Old 05-03-2017, 12:28 PM   #1
SymboliC
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Default Need help with sidechain compression (Ducking)

Hi,

I've been playing around with my mixes for a while but I never get "ducking" involved with them.

I'm not a pro-user about compression as well.

I insert a compressor in my track, and shape the sound to my liking. That's ok. But then, I need an external source to "duck" it. I can also do this. I use FabFilter Pro-C. There is an "external" option in sidechaining pane and I adjust the send options as, 1/2 -> 3/4.

Up to there it's all ok.

My question is,
When I play around with settings to adjust the overall "ducking", I also realize that eventually my "ducked" track's sound shape changes.

Should I use 2 compressors on the "ducked" track? 1 for sound shaping, 1 for sidechaining, serving to external source?
But then, they behave additive. Isn't it so?

How do you take care of this?

Thank you all,
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:47 PM   #2
Fergler
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Of course it will shape differently, you are sending it a totally different signal to work with when you sidechain it.

Yes, use two compressors. I'd put the regular compressor after the sidechain compressor, this avoid unnecessary action by the regular compressor.

They will sum occasionally, depending on the material, to result in compression happening twice in one area. This probably won't be an issue.

What instruments are involved in this set up?
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:06 AM   #3
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Of course it will shape differently, you are sending it a totally different signal to work with when you sidechain it.

Yes, use two compressors. I'd put the regular compressor after the sidechain compressor, this avoid unnecessary action by the regular compressor.

They will sum occasionally, depending on the material, to result in compression happening twice in one area. This probably won't be an issue.

What instruments are involved in this set up?
Thank you for the clarification Fergler!

I just wanted to make sure if I was doing the right thing but unsure about the order.

The instruments involved are actually percussive FXes. One has a more low end fidelity compared to the other but both are heavily occupying around the 80 Hz area.

So I'll first put a sidechain compressor with ext. signal option, then place another compressor with Int. signal option, correct?

Thank you!
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:21 AM   #4
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don't forget you can use any type of signal to trigger the sidechain compression.


"So I'll first put a sidechain compressor with ext. signal option, then place another compressor with Int. signal option, correct?"
I do it the other way usually.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SymboliC View Post
Should I use 2 compressors on the "ducked" track? 1 for sound shaping, 1 for sidechaining, serving to external source?
But then, they behave additive. Isn't it so?

How do you take care of this?
Yes, generally with me each time I want to make another function happen I create another instance of a plugin. So if there's a compressor compressing the track and I decide to duck it with something another compressor is added, and yes, if the ducker goes before the existing compressor that one will get some adjustment once the ducking is set up. I just mixed a singer/acoustic guitarist with 3 sources of her guitar. I decided to duck just one of them with her vocal and it worked well, and then I had to slightly adjust the guitar compressor again. But once you've found the ducking you like it's a pretty simple adjustment to put the track back in it's place and then you don't have to keep chasing the balance. Using Reaper folders it's easy to make total instrument adjustments without messing with a ducking response that you like.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:40 PM   #6
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...
I do it the other way usually.
You mean changing orders or the signal option?

Thanks,
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by vdubreeze View Post
...
Using Reaper folders it's easy to make total instrument adjustments without messing with a ducking response that you like.
I didn't get this... You mean I should adjust the instrument settings and eq instead of playing around with ducking?

Thanks,
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SymboliC View Post
I didn't get this... You mean I should adjust the instrument settings and eq instead of playing around with ducking?

Thanks,
Sorry if that wasn't clear. No, I meant that although it takes setting up more things, when you need to make an adjustment, say raise the overall sound of an instrument where one track of several parts of the sound is ducked to compensate for how it's hitting an instrument bus compressor, you can easily make compensating adjustments of the whole sound by using a parent folder. If you are blending in the sound of a ducked guitar to, say, a group of more guitar tracks and have gotten the perfect ducking but need to readjust the guitars as a whole now, if you have those guitars all going through a parent folder you can nudge the overall guitars volume, or how it's hitting a guitar bus compressor, without meddling with the individual guitars and risk losing that perfect balance after adding the ducking. You can adjust the folder as a whole, like a guitars master aux. If I get experimental with a bed of guitars and find the perfect blend but but lost the vocal guitar balance I can just adjust the guitars folder volume to compensate, and not touch the individual guitar tracks. Or if now the overall guitar bed needs to be brightened up once the vocal has been worked on I can put the eq on the guitar folder and not risk losing the blend by going to the individual tracks.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:56 AM   #9
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... on the guitar folder and not risk losing the blend by going to the individual tracks.
Thanks for the clarification!
I also employ lots of folders in my projects. Both for hierarchial purposes and also managing group FX... =)
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by EpicSounds View Post
don't forget you can use any type of signal to trigger the sidechain compression.


"So I'll first put a sidechain compressor with ext. signal option, then place another compressor with Int. signal option, correct?"
I do it the other way usually.
In my post above, I suggested ext. first and int. second as it can potentially relieve the internal compressor from being overworked. The ext. compressor will always compress the same regardless of order, but by putting it first the int. compressor will not have to react as much to the areas affected by the ext. compressor.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:41 AM   #11
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In my post above, I suggested ext. first and int. second as it can potentially relieve the internal compressor from being overworked. The ext. compressor will always compress the same regardless of order, but by putting it first the int. compressor will not have to react as much to the areas affected by the ext. compressor.
for me the first compressor adjusts the sound of the instrument, it should sound good on it's own without ducking.
The second one ducks/pumps.

For a couple db of gain reduction it probably doesn't matter.
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