Compressors: Which? How? Why? Ideas? Experiences?

What compressor apps are you using?

What types of compression do you use?

Are there any compressor types not found on iOS that you would like?

Do you compress per instrument or master bus?

Do you consider the compression included in the apps sound already?

What do you use on vocals for compression?

Look forward to where most people are at in this area.

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Comments

  • edited August 2018

    I guess EQ would also be a relevant topic.

    I often find a struggle with some frequencies and using compression(multi band) versus EQ.

    I do like this EQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=5a_Y7hd2UrE

  • edited August 2018

    @RUST( i )K said:
    Are there any compressor types not found on iOS that you would like?

    I would love to find an AU3 optical compressor simulation.

    I'm like a lot of guitar players are with overdrives with optical comps. I have a bunch of hardware ones I love for anything from subtle squishing to silliness.

    Favorite vocal comp is Golden Age Project Comp 54 but I sometimes use guitar pedals on vocals too, VFE Whitehorse, Philosopher's Tone.

  • What’s the best multi band on iOS?

  • I work mainly in Gadget, so I’m limited to Gadget’s own compressors in the fx slots which I pretty much apply to every track within a song.
    I wish there was a visual representation of the compressor’s behaviour in Gadget like the ones included with BM3. First I have to dial things right back to the extreme so I can hear it kicking in, and then dial it back up towards a more suitable setting. I never do any final mastering, so I don’t own any third party compressors.

  • I only really use the compressors in Grand Finale, which are one knob deals, although I do know how to set a regular compressor. I guess the best way to hear compressors is to tweak them in the context of a full mix, whether that be a master compressor or individual instrument. How things around the sound you are compressing react will tell you what’s right

  • edited August 2018

    I use mainly Maxima on drums and synths, Maxima or DDMF NYC compressor on bass, DDMF NYC compressor on sax. I use a lot 6144 on tracks, and do compression on tracks too. I like to use 6144 and DDMF NoLimit on Master. Maxima is punchy, DDMF NYC is colorful. I tend to use NYC also on laptop more than IKM t-racks compressors I also have.

  • @RUST( i )K , @Janosax , @Multicellular What iOS compressors have a good set of presets, please?

  • edited August 2018

    For those on a budget I recommend Amazing Noises “Limiter - Audio Processor” app for $3. It covers many compressor use cases and also features saturation settings to get some tone shaping many want from a compressor. As a clipping limiter before the sound hits the output it’s perfect and can stay clean without coloring if desired. NOTE: it’s stand-alone, AB, and IAA but not AUv3 (as I recall). I’d like to be wrong about that. Playing with the presets show it’s power in a few minutes. Refund if not overjoyed.

  • It’s not widely available yet on iOS (currently IAP in Auria only) but FabFilters Pro-C 2 can’t be beat.

  • compressor

    /kəmˈprɛsə/
    noun
    An electronic apparatus for modifying the dynamic range of an audio signal, and testing the endurance of understanding of the owner or user of said apparatus. There is no person alive at the time of writing that actually fully understands the intricacies and subtleties of the art of compression, giving rise to an overall reliance of an entire population upon available presets with plausible-sounding preset names. The estimated duration for achieving compressor enlightenment is far in excess of a human lifetime, and consequently the use and operation of the compressor has fallen into the mode of sympathetic magic of cargo cult dance moves. To make matters worse, there are even multi-band compressors, which not only split the incomprehensibility into many frequency-domain islands, but also require toroidal muscle intuition passed down through generations of studious practice and mindlessness awareness through the fourth eyehole.

  • I’m using DDMF stuff it’s rock solid! But for Drums Maxima, nothing else.
    Grand Finale puts the final sauce.

  • edited August 2018

    @LinearLineman said:
    @RUST( i )K , @Janosax , @Multicellular What iOS compressors have a good set of presets, please?

    Maxima has a good set of presets, DDMF NYC limiter has no presets. A good start point with this last one is threshold around -25/30, ratio around 2.00, then adjust attack and release, then play with threshold, ratio and gain. It’s a gentle compressor which works very nicely with acoustic instruments, should fits your style nicely. It gives nice color and good homogeneity to your sounds. Drums and synth basses really benefit from Maxima punch, sounds become also more cohesive and it helps giving a track more presence in the mix.
    It also totally depends on genres, situations and personal aesthetics.

  • edited August 2018

    @RUST( i )K
    The only addition I can add to the discussion, is always be aware that too fast attack on a compressor kills the energy of a track / a mix - anything.
    It also can ruin the dynamic interplay between instruments - making stuff sound unexciting etc.
    When dialing in the right attack settings, the best way is to heavily compress / smash the audio, and whilst doing it observe the right settings for the attack because it will be easy to hear what it is doing.
    Once you get the attack and release right, back off the amount of compression (ratio) and all should be good.

    When the attack is right (not too fast) - it allows kicks to punch, snares to be snappy, whole drumkits sound lively.
    Same with a whole mix

    I cannot remember the last time I used a very fast attack on anything apart from recorded hand claps.

