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  #1  
Old 2009-11-12, 02:00
bubmachine bubmachine is offline
 
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Compressing individual drum sounds

Hi,

I have read about talented people compressing individual drum sounds in a mix. I tend to compress the drums as a group as well as the master channel of course.

Whenever I experiment compressing individual drum sounds, I don't quite see what it is used for. The change of sound is no minimal it seems pointless.

Is there a particular reason of why it is done? Are there certain sounds where it is an advantage? I tend to use short and sharp sounds (but not gated).

I hope this makes some sense to you.
  #2  
Old 2009-11-12, 03:12
JeremyNSL's Avatar
JeremyNSL JeremyNSL is offline
 
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Compressing snares by themselves can bring out different parts of the sample. So if you want a really strong attack you can do that, or a more crushed sound that will emphasize the decay stage a lot.

Its pretty much the same thing with kicks but more subtle because they are simpler sounds.

I tend never to compress hi-hat or rides. That just seems to suck the life out of them and make them harsh. Cymbals can sometimes benefit from it though - if you want a longer sustain out of them especially.

I should also mention that the main problem with compressing an entire drum mix is that your kick will pull down the entire mix. ie. whenever the kick hits, it has so much energy that it will cause the entire mix to compress. In certain electronic genre's, this pumping effect is used intentionally. In other genres, its totally unwanted.
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Last edited by JeremyNSL; 2009-11-12 at 03:15.
  #3  
Old 2009-11-12, 12:24
MsKeng MsKeng is offline
 
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I think that is pointless if U properly eq individual drum parts, removing unwanted fighting frequencies and you have good and not much compressed sounds whenever music style you do,

but for eg. I use sidechaining the kick by the snare 'cause I make dubstep and sometime I would use the kick also when snare plays and don't want to listen to the "pumping effect" JeremyNSL says before.

but this is my 2 cents,

peace.
  #4  
Old 2009-11-12, 14:54
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scifunk scifunk is offline
 
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I'll often compress the individual sounds, then compress them as a group and give them a little press in the final mix.
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  #5  
Old 2009-11-12, 16:17
bw120205 bw120205 is offline
 
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I personally try not to compress anything too much, but I use parallel compression so I will usually super compress the parallel channel and bring it in the mix appropriately to add thump, while maintaining dynamics. Compression is essential to get things to really pop out of a person's speakers. Some sampled sounds and synth sounds are already "big" enough that they perhaps don't need much compressing, but I find most of what is offered in Reason benefits from at least a little bit. I just recommend experimenting with it.
  #6  
Old 2009-11-13, 05:39
Benedict's Avatar
Benedict Benedict is offline
 
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I'm not a big compressor but I followed a tutorial on multi-band compression for drum sounds and the difference on kicks was amazing and now I know how to get that Metallica "Black" album sound - when I use that I'm not sure but hey.

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  #7  
Old 2009-11-16, 18:23
bubmachine bubmachine is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyNSL View Post
Compressing snares by themselves can bring out different parts of the sample. So if you want a really strong attack you can do that, or a more crushed sound that will emphasize the decay stage a lot.

Its pretty much the same thing with kicks but more subtle because they are simpler sounds.

I tend never to compress hi-hat or rides. That just seems to suck the life out of them and make them harsh. Cymbals can sometimes benefit from it though - if you want a longer sustain out of them especially.

I should also mention that the main problem with compressing an entire drum mix is that your kick will pull down the entire mix. ie. whenever the kick hits, it has so much energy that it will cause the entire mix to compress. In certain electronic genre's, this pumping effect is used intentionally. In other genres, its totally unwanted.
Thanks for this.

I was experimenting with compressing individual snare sounds last night. Found it can be nice to make it sound more "in your face" - I suppose that I am afraid of overdoing the compression thing.

That parallel compression is an interesting idea - to get the "punch" and dynamic at the same time.

Tough work this mixing business!
  #8  
Old 2009-11-13, 07:18
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ProfessaKaos ProfessaKaos is offline
 
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Compressing individual drums sounds will give you an advantage of dictating the snap and punch of each sound. Using Compressors should make the sound louder in volume but not level. Compressing each sound should make things clearer and easier to hear, tho compression can clean up a mix it and make it sound great, it can also ruin a mix if too much is applied. A good way to hear what a compressor is doing is to set it to extreme settings. e.g.( Using the Mclass Compressor, Try Compressing a Kick Drum - Threshold at -36db, Ratio at 10.1:1) Move the Attack and Release to hear when comp cuts in and out.
  #9  
Old 2009-11-17, 05:36
kage630
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a lot of the "all pro mixers have been doing X for 25 years" tips have to do with recording acoustic instruments. if you record a live snare, it doesn't sound anything like how it would sound on a pop rock album - they process the hell out of it, including the use of compression. however if you're using reason you're almost certainly going to be using samples from somewhere (rather than, say, recording an accoustic kit yourself), which 99% of the time are already processed and/or are synthetic (in which case the dynamics were specified in the synth, not in post-production). so in short, a lot of these things that 'all good engineers do' don't apply to electronic music - now that the tools are so different, the game has changed.
 

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