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 Post subject: The New York Compression Trick (Parallel Compression)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:01 pm
Posts: 274
Location: NYC
I picked up a book on mixing the other day, Bobby Owsinski's "Mixing Engineer's Handbook" and just flipping through it, I highly recommend it for the sheer amount of plain english info alone. Mixing has always kinda been my own weak spot and this book looks to help out a lot with that.

Anyway, there's a tip/trick in here based on what the book describes as one of the three main mixing styles. According to the book, these days, most music is mixed in one of these three styles: New York, LA, London. That's interesting in and of itself, but covers several pages in the book and too long to go over here really.

The trick is as follows (and I have a Live-related question):

Quote:
1. Buss the drums, and maybe even the bass, to a stereo compressor.

2. Hit the compressor fairly hard - at least 10db or more if it sounds good.

3. Return the output of the compressor to a pair of fader inputs on the console or two additional channels in your DAW.

4. Add a pretty good amount of high end (6 to 10db at 10khz or so) and low end (6 to 10db at 100hz or so) to the compressed signal.

5. Then bring up the fader levels o f the compressor until it's tucked just under the present rhythm section mix to where you can just hear it.

The rhythmic section then sounds bigger and more controlled without sound overly compressed.


I gave it all a try, but not quite sure I'm doing it right. So, from what I can figure out, the "buss" in Live is just another audio track, yes? Or is that a return track? So just dump all the outs of the drums/bass to that and then turn the "in" of that track (with a compressor on it) on? Then from there, send that audio to yet another empty audio track (or two of them as the tip says - not sure why two vs. just one)?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:14 pm
Posts: 241
yeh i use this technique on drums in the studio, its awesome. i can do it fine on a desk, but i would like to start using it in ableton, i just never bothered trying. so i'm also interested as how to achieve it. anyone? :)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:29 am
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Location: Belgium
it has to be via send/return
otherwise you're just inserting the comp on the bussed tracks without mixing it with an uncompressed signal ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:11 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
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Location: Reading, UK
I used this kind of send bussed compression approach for vocal harmonies as well when I need them tight and punchy.

Works geat on all sorts of material actually if its the result you after.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:16 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
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solex86 wrote:
it has to be via send/return
otherwise you're just inserting the comp on the bussed tracks without mixing it with an uncompressed signal ;)


actually you can do it in one channel if you rack a compressor and make an empty chain alongside the compressor chain, you can then mix the compression with the dry signal chain.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:56 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Yep that's how I do it. Lately the send/returns have been giving me loads of shit with going out of sync so a rack is the best way to it, and anyway then you can have a nice macro knob for mixing the compressed signal in and you can save the whole setup.

If you have a UAD card do this with the 1176LN compressor in "all buttons" mode, attack slowest (which isn't very slow anyway) release really fast, sounds super nice!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:57 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:01 pm
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Location: NYC
Angstrom wrote:
solex86 wrote:
it has to be via send/return
otherwise you're just inserting the comp on the bussed tracks without mixing it with an uncompressed signal ;)


actually you can do it in one channel if you rack a compressor and make an empty chain alongside the compressor chain, you can then mix the compression with the dry signal chain.


Not sure I completely follow. So you throw a drum rack in, and a compressor on that, make an empty return, but how do you get several audio / drum machine tracks routed through there?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
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well, you'd buss them.

in live, bussing is done with "output to"

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 Post subject: Re: The New York Compression Trick (Parallel Compression)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:49 pm
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Location: Moscow
TekMonki wrote:

4. Add a pretty good amount of high end (6 to 10db at 10khz or so) and low end (6 to 10db at 100hz or so) to the compressed signal.




are you sure he says to BOOST frequencies? every other guide I've seen tells to cut rather than to boost.

so maybe you can cut the mids by 6-10db inbetween 100hz and 10khz and push the volume slightly more?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:01 pm
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Location: NYC
Angstrom wrote:
well, you'd buss them.

in live, bussing is done with "output to"


right, right, but can't seem to route them to a "drum rack" track, not an option in the drop down.

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 Post subject: Re: The New York Compression Trick (Parallel Compression)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:01 pm
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Location: NYC
4.33 wrote:
TekMonki wrote:

4. Add a pretty good amount of high end (6 to 10db at 10khz or so) and low end (6 to 10db at 100hz or so) to the compressed signal.




are you sure he says to BOOST frequencies? every other guide I've seen tells to cut rather than to boost.

so maybe you can cut the mids by 6-10db inbetween 100hz and 10khz and push the volume slightly more?


Yup, it's a boost. And yeah, even in this book it refers to mostly cutting, but I guess this is particular to NY and this trick.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
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TekMonki wrote:
Angstrom wrote:
well, you'd buss them.

in live, bussing is done with "output to"


right, right, but can't seem to route them to a "drum rack" track, not an option in the drop down.


huh?
I don't understand you. It is totally possible.

If you want to put parallel compression on a sinlge track of drums such as that from a Live "DrumRack" then you just add the parallel compression after the drum rack.

But, If you want to put parallel compression on a whole load of different tracks together as a "rhythm section buss", this might include : the output from a DrumRack, a shaker loop, a kick off a clip, and a breaks track - then you just make a new track , call it "rhythm buss" and set all the outputs of those various tracks to point at "rhythm buss"

that is pretty much my normal method of operation in live

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:01 pm
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Location: NYC
Sorry, just woke up, heh.

It does work if I just output a bunch of tracks to a new audio track with a compressor on it, but people above were referring to "if you rack a compressor and make an empty chain alongside the compressor chain, you can then mix the compression with the dry signal chain.".

So, I took that to mean, make a new audio track. Throw in a drum rack. Throw a compressor on that. Make an empty return chain (in the drum rack). And send that output to the return track?

I have various loops and drum machines on other tracks I want to route to that, but the new drum rack track isn't in the "output to" list.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:33 am
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Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Some compressor let you mix the wet/dry signal automatically. Isn't this the same?

Why do you need EQing on your signal? Doesn't it sound the same without compression if you mix it moderately with the dry signal?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:01 pm
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Location: NYC
Not sure, just quoting the trick verbatim.

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