Compressing to tape



I wasn't sure where to put this question, so I'll ask here.

If I'm working on a project that I know I'm going to mix, I'll compress to tape when I think I need to.

Here's my question: I have a project coming up that I'm not going to mix. Whats the usual protocol or etiquette when your not mixing? Do you compress to tape? EQ?

Thanks for your answers.



Well-Known Member
Jan 28, 2001
get the right sound on tape, if your mixing it or not. I like to commit to things like that, so that all you have to do is pull the faders up to 0 and your 1/2 way there.
if that entails compression, then so be it.
I learned how to mix before I could track. so what do I know?


Well-Known Member
Feb 27, 2001
Do what you normally would do to get stuff to tape. If you have any special sounds or efects that happen to be perfect or took allot of time (I call the 'science projects') make sure you print it to tape, so the mixer doesn't have to try to recreate it.


Opal Ent

Hi Ametth,
I'm new here so hopefully you will respect my opinion! I would say that your question regarding compression and EQ to tape is very subjective. If we're talking compressing a vocal through a "not very good" ( I won't mention any names) compressor, I would be a little leary! I've had to deal with projects that come in where the vocal is absolutely smashed through a "not very good compressor" and it sounded like total crap. There's nothing I could do with it! If you have to deal with one of these compressors, do it strictly as a limiter! And limit no more than a couple db. Just enough to keep the level to tape from distorting. This could be ugly in the digital world! If you have the luxury of a good compressor, USE IT! In my opinion, the Distressor is the best tracking compressor out there. You can smash the hell out of (if you want to) with out harsh artifacts. It keep all the High end intact and life is good! I use this compressor everytime! FYI, the distressor runs about 1200.00. Sorry, I don't know your budget. Just a suggestion. What kind of singers are you cutting? What kind of gear are you cutting with? Mics, Pre's, Comps?

As far as EQ goes...Use it sparingly! You can always add or take away certain frequencies in the mix! I find alot that with the vocal tracks I'm doing, I need to boost a few db in the 10k range and cut a little in the 300hz range. Of course all that is subject to the singer and mic and mic pre! Hopefully thats a little starting point. That setting for me, adds a little air and helps the vocal sit in the track a little more. Sorry to have the response so long winded. I'm just saying watch out. I've brought some stuff to other mixers and they looked at me like I was crazy on some compressor and EQ stuff. I suppose it all boils down to who your dealing with. Hope that bit helps. Best of luck.