Plug Chains

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Guitarfreak, May 19, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Here is a fun little debate, only applies to software effects and tools. Let's say you have a track that needs both compression and EQ, which do you put first in the chain and why? I know which one I choose and why, but before I tell you, I want to find out how you approach these situations.

    Have at thee 8)
  2. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Toms River, NJ
    whatever sounds better!

    why? because more people might like it!
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I compress then EQ. I think you need an EQ afterward for the actual EQing and an EQ side-chained to the compressor.
  4. Feverdream

    Feverdream Guest

    It all depends on the what you need them to do. Both can be appropriate.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I get the source and the mic placement as perfect as possible and leave OUT the other stuff.
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Amen to that.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
  8. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    In the spirit of answering the question within the parameters stated,
    the device that needs the most adjustment would come first in the chain.
    (Major compression can use a little eq on the back end.
    Major eq'ing can use a little compression afterwards)
    IF you need a pinch of each, it probably doesn't matter which comes first.
  9. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    I have absolutely nothing to base this on except intuition, but I always do low pass or high pass filtering pre-compression. Why would I want compression affecting things I'm trying to get rid of and have to get rid of them afterwards? I could be out to lunch, but that makes some kind of sense to me. And be happy to find out that I'm out to lunch, so feel free to correct me. And if that's sound reasoning, wouldn't it extend to more than just hi/low-pass filters? Unless you're compressing things a lot in order to get a particular kind of sound, wouldn't you want to EQ first to shape the sound you want, and then compress to adjust the dynamics of the sound you've created?

    I remember reading a post on another forum (I just tried to find it and failed) where someone claimed that on certain instruments, especially bass, he preferred eq prior to compression, and on others that operate in higher frequency ranges, compression first and eq second. Wish I could find it, because I remember he gave some interesting reasons for doing it this way...
  10. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    Wait, found it:

    Seems like I totally remembered the post incorrectly, lol. Interesting though!
  11. MC3DPCS

    MC3DPCS Active Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    Agreed. I have worked with folks that intentionally do less compression (or EQ) in the first pass than they know they will eventually need, then do their first pass correction with EQ (or compression), all this on the individual tracks. Then they route the tracks to stems and see how they sit together. If there are problems at that stage, they try compressing and EQing the stems and if that doesn' make the mix gel, they back up and re-tweak the individual tracks.

    I dealt with these kind of problems recently when recording a band that wouldn't let me do my job right in terms of isolation and monitoring because having gobos around or moving amps would have destroyed their mojo. Being the cooperative person I am, I left their mojo intact and tried to do the best mix fix possible. And after 2 weeks of tweaking and retweaking, most of the warts are gone and the tracks have gelled into music. The harmonica player has even quit whining and nobody thought that was possible.

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