PSP MasterComp $49 - only until April 2nd 2013

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Machinesworking
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: PSP MasterComp $49 - only until April 2nd 2013

Post by Machinesworking » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:53 pm

It's still up at $49 at JRR Shop BTW. :)

The Northern Contingent
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:37 pm

Re: PSP MasterComp $49 - only until April 2nd 2013

Post by The Northern Contingent » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:22 pm

I'm not at the level yet to understand how different compressors affect different sounds with their own individual characteristic, but am really interested to find out. Could you explain how a buss compressor works differently to a master compressor?

ground_control
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:00 am

Re: PSP MasterComp $49 - only until April 2nd 2013

Post by ground_control » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:52 pm

The Northern Contingent wrote:I'm not at the level yet to understand how different compressors affect different sounds with their own individual characteristic, but am really interested to find out. Could you explain how a buss compressor works differently to a master compressor?
I can't really address the specific qualities of a buss compressor vs a master compressor vs other compressors per se, but I can tell you the differences I see and hear between the MasterComp and the Glue Compressor. First off, there are more ratio, attack, and release options in MasterComp; the Glue has a fairly limited selection, based on the hardware it's emulating, which I think is an SSL. So you can get a little more precise with MasterComp in certain situations.

Purely subjectively, I feel like the Glue has a brasher, darker sound. If you push the end stage limiter, you can get some pretty gritty, downright distorted sounds. I haven't really pushed MasterComp that far yet, but it feels a bit brighter and more transparent.

All this being said, I like them both a lot; it just depends what for. I've been tending to use the Glue for basic track compression and when I want to give things some grit or presence, and I've used MasterComp (which I've only had for like two days so I haven't really used it that much) for mix buss compression and parallel stuff. It can really help make the drums pop on a full mix if you set up the attack and release right. Arguably you can (and I have) used the Glue for this, but the finer gradiations of the attack and release in MasterComp are getting me better results IMO.

The Northern Contingent
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:37 pm

Re: PSP MasterComp $49 - only until April 2nd 2013

Post by The Northern Contingent » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:51 am

Great - thanks! I think I am going to learn the ins and outs of the two compressors included with Live 9 first before expanding my compressor collection any further. Someone posted a great thread over on Sonic Academy that has helped me a lot...

http://forums.sonicacademy.com/Topic93043-33-1.aspx

What do you think? Is there anything you might add/clarify? Thanks by the way for your posts above - I've found them very helpful.

ground_control
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:00 am

Re: PSP MasterComp $49 - only until April 2nd 2013

Post by ground_control » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:06 pm

That tip on Sonic Academy is a good one. I remember using that method when I was first trying to get my head around compression as well. It's a great starting point, though as with most things, don't be afraid to break the rules. The great thing about that trick is that by overdoing the settings to start with, you can really hear what the compressor is doing to the sound, then you can dial them back to more reasonable levels. The place where I think it falls short is that it doesn't take into account all the things you may want to do with a compressor. Sometimes you may want to crush the transients of something, and sometimes more than -6db of compression may be necessary to achieve the sound you want. That approach is good a starting point, but don't take it as gospel.

That being said, it's a great way to learn how each part of a compressor works, and how threshold, attack, release, and ratio interact. The other thing I would add is to always A/B your sound with the device turned on and then off. Especially when you're starting out, you can fiddle with those knobs for ages and think you've got something sounding great, but then you turn the effect off, and you realize you've crushed the life out of it. With compressors I find it's helpful to do this with makeup gain turned off, since we generally think that if something is louder, it sounds better.

90% of learning to produce music I feel is training your ears to hear really subtle differences that most people wouldn't necessarily pick up on; the other 10% is actually learning how to create those subtle differences. So A/Bing stuff is a good approach to hearing what an effect is actually doing to the sound, and if it's actually making it better.

Cheers,
J

The Northern Contingent
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:37 pm

Re: PSP MasterComp $49 - only until April 2nd 2013

Post by The Northern Contingent » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:43 pm

Nice one - thanks a lot. I appreciate the time your taken to write such a clear explanation. I'll definitely take your advice on board and hopefully get a better sense of what works and what doesn't. I've found the new compressor visualisation modes in Live 9 give you a sense of how the signal is being affected too which helps. Once I've got these doing what I want with them I'll definitely branch out to more individual characteristic units like the PSP Master compressor (if they ever run a sale again when I've got the coin to cover it!)

Thanks again for all your help - its been very useful.

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