Compressors/EQ Before or after it's been recorded ?

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by HMNP, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    Hi Guys, ok here's the deal. I already ordered some high quality mic pres and external analog compressors. I wanted to know if you pros out there add the analog compressors and eq while recording straight into your DAW ?? or Do you record the siganl clean then add the compressors later ???

    My guess is thats it is alot faster to dial in the sound you want from the beginning but then it would be a pain if you need to adjust it.

    On the other hand, If I record everything clean (just using the pres) I have more control over the sound I want to get. But I'll have to output the signal and juggle around with the external compressors and EQ's of my outboard gear and then input the sound back into my DAW right ??

    What are you thoughts, suggestions or recomendations ?? How do you Pros do it ?? Thanks alot in advanced!!

  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    I do almost everything after unless there's a specific reason.
  3. Extasy Jones

    Extasy Jones Guest

    Normally you want the signal clean going to tape. I might use a compressor/limiter, if what I'm recording has a wide dynamic range. However I rarely EQ going to tape. It's nice to have an un-tainted original to go back to.
    Of course, If you are sure of your EQ settings...

    Again, though I would keep any augmentation light.
  4. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    Can you please elaborate a bit more ?? Steps that you do, equipments, that sort of stuff. Thanks!
  5. digitmstr

    digitmstr Guest

    You haven't stated your genre of music...

    For POP/ROCK/R&B etc... vocals I ALWAYS compress while tracking.

    Same for acoustic guitar, bass, drums, etc...

    The level & type of compression varies with the material and genre being recorded as well as production needs.

    However, remember that once it's in can't be taken out.

    Occasionally, I EQ some intruments as needed when tracking. Again, the situtation and production style dictate what I want to do.

    I generally have a pretty distinct and clear idea of what the final mix will sound like so, I use processing while tracking with that sound in mind.
  6. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    Thanks alot...Anyone else ??
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    If you try it for yourself, you will notice that there are sounds you can dial up by adding compression and eq both before and after recording, that you simply cannot achieve by processing post recording.

    With kick drums for instance, I usually need to eq a both before and after recording, to get the sound I like .. With compression, I have learned that by gently compressing on the way in and then a little more at mix, I can get a tight focused sound without a lot of compression artifacts.

    I have tried other methods, double eq's and comps post, but it is never quite the same.

    The thing to do, is to do it all the different ways you can imagine, be inventive and creative .. Learn what works for you .. what gets the sound you like.

    Then when you record, you can envision the mix before you record the tracks ... and treat the tracks you are recording accordingly.
  8. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    There is no preference for me other than to do whatever it takes to get the the results you are after. Using eq before compression is often necessary for tone control but it also is necessary many times to enhance and provide better control of how the compressor responds to freq peaks. Eq after the compressor is often necessary to further taylor the sound but is also required to make up for the artifacts caused by the compressor or in many cases mainly because of the artifacts caused by using cheap crappy compressors.
  9. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    Like always, Thanks alot you guys!!!
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