how much compression / limiting for live performance?

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register
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how much compression / limiting for live performance?

Post by register » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:07 pm

hi everyone, hope you're all doing well and having yoselves a groovy weekend...
Ok... so I played with my band last night after a long break of not gigging. It went pretty well, and although the venue / night was not ideal for us, it was a good warm up for our forthcoming gigs.
We had some technical revelations -
our style is a mix of dance / rock and pop. We play keys, guitar and sing to a backing. Typically ourbacking will be drums and bass, both of which will be heavily compressed. We found it hard to make our set sound enegetic- since drums the backing was compressed and our live instruments were much dryer.
So I'm not sure what we should do... Uncompressed drums would kinda make it all lose its pumpingness, however we want it still sound live and energetic.
Do any of you have similar issues, playing pop music with ableton + instruments?
I'd appreciate any help
thanks
tom

zstowasser
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Post by zstowasser » Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:41 pm

maybe compress the other instruments as well then?w

spherop
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Post by spherop » Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:56 pm

my experience with live PA context is you need somewhat less compression. when things a loud in a club your elements should sound bumping and compression limiting the dyn range may actually make them sound less powerfully because of the lower dynamic range. you're not dealing with loudness wars in live context as no other track is following yours - you're turning the pa up as loud as needed. experiement with keeping the dyn range intact and see if you live elements blend in better - maybe a bit on the master to taste but keep it subtle.

register
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Post by register » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:09 pm

thanks for your comments,
My theory is that playing live at high volumes does acoustically what mastering does - the high volumes flatten out dynamics to our ears.
However, copmressed drums is very stylistic of our sound, our drums tend to sound quite trace / hard house. So the idea of omitting the compressor on the drums would make me scared of sounding a bit too dry / electro sounding. Although maybe out of a PA it might sound more pumping.
Its a tough call as trance is usually played from records and is mastered + compressed, while rock is usually real instruments and is full of dynamics and energy.
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Re: how much compression / limiting for live performance?

Post by DJ VAKIS » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:18 pm

register wrote:hi everyone, hope you're all doing well and having yoselves a groovy weekend...
Ok... so I played with my band last night after a long break of not gigging. It went pretty well, and although the venue / night was not ideal for us, it was a good warm up for our forthcoming gigs.
We had some technical revelations -
our style is a mix of dance / rock and pop. We play keys, guitar and sing to a backing. Typically ourbacking will be drums and bass, both of which will be heavily compressed. We found it hard to make our set sound enegetic- since drums the backing was compressed and our live instruments were much dryer.
So I'm not sure what we should do... Uncompressed drums would kinda make it all lose its pumpingness, however we want it still sound live and energetic.
Do any of you have similar issues, playing pop music with ableton + instruments?
I'd appreciate any help
thanks





tom






Just use your ears.
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register
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Post by register » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:25 pm

Using my ears tends to be the first thing I do when I hear, and analyse sound. Sadly I don't have my own range of PA's and venues to test our live mix. - hence me asking people for their experience and knowledge.
But yes, you're right, we should use our ears when hearing.

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Post by DJ VAKIS » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:33 pm

register wrote:Using my ears tends to be the first thing I do when I hear, and analyse sound. Sadly I don't have my own range of PA's and venues to test our live mix. - hence me asking people for their experience and knowledge.
But yes, you're right, we should use our ears when hearing.

It is not easy to say how much compression you must use or EQ......................,it is all about how your sounds like,you know what i mean?
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register
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Post by register » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:40 pm

obviously there are no set rules for these things... but my problem is that we are essentially a rock band with a stylistically compressed backing, playing rawkus grungy rocky over trance backings- so whilst we want to seem like a live rock band, we have a pretty flat backing to compete with, making it tricky to mix live.


DJ VAKIS wrote:it is all about how your sounds like,you know what i mean?
... not really

D K
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Post by D K » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:14 pm

hire an engineer.
every system and each venue is different, and will require tweaking in different ways
for optimum sound.
that said, i always use a brick wall limiter on my main buss (not for a compression effect) to protect the output from clipping in an undesireable way.

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