MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

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MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by akpasta » Sat May 09, 2020 7:12 pm

I’ve got a dynacomp and it just has thee jangle tone for me and I love using it. I’m recording a 12 string guitar into the dynacomp and into logic. No amp. Guitar goes to dynacomp and into an apogee interface. Problem is there’s something with the attack or something of the dynacomp that causes some kind of (analog) clip or volume spike when you go from silence to attack. You can see the dB peak right away and then go up and then come down To the normal
Volume as you keep playing. It’s like 5-6 dB louder during the attack or something. Doesn’t matter what overall db levels, attack volume is higher than playing volume.

It happens of course outside of logic, but is pretty much negligible in analog recording and I never really noticed until sending the thing to logic.

I promise it’s not my gain staging or anything like that, it’s definitely the pedal. I’ve narrowed it down to that. I even bought a fancier Ego Compressor with an attack and blend knob so I could dial it in more (that pedal doesn’t do it) but the tone of the dynacomp is just so much better. Arghh.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by losthighway » Sat May 09, 2020 8:40 pm

Not what you want to hear:

Amps react differently. There might be some weird transient thing that pokes out in the DI world.You ever hear jangle through an AC30?

Or alternatively, have you ever experimented with sending a clean guitar recording through a hardware compressor? Maybe that would do it?

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by akpasta » Sun May 10, 2020 12:54 am

losthighway wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:40 pm
Not what you want to hear:

Amps react differently. There might be some weird transient thing that pokes out in the DI world.You ever hear jangle through an AC30?

Or alternatively, have you ever experimented with sending a clean guitar recording through a hardware compressor? Maybe that would do it?
Amps react differently for sure and I have an AC15. The spike in volume is wiped out once the sound hits the speaker. But sometimes you have to cut a track in your bedroom and can’t mic an amp.

I’ve tried going direct to the interface but I just can’t seem to get the same squish and jangle as the dynacomp so I wanna fix this!

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun May 10, 2020 7:17 am

You could either try a limiter on the input chain after the dynacomp or deal with it once it’s in the daw. The second option is probably the more transparent choice. Either a limiter plug in that only grabs the big spikes or just automate the volume to level them out.

This has always been one of my issues with DI bass. An amp handles transient spikes and I don’t have to fart around with outboard or plugs.

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by vvv » Sun May 10, 2020 7:41 am

You could use an emulator as last in line b/4 the interface.

The Joyo American pedal is a copy of the discontinued Tech 21 Blonde, and works well on bass and guitar DI, for about US$30.

There are numerous such options.
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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by Ron Obvious » Sun May 10, 2020 8:03 am

The issue with all modern Hi-Z 1/4” inputs on A/D interfaces, are that they are “really transparent”. In many cases that’s a good thing.

In the old days you would good through a DI (transformer), and in the classic Neve console setup 6 more transformers before it even went to the tape machine. The tape then also acted as a “transformer”. I.E. all these acted as “softeners” changing a Square wave into a sine wave. Could also say a “de-spiker”

So I would recommend you buy a nice classic simple passive D.I. Then go to the mic pre of your interface. Even better if you have any of the classic mic pre’s that use transformers on the in and out. Then send this to the line in on your interface. You now have three transformers to A/D.

Remember even in a gtr amp there are transformers and a speaker. All these “soften” the blow.

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sun May 10, 2020 9:14 am

Did you try just putting a speaker sim on your di track?

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by digitaldrummer » Sun May 10, 2020 12:37 pm

is it really a spike or is that just how you see Logic drawing the waveform? If your channel is showing an over, then probably you have the signal too hot for the input so turn down the level. guitar pedal comps are usually there for sustain right? The dynacomp is probably not a super fast brick wall limiter, so that initial string attack is most likely going to poke through and since you are not going through an amp or speaker, you may have to use something in the box to compress it again if it bothers you (a fast opto compressor or brick wall limiter) or if you put an amp/speaker sim on it that may flatten it out for you too.
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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun May 10, 2020 1:00 pm

akpasta wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 7:12 pm
I’ve got a dynacomp and it just has thee jangle tone for me and I love using it. I’m recording a 12 string guitar into the dynacomp and into logic. No amp. Guitar goes to dynacomp and into an apogee interface. Problem is there’s something with the attack or something of the dynacomp that causes some kind of (analog) clip or volume spike when you go from silence to attack. You can see the dB peak right away and then go up and then come down To the normal
Volume as you keep playing. It’s like 5-6 dB louder during the attack or something. Doesn’t matter what overall db levels, attack volume is higher than playing volume.

