Advantages and disadvantages of parallel compression?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by samsome, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. samsome

    samsome Platinum Record

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    so lets say there are some guitars playing

    i make another track for parallel compression, send all the guitars in
    with infinite ratio

    and i blend this signal with the original guitars


    can you please tell me the advantages and disadvantages of this process

    thanks!


    apart of less control and less cpu usage

     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  3. wavyj

    wavyj Producer

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    Parallel compression is just another paintbrush. There are no advantages and disadvantages. Just experiment. Do it enough times, get a feel of how it sounds like, and use it to taste for achieving your desired effect.
     
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  4. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Audiosexual

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    advantage is the blend between original and compressed signal,
    disadvantage may be phase shifts between those two signals
     
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  5. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    Why not use a compressor with built in parallel compression so that you won't have any phase shift (as tzzsmk mentioned, as long as there is no phase shift to start with on multiple miced instruments) . There are tons out there. I would (if necessary) compress individual tracks before sending them en mass to a limiter, what I believe you are naming as an infinite ratio compressor (if I would do that at all).
     
  6. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    Best Answer
    I think he's talking about sending several sources to one parallel compressor, that's why he's talking about less CPU consumption and less controls.


    Main advantage: the dynamics of the sources remain untouched.
    Main disadvantage: the dynamics of the sources remain untouched.

    Usually you use shortest attack time and a pretty high ratio. This results in a higher RMS, but also in a higher peak (sources and parallel summed) while the top dynamics remain spikey, spicy and lively.
    If you insert a compressor with these settings, the top dynamics will get more even and less spikey and less lively.

    One might think you can raise the RMS without affecting the top dymanics with an upward compression too and this is correct, but it leads to a different sonic result because with the parallel downward compression you mainly add the heavily flattened attack sounds of the sources and not the sustain or decay phases (which you would do with upward compression).

    The disadvantage comes into play when the source has dynamics all over the place, IAW, the musician wasn't good at playing at a constant level. In this case you need to tame this chaos first and then add parallel compression.
     
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  7. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    My Tip is the:

    Sonnox Oxford - Inflator Native


    - Allows for higher loudness without the artifacts of conventional
    compressors and loss of dynamic ratios in the mix

    - Supplements virtual headroom, signal presence and tube-like saturation effects

    https://www.sonnox.com/plugin/oxford-inflator-v3
     
  8. Doctor_Me

    Doctor_Me Kapellmeister

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    Parallel compression is great if you want to go overboard with your compression, using just a regular compressor as an insert to do the job would probably create some undesired pumping effect or enphasize too much of the transients making it harder to fit the track in the mix, there's where parallel compression can help. Think about it like any other parallel effect, you take the original sound and the extremely processed sound and blend both till you have your desired effect without undesired artifacts.

    Hope this perspective helps you to feel more confident on how to approach parallel effects in general.

    Yeah, parallel compression is more suited to "make the source better" than to "solve mix problems", so, solve problems first and polish things later. Great tip as well.
     
  9. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

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    Another option to add to the good approaches mentioned already is, using a folder track that can act as a Bus. Reaper, Samplitude, and the most recent version of Pro Tools are some DAWs that have this feature. This will allow processing just for the tracks under that folder/bus with a compressor that has a mix blend or, separate dry & wet controls.

    Studio One Approach:
    Killer Guitar Mixing Trick - Adding Focus With Parallel Compression.

    From iZotope:
    6 Parallel Compression Mistakes in Mixing
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  10. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Moderator

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    last time i tried in ableton, it ran into delay compensation problems. the return track had a big delay.
    (other idea is probably an audio effect rack in ableton with two channels inside, with one compressor on each one with slightly different settings)

    I simply dont like the result of the sound, it sounds to smashed for my taste.

    for me, compressing stuff in the chain just works better and its better to handle for me
     
  11. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a saturator, not a compressor, different result.
     
  12. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    But then you need to rearrange the track order.
     
  13. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    ATME, not with Reaper (that's why you installed it recently? :winker:).
     
  14. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

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    Even some of the best natural compression bassists I have seen waveforms of, still need a compressor, even if it is only for minor gain differences. Considering parallel compression is a mixing of signals, I always found it quicker to duplicate a track and add the compression to the duplicate. No phasing issues as it's an exact duplicate unless that comes from the compressor. It's still pretty much the same thing. If I do not like it I simply delete or disable the duplicate. Made sense to me at the time... :facepalm:
     
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  15. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Moderator

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    yeah i solved it different already. But Reapers GUI and workflow is for me kind of ähhhh.

    :wink:
     
  16. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    Inflator The Loudness Monster
     
  17. Plainview

    Plainview Rock Star

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    it doesnt have to look bad dsds.PNG
     
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  18. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    But then you need one compressor for one duplicate. With parallel compression you can send several sources to it, even to different amount (send level) that's why OP wrote
    Or you make a bunch of copies and put them in a folder.
     
  19. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    Says the Ableton user??? [​IMG] :winker:
     
  20. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

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    I get that but it means settling on a "one-size-fits-all" - and while I respect the OP's choice to minimise overhead, it rarely fits all.
     
  21. Howard Carpendale

    Howard Carpendale Platinum Record

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    using a comp as send or in this case return track in live isnt parallel compression , maybe im wrong
    and building in effect rack sounds bit other than bus 2 tracks for ny compression , i think :mad:
     
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