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Old 09-10-2013, 08:27 AM   #1
samsome123
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Default "no need for much compression its just a cymbal"

hello after hearing this expression i would like to know which instruments need more compression than others.

and why, do cymbals require less
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
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MMV... but nothing really "needs" compression. It's just become the modern sound. Music doesn't actually need it... except for that expectation of a modern kinda up-front sound... and of course, it's easier to compress a signal than to learn to control dynamics when playing.

People made great music for centuries with no compressors.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:19 AM   #3
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Cymbals absolutely need compressing,if thats the sound you're going for
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:25 AM   #4
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but nothing really "needs" compression.
I get it but maybe better expressed technically not needed but practically usually needed? I mean there is make it sound commercial compression and there is even out this instrument because it is way too dynamic and you'll never be able to hear the soft parts compression. That's for the OPs benefit not yours.

I grew up in the needs compression because of the latter, however, I don't place compression on a track until I realize that is what it actually needs. I like how Kenny says it... "That instrument is poking out too much".
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @non View Post
what if its a ROCK drummer
Typically compressing cymbals/overheads are for effect not control. IMHO and YMMV though.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Typically compressing cymbals/overheads are for effect not control. IMHO and YMMV though.
move the OH mics further back then yes?

it comes down to the attack of the instrument, consistency of the players and distance to the mic, yes?

in yr hpo? (humble pro oppinion?)
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Last edited by @non; 09-11-2013 at 07:26 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
People made great music for centuries with no compressors.
excuse me if I come off as an ignorant person, but are you referring to classical and folk music? Like music before 1900's for instance? If so, they actually didn't get to record it. and I think recording it is where they'd need compression.


Wouldn't it be safe that with even the most basic/first recordings we had compression introduced to the audio? I mean as far as I can think. Tape can compress the sound. so it's always been compressed in a way or another.

That line doesn't make much sense to me, since the music that's been made never really got recorded.



Of course I'm not saying that you should compress the hell out of everything but saying nothing needs a compression is a bit of a long shot.


The way I see it is 'to each their own' one thing might need compression, another thing might not, you might need to go really crazy on some stuff during the chorus, or might wanna leave everything as is. I mean it's so subjective... My general rule is to not rule anything out or make templates where i 'have' to use it regardless the need.


to each their tone
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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In the past, we listened to live music in a real space with real instruments, all playing together. We didn't combine an extremely loud instrument with a very quiet one - unless we arranged them in space or multiplied them to balance. The orchestra, for example.

Today, we can create previously unlikely combinations, but we still need to balance dynamics. Compressors are one tool for that.

A cymbal, used as an accent, may be better if it is short so it doesn't linger and cover up other things. Compression would probably lengthen it.

On the other hand, you might want the swelling effect of a longer ringing cymbal, where the loudest part is actually not right when it is hit.

Choose the method that does not compete with other elements.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Vendetta V View Post
excuse me if I come off as an ignorant person, but are you referring to classical and folk music?
I think he is just pointing out that these days many think compression is needed to merely function when in reality there is a whole lot of compression going on that really isn't needed. Let's not forget its a tool originally invented to bring signals within the limits of the medium, now its used to fix bad playing among lots of other reasons both good and bad.

I don't think it was meant to be taken too literally but more to the point that in today's terms many think compression is something you just do because good recording would be impossible without it (not true) and thusly is overdone much of the time without even really knowing why they are doing it.

Back in my day compressing the snare meant telling the drummer if he hits it that hard again, I'll hit him.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
I think he is just pointing out that these days many think compression is needed to merely function when in reality there is a whole lot of compression going on that really isn't needed. Let's not forget its a tool originally invented to bring signals within the limits of the medium, now its used to fix bad playing among lots of other reasons both good and bad.

I don't think it was meant to be taken too literally but more to the point that in today's terms many think compression is something you just do because good recording would be impossible without it (not true) and thusly is overdone much of the time without even really knowing why they are doing it.

Back in my day compressing the snare meant telling the drummer if he hits it that hard again, I'll hit him.
well if you look at it that way then all of us have the same mindset about it
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
I think he is just pointing out that these days many think compression is needed to merely function when in reality there is a whole lot of compression going on that really isn't needed.
That is exactly what I meant. Thanks.

But, granted, my inital comment was a bit too philosophical for the OP's rather direct and concise question. For that I do apologize to the OP.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
nothing really "needs" compression.
+1...
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
MMV... but nothing really "needs" compression. It's just become the modern sound. Music doesn't actually need it... except for that expectation of a modern kinda up-front sound... and of course, it's easier to compress a signal than to learn to control dynamics when playing.

People made great music for centuries with no compressors.
Lol, I was just going to say that.

Compression is a certain thing, and sounds.. well, it sounds a variety of ways, you can get a few different effects from compression.

On a crash, maybe you want to soften how loud the start of the crash is, and emphasize the tail more than the original recording. Or maybe you want the opposite, you want to keep the start of it nice and loud, but cut the tail shorter.

You can achieve both of these things with compression.

But that's not something I would normally do.

Compression is automated volume. Like I said, you can make attacks softer, and tails louder, or the opposite, but I guess the main use for it, and what it was originally developped for, is to get an instrument a consistent volume, without riding a fader.

This can be useful for a variety of things, I think the most important of which is getting vocals to be present and up front, almost like they are singing in your ear.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
I get it but maybe better expressed technically not needed but practically usually needed? I mean there is make it sound commercial compression and there is even out this instrument because it is way too dynamic and you'll never be able to hear the soft parts compression. That's for the OPs benefit not yours.

I grew up in the needs compression because of the latter, however, I don't place compression on a track until I realize that is what it actually needs. I like how Kenny says it... "That instrument is poking out too much".
I get where you're coming from, and I agree. But I think, from a production standpoint, it is a good lesson, that nothing should be really automatic.

What I mean is that you shouldn't put compression on something because you think, "well, i need to put compressors on things."

But really, what is a subtle, yet important difference I find, is to understand, what compression is, what it does, how it works, and then realize that you want that effect on your sound.

I guess it's the difference sort of between thinking you need a compressor, and wanting the sound of compression.


And I know for people that are new to production, those kind of responses can be tough, but it's true. You should only put compression where you want the sound of compression.

I mean, it's like if somebody comes to a cooking forum, and asks, "why shouldn't I put salt on chocolate?" well, maybe you do want to put salt on chocolate. It is impossible to try and rationalize logically every instance where a given quantity of salt is good or not.

You need to understand the flavour of salt, and use it when you want to add saltiness.

So, to me, when somebody asks, why don't I need compression on cymbals? That is somebody that needs to taste salt, and understand the flavour still.

So the real only true response, is to explain compression a bit, but sadly more than that, you need to go and play with it, on different instruments, and in different ways, and learn the sound of compression, and what it can do, and then you will see when it is appropriate. You will think "I want to do this, ah, I could use a compressor for that." rather than having a list of instruments which you should always automatically put a compressor on.

I can't speak for lawrence, but that is why I was gonna say "nothing needs a compressor."

That said, vocals, almost always do.

So I guess the real response I would give is, usually compressors are used to get consistent volume. You don't want that for a crash, but you can use compressors for more punch or more tail too, so maybe you do want compression on a cymbal.

It depends on what you want.
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Last edited by Sound asleep; 09-10-2013 at 04:04 PM.
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