Mastering my tracks, compressor creates a "wah" ef

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by AllInRuins, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. AllInRuins

    AllInRuins Guest

    At some points in my recording, when the singer ups his volume for a phrase or line, it sounds like the music behind it is being muffled, and sounds like if some one were covering the speaker with their hand and then removing it, if you know what I mean. Obviously the speaker has to be hand size, but you know what I mean. Any idea on how I can fix this?

    Anything to do with the attack and release times maybe?

    Its a multiband compressor btw.
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    I don't call them "maul-the-band" compressors for nothing...
  3. AllInRuins

    AllInRuins Guest

    Haha okay, so would a normal compressor be better?

    It sounds amazing when its not mauling the bands.
  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Home Page:
    Remove it - if it's making the entire mix duck then you've got it inserted in the wrong place.

    It's your job as the engineer to even that out. Ride the faders, as it were...

    Your mix should sound amazing without a comp on the stereo bus.
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    I use multiband compressors only as a last resort, and even then, very sparingly. I do a bounce/mix and compare it to the the original without it. (Putting them both on a timeline and toggling back and forth between them to hear any difference.) This way I know if I'm doing more harm than good.

    My own philosophy (esp with today's DAWs capabilities) is to make sure each track or groups of tracks is ALREADY behaving the way I want them to before mixdown. You CAN, for example, gently duck the backing track(s) in various groups behind the vocal in the mixdown (as long as it's nothing too radical and reversible in case you don't like it later), and you can do the opposite for the vocal - perhaps a little boost here, or a little nip/tuck there, instead of trying to do it all - to the entire track - at the mastering stage.

    Many producers have the vocal completely tamed by mixdown time anyway - comping the best takes, de-essing where necesary, a little limiting, etc. (to the vocal, not the music, etc.) and whatever else is needed to create a good vocal track. "Fixing" the vocal track at the end - at the expense of everything else in the stereo mix - is just barbaric and not needed anymore in today's DAW-driven world.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Yeah, it really sounds like you are mashing your entire track, through an improperly adjusted multiband limiter? I mean anything that's more than one must be better? Shouldn't it? Not really. Multiband compression is useful in only a handful of situations. The deleterious effects that you mention are largely based upon attack and release times, along with improper ratios/slopes/crests. I really haven't heard many multiband compressors I like. I much prefer mostly wideband compressors/limiters where I can adjust the bandwidth only in the detector circuit/algorithm. This kind of wideband compression I find more musical sounding as you can make the compressor/limiter only work on certain frequencies without affecting others. This is only applicable to a compressor plug-in that offers more in-depth tweaking aside from just ratio, attack, release.

    10 pound bag of stuff in a 5 pound bag
    Ms. Remy Ann David
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