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Analog compression before digital? Driving you mad?

Member for

21 years 2 months
Analog compression before digital? I do it, because I am not totally knocked out with plug in compression so far. and I am pretty much doing what I used to do while recording to 2" tape..

I dont do it for "tape sound" (*see below)

Or to serve max level to my converters (*see below)

I do it to compress!

What do you DAW guys do?

Any different behavior specifically to record to DAW?

* I USED to try compression to get 'tape sound" AND to serve Max level to my converters, but I found this to be a bogus procedure & a waste of time!

Digital compression, the shrink is in! Who is first on the couch? :)

Yezzz? Vot zeems to bee zee proplem?


Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Sun, 02/17/2002 - 19:10
Hey Jules!

I do it for two reasons:

1) To provide a safety net for players/singers with wild dynamic variations in their performance. In this application I am going for transparency more than sound - just looking to protect an otherwise stunning take from an attack of the "clippies" on that unexpectedly ferocious honk or scream.

2) To get the SOUND that the players want to hear from their instruments/voices. This helps spur better performances because they are hearing what they want themselves to sound like. And of course, as a bonus, that sound is going to tape/disk as well - one less thing to worry about in the mix. In this application I am using compression for color and fattening. Often I will let the players A-B some different compression options for themselves, so as to get some feedback as to what gets them off.

Member for

20 years 8 months

Faeflora Sun, 02/17/2002 - 20:08
I try to get the sound I want before I go digital. This means level, comp, eq, FX.

If I'm not sure what I want, I record clean or with some limiting so I don't get overs.

Then, when I figger out what I want, I send the signal out D/A and comp, eq, and FX it, then A/D and go back into digital.

I don't think that the A/D x 2 and D/A really kills all that much.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 02/18/2002 - 04:51
Originally posted by Julian Standen:
* I USED to try compression to get 'tape sound" AND to serve Max level to my converters, but I found this to be a bogus procedure & a waste of time!
Over the past year or so, I've gradually given up on compressing prior to AD for the purpose of getting good levels - It never really worked for me either. I'd always have to add more during mixing and didn't like the sound of double compressed vocals etc. .

Nowardays, I prefer to ride the fader (pot) during vocal takes or rely on limiters just catching the odd peak for other sources. I only compress to "tape" when there's a strong compression effect I know I'm going to want and would rather capture the moment. Otherwise I compress during mixing (I mix in analog) and much prefer the end results.

Member for

19 years 10 months

damster Mon, 02/18/2002 - 06:40
I,m working on riding the fader to tape right now.Once I have that technique down,then maybe I will star adding comp for what?(color,sustain,limiting,whatever depending on the application)
The fader thing right now is hit and miss but I really see the potential.I'm starting to view compression in some cases as an idea I came up with back when I did alot of

If you want to fix a broken vase..........don't pull out a hammer. :D

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 02/18/2002 - 06:42
Jules, I do both. Usually using the Millennia STT1, I record both the preamp only output and the compressed and EQed output to seperate tracks. I tend to blend the two tracks when mixing to get the vocal tone I'm after.

BTW - The STT1 tranny and SS preamp have been modified with API components to give a good bit more color. I use the stock tube side if I want more of the transparent Millennia sound.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Tue, 02/19/2002 - 02:23
Inflatable Pig
RO Senior Member
Member # 865
posted February 18, 2002 11:28 PM                   
After reading all these great post I have to issue a challenge:
Record whatever it is you play two ways:
Flat and using analogh compression on the way in.
Using the same compression settings, play the tracks back, using the analog processing on the flat track and the compressed track straight into the board.
Compare. Do they sound different?
I'm going to try it tomorrow.
Inflatable Pig Productions