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Thread: Where do I reach for the last compression I need.

  1. #1
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    Where do I reach for the last compression I need.

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    Tomorrow is the day for mixing and I'm hoping to have something up for listening within 48hrs.

    Here's my 1 quandary without going into too many details. I don't use computers. Board and hardware fx for me.

    If I need to reach down and get a last channel or 2 of compression from my available units, how would you rank these?

    dbx 266xl
    Lexicon MX400 (with dbx compression of some sort built in)
    TC M300

    This would probably be as an insert on a rhythm guitar, maybe on backing vocals.

    The fact of the matter is if the 266 is the loser here..........it has no use, which I'd be fine with.
    Sountracs Topaz Miami-Vice 24/8 ---> Tascam DA-88s. No computers allowed.

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    Use the 266. It's a compressor and has no other function. The one in the TC doesn't have enough controls to be usefull in enough situations, and using a lexicon multi-effects processor for compression just seems wrong.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    I agree. Both the Lexicon and TC Electronics units are digital compressors as a multi-effect...A/D/A pathway, etc. Just say no. Use your dedicated analog compressor.

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    Hmmmm. Well, I was thinking I'd compress the following as groups: Drums, backing vox (5/6 tracks), and either the rhythm guitars (3 tracks) OR the lead/fill guitars (4 tracks). The bass and lead vox will have their own dedicated compression.

    My available units for this are dbx163x, dbx166xl, dbx1046, dbx266xl. 9 channels. I was given a Samson C-com but I've never plugged it in and probably never will once my RNC arrives.

    I may have to rethink a bit if the 266xl is in play. Use it on the backing vox? Use it on the group that gets the lightest compression?
    Sountracs Topaz Miami-Vice 24/8 ---> Tascam DA-88s. No computers allowed.

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    If the rhythm guitars are distorted, they might not need compression.

    Without knowing the arraignment of the song and/or hearing it, it is pretty impossible to guide you through this.

    For example, if the background vocals are actually in the background, you can get away with anything. If they are way up front, you might need to use the nicer one.

    The leads and fills may not need compression, depending on the sound and type of part.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Here's the old mix when I tried out a local mastering company.......I've since decided to use someone around here......

    The main vocals have been replaced by yours truly......which scares the shit out of me, but I'm going for it.
    The main rhythm guitar has been re-amped on an additional track.
    I've added additional small lead fills in the verses.
    Gang vocals have been added for the chorus.

    The mix has already been improved dramatically by implementing suggestions a couple weeks ago. I'm sorting out compression and moving on to fx.....which have upgraded since this mix.
    Sountracs Topaz Miami-Vice 24/8 ---> Tascam DA-88s. No computers allowed.

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    Group compression is its own thing, not a workaround for not having enough compressors. Use the compressors on individual channels for the most part. Maybe save one stereo compressor for toms. Don't be afraid to try the Samson.

    First try each compressor on the lead vocal to find what works best. The use your ear to spot things that sound too dynamic relative to the other tracks and find the compressor that sounds best. Deal with the worst dynamics problems first then work your way down until you're out of compressors. Learn to ride faders and teach a friend. Sometimes it takes more than one pair of hands to mix.

    For years I mixed from two DA-38s through a Tascam M-2600 MkII to DAT with ten channels of compression in the rack so I know what you're going through. Sometimes I hauled my personal comp rack in to augment what my friend's studio had because not having enough channels of compression sucks.

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    The track on soundcloud has been removed.

    I agree with everything that BSG said. I used to mix through four Tascam DA-88's and a 32 channel Soundcraft Ghost, with 20 channels of compression. I didn't compress distorted guitars or anything else that didn't really need it. But that was 20 years ago, before the loudness wars went completely nuts.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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