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Band prioritizing Multi Band (multi track?) compressor

Let me try to explain what I'm looking for.

Multi-band compression is fun and can bring out the sparkle in a recording, but I hate the lack of control of EXACTLY what happens, plus the fact its added late (generally in mastering) as a sort of "Band aid" thing.

Firstly, I want band prioritizing. For example, take a kickdrum. Its a "Klick" and a "boom". Fine.

Multi-band compressing this will make the "boom" louder if you want, and the "klick" louder if you want. Nice and phat. Only, the "klick" only exist during a fraction of a second, the "boom" is long. But when both are "raised" by the compressor, you get a very loud "klick+boom" amplitude that the compressor have to take into account somehow.

NO MULTIBAND COMPRESSOR I HAVE SEEN has any form of control on HOW it tackles the situation of two loud bands combined reaching a too loud (possible clip) level. They just all "do it" in some undocumented "magic" fashion. (People tend to mistakenly think you can max out all bands in a recording - that is of course totally false, the total amplitude space is finite, and as soon as one single frequency occupies the whole amplitude space there is not room for a fraction of a dB of another frequency! People forget that!)

So what I would WANT, firstly, is "band prioritazion", telling the multiband compressor that "laddie, please max out the "klick" at the expense of the "Boom" during the duration of the click ONLY, after which the "boom" can take over.

I have seen no multiband compressor with such level of control built in!

Secondly, I would want to see a multi-band mult-CHANNEL compressor. So I can, for example, compress the *lows* of the kick and the bass *together* but they both duck from the *hi* of the kickdrum and the *mid* of the snare, and the *mid* of the snare might duck under *mids* from the vocals, and the *hi mids* of guitars duck under *hi mids* of vocals but the *siblance* and *hi range* of vocals duck under *hi range* of guitars and the shaker... or whatnot.

With that kind of *multiband multi-channel dynamic control* on every track with programmable prioritazion between levels and bands, I think one could create a very spectrally dense *yet pleasing* mix. And scariest of all - it would be almost automatic, require little to no automization, and quite probably sound KICK ASS.

However, to my knoweledge, such a device does not exist, neither in software, nor in hardware.

Am I wrong?



Jon Atack Thu, 11/22/2001 - 13:10
Master Zap,

Interesting question. For the first part regarding envelope, I personally find that I get the envelope shaping that I need with the separate threshold, attack and release settings on each band. For the second part regarding multiple ducking, why not use gates/duckers to do the job? Patch an EQ or filter into the key or side chain if needed. Mult two sources into the key if needed. And so forth.


Member Thu, 11/22/2001 - 16:28
Yeah but that would duck the whole thing... I just want to duck a band on thing x based on a band on thing y....

Think about it.

And to those of you who think I am after some form of "band aid" solution to somsthing, let me throw out a question: Why do you use EQ when mixing?

The answer is: Mostly, to fix frequency collisions. We do it every day. Take out the bass guitars range out of the kickdrum and so forth. Clean out the collision between the guitars and the vocals. And so on and so forth.

What if you dont WANT to EQ, but still *fix those very same problems*. Think about putting every channel pure and un-eq'ed (from your marvellously great tracking, no doubt) into the console, apply the multi-input multi-band prioritizing compressor.... and get a ZERO PROBLEM mix out without having to actually EQ anything?

Wouldn't that be cute?