Likewise, if you want to adjust the “Shape” (or “Envelope”) of specific sounds, focus on doing this instrument-by-instrument or group-by-group. You have bigger fish to fry. Attack and Release Together. How will my use of mix-bus compression affect the mastering process? The main question to be answered is: Is mix compression right for your mixing style? Why Use a Mix Bus Compressor At All? Peter: "I would recommend that mixers get into the habit of using proper mix-bus compression. Try effects. This is fine for a 'client mix', but doing this to the final mix pass and sending it to the mastering engineer creates a problem, because it can't be undone. Applying compression after the mix is complete thus risks changing the balance you have carefully set up, so unless you mixed into a compressor from the start, compressing the mix is best left to the mastering engineer. If the attack time is very fast it will grab more of the attack portion of whatever sound has triggered compression; if it is slow, it will let faster transients go by unscathed, but will allow the compressor to grab slower peaks. So know and learn the style that you’re mixing in. This test should give you a great indication of how mix-bus compression affects the overall cohesive balance of the loudest and most important parts of your mix. Slower Attack, Faster Release There is a lot that can be done to salvage bad mixes, but keep in mind I'm good but I'm not God! Pushing level into this will cause the compressor to react, reducing dynamics and creating a more aggressive sound. This allows you to equalise the signal going to the detector circuit, but not the audio path itself, which can be very useful if you have a prominent bass or kick drum in your mix. Effectively, my goal is to send Peter a mix that will allow him to do his mastering work without him running into snags and changing my mix balances. It is necessary that the compressor be able to react in exactly the same way to peaks in the left and right channels, so it's no use having a dual–mono compressor that does not provide a stereo link option. If they are mixing for a client who is not educated about the mastering process, what they should be doing is supplying the client a 'client mix' that has been compressed a bit to compensate for volume and dynamics issues. Bonus: Attack and Release Settings in Detail. In this circumstance, filtering some low frequencies out of the side–chain can make the compressor respond more smoothly to the dynamics of the mix as a whole, instead of 'pumping' every time the kick drum is hit! A bus compressor can also ensure that you can be a bit visceral, playful and bold with your fader moves, knowing that your compressor will help to reign you in a bit if you do as humans do and take a good thing just a little too far. 8) Adjust your threshold, ratio and attack to taste. But it is a great way to learn. But as a mixer, you should focus mainly on just two of them: “Glue” and “Control”. Go much beyond those settings and your mix will sound flat and strained. So what are “Glue” and “Control”, the two most important things to seek in a mix bus compressor? This is the time for mixing. If you're familiar with the sonic effects of different compressor settings on individual sources, you'll find that these are not so different when you use the same settings to compress your mix. (Though some better than others, admittedly.). You may find that the action of a mix compressor tends to 'fight' your fader moves when mixing. Typically, conservative levels are the norm: even 1dB of gain reduction will make a difference.". Consider a lead vocal that was compressed during tracking and is also being compressed in real time during mixdown. It's better to have many thin coats of paint, rather than one thick coat. Optical compressors such as the Millennia CL2A have a distinctive character that can work well in a mix–compression role. Assuming that you care enough about your work to make sure it goes to a great mastering engineer for a final QC, this is one of the things they do best, anyway. The sounds is something that’s hard to put into words, and at first, it can be a real challenge to even hear it reliably and assuredly. First Look: Pro Tools | Carbon. Definitely they can be used on individual track channels if you need to, but whatever problem you are encountering, you should be able to fix it in the mix with EQ and track compression. The third coat is the mastering compression that I will apply. In a sense, bring the music up to a new level of quality without changing my mix visions — this happens when both the mixer and mastering engineer are working together.". We lead you through the minefield that is mix compression. You can use this technique on each and every song, or you can use it to establish a “default” approach that you tweak as necessary. With this compressor I can find a balance for most mixes. The best thing to do is to get a feel for what the mix is going to be about early on, set the bus compressor then, and leave it be. Typically, individual instrument tracks (left) present relatively predictable and repeatable dynamic variations, whereas full mixes (right) are much more complex and unpredictable.Timing the release setting to the song in this way takes some practice, but will soon become second nature, at least on material that is dominated by a strong rhythmic instrument such as acoustic guitar or drums. But how about something a little more specific? How to Set a Mix Bus Compressor: In Detail. These are just guidelines. This is also precisely the kind of things that a mastering engineer is best suited to help you with in the end. Mix bus compression can make a mix feel more unified and cohesive. 2: For a more processed sound, try higher ratios like 3:1 or 4:1 and compressing up to 3-4dB in the loudest sections. Try experimenting with extreme attack and release settings, like fast attack and slow release, and vice versa, to learn how different settings are affecting the music. One of the tricks pro mixers use to “glue” their tracks together is mix bus compression. Any monkey can make it louder. 3) Ultimately, you’ll want to bring down the threshold so you’re that you’re compressing by anywhere from 1-4 dB during the loudest sections. I have a lot of experience with the mastering process and with what to expect from my mixes, so I make sure my mixes are going to respond in a positive way to the mastering compression and limiting. Q. As they say; “with great power comes great responsibility.” Just because you can affect the mix doesn’t mean you should. Re: Clip tuner that responds acoustically, Re: One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home, One Synth Challenge IV - The Voyage(r) Home, 30-day modular deep dive/writing challenge. You may find that the action of a mix compressor tends to 'fight' your fader moves when mixing.When you mix without compression, the relative level of each element within the mix is entirely determined by the position of the faders. There are, however, classic and modern units available that can produce great results when used on the mix bus, including the Universal Audio 2–1176 and Cranesong STC8. A compressor can help make sure that song sections flow well into one another. It’s rarely wise to do anything in a mix just because you’re “supposed to.” So before you even turn on your mix bus compressor, you should have a sense of what you’re trying to accomplish with it. Native Instruments – Solid Bus Compressor set to Auto Release . Getting a little bit of extra excitement, shape and loudness out of a bus compressor is certainly possible, but it should be a bit of an afterthought. Slower release times will smooth out a track, and may seem to set it back slightly from the speakers. Does the experienced mastering engineer want me to use it?