Old 05-31-2017, 03:49 PM   #1
sjs94704
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Default Question about compression

I am just starting to get the hang of what to do with compression. However my question is:

I have seen a few videos on YouTube and each one guys in the videos has different settings and levels for each of the setting of the reaComp VST settings.

I am a singer and I get my background music from a website I belong to, so, there is only 1 music track. I also have a Lead Vocal track and up to 6 backup vocal tracks if I want t use them.

In addition I have effect track for the Lead vocal. I also have an effects track for the backup singers. Do I apply the reaComp VST to each vocal track, or do I need to setup some other setup to compress my finished music?

All these videos show is what each one of the guys in the video prefers to use as settings, but there is very little that I could find on how to determine for myself what those setting should be for me.

And it does not say if I need separate compression VST for each track or if I can use one for several tracks at one time!!
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:57 PM   #2
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http://www.reaper.fm/userguide.php
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs94704 View Post
And it does not say if I need separate compression VST for each track or if I can use one for several tracks at one time!!
You can do either. If you have 6 background vocal tracks you could route them all through a single stereo compressor. It has the function of being simple and organizes them into a single fader. But putting a compressor on each voc track is a common strategy, it just requires keeping track of 6 compressors : ) To muddy the waters even more, if I use the latter technique (because I feel it's needed and deserves it) I'll generally also run those through a single stereo backing vocs compressor. The first setting a slow attack and release and low ratio and threshold dependent on the vocal, and the second with slightly faster attack and release and higher ratio. But sometimes I won't : )

Whether or not you "need" individual compression depends entirely on the vocal and what end result is desired. Try it both ways and see how it sounds to you. But neither is dictated by any rule of how to mix except that if you can get a good sound with something feel free to do it.
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:54 PM   #4
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Default Thanks vdubreeze

Thanks for taking the time to answer. As compression is new to me I will keep looking on YouTube to learn how to do it. As far as my six tracks for back up singers, I will be harmonizing with myself. Most of the time I will only use two at most but I just threw the tracks there just in case I go further with this.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:23 PM   #5
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The following is one of the best compressor explanations. It's from YEP's
"Why do your recordings sound like ass?"
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=29283&page=7

Post 247 and 248 is a discussion about compression.



"How a compressor works

Inside the compressor is a little gremlin that turns down the volume. That's it. Really. HOW and WHEN he turns down the volume is determined by the instructions you give him with the compressor controls.

THRESHOLD sets the gremlin's alarm clock. It is what tells him to wake up and start doing what he does, i.e. turning down the volume. If you set the threshold at -10dB then the gremlin just sleeps his lazy ass off, doing nothing at all until the signal level goes above that threshold. A signal that peaked at anything lower than -10dB will never wake up the gremlin and he'll never do a damn thing. (see why presets could be problematic?) But once the signal goes above the threshold, the gremlin rips off the sheets and springs into explosive action.

RATIO decides HOW MUCH the gremlin turns down the volume, and it acts completely in relation to the threshold. If the ratio is set to 2:1, and the signal goes ABOVE the THRESHOLD, then the gremlin will cut that signal in half. For example, with -10 threshold, a signal that hits -5 (which is 5dB ABOVE -10) will be turned down 2.5dB for an output of -7.5dB. Negative values can be confusing if you're not used to thinking in such terms so re-read and ask questions if you're stuck. This is important, and it does get instantly easier once you "get" it.

ATTACK is like a snooze button for the Gremlin's alarm clock. It lets the gremlin sleep in for a little while. So if the THRESHOLD is set for -10dB, and the ATTACK is set to, say, 50ms, then once the signal goes above -10dB, the gremlin will let the first 50ms pass right by while he rubs his eyes and makes coffee. An attack of zero means the gremlin will respond instantly, like a hard limiter, and will allow nothing above threshold to get through unprocessed. Any slower attack means the gremlin will allow the initial "punch" to "punch through" and will only later start to act on the body of the signal.

RELEASE is like a mandatory overtime clock for the gremlin. It tells him to keep working even after the signal has dropped below threshold. A release of zero means strict Union rules-- once the signal drops below threshold, the whistle blows, and the gremlin drops whatever he's doing and goes back to sleep. But a slower release means the gremlin keeps compressing the signal even after it has dropped below the threshold. This can lead to smoother tails and less "pumping" or "sucking" artifacts that come from unnatural and rapid gain changes."
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:31 PM   #6
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That is an incorrect explanation of attack and release.
Terrible explanation of everything, really, that gremlin should be fired...

Check here > http://www.rane.com/note155.html
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:43 PM   #7
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A quick note on harmonizing with yourself:
If you change the project speed a little (remember to reset it afterwards) before recording each backup voice your voice will get a slightly different texture, and will sound less like it's you singing six times.

You can compress each backup voice to your hearts content, however if the recordings are fairly even, you might not need to do that. If you get a couple of notes in a take that are too loud, you can lower the offending notes individually using automation.

You can put the backup vocals in one or two folders and compress (and add other FX to) the combined signal. This "glues" it together. Have fun experimenting with spreading the back up vocals in the stereo field.

You can fill out your lead vocal by adding a whisper track; by copying the lead vocal track one or more times and adding different delays and small pitch corrections; and of course by singing it twice. And in many other ways.

One last word on compression -don't overdo it. It's too easy to make everything dull and boring.

By the way you might also want to "glue" you final recording including music track to make it sound like one production.

Have fun experimenting - good luck.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:50 PM   #8
Dynsdale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bezusheist View Post
That is an incorrect explanation of attack and release.
Terrible explanation of everything, really, that gremlin should be fired...

Check here > http://www.rane.com/note155.html
That's also a great link (but there is a tremendous lack of gremlins).
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:55 AM   #9
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1)
you can use a compressor to reduce the intensity of undesired peaks with ratio and threshold.
no ratio (1:1) does nothing. threhold at 0db does nothing. turn up the ratio a dB at a time, and lower the threshold to where the undesired peaks are. this will cause a reduction in the peak levels.

2)
you can do that and then manually increase the wet output volume, making everything louder.

3)
in Reacomp, you can engage 'auto makeup' that automatically turns the volume up so everything is way loud, provided there is some ratio and the threshold is low enough.

for now, simply master the threshold and the ratio.
ignore the attack and release, etc until you master the first three points.
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