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recording with hardware compressor

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Terrapin, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Terrapin

    Terrapin Guest

    Hi All,

    I had a request by a friend who I will be recording that we record his vocals with a hardware compressor in line before the signal gets sent to the DAW. I'm not exactly sure what the advantage of doing this would be other than his monitor mix would have compression?
    Please stop me here if I should just slap on compression in the DAW during tracking.

    In terms of gear being used my interface is a MAckie onyx 1640 which sends signal to the cpu post gain but pre insert. I've got a 4 channel Drawmer compressor that I can use but obviously would need another pre amp to plug it into and then take that output into one of the onyx preamps? Or wait could I just use 2 channels on the mackie and have the compressor go out of one insert and into the other? Any suggestions appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    You're almost right in your Insert routing - but after you slap it into the Insert on channel 2, it still won't be in front of the recording split ;)
    You should try and find a line in - I assume it provides dual mic/line jacks. Failing that, add the compressor to the insert and then record from an aux bus if you have any.

    Remember though, that if you apply compression to the track, you won't be able to take it off if it's not set right.

    What you could do (I suspect) is to take a recording split from before the compression, add the compressor in the insert and give him a compressed monitor mix - and if you want to, record the compressed signal too. You could then blend them later on.
     
  3. Terrapin

    Terrapin Guest

    >>>You're almost right in your Insert routing - but after you slap it into the Insert on channel 2, it still won't be in front of the recording split

    Oops, Duh! Would be cool if they made a switch on the board that your choose either post or pre insert but then again you are totally right about not being able to change the compressor settings later if recording with a hardware unit. That is a good idea about using an Aux output, send it back into another channel.

    Do alot of you out there use compression in your DAW while TRacking?
     
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I would go from aux send to compressor then back into another channel (edit: that is into the line input and not the aux. return). This would work perfectly fine. It's a pain but it would work. Front End Audio has a mod to run the output post EQ and insert I believe.
     
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Sorry. Dumb idea removed.
     
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Btw - I'd advise against running a compressor in your DAW while tracking.

    At mixdown, definitely.
     
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    It's not always bad to track with compression. I like to track with it for some things. Sometimes you need compression and if you're sure that it's not going badly effect the take, go for it.
     
  8. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I suppose a musician who is a true professional at his or her particular instrument wouldn't need it, but I hear the vocals for lot of bands where the singer is also the guitarist, bassist, whatever being squashed. I think that polishing the original signal during tracking is better than hitting the vocals hard with digital compression/limiting, no? Of course, this would be used more when the vocals weren't overdubbed (or if they were and the vocalist just was not that great).
     
  9. Terrapin

    Terrapin Guest

    Thanks for all the great responses!

    Does anyone experience problems with using effects(compression, reverb, delay) in your DAW for low latency monitoring while tracking? Up till now I've used my equipment mostly for recording multitrack live recordings and have done all editing later in the studio. I am now setting out to do a more traditional studio type project, with my gear I can either have the musicians hear themselves directly through the analog mackie for monitoring or I can have them listening to the stereo mix coming out of the DAW, or for that matter I could send them both but would imagine some weird phasing issues going that route.
    Is there any issues other than latency if using the signal coming out of the DAW? Any suggestions?
     
  10. Terrapin

    Terrapin Guest

    Thanks for all the great responses!

    Does anyone experience problems with using effects(compression, reverb, delay) in your DAW for low latency monitoring while tracking? Up till now I've used my equipment mostly for recording multitrack live recordings and have done all editing later in the studio. I am now setting out to do a more traditional studio type project, with my gear I can either have the musicians hear themselves directly through the analog mackie for monitoring or I can have them listening to the stereo mix coming out of the DAW, or for that matter I could send them both but would imagine some weird phasing issues going that route.
    Is there any issues other than latency if using the signal coming out of the DAW? Any suggestions?
     
  11. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    There are definitely times when to-tape compression is reasonable or necessary. Not every singer knows how to work the mic. Not every bassist knows how to keep a consistent dynamic level. C'est la vie, dears. You may hate it, but compression might be necessary.
     
  12. robcranmer

    robcranmer Guest

    Well, I had to chime in(as my dear departed Mom would say) on this one. I "Always" use a very..repeat..very light outboard(hardware) compressor while tracking. Top producers will almost never tell you that they recommend doing this. And again, I'm not saying my way is the right way, but it works for me. And I only have a few DBX compressors available. I'd give my wife's right arm for a nice Drawmer! If your not sure whether you want it or not simply record two tracks for the voc's at the same time...one dry,one wet...and see if you like the HIT one better...if you don't simply delete the comp'd track. I'm not sure how difficult it is to send the same signal to two diff' tracks in your daw, we use Logic in my studio and it's a piece of proverbial cake!
     

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