signal chain???

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by robchittum, Feb 7, 2003.

  1. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    What order do you folks recommend doing things in the signal chain..

  2. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    I tend towards dynmics then eq...although unique situations call for unique solutions.
  3. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    Jan 14, 2001
    Seattle WA, USA
    IF the compression helps to create a major part of the TONE, then I agree with Recorderman. Dynamics before EQ, as above.


    When a part is heavily compressed, it then becomes VERY DIFFICULT to "pull" an idividual frequency out of that sound, using an equalizer.

    For example, the compressed sound is like a cake of Top Ramen, before you put it in the water. Now try to get an individual noodle out, without breaking it. Can't be done.

    This is why mastering engineers bitch about mixes that have too much compression across the stereo bus. Makes it impossible to bring out the tone and dynamic of the song, in a respectful way.

    I realize that Rob is most likely asking about signal processing on individual parts here, and not about bus compression. But I believe the lesson still holds...

    If you compress before EQ, make sure you're getting exactly the tone you want, because it will be hard to change it later. The EQ will have trouble pulling the noodle out of the Ramen...

  4. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    I use the EQ for dynamic control (providing you have enough bands and know how to)

    If I need to compress some, I back off on the EQ tastefully, bringing "unwanteds" down. If I need a kick in the dynamics, the EQ is my best friend..providing I do it tastefully and consider it's place for that instrument in the mix.

    I record dry and strait. I do all my goodies in post.
  5. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I record dry as well, but I want to make sure that I do things in the right order - if it even matters. So, if I record dry to Nuendo, then dynamics, then eq, then effects (I go sparingly on these as I record mostly acoustic music). Sound like a plan? Maybe it doesn't matter that much when doing all of the processing via computer. Does the computer do all of the processing at the same time, or does it do the processing in the order in which you punched it in? Just curious. Thanks again.

  6. droog

    droog Active Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    sometimes, eq before the compressor will let the compressor perform better, eg a high pass or a 300hz cut

    eq after the compressor will bring out the frequencies you like to hear, and is therefore more creative than surgical
  7. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Rob, a lot of pro studios use high end compressors on the front end of a DAW. It helps to keep the levels up going into the box as well as adding a bit of color.
  8. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    I tend toward Comp > EQ.

    Although, you gotta watch what you're doing with this since you can easily get overs if you crank up the compressor's output too high. Even subtractive EQing somehow boosts the signal sometimes. Just make sure you give yourself some headroom...

    As far as effects go, it really doesn't apply in most cases since it is just that - an effect - which is usually run parallel to the original signal chain - not in series as are compression & EQ (which are processes). This is the case most of the time - but there are exceptions....
  9. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I also compress *before* EQ in *most* cases (High-pass filtering is sometimes an exception). Here is why:

    When you boost with an EQ, you are really just increasing the volume of specific frequency ranges. Now, consider how a compressor will attempt to squash the highest peaks. So after spending a long time getting the EQ just right, the compressor comes along and undoes all the hard work I just did!

    Now that is a very simplified explaination, and it certainly does not apply in all cases! Experiment! Be bold! Try it both ways and always use what sounds good to your ears!
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Different strokes for different folks. Different chops for different results. It all depends on what sounds best for the tune. Sometimes eq first sounds best on a given element. Within the same tune, a different track may require just the opposite. Don't be afraid to experiment. Find out what you like best! Go for the individual approach not some "follow the pack" technique. What may sound real good on Joes system bight bite on yours. Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
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