  • @u0421793 , would you say Turette's Syndrome helps or hurts one's ability to compress? I know it makes a hell of a drummer. Haven't heard from this personality split of yours for a while. Good to have him back. I heard rumors he was on a vacation with the humor font.

  • @McDtracy says:

    Sorry.

    Amazing Noises “Limiter - Audio Processor” app

    is NOT a

    stand-alone app.

    It it is an automatic volume knob with simple, easy to comprehend controls.

  • For me my preferred choice is bark filter .. also with visual representation.. ddmf is too cpu hungry on iPhone .. for iPad I use auria pro c

  • For example, I like duplicating beattracks. The one I compress extremely, the second less strong. Or one with a lot of Attack, the second with a lot of release. Through different mixes of the two tracks you get cool sounds. I like to use the DDMF plugins and Audio Damage Rough Rider. In AUM I route everything to a master bus with compressor and limiter. The whole thing varies depending on whether it's a mixdown or a live set.

    I would like to know if there is a practical way to use a sidechain in AUM. Do you use sidechaining ?

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @RUST( i )K , @Janosax , @Multicellular What iOS compressors have a good set of presets, please?

    Depends what you are looking to compress

    For me I primarily compress vocals
    iphone Bark Filter (Tripleband is a great starting point)
    IPAD - Pro C2 .. presets available
    Positive Grid - Final Touch lots and lots of presets ( though I prefer Pro C) ... Modeled on Ozone .. but this is ipad only
    Drums - Maxima (no brainer)

  • Thanks, @hisdudeness, I had read about FT. Will look into it.
    I do mostly acoustic simulations.

  • Attack times really depend on what is being compressed. Rhythmic elements that have important transients (drums, percussion etc) usually need slow attack times to preserve the punchy transients, but there are times where you will need to reduce sharp transients, with vocals especially, in which case a fast attack is perfectly appropriate.

    For vocals I usually use a very fast attack to tame any plosives, and a slow release to avoid obvious pumping, and a ratio of around 4:1 to 5:1.

  • edited August 2018

    @RUST( i )K said:
    What compressor apps are you using?

    I only use the Auria compressors and the NY Compressor in the App Store. I love the PSP channel strip on acoustic drums. I usually start there and see what it sounds like unless I’m going for something more extreme. Then I go to Microwarmer or Pro-C2.

    What types of compression do you use?

    Straight ahead, no parallel or multiband. I haven’t heard the need for those in what I’ve done so far.

    Are there any compressor types not found on iOS that you would like?

    I’m still hoping for an 1176 and an LA2A @ikmultimedia

    Do you compress per instrument or master bus?

    Both

    Do you consider the compression included in the apps sound already?

    Of course.

    What do you use on vocals for compression?

    Inside Auria, my “go to” is the FXpansion DCAM ChanComp. It always sounds good to my ears. I’ve slso used various combinations of the PSP channel strip, Old Timer, and Microwarmer along with the Fabfilter Pro-C2. Of course, it always depends on what the song calls for. It’s always about the song.

  • I’d be interested to hear about people’s experience in which conpressors are most processor usage friendly.

  • @Spidericemidas said:
    I work mainly in Gadget, so I’m limited to Gadget’s own compressors in the fx slots which I pretty much apply to every track within a song.
    I wish there was a visual representation of the compressor’s behaviour in Gadget like the ones included with BM3. First I have to dial things right back to the extreme so I can hear it kicking in, and then dial it back up towards a more suitable setting. I never do any final mastering, so I don’t own any third party compressors.

    Yes levels for tracking would be very beneficial

  • @OscarSouth said:
    I’d be interested to hear about people’s experience in which conpressors are most processor usage friendly.

    For what type of use?

    Drums?

    Master?

  • @supanorton said:

    @RUST( i )K said:
    What compressor apps are you using?

    I only use the Auria compressors and the NY Compressor in the App Store. I love the PSP channel strip on acoustic drums. I usually start there and see what it sounds like unless I’m going for something more extreme. Then I go to Microwarmer or Pro-C2.

    What types of compression do you use?

    Straight ahead, no parallel or multiband. I haven’t heard the need for those in what I’ve done so far.

    Are there any compressor types not found on iOS that you would like?

    I’m still hoping for an 1176 and an LA2A @ikmultimedia

    Do you compress per instrument or master bus?

    Both

    Do you consider the compression included in the apps sound already?

    Of course.

    What do you use on vocals for compression?

    Inside Auria, my “go to” is the FXpansion DCAM ChanComp. It always sounds good to my ears. I’ve slso used various combinations of the PSP channel strip, Old Timer, and Microwarmer along with the Fabfilter Pro-C2. Of course, it always depends on what the song calls for. It’s always about the song.

    Well that was thorough!

    Thanks

    I love the NY and all their products actually.

    What a great company quality products.

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