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[Getting started] Serial Compression

Serial Compression
Now that we've seen the basic usage of compression when mixing, I'll walk you through a couple of tips and tricks which I'm sure you'll find quite useful. This week we'll look into a technique that might seem very simple at first glance, but it isn't: Serial Compression.

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Weird.... Never thought about this. Parallel yes!
Serie... Mmmmm
Ok we do that but only in a way like track compressor / master compressor
And not in one track

Ok i think i have to try this one out. To bad there aren't examples to show/hear the difference in sound when using parallel or serie.



Nantho can you tell if you use this technique yourself and when you us it?

- Angelie
Is there a formula/calculator to find the resultant compression ratio?
Quote from angelie:
Weird.... Never thought about this. Parallel yes!
Serie... Mmmmm
Ok we do that but only in a way like track compressor / master compressor
And not in one track

Ok i think i have to try this one out. To bad there aren't examples to show/hear the difference in sound when using parallel or serie.



Nantho can you tell if you use this technique yourself and when you us it?

- Angelie


Hi Angelie,

Of course, I use this technique a lot, especially on vocals and bass, it really helps when the dynamic is a little wild and you need a lot of control ;)
Quote from canadayjack:
Is there a formula/calculator to find the resultant compression ratio?


I don't think so, but I'm not sure about that... Anyway, don't overthink it, just keep in mind that too much is... well too much ;)
Thanks for the info. Compression is a slippery slope for sure. A/B checks and several listening breaks seems to help as well. At least for me anyway. I am really enjoying your series and look forward to the next issue.
Quote:
Is there a formula/calculator to find the resultant compression ratio?


Not really in fact. Nantho's right here.
Well, if I can bring water to the mill, let's say that you have to think it in that way :

- Use the first compressor to catch the peaks with a high ratio (6 to 10 or even higher if you wish to limit) with a fast attack and release.
Set the threshold to get 1 or 2 db reduction : The goal here is to smash loud peaks and to still have enough headroom.

- Use the second compressor to make your track "steady" : with a more gentle ratio (around 2 to 4).
Set the threshold to get the amount of reduction you desire and use a longer attack to let the transients pass.
About the release, it depends on your track... Play with it until you find the sweet spot to your ears.
Teletronix is a very good one for this.

And yes, this technique is often used on bass and vocals. Hope it's a bit more clear.
Quote:
- Use the first compressor to catch the peaks with a high ratio (6 to 10 or even higher if you wish to limit) with a fast attack and release.
Set the threshold to get 1 or 2 db reduction : The goal here is to smash loud peaks and to still have enough headroom.

- Use the second compressor to make your track "steady" : with a more gentle ratio (around 2 to 4).
Set the threshold to get the amount of reduction you desire and use a longer attack to let the transients pass.

Thanks for the helpful info! :bravo:
No worries ;)
There are tons of techniques with compressors. The cool stuff actually with DAWs is that you can do almost everything in the order you want.
Just give a try, even silly things... sometimes you can get unexpected (good or bad) results.
Quote:
Just give a try, even silly things... sometimes you can get unexpected (good or bad) results.

Absolutely. The worst that can happen is you'll hear some nasty distortion. But you never know, you could come up with something really cool.
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