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Cubase multiband compressor trouble

hello. I've been recording with Cubase sx2 and so far having a good time with it except for when I try to use the multiband compressor. I've been trying to use it on the stereo out channel to improve overall loudness and when I do this there is a very distinct hum which sounds like some kind of digital distorton that ends up on some of the tracks. I can especially hear it on the vocal track. Can anyone shed some light on this?


RemyRAD Fri, 01/19/2007 - 00:41
llatht, just because the concept of a multiband compressor sounds good, doesn't mean that it sounds good to use. In fact there is no really good reason to use a multiband compressor. Because of the way a multiband compressor works, it is attempting to level out separate areas of the frequency spectrum where there is sometimes, nothing really good to increase except for noise and distortion. That, coupled with the fact that multiband compressors are actually rather tricky to use properly, I haven't heard many software types that I've liked the sound of. Sure, they are used frequently on a stereo bus to create a more spectrally dense sound and not necessarily for loudness maximization, although that is an added bonus when executed properly.

What you're describing is one of the reasons why I am a big supporter of bandwidth limiting where it makes sense. Not everything needs to have a frequency response of 20 -20,000 hertz. The entire recording will have that response as a whole. Not every instrument, vocal or track needs that because much bandwidth. Because, of those highest and lowest frequencie extremes, many instruments and vocals don't produce any real usable frequencies in those upper and lower extremes and so you get garbage in those areas when you try to compress the crap out of that.

You're probably correct in in that you are probably hearing digital distortion from trying to over maximize, over master, overblowing your mix's. Why? Loud, doesn't mean good. It only means loud and so you have something that is loud and is not necessarily good like you describe. How do you fix that? You do less. Because LESS IS MORE. That's right. With less, you will have less noise, less distortion, less balance problems, less listener fatigue, less people turning it off. And again, you might want to give your production a KISS approach? Just because you have the knobs, dials and plug-ins doesn't mean you should try to utilize them to their maximum? Clarity, focus and purity come from simpler approaches to what everybody wants to make more clinical/technical. It really doesn't make things "gooder". I guess some people need to rationalize their lack of recording expertise by trying to play with as many of the toys you have as possible and as you are quickly finding out, it doesn't necessarily work.

I have made beautiful recordings of a 4 piece band, with saxophone and vocal, all SM57/58's with 8 API microphone preamps, a Lexicon PCM 70 and my finger as vocal compressor. Mastering consisted of a little broadband limiting. And with that, a high-quality sound and no drek.

Simple is best
Ms. Remy Ann David

llatht Fri, 01/19/2007 - 05:08
Thanks for the replies. I did try tweaking the different frequency bands and although I found where most of it was coming from, I counldn't get it to go away without compromising the sound severely. I don't think I'm experienced enough to be using one of these. Remy what you said made alot of sense. I guess I hear other recordings done professionally and they are so much louder and fuller than mine. I started focusing on that more than the song itself. Thank you both very much for your input.

dementedchord Thu, 01/18/2007 - 15:53
sounds pretty strange to me... you'll need to eleborate i'm afraid...can you be more specific about the hum????try changeing the frequency on the bands.... if the noise moves with a particular band... there's your problem... continue to tweek that band.... make sense???? if that doesnt help localize it get back to us...