TIP: A General Word On Multiband Compression

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SubFunk
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TIP: A General Word On Multiband Compression

Post by SubFunk » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:59 am

hi abletonians,

after reading lately a fair bit through the forum, i feel the need to spend a few words on the topic multiband compression.

i encountered that quiet a few people ask for a multiband compressor for "mastering", placing it onto the stereo sum / mastering track and a few people sugesting it as being a good thing to do.

do NOT use a multiband compressor on a stereo sum / master channel!
multiband compression and mastering is something that does NOT belong together.

i know that a few people said that they have good / positive results "fixing" a track with MC, i believe that it is true. however here are the reasons to NOT do so.

a MC is a single channel insert device there to either tame certain frequencies / dynamics and / or to colour a sound. it should be 'if' used inserted onto a single sound / track such as the kick, snare, piano, synth, vox, etc, etc... (for the reasons mentioned above)

if you have to "fix" a mix with a MC in order to get a better result of the bounced stereo file, then this is clearly a sign of a bad mixdown alltogether.

"mastering" is NOT there to fix a mix! it is there to pull the last possible "sonic juice" out of a mix (and it is NOT only about the achived volume!)

if a mix "needs" a MC then rather "fix" the entire mixdown. in other word mix and EQ, etc the whole mix again.

ok, you can argue: why should i do this if a MC takes me to the "same" result?

here are the answers:

1, it does not completely take you to the same result, a MC is one of the most delicate plugs / hardware to use it can be easy as distructive to your mix as it does good. (in most cases it's destructive and in professionel prax very rarely used)

2, if you ever come into the situation (and money) to give your work to a real professionel mastering studio, then most likely any good ME will send the mix back, if it either contains musltiband compression already or needs multiband compression. as any good ME want touch an MC on a master stereo track! (only mediocre MEs will use it.)

the result you will achieve / get giving a good harmonic, well balanced mix without MC to an ME will by easiely 100% better then any mix that needs MC in the first place.

the better the mix is in the first place the better the mastering will be and can do absolut wonders to your track.

have a nice day.

SubFunk
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Post by SubFunk » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:22 am

ahhh... sorry folks i forgot.

of course you (can) use a compressor for mastering any colour free transparent compressor will do.

(generally the use is to tame levels and not to "shape" for "shaping" you use different tools, compressors with a coloured sound are more for channel use to "shape" a certain sound)

cheers

mercyplease
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Post by mercyplease » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:25 pm

Sub you can use multi band compression on the master in fact thats its prime use. A mixdown in need of eq and multiband compresion is not nescessarily a result of a bad mixdown.
with due respect you really need to read up what mastering engineers have been doing and using for years.
:wink:

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Post by musick » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:48 am

SubFunk wrote:...of course you (can) use a compressor for mastering any colour free transparent compressor will do.....
I find even a 'colour free' compressor changes the sound character (e.g. often less deep low).
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unklmic
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Post by unklmic » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:41 pm

I couldn't disagree with you more.

Firstly you shouldn't master your own track - you are too close to it. Someone mastering someone elses track has no choice but using a MC on the entire track if the dynamics need altering.

By your logic, there is no mastering process, as you want to achieve the finished result by simply summing the busses?

I don't think so.

mercyplease
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Post by mercyplease » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:58 pm

unklmic wrote:Firstly you shouldn't master your own track - you are too close to it. .
Word.

But didnt you know, anyone with a PC today is a mastering engineer/recording engineer/composer/mixer/remixer/dj/VJ and also knows everything theres is to know in all those fields. :arrow: :wink:

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Post by leisuremuffin » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:14 pm

the only rule in audio is trust your ears.

actually, no that's the second rule, the first is have the best monitoring you can afford.




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atmofunk
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Post by atmofunk » Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:36 pm

3 hours+ working on one track and there's no way i'm trusting my own ears!! After that amount of time the muddiest mix sounds great lol
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SubFunk
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Post by SubFunk » Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:39 pm

leisuremuffin wrote:
the only rule in audio is trust your ears.

actually, no that's the second rule, the first is have the best monitoring you can afford.
word! i absolut second that.

(the best advice i have ever been given was from a highly aclaimed US mastering engineer, michael fossenkemper http://www.turtletonestudio.com
he said to even close your eyes as much as possible while tweaking a parameter, to not be distracted by any number settings or levels graphically, only to watch clipping, that's all, otherwise to work "blind" and not to worry about any numbers written onto you gear. just to trust your ears, that's why a good monitoring and room treatment is the most important investment in the studio bar none!)

mercyplease wrote:
Sub you can use multi band compression on the master in fact thats its prime use.
A mixdown in need of eq and multiband compresion is not nescessarily a result of a bad mixdown.
with due respect you really need to read up what mastering engineers have been doing and using for years.
this is an old technique absolut no really good mastering engineer uses them anymore, yes a MB was developed for that, but kinda "failed"
A mixdown in need of eq and multiband compresion is not nescessarily a result of a bad mixdown.
an EQ or for that matter any other mastering device... is totally ok to be used. i just said that it is better to use any other form of treatment then a MC, if you have to taim only certain levels with a MC, then it's better to do that before hand in the mix, that's all.

mercyplease
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Post by mercyplease » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:16 am

Sorry sub, I still disagree with you. Multiband compression is used all the time by many mastering engineers but there are some who dont. That doesnt mean its not the done thing.

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Post by robotsound » Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:56 pm

yeah you are totally wrong. multiband compression is key in mastering. every mastering studio uses it. every piece of mastering hardware or software also uses some form of it. it is difficult to use and use well but its not too bad if you understand compression.

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