It happens of course outside of logic, but is pretty much negligible in analog recording and I never really noticed until sending the thing to logic.

I promise it’s not my gain staging or anything like that, it’s definitely the pedal. I’ve narrowed it down to that. I even bought a fancier Ego Compressor with an attack and blend knob so I could dial it in more (that pedal doesn’t do it) but the tone of the dynacomp is just so much better. Arghh.

Anyone have any ideas?
Welcome to the land of really really loud "metal string being hit by a plastic pick attack sizes."

You are seeing your really really loud pick strike. THIS IS NORMAL.

Since you do not have a guitar amplifier to squish that down, you will see it.

You just need to turn down the output of the Dynacomp, if possible, or put a limiter before the Dynacomp. A really fast one.

Be careful to not squeeze that attack too much, IF it is part of the sound.
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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by losthighway » Sun May 10, 2020 8:53 pm

akpasta wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:54 am
losthighway wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:40 pm
Not what you want to hear:

Amps react differently. There might be some weird transient thing that pokes out in the DI world.You ever hear jangle through an AC30?

Or alternatively, have you ever experimented with sending a clean guitar recording through a hardware compressor? Maybe that would do it?
Amps react differently for sure and I have an AC15. The spike in volume is wiped out once the sound hits the speaker. But sometimes you have to cut a track in your bedroom and can’t mic an amp.

I’ve tried going direct to the interface but I just can’t seem to get the same squish and jangle as the dynacomp so I wanna fix this!
Ha, sorry. That's funny you already have a Vox at home, my suggestion was so good you've already tried all that.

I need to try the dynacomp. I'm trying to do something new wave-ish this week with some single coils and phase or chorus and was thinking compression might be part of the twinkle I'm picturing.

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by drumsound » Sun May 10, 2020 11:22 pm

The dynacomp probably has a slow(ish) attack. You could try either lowering the guitar volume, or maybe try something like a microamp pedal to turn the signal down, so your guitar pickups are at full bore (if you prefer the tone that way).

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by joninc » Mon May 11, 2020 2:10 pm

the dyna comp has a output pot - just turn it down!
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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by akpasta » Tue May 12, 2020 3:56 pm

Thanks for all the responses folks.

I don't have a DI box, but I do have an ART Tube Pac Mic Pre/Compressor unit, found here - https://artproaudio.com/product/tube-pa ... ompressor/ . I tried that last night and I could get a little improvement, but it only gives you control over limiting/compression db level, not attack time, so you got a find line between a quick limit, and crushing your whole attack.

My line chain goes Guitar > Dynacomp > ART Mic Pre-Amp > Apogee Interface > Logic. Should I switch up the line chain and put the Dynacomp later in the chain? Doesn't seem like that would do it because the compressor is causing the spike due to its slower attack, so whatever volume going to it is probably going to get crushed the same way.

In Logic I use the amp designer and the compression plug-ins. The Attack function on the compressor just gets noisy when I make the attack very fast. There is a limiter in the compressor in Logic, but it doesn't quite perform like a brick wall, although I try.

I'm not getting an actual digital over, my levels aren't nearly that high, but the attack spike tends to be 6db or so louder than playing. Whatever the db level, usually -15 or so, the attach is going to be about 6db louder.

Not really sure what the solution is, what DI box would folks recommend? Should I just put more stuff between the compressor and the interface to give more "softening?" seems like a funny workaround, but maybe it would work.

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by Ron Obvious » Tue May 12, 2020 10:29 pm

Stepping in for the last time. Transformers, transformers, transformers. Not more modern compressors.

You need a “de-Spiker”. That is what a transformer does. Note all the “Classic Gear”. They all have at least two transformers. To give you that thick-warm tone, that all the kids are looking for.

ART make great gear. I own some myself. It has no transformers - in or out.

Go find a bog standard [passive D.I. - IE > transformer] and then send this to a mic pre or EQ with Transformers. Yes after that if you want to add a bit of compression before going to DAW land Great.

I’ve recorded The Beatles - ha! Ok these guys are much younger. We used transformers. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7o19qnmVgP8

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Re: MXR DynaComp issue in Logic Pro X

Post by akpasta » Wed May 13, 2020 12:16 pm

Thanks for the advice on transformers. So a passive di and pre amp with transformer.

I have an old pro co db1 DI that has a transformer. Doesn’t eliminate my spikes though.

The latter is a bit tricky to find. The best and expensive pre amps have transformers. Any cheaper ones that have a transformer?

There’s the Golden Age Project Pre-73 JR but it’s like $250

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