..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
peeddrroo
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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by peeddrroo » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:07 pm

Tarekith wrote:
peeddrroo wrote:nice guide.
i think there's a mistake though (i wrote to tarekith about it, but he doesn't seem to want to correct it).

in the threshold chapter, when he writes
With the threshold at 0dB, the compressor is not acting on your audio at all, it's passing through the compressor untouched by any dynamics control
it's only true if the signal is under 0dB. for signals greater than 0dB, the signal gets compressed.
fwiw
I didn't correct it because in the context of what I'm talking about in my example, it isn't a mistake. There's a lot of situations where a signal other than the one I'm using in my examples will produce different results, I didn't have the space to cover every possible scenario.

If anyone has any other questions of clarification they'd like, feel free to post in the thread versus PM's. Thanks!

ok, no offense, i'm just trying to help.

in this case, you should state that what you write is only true for a specific signal.
but really, i wouldn't write in a compressor tutorial that
With the threshold at 0dB, the compressor is not acting on your audio at all
at least, replace "your audio" by "this signal", it's a bit confusion otherwise.
my 2c

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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by bulo » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:45 am

Thanks Tarekith, nice and clear informations.
Especially the "begin with attack full long and release shorter as possible", it just make a lot of sense!
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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by Angstrom » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:00 am

I'm suprised you didn't touch on dynamic expansion, especially with the new MultibandDynamics device available

most people will be a bit baffled how to use that other than blindly turning all the compression dials to 11 in the standard boring "crushinator" method.
So there's room in the world for a guide to dynamic expansion.

Crusty old breaks + expansion in the MultibandDynamics device = win

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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by SpaceDub Productions BC » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:08 am

any chance of a downloadable PDF file, I like to read off paper !!
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Tarekith
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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by Tarekith » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:16 am

Angstrom wrote:I'm suprised you didn't touch on dynamic expansion, especially with the new MultibandDynamics device available

most people will be a bit baffled how to use that other than blindly turning all the compression dials to 11 in the standard boring "crushinator" method.
So there's room in the world for a guide to dynamic expansion.

Crusty old breaks + expansion in the MultibandDynamics device = win
There's a ton more topics I could have covered in a guide about dynamics control, but I had to stop somewhere. Perhaps if I ever do a vol 2 I can touch on more of expansion. The basic premise of expansion is the same as compression, with the exception of the ratio control. Instead of using ratios greater than 1:1 like you do for compression, you use ratios less than 1:1, like 0.5:1. That way, any signal above the threshold doesn't get compressed, it gets expanded (provided the compressor supports ratios like this, not all do) Otherwise all the other controls work the same..
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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by Tarekith » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:17 am

SpaceDub Productions BC wrote:any chance of a downloadable PDF file, I like to read off paper !!
Since you have a Mac, this is easy. Just CMD+P to bring up the print dialogue, then in the lower left click on the PDF button, and choose Save As PDF:

Image
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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by Angstrom » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:33 pm

Tarekith wrote:
Angstrom wrote:I'm suprised you didn't touch on dynamic expansion, especially with the new MultibandDynamics device available

most people will be a bit baffled how to use that other than blindly turning all the compression dials to 11 in the standard boring "crushinator" method.
So there's room in the world for a guide to dynamic expansion.

Crusty old breaks + expansion in the MultibandDynamics device = win
There's a ton more topics I could have covered in a guide about dynamics control, but I had to stop somewhere. Perhaps if I ever do a vol 2 I can touch on more of expansion. The basic premise of expansion is the same as compression, with the exception of the ratio control. Instead of using ratios greater than 1:1 like you do for compression, you use ratios less than 1:1, like 0.5:1. That way, any signal above the threshold doesn't get compressed, it gets expanded (provided the compressor supports ratios like this, not all do) Otherwise all the other controls work the same..
yep, but I think most lay-users are not familiar at all with the concept of expansion, or why anyone would want to expand when everyone knows that "compressing is good" ;) .
So it's worth explaining what expansion does and why.
of course you can do it in a later version.

baseinstinct
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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by baseinstinct » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:09 pm

Yeah, so why do you expand?

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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by Angstrom » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:36 pm

baseinstinct wrote:Yeah, so why do you expand?
for a number of reasons but mainly to get some punch back from an un-dynamic signal.
For example - you might have a breakbeat that sounds great on its own, but once it's sat with a bunch of other elements the whole mix sounds like mush.
What you might want to hear is those same drums being more punchy and tight, rather than the 'squashed flat' sound which only really sounds good in near isolation (IE solo the loop - it sounds great, but much gets lost in combination).
Applying expansion means that all the 'hit' parts of your signal (the transients) can be made to hit a lot harder, this has the effect of making the whole song sound a lot more 'driven'. It has an effect as if the drummer is somehow hitting harder, as the breakbeat loop (in this example) will sound more staccato.

it also works well for bringing other items out of a mushy mix, anything that you need to bring the transients to the surface. Rather than 'turning it up' you may really only need to hear those attacks clearer - in this case you might use an expander.

that's why I often find it funny that people use over-compression to try and get a drum sound, because sometimes it's actually the opposite of what a certain mix needs.

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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by baseinstinct » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:19 pm

yeah, b4 ppl develop an ear, they tend to do things which after some time may sound like a joke. My favourite memory of my first steps with 'masterning" was adding unsynced delay over the whole, heavily beaten mix - its final part to be precise. I liked the effect.

+1 for expansion in v2, at least the distinction when (not) to use which one. that's logical: covering compression only is like teaching drivers to turn left only. what do you think, Tarekith?



for the early punch i tend to use a transient processor. the difference from expander is just the timing, I guess.

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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by Tarekith » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:43 pm

Well, like I said, if you want to talk about dynamics control, you can literally write books and books on the subject. My goal was only to write a quick primer on the basics of the more common tools people use, not an exhaustive essay on all possible subjects or scenarios related to dynamics. I bet people use compression FAR, FAR more than than expansion, if nothing else it's born out by the fact that so few plug ins actually allow you to do expansion anyway.

I appreciate that people want to learn more about other options, so maybe I'll revisit it later. Not making any promises or saying I'm definitely doing a version 2, etc though.
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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by SpaceDub Productions BC » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:50 am

Thanks for the guide and the tip on savin files as PDFs.....never knew !! Thanks again very handy !!
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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by TroyP » Tue May 05, 2009 3:28 am

Nice! Thanks from me, too, even though it took me all this time to find it.

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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by ze2be » Tue May 05, 2009 6:03 am

Very well written Tarekith, was a good read!

One question about parallel compression: Whats the difference in putting the compressor on a send vs in a dry/wet rack?

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Re: ..:: Tarekith's Guide To Dynamics Control ::..

Post by Tarekith » Tue May 05, 2009 1:42 pm

No difference, just easier for me to distribute to people.
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