Too many plugins per channel ?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Editing' started by spaceman_25, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. spaceman_25

    spaceman_25 Guest

    Hey folks,

    I wonder if anybody of you ever saw a good engineer using more than one EQ and Compressor at a time per track. Does it make sense to use a lot of EQ's in a track insertered in a row, e.g. 4 or 5 EQ's per track ? I often see engineers using only one EQ and one compressor on a track and not more. That's maximum two inserts per track and on some tracks in the Mixer they even don't have any plugin inserted. Is that the usual way of mixing ? Not to use more than one or two EQ's and maybe one Compressor per track ?
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Why would you want more than one EQ? If you want to shape things as they go into reverbs or other plugins, then yes, but you would have a different setup.

    Compressors aren't always needed but using more than 2 is silly. I say 2 because one could be acting largely as a limiter.
  3. TopherNeverDies

    TopherNeverDies Active Member

    Aug 14, 2008
    I could understand using more than one compressor if you were serial compressing vocals. But I'm not aware of any reason you would use more than one compressor on anything else.

  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    ...It really depends on your definition of a "Good Engineer".
    (Well, actually, it depends on your definition of 'Engineer' - before we start talking about 'Good' vs 'Bad'. The word 'Engineer' - much like Doctor, Lawyer, or Producer - is a proper title given to someone who has earned the right to bear it. For instance: I play guitar, have done so for many years - but I'm not a 'Guitarist'.)

    I digress; There are many different answers to this question.

    A good Engineer may have minimal need for processing on the recordings he makes, but one day he may be in a session with, say, The Beatles. Then he may be faced with the task of running the same signal through multiple EQ's to achieve a certain sound.

    A bad Engineer, on the other hand, might reach for EQ and Compression before ever really listening to the signal coming through the board - constantly chasing his tail, trying to get at "that" sound. While doing this he may on occasion come across a sound that makes the band or Producer say 'Hell, yes - that's the sound we want', which in turn (for the time being) makes him a great Engineer.

    A good Engineer very well may have achieved that same sound simply by moving the mic an inch.

    A bad Engineer might never use EQ or Compression and wonder why his clients don't come back.

    A good Engineer can pull out every trick in the book and lose a client.

    A bad Engineer might run a snare through 10 comps and end up with a great sound (perhaps he forgot to turn the Threshold or Ratio knobs?).

  5. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    -Geoff Emerick
  6. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Well, spaceman, why do you ask?

    I see some people drive with both hands on the wheel,
    Some drive with one hand on the wheel and one hand on a phone.
    Some with one hand on phone , one hand on burger, and knees on wheel.
    Some with one hand on wheel, one on makeup and face in mirror.
    Some with both hands, whiteknuckled, barely can see over the steering wheel going 5MPH.
    (I live in Miami)
    They all seem to, surprisingly, get to their destinations.
  7. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    The answer in general is no. There's not much call for having multiple EQs on a channel. As mentioned above, I guess there are some purposes for having 2 compressors, but that would likely only be done for something unique and not something most ppl do commonly.

    If you are doing some sort of "sound design", then I could see where you might have an EQ, then some sort of effect, then another EQ, then something else and on and on and on, but I think I speak for most of the audio engineering community when I say, 1 EQ and 1 compressor (if needed) per channel.
  8. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    It mostly depends upon what DAW and plug-ins you have. In the basic PTLE (6.9 or earlier) they gave you a four-band EQ and a one band EQ. When doing my audio post work I would often need the four bands of EQ plus the hi band pass and the low band pass. That's three EQs on one channel.

    Now that I have better EQ plug-ins I only need one per channel.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    When mixing, it's not completely unusual, on some individual tracks, to first add a limiter, some equalization and then some compression followed by more equalization. But it's only engineers who know what they're listening to and know what they want that to do that. Not someone who has recorded a really bad sounding track and is trying to fix it as best as possible.

    Doing it all
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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