Throbbing Compression

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wedge
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Throbbing Compression

Post by wedge » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:24 am

I'm only now getting into making a compressor "pump" using Attack and Release... Are there any rules of thumb for making a compressor pump, other than trial and error moving knobs and listening? So far I'm getting good results with that technique, but I was wondering if anyone out there does anything different...

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firesine
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Post by firesine » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:29 am

I usually hear pumping with short attack and release times, especially with unreal plug in comps. Sometimes great for drum rooms :D
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:23 am

if it's a typical rock backbeat kind of thing, i usually try and set the release so it's emphasizing the offbeat 8th notes. i.e. the comp is kicking in on the kick and snare hits and releasing fast enough so the offbeat hihats come up. because it sounds funky.

easy fun recipe:

room mics
blockfish compressor, set to:
opto
complex
lo cut in
saturation most of the way up
time around 10 o'clock
lots of compression

good times.

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Post by firesine » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:57 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:if it's a typical rock backbeat kind of thing, i usually try and set the release so it's emphasizing the offbeat 8th notes. i.e. the comp is kicking in on the kick and snare hits and releasing fast enough so the offbeat hihats come up. because it sounds funky.
Cool idea and great explanation. I do something similar but never stopped to think what I was actually doing... just knew it made the drummer sound way more funky then they actually are!

Now that I think about it again, a fairly low threshold will also emphasis the pumping... right?
MoreSpaceEcho wrote: easy fun recipe:
room mics
blockfish compressor, set to:
opto
complex
lo cut in
saturation most of the way up
time around 10 o'clock
lots of compression

good times.
Man I miss blockfish. One of the few things I regret about the mac+Logic8 combo, and there are very few!
Mmm, lung butter.

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Post by thieves » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:00 pm

my newest trick for electronic pumping (ewww!) is to run the drums to a (pre-fader) buss along with a synth part. the synth signal is only coming through the buss, but the drums are coming through the original drum (machine) track and the buss track. I squish the hell out of the buss, so the drums essentially lose all of their oomph, but they drown out the synth on the beats, so the synths really come up on the off beats. it makes for a great pulsating effect, and it doubles as parallel compression for the drum track.
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:05 pm

lower threshold=more compression, so yeah.

i usually end up running stuff out to either the distressor or the 1969 for squashy, but the blockfish is great during tracking, i can throw it on during playbacks and get an idea of how things will sound all blown up. and it does actually win in the mix occasionally.

sometimes i'll have the analog comps doing fairly heavy handed compression in parallel, and then also have the blockfish just going nuts, and just bring up a teeny tiny bit of it. can work well to add brightness without using eq.

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wedge
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Post by wedge » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:24 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:i usually try and set the release so it's emphasizing the offbeat 8th notes.
Do you do this simply by listening, or is there a math formula one can use involving attack and release rates, and the BPM of the song?

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:40 pm

i just do it by ear, it's easy, just adjust it until it makes you feel like dancing. you could figure out the math though i suppose....120 bpm, a 1/4 note would be 500ms so a release of 250 oughta be about right.

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Post by Brett Siler » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:45 pm

wedge wrote:
MoreSpaceEcho wrote:i usually try and set the release so it's emphasizing the offbeat 8th notes.
Do you do this simply by listening, or is there a math formula one can use involving attack and release rates, and the BPM of the song?
I learned this trick for setting delay times but you can definitely use it for setting release times on a compressor (I have).

60,000 / BPM = delay time (or release time) in milliseconds for a 1/4 delay. Ex. 60,000 / 120 BPM = 500 ms for a 1/4 delay time (or emphasizing 1/4 notes).

so 250 ms would emphasize 1/8 notes, 125 ms would emphasize 1/16 notes , 62.50 ms = 1/32 note, etc.....

or just listen depends on if you bust out the calculator or not... or do both!

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:55 pm

here's a basic example of what i'm usually trying to achieve with compression on room mics...bring out the ambience, the sustain of the snare...this is just a pair of earthworks on the floor going through the blockfish in heavy handed fashion. there might be a little close kick and snare in there, i can't remember. please excuse my shitty drumming, i was just fucking around.

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Post by vvv » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:05 pm

Hey, can I edit and use that drum track?
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:38 pm

sure.

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Post by drumsound » Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:37 am

As already touched on pumping tends to about the interaction of the attack and release times combined with the tempo of the tune. I find it's good to also list to the difference between low threshold and low ratio to higher threshold and higher ratio. Listen to both doing the same amount of gain reduction, because the tone can be quite different.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:43 am

drumsound wrote: low threshold and low ratio to higher threshold and higher ratio.
do you think the latter is generally more "transparent"? i sort of do. like with say a distressor on front of kit mic, i often find that nuke actually sounds more 'normal' than a similar amount of GR at 3:1 or whatever. obviously it's not transparent at all, in the conventional sense of the word, but in terms of affecting the internal dynamics of the playing, i sometimes find that low thresh/ratio brings up the subtle in between stuff too much and changes the feel of the groove in a not so nice way.

that said i do usually like 2 or 3 to 1 on snare so maybe i just have no idea what i'm talking about.

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Post by drumsound » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:15 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
drumsound wrote: low threshold and low ratio to higher threshold and higher ratio.
do you think the latter is generally more "transparent"? i sort of do. like with say a distressor on front of kit mic, i often find that nuke actually sounds more 'normal' than a similar amount of GR at 3:1 or whatever. obviously it's not transparent at all, in the conventional sense of the word, but in terms of affecting the internal dynamics of the playing, i sometimes find that low thresh/ratio brings up the subtle in between stuff too much and changes the feel of the groove in a not so nice way.

that said i do usually like 2 or 3 to 1 on snare so maybe i just have no idea what i'm talking about.
I guess so...

Honestly it's really a 'just what floats my boat" at the time. It really depends on what I'm doing, the tune and my mood.

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