plugs. I have the snare compressed -6dB on average with attack of 35 ms and release at 48 ms. I am pretty sure the kick has the same settings.

    Just one other question, is it ever acceptable for the release number to be less than the attack number? I guess it must depend on the algorithm of the compressor and whether or not it starts counting the release time at the same time as the attack or when the signal falls under the threshold.
  5. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Tempo (and the time between beats) is the most important factor when adjusting attack and release times.

    How fast is the kick and snare coming at the compressor. Take the BPM and think about the attack time.

    For example 120BPM 4/4 means one beat every 0.5 SEC.

    So if your kick working on 1/4 hits....
    Then your 0.5 second (500ms) time slots to adjust to compressor into.
    If you set your attack to slow (ie 600ms) then your compressor will miss a beat.

    Same with the release time, if set it two long then it won't release in time for the next beat.

    So now the art comes in.... what sound are you going for..

    A fast attack catches high frequency transients and compresses them.

    A slow attack does not compress the transients (you will get more skin slap).

    A fast release could stop the compression of slow moving low frequencies before the note finishes.

    A slow release might affect high frequency transients on the next beat.

    You must choose what sound you like. Some people like a fast attach and quick release from drums. Some like a average attack and fast release. If you want it to pump then a longer release time is in order.

    Best advice: think about the time between the beats on what ever your compressing first, then reach for the knobs.
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Excellent advice Link. I never thought of it that way. The track I am doing has a BPM of 210 and the kick occasionally does triplets. At points I get confused because I can't tell what the note values are, and that's saying something because I've been playing in the school band since 5th grade.

    Anyway, I can post the mix if you guys want to hear it. And perhaps get some critique on the drum sound and overall mix if you feel obliged to do so?

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