”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

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Anders
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”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by Anders » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:20 am

Hi,

I´m putting together a collection of ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” -tracks.
I have already had different tracks forwarded in this genre but here is one that was returned with the following motivation:
”I like the up-tempo feel and the use of the ensemble on this positive instrumental. Although, the overall sound veers from the referenced examples on the listing. Consider an alt-mix and freshen up the sound with compression techniques to achieve a more modern sound.”
I agree with the screener on the return, this track was too far from the references.
But I would really appreciate any tip on how to tackle this part ”freshen up the sound with compression techniques to achieve a more modern sound” ?

https://soundcloud.com/akysound/positive2m/s-gQaSu


Thanks!
/Anders

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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by cosmicdolphin » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:07 am

1. Put a compressor and maybe some saturation on your drum buss

2. Try making a parallel compression buss for your drums, compress them heavily and blend the signal underneath

3. Get the free Xfer OTT plugin and try a small amount of it on the master buss.. like 15%

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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by ComposerLDG » Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:01 am

I'm certainly no expert and am still in the learning process myself, but I'll contribute my .02 :)

What Cosmic Dolphin said about adding some compression to the drum track to give them a bit more presence.

I usually add just a touch of compression to my submix also to just kind of glue the mix together and give it some cohesiveness. Seems to help as long as it's not overdone.

Compression is like yeast. Add too much, and the bread tastes like a compressor. Not really, but you know what I mean. :)
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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by Anders » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:43 am

1. Put a compressor and maybe some saturation on your drum buss

2. Try making a parallel compression buss for your drums, compress them heavily and blend the signal underneath

3. Get the free Xfer OTT plugin and try a small amount of it on the master buss.. like 15%
Thank you cosmicdolphin!

Those are great points, I´ll be sure to try that…
I’m currently using Logic Drummer with default compressor settings + Ozone 8 at my master bus
...so I guess it’ s likely the drums that the screener is referring to in his/her comment?

What Cosmic Dolphin said about adding some compression to the drum track to give them a bit more presence.

I usually add just a touch of compression to my submix also to just kind of glue the mix together and give it some cohesiveness. Seems to help as long as it's not overdone.

Compression is like yeast. Add too much, and the bread tastes like a compressor. Not really, but you know what I mean. :)
Thank you ComposerLDG!

and awesome yeast analogy there :D
I have been using compressors for a long time now but I have to confess that I always find it really hard to tweak them right


Thanks!
/Anders

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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by ResonantTone » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:07 pm

I did a little write-up on compressors a while ago. It's not a perfect analogy, but I think it is helpful for those just diving into compression. :)



Understanding Compression

It's super important to understand what the threshold, ratio, attack, release, gain reduction, and make-up gain do within a compressor when it comes to mixing. To explain it, I'll attempt to give a lil analogy.

Let's say you're watching TV, and everything sounds great. But whenever commercials come on, they are waaay too loud. So you hire a little man (Bob) to come sit beside you with the remote and wait for the commercials. Whenever a commercial comes on, he turns the TV down for you!

As you're sitting there watching TV, you notice that Bob is turning down some commercials, but some commercials that aren't as loud (but still too loud) aren't getting turned down. So you tell Bob to turn his threshold down in order to catch those quieter commercials. Now he's turning down almost everything that is louder than your favorite Spongebob episode. If you had told him to turn his threshold up, he would have allowed even louder commercials to not be messed with.

Now let's say Bob is doing his job, but he doesn't seem to be grasping how much to turn the commercials down. This is where you start telling him what ratio to use when a commercial comes on. You say, "Ok, I gave you the threshold that I want you to start working... and now when you hear the commercial get that loud, here is how much I want you to turn it down!" With something like a 2:1 ratio, Bob only takes whatever sound is past the threshold and turns it down by half... but maybe that is still not enough? Let's give him a higher ratio.. something like 5:1. Now everytime Bob hears the commercial that passes the threshold, he's turning it waay down.
Great... Bob is doing his job wonderfully! Except there is a major issue. Bob is lazy. Every time a commercial comes on, he's waiting too long to turn the commercial down, which is super annoying. So we tell him to adjust his attack time to something much faster. Now he will not only know when to start working (threshold), how much to turn something down (ratio), but also how fast he should be doing it! If we were to make Bob have a slower attack time, he'd be letting all kinds of commercial loudness get through before hitting the volume down button on the remote.

Release is the exact same as attack, but it's how quick bob turns the volume back up after the commercial is over. With a slow release, he's keeping the volume down well into our episode, which is no bueno. So we give him a fast release to make sure that the volume isn't being turned down during our show.
Let's say now that Bob is doing his job so well, we don't have to live in fear of the commercials anymore. In fact, he's doing such a good job that the overall volume level of everything we hear has been brought down since the commercials are being caught in time and are where they should be. This is a good indicator of how much gain reduction has occured. Overall, the whole listening experience has been made much more tolerable since those pesky commercials have been brought down quite a bit. But now, we have an option we didn't have before! Maybe before Bob showed up, we lived in fear of the commercials, so we had to keep Spongebob turned way down in anticipation of the stupid commercials. Now that he's doing his job, we can turn everything up! This would be our make-up gain. Because he's doing what is needed to control the stupid loud stuff, everything has a chance to be louder and more full.


Andrew

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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by Anders » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:57 pm

Hi Andrew

I think that's an excellent analogy, very pedagogic!
To me the problem has never been understanding the concept in theory,
It’s when put to practice…fine tuning and identifying the right nuances, I’m sure part of this is my tinnitus ;-)
and then there are so many different compressors that has it’s own characteristics…

Anyway I really enjoyed reading!

/Anders

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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by Anders » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:23 pm

So I added parallel compression and saturation to the drums.

Is it better?

Before: https://soundcloud.com/akysound/positive2m/s-gQaSu

After: https://soundcloud.com/akysound/falling ... e2/s-GI2fR

Grateful for your ears and comments :)

Thanks!
/Anders

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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by ttully » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:34 pm

Hi Anders,

I am only going to comment that the claps starting at :35 should not be in there.

My 1 cent worth,
Tim

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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by HowlingUlf » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:59 pm

I'm not sure what the screener had in mind when suggesting compression for this type of song.
It's airy, dynamic and fluffy in the background kind of nice track so ...
Maybe the screener was right but it came out funny in text form?

I learned a lot about compressors by first, of course, reading about the basics which is about knobs ...
Then I sat down and start to find the most extreme positions to destroy the sound and then build it up.
I found it much more easy to do than making small adjustments that are more or less inaudible.
And also the whole point is to make one instrument sound against the rest of the instruments like you want it.
Then you have to fiddle with compressors in the context and not dry.
That kind of worked for me but all I know is that the more I learn the more there is to learn ... :D

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Re: ”positive, uplifting, corporate…” "compression techniques"?

Post by ResonantTone » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:10 pm

I could be wrong, but I'm thinking the screener was referring to a lack of "glue" on the master buss. To my ears, it sounds like it could use something to gel it into one sound, vs a bunch of instruments all playing at the same time.

Have you experimented with any SSL type compressors? There are quite few of them out there by the major plugin companies.

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