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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'd love to hear how everyone is using compression with drums.

I like to take the whole drumkit (every mics to one bus) and trash it in a compressor , then EQ it (add high mid and low end) and then blend this with the existing drum mix.

I would also sometimes take the kick and snare together in a parallel trashing like that.

I realize that I like more and more using parallel compression on drums rather than compressing directly the tracks.

How do you people do?
 

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I add any compression that may be needed to the individual tracks, usually around 3dB. (sometimes more in some cases of ridiculous peaks)

I use a drum comp on EVERY mix with drums. I tend to use the 1176 plug in or Rcomp, sometime sonalksis stuff. Squash it, run it under the main sound and done.
 

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It kind of depends on the recording, the mix, and the feel of the track. I do what I think is required at the time for the flavour of music I'm tracking or mixing. Parallel compression is very useful, but I usually use it on individual tracks rather than the whole kit, to avoind nasty comb filtering with the cymbals.

BTW, air makes a good compressor during tracking :)
 

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Depends what I'm looking for. Sometimes I'll compress a few hits only (parallel or otherwise) extra heavily when I want a more explosive sound from the snare. One thing I've been thinking about doing is keying a compressor on the room mics from the snare track :cool:
 

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Yeah it really depends on the sound you're looking for. But I generally like the sound of the snare's top mic with parallel compression (I leave the bottom mic with 3dB or so). Sometimes I also do parallel compression on the kick. Again, it depends on the sound I'm looking for.

I've only used a general parallel compression once (I think). I definitely will experiment more with that!

I've done drastic general compression (lots of breathing) on drums, but just to get that "beatboxy" effect.
 

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Anyone put buss comp on jazz stuff? I would think that would not match too well with that genre.
Didn't do exactly that for one jazz mix... I had two mics capturing the room: there where extremely crushed.
After the balance with every single mic instrument was done (it was a trio + voice), I gradually lifted the "crushed room" to find a good balance. I think I managed to keep the dynamics and have some extra subtle punch.

I generally do the same for a drum-kit. I'm not crushing the OHs, just the Room Mics. But if I don't have the Room, I'm applying Parallel Comp to the OHs with a totally different EQ setting too.

Cheers,
Marco
 

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yeah, i can see that - I normally want compression to be invisible, or totally obvious. I've played around with parallel compression but don't use it very often - normally just on the kick and snare if I do use it...can see where it could be useful on the whole drum buss with certain styles - give you the punch of hard compression but retaining the open-ness of a less compressed style...
 

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Anyone put buss comp on jazz stuff? I would think that would not match too well with that genre.
It depends on how you track and mix the jazz stuff.
Have a listen to Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band (tracked and mixed by Tommy Vicari). Lots of close mic's and rock-style mixing on a big band with heaps of dynamics and punch.

I've used a bus compressor (UA precision bus compressor plugin) on a drum group bus to get some extra punch during intros and solos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Anyone put buss comp on jazz stuff? I would think that would not match too well with that genre.
I sometimes do bus comp the whole drumkit or a complete piano submix, but usually with very light compression (I don't want it to be audible). Found it sometimes useful on double bass also.

Of course it depends on the music and on how it's played...
 

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Could you explain exactly how you do the parallel comp. Are you compressing each mic separate ... what about "linking" the comps detection(if possible)?

I kinda agree about the combing especially if it eventually winds up as MP3.

I'm not real familiar with this so educate me.:doh:

Pep
 

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Parallel compression is a technique that involves mixing a highly compressed version of a signal with an uncompressed (or very lightly compressed) version.

For example, take the snare drum. You can split this into two tracks, one with a light compression, or none at all, preserving the dynamics of the signal. Now the second channel is compressed fairly heavily with a short attack time. You set the first channel to give you the dynamic, snappy attack that you want and add the heavily compressed channel to fill out the sound envelope and give it some presence in the mix.
 

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There are times I will just squash the OH's through my 1176 plug and mix that into the original... Other times I've done OH's with Kick & Snare.
I have yet to try it on the entire mix but it's certainly on my Bucket List

;)
 

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There are times I will just squash the OH's through my 1176 plug and mix that into the original... Other times I've done OH's with Kick & Snare.
I have yet to try it on the entire mix but it's certainly on my Bucket List

;)
I pretty much always do it on the entire kit and everything sounds more punchy, so try it out ^_^
 

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It kind of depends on the recording, the mix, and the feel of the track. I do what I think is required at the time for the flavour of music I'm tracking or mixing. Parallel compression is very useful, but I usually use it on individual tracks rather than the whole kit, to avoind nasty comb filtering with the cymbals.

BTW, air makes a good compressor during tracking :)
If you're getting any comb filtering by doing this, your DAW does not have plug-in delay compensation. This type of mixing "trick" is exactly why so many pro mixer took so long to start working in the box (inside the DAW). Cool tricks that work on a console sometimes don't work at all in a DAW like that.

Nuendo and Cubase have PDC (as do many others) so this type of routing does not cause any comb filtering whatsoever. Its a must.....:dumbcrazy:

-ashley
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also, there are some very interesting things to read on Michael Brauer's website...he's probably The power user of parallel compression and bussing to comp!
 

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Absolutely, MHB is the man with multi-pathway compression techniques. I use a version of his technique and am quoted in his Q&A about just this sort of thing. Really fascinating and versatile stuff when you get into it.

-ashley
 

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I do mostly rock and pop and i usually just lightly touch the drum buss with no more than 3db of compression, just to glue it all together.

Sometimes i might do paralell compression, and smash it to death like the OP. 1176 sounds good, Smack works really well.

Depending on what mics i have, if i have a spare room mic, i might crush that to death and use that instead, might add a little bit of distortion and that can add some nice crunch.
 

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Nuendo and Cubase have PDC (as do many others) so this type of routing does not cause any comb filtering whatsoever. Its a must.....:dumbcrazy:
Well I had quite funny latency problems with Cubase SX regarding parallel compression. I did not want to include OH mics in my parallel compression bus. So I send drum tracks ment to be parallel compressed to second drum bus and compressed with UAD-1176 with phasing problems. It was not huge - it was more like something did not feel right. But it was there first I thought there's something with cubase mix buss but as soon as I have tried the same in ProTools LE and manually cimpensated for delays, whole drums cleared up.. That was actually one of two big reasons why I gave up with Cubase (after 15 years) and turned to Pro Tools LE where I could exactly see how much delayed the track is and compensate for it. Now Im with ProTools HD and have not problems at all...

Seems to me that PDC in Cubase did not work very well in some compex aux/subgroup setups...
 

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I've been lucky enough to been working on PT HD for a while now so I don't really have latency problems. I also try to do parallel compression out of the box whenever possible. I remember what I did to compensate for latency in PT LE for doing parallel compression was inserting the same plugin in all the channels involved in the compression chain and bypass (but keeping active) any compressor that shouldn't be heard.
I think that should work in other DAWs as well.
 
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