Compressing Vocals w/ 2 compressors

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mikoo69
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Compressing Vocals w/ 2 compressors

Post by mikoo69 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:07 am

I have heard lots of people recommend compressing vocals with 2 compressors in series, usually an 1176 into an LA-2A. I have a Purple Audio MC-77 and a Tubetech CL-1B and I'd like to try this (MC77 ->CL1B) but I am looking for suggestions on how to set each compressor (Ratios, Amount of dB reduction, Attack, Release?)

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:52 am

Hi,

Remember the La2a only has one or two settings, depending on which model you have.

The 1176 has a lot more flexibility, so this one you would use to control the vocal more than the la2a.

It really depends on the kind of singer and how they sound, compared to what you want the vocal to sound like in your production.

Mostly rock and pop productions will use thsi technique, but not jazz, classical, or more organic spunding genres.

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Post by joninc » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:49 am

i have heard people using the 1176 to do light comp but fast grabbing/release of transient stuff (sometimes high ratio - even 20:1) and the limiter to do a more gentle rounding behind it. it's a good trick!
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:40 am

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Post by losthighway » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:15 am

joninc wrote:i have heard people using the 1176 to do light comp but fast grabbing/release of transient stuff (sometimes high ratio - even 20:1) and the limiter to do a more gentle rounding behind it. it's a good trick!
I've done this a lot with a DBX 160 and a STA-Level. But the DBX doing more of a 2-3:1 cutting off the top few db and the STA-Level doing its more smooth, slow thing taking off up to 15db.

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Post by reedblack » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:31 pm

I often put two in line. What I'm generally after is setting the 1st one to tame the peaks as transparently as possible so that they don't make the 2nd compressor go crazy or get too artifact-ey. For example, I'll put a Distressor before my TG1 so that the TG1 doesn't pump excessively, but contributes the character I like it best for.

Using the 1176 to tame the peaks, you'll get more character than I'm after with my Distressor in the above example, but that's not necessarily a bad thing! Give the peaks a haircut while confirming their urgency with some coloration, then into the LA-2A for whatever you're trying to get it to do, without it running wild on you.

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Post by fossiltooth » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:22 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:http://trustmeimascientist.com/2011/09/ ... implified/

Pretty solid article.
Daw shucks, thanks Ryan.

There seem to be two styles of this whole "serial compression" thing. One of those styles is using a faster higher-ratio compressor first to tame the peaks, the idea being that this way, you don't freak out a slower, lower-ratio compressor later in the chain. That approach is represented pretty well in this thread.

However, when I interviewed a few pro dudes I admire for my own write-up (Joel Hamilton, John Agnello, Scott Hull) they all brought up another strategy that's been under-represented here so far. A lot of these guys often like going through a slower, gushier, lower-ratio compressor first, before hitting a faster-acting comp or limiter. This can make things sound a little more organic and a little less "digital". In Hamilton's words, it can keep things from sounding too "pointalistic". That may not have been a word when he used it... but it is now.

Anyway, either or both methods can be useful. Try them out! A lot. Then you'll really know for yourself.

What do you guys think? Any favorite chains or starting points?

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Post by vvv » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:38 pm

Lately I been using a opto first (either software or a Meek), followed by a faster compressor (software) on vocals.

It seems to work best for me; I like the description, "organic".


Also, BTW, "pointalistic" makes me think of Madonna, in that silly-arse eye-gouger bra ... :twisted:
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Post by joel hamilton » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:32 pm

Just to school justin on this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointillism

It is to take the pointy, individual event-based "feel" of uncompressed digital, and give it some actual heft and weight... and push the sound towards impressionistic...

Anyway: it is an aesthetic I enjoy and pursue.
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Post by jgimbel » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:30 pm

joel hamilton wrote:Just to school justin on this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointillism

It is to take the pointy, individual event-based "feel" of uncompressed digital, and give it some actual heft and weight... and push the sound towards impressionistic...

Anyway: it is an aesthetic I enjoy and pursue.
:roll: :D :D :D
When I read that in the article (about helping fix something sounding too pointillistic) I thought that was such a great term to apply to music. It's been put the the backburner a bit now that I've been able to keep pretty busy with recording, but I'm a graphic designer, and I'm constantly finding similarities between design (and art) and recording, but generally my analogies don't make sense to folks since people will tend to either get one side of the two things being related or the other! Great use though, good stuff.

The article was great too. Every time I read from that site I like it more and look forward to reading more.
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Post by fossiltooth » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:09 am

I stand corrected! "Pointillistic" (and not just "pointillism") is in fact, a word: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pointillistic

I'd heard of Pointillism Joel, but never in this adjective form, and to be honest, I had no idea that was the reference you were trying to make. I hereby take back any implied skepticism, and will make sure the spelling gets fixed in the original article. In my defense, I was trying to flatter you by suggesting you're pretty much allowed to make up words at this point. :D

Anyway, kudos my dude! You have nobly out-dorked me once again and remain king of esoteric audio references. Now as long as we can keep our shenanigans out of Dennis Miller territory, I think we'll be in pretty good shape!

(PS- does anyone want to take a stab at what that might sound like?)

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Post by vvv » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:45 pm

Lemme jes' say in my own defense, being self-prosecuted, that I read the first reference and saw it spellt, "pointalistic", and I thought a new concept were involved.

After all, I live in Chi, where the Art Institute has that famous Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte?1884, what I can just look at for a hour, and nearly have.

But "pointillism", in light of sampling, etc. - that's freakin' funny! :lol:

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(Note to fossiltooth- didn'cha mean "out-geeked"? :twisted: )
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Post by Pgraf » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:58 pm

here is a good starting point on using this technique http://www.uaudio.com/blog/using-the-11 ... -together/
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Post by roygbiv » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:49 am

vvv wrote:.......Also, BTW, "pointalistic" makes me think of Madonna, in that silly-arse eye-gouger bra ... :twisted:
hmmm, maybe you just mistook the last letter for a t.
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