video You Might Not Need a Broadcast Console

You Might Not Need a Broadcast Console

video Group Compression

Group Compression

Explore group layout and compression techniques to focus in improving your mix. Apply parallel compression to drums, compression to the band, and processing to the master bus. Boost the performance subtly without taking away from its qualities. Key Points: Use dual groups for the drum mix. This distinguishes between less compressed and heavily compressed (smash) drum groups. This technique also allows for fine-tuned balance that subtly boosts the drum punch while keeping the song’s organic feel. Optimize compression settings by selecting compression types for different drum groups. Blending these groups is necessary to achieve your desired drum sound. This process involves adjusting the levels within the drum groups and the overall drum bus to achieve a balanced and punchy drum mix. Compression adds glue to the whole band, helping the elements work together. Use dynamic EQ as a ‘recovery EQ’ to compensate for any tonal losses due to compression, thereby restoring life to the mix. Use VCAs or DCAs to manage group levels well. This is done to keep compression consistent across the group.

video Fine-Tuning Your Band Compression

Fine-Tuning Your Band Compression

Move beyond the drum kit to focus on applying compression and tube emulation to the rest of the band. This includes bass, electric guitars, and keys. Compression can be a subtle art to create a cohesive and dynamically balanced mix. Tube emulation adds character and warmth to various instruments, enhancing their presence in the mix without overpowering other elements. Key Points: Compression on an upright bass is used to tighten its sound and reduce dynamic range. A touch of tube emulation can help you add drive and character, making the bass sound more consistent and vibrant. For electric guitars, use light compression combined with light tube emulation to maintain their dynamic expressiveness while ensuring they fit well within the mix. Using dynamic EQ and tube emulation on keys can help you make them sound more natural and less like they’re emanating from a digital source. Pay special attention to keys where tube drive and focused compression can help enhance their musicality and ensure they don’t overshadow the vocals. After individually processing each element, bring all of the instruments together to evaluate the effectiveness of your compression settings. Adjustments should be made to ensure that each instrument has its rightful place in the mix. Pay special attention to the dynamic interplay between the kick drum and the bass.

video Gentle Vocal Compression

Gentle Vocal Compression

Applying compression to vocals can use a mixture of hardware channel strips, like the Manly VoxBox, and onboard console dynamics. Dynamics include EQ and compression as tools to improve the vocal clarity, presence, and consistency in the mix. Tweaking your vocal compression ensures that lead and background vocals blend well with the full band. Key Points: The Manly VoxBox is used for the lead vocal and has various features including an integrated channel strip that provides preamp warmth, a de-esser for controlling sibilance, and compression for dynamic control. These features make the vocal sound rich and polished. Dynamic EQ helps sculpt the vocal EQ in response to performance. Trey specifically uses the DiGiCo Naga 6 which helps keep clarity without permanently changing the vocal tone. Adjust the attack, release, and ratio settings on your compressor to complement the vocal performance. Using the right settings should add character and sustain but keep the natural dynamics. The goal with background vocal should be to make them a consistent level. You should sculpt them to support the lead vocal without overshadowing it. Use balanced compression settings to clamp down to keep the mix steady while also keeping the life and energy of the background vocals. Once vocal compression is set, your next step is to blend the vocals with the compressed instruments. You should aim for a cohesive and dynamic mix where the vocals and instruments support each other.

video Final Touches for your Two-Mix

Final Touches for your Two-Mix

There is a delicate balance needed to finalize your mix. Trey explains the critical role of the subtle use of overall compression in addition to multi-band compression. These techniques unify and enhance the mix’s coherence. Key Points: Use a multi-band compressor and a little overall compression on the master bus. Doing this will help you gently glue the mix together. Be sure to use restraint to keep the mix’s range and character. Finely tuning a multi-band compressor focuses on the low and high bands to find the best settings. These settings should enhance the mix without removing its natural dynamics. Adjust the compressor to achieve a subtle, yet effective, impact. Add a compressor with a low ration for a final layer of cohesion in the mix. Less is more with compression, to preserve the mix’s integrity while providing a polished finish. Dynamic EQ on key instruments lets the lead vocal shine through in the mix. When you compress specific frequency bands, it keeps the mix balanced and clear. EQ, compression, and effects should change as your mix develops. Big changes aren’t always needed. Approach mixing with a careful, detail-focused approach to respect the mix’s complexity and the listener’s experience.

video Compression and Tube Emulation for Drums

Compression and Tube Emulation for Drums

Applying compression and tube emulation to drums should be done strategically. Compression makes the drum sound punchier and more cohesive. Additionally, tube emulation adds harmonic distortion and saturation to the drums. This simulates the warmth and character of analog gear. The goal is to improve the drum’s tone and to replace traditional compression. This is done by using saturation to control the dynamic range. Key Points: In the case of this video, Trey is using tube emulation on a DiGiCo Quantum 338. He uses the tube emulator to add saturation and harmonic distortion to the drum sounds. This emulation can recreate the warmth of analog gear in a digital setting. Applying compression to the kick drum, snare, hi-hats, overheads, and toms should be focused on making a balanced, punchy sound. Pay special attention to the unique characteristics of each drum, such as the kick drum in this instance which is mic’d from the outside without a resonant head hole. Frequency-specific compression introduced filters in compression that target specific frequency ranges. You can use this to compress only the low end of the kick drum, for example. This maintains the drum’s attack while controlling its dynamic range. Adjusting attack, hold, and release is key. This should mimic the natural decay of the drums to ensure that the compression helps, not hurts, the drum’s sound. Compression can be a creative tool to help you glue the drum kit together. Use compression to make drums sound more unified and impactful in the mix. When using compression, be sure to balance it with the natural tone of the drums to avoid over-processing.