I just tried mix without using compressor

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by TheMoss, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. TheMoss

    TheMoss Kapellmeister

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    Hello guys, I just tried to mix with only fader automation (even riding master fader).

    I was reading some interview about mixing and some guy just said "Compressor for kids!" and i get mad cuz i got like ten thousand compressor plugins you know, and i'm thinking to try hard and get outboard type compressors for some reason...

    At last i decided to test mixing with and without compressors, giving a chance to old fashion way.

    Anyways, i searched all the internet and found a multitracks pretty nicely recorded. (Actually it was in the audio legends tutorial files) And I mixed it with minimal compression at all.

    But i kinda cheated... I used 1 1176 for peaky guitar and Slate FG-RED on mix bus 2:1 10 ms attack.

    Is not using compression way, the secret step that goes to nicely dynamic mixes? Or is it just an illusion?

    https://vocaroo.com/1c8QOTfKbTGU >>>>>>> This is the mix that i made with minimal compression, so much automation btw. Feel free to take a look!
     
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  3. JMOUTTON

    JMOUTTON Audiosexual

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    Sounds good.

    Some personal choices:
    Sound limited though.
    The vocal in the verses could be buried a bit more and that BD and BD click are bit overpowering.
    Some low end distortion bends in a ugh way.

    Some praise:
    Your toms sound wonderful and punch through well.
    You've managed to retain some wonderful synth textures that a compressor would have wiped out.
    Your choruses are full and close to on point, some finesse & clean up work could help but the balance is right.

    :wink:
     
  4. brokenwizard

    brokenwizard Noisemaker

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    Honestly I try not to take advice from people as gospel, more inspiration as ideas to try. If it sounds good it is good and whatever tools and tricks get you there is fair enough in my opinion.
     
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  5. mk_96

    mk_96 Platinum Record

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    Not the first time i've heard of this approach (Andy Wallace does something similar). Keep in mind though, a lot of multitracks out there come with some compression from the recording, so there's that.

    The secret step is to use compression with purpose, instead of just throwing it into everything or avoiding it completely, which is why (i assume) you used an 1176 and a bus comp anyway.

    Nice mix though, definetively an improvement from what i saw in your last post. I won't do any criticism because that's not what you're asking for and also i'm a dog and i'm surprised i can type at all, but overall i think it's pretty decent. Keep it up :wink:
     
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  6. hackerz4life

    hackerz4life Audiosexual

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    As mk_96 said.
    It really depends on what you are given to mix, some drummers for example know how to use the drums and hit the cymbals, they sound much more leveled from the start.
    You also have to realize analog gear, preamps and mixing board, can be driven harder which compresses the signal and then using analog tape does the additional compression so working ITB with digital samples without compression usually needs more processing.
    There are also equalizers that have sort of an effect of compression the way they handle the highs, one of the EQs that does that ITB is acustica white.
    From Sound on Sound.
    " In particular, the effect of a high shelving boost in White is euphonic in a way that’s a little hard to describe. It’s almost as though there is some sort of compression at work in the way it seems to thicken up or fill out the frequency region that’s being boosted, without exaggerating peaks within that region"

    My findings as well.

    Driving the preamps, Saturators, tape, compression at 1:1 that glues a bit, you can do a lot without actually compressing.
     
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  7. anonymouse

    anonymouse Producer

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    I rely on dynamic EQ and resonance removal, which resulted in having to rarely use compressors anymore.
     
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  8. TheMoss

    TheMoss Kapellmeister

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    I'm glad you liked it!

    I worked all night along without any breaks tho, it sounds a bit clicky to me too now and i can maybe lower it even couple of dbs. And lower the sequenced kick for minor clip/distortion.



    That is true. I just trying to apply some people's opinions for just see how true is that.


    thank you very much, i asume i'm reaping the rewards of hard working nowadays. Ye my point is choosing the simpelest solution instead of throwing compressors from beginning and killing dynamic unporpusely.

    I was gonna say something like you said, song recorded a bit too good to be true compared to records that a mixing engineer deals with in daily basis. I also used slate vcc to glue it up, and some tape distortion as parallel chain to bring it up drum sounds which they are a bit lost on choruses.


    I used some approach and i can say dynamic eq like multiband compression with very fast attack and release at all. I am willing to use some regular eq with automation instead of it. Sitting just front of the desk and automate things exactly the same amount you want is the best choice as far as i experienced. I am saying that because i am very lazy person and i probably tried all alternative ways:rofl:
     
  9. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    Mix sounds quite good, and with -14LUFS (at -1TP) you're pretty close to the most used standard on platforms, so nothing wrong with that.

    Be aware that a lot of saturators also add compression. So you may have cheated more than you think. :winker:
     
  10. aymat

    aymat Audiosexual

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    When I first started making music, my solution for adjusting volume inconsistencies in recordings was to ride the faders on my mixer until I got something that was usable. Once I started recording in the box, I still did the same thing by drawing things out in automation. I still prefer to do things this way because I find the results more transparent but for things with much more complicated dynamics, I'll use a compressor. I'm not partail to one or the other as they both serve a purpose and I'm definitely with @brokenwizard on this one. Whatever trick you can find that gets you there is fine by me.

    By the way, Waves has a set of plugins that will do volume riding if its something you are interested in:

    https://www.waves.com/plugins/vocal-rider
    https://www.waves.com/plugins/bass-rider
    https://www.waves.com/plugins/playlist-rider
     
  11. realitybytez

    realitybytez Audiosexual

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    sounded great to me. keep it up.
     
  12. TheMoss

    TheMoss Kapellmeister

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    Thank you No Avenger, I take a look about tape process and you are right it adds a bit compression beside adding a saturation aswell. Well.. back in time, i had almost template compressors and was activating them without even listening the channels. I still count as 'no compression' when i comparing with my old treatment style :disco:


    I was dazzled and confused after all plugin marketing things. Over processed tracks was sound good to me, but now less is purrfect. And using faders most of the time is very nice habit!. It will be -probably- my first suggestion to anyone about mixing. I'm gonna demo that automation plugins but i think they are still therhshold dependent plugins and probably they sound like compressor with very lazy attack. But thanks anyway!


    Multitrack recorded with superb mics and superb team. Also band probably know very well how to play their instruments during recording session. I can't take all the credits to me but, thank you anyway! This kinda positive comments encourages me.
     
  13. AbsoluteMadLad

    AbsoluteMadLad Ultrasonic

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    "not using compression results in more dynamic sound" no shit sherlock.. :rofl:
     
  14. Solal

    Solal Guest

    I was doing that when I didn't know how to use compressors. Needless to say, I'm glad I know how compressors work now. :rofl:
     
  15. TheMoss

    TheMoss Kapellmeister

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    here comes the unnecessarily joke!

    Wish i started like that too! :crazy: I was like "thank you god for giving us compressors for level matching sounds, evening on the halfway that sounds, got level differences at the verse and choruses." but i wasn't know what it takes away...
     
  16. Crevice9

    Crevice9 Producer

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    there are no rules
     
  17. No Avenger

    No Avenger Moderator Staff Member

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    The first not so secret step is a nicely dynamic performance.
    The second is that compressors should be used like EQs, for sound, not to achieve the dynamics of a jackhammer.
    This can result is a pretty strong compressed snare but also in a less than 2:1 compression ratio and 2dB GR for other instruments.
     
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