I like ketchup. Many tracks—including distorted guitars, drum samples, and virtual instruments—will sound fine without it. Now, sometimes you do need to use a really fast attack time on drums for example, but everywhere else you want to avoid fast attack times because using a slow attack time is going to add more aggression and more excitement to whatever you’re applying compression to because it’s going to leave the transient the attack of the note intact. Avoid the solo button while compressing. If you’re struggling to hear the difference there then this is going to be vital, because this is going to tell you how much gain reduction you’re applying, so you’ll know if you’re going over-the-top or if you’re not applying any compression at all. Mistake number 5 is relying on compression alone. Now, again there are situations where that’s desirable. In the age of digital recall and … And after teaching over half-a-million people I see these same compression mistakes coming up time-and-time again. Put in on every track, and you’ll end up with a small, lifeless mix. Instead you can just automate up that whole section and that’s going to sound way more natural and again more musical than just over compressing it and really clamping down on it. There are hundreds of plugins to choose from, a plethora of parameters to tweak, and dozens of things you can do with it. So, you need to think about those genres and need to think about how compression sounds in that genre. But take something like rock, heavy rock, hardcore music you’re going to be using loads of compression to get that characteristic sound of energy and aggression. This approach will yield more musical results. Bring up any details that the compressor missed. … Mistake number 1 is ignoring the gain reduction meter. My mixes sucked for years until I discovered this ONE THING that gave me the ability to make professional quality music at home. Musician on a Mission 87,943 views Download this 40-minute workshop by Matthew Weiss, now for FREE! With so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Compression works in the same way. Your email address will not be published. This control can be dangerous. Audio professional, musician and founder of Musician on a Mission. Compression is hard. Slapping on Compression Just ’Cuz! Discover how to make your kick and bass hit hard by cutting (NOT boosting) the right frequencies! This is the only fair way to evaluate your decisions. It’s kind of looking backwards. These are the short bursts of sound at the beginning of notes—the bright pluck of a pick hitting a string, the thwack of a drumstick on a snare, the consonants in a vocal performance. And that leads nicely onto mistake number 9 which is having too many plug-ins, having overwhelmed because you’ve just got so many compression plug-ins, loads of different analog modeling plug-ins that every time in the mix – in the heat of the mix you have to make a decision which plug-in am I going to use, and every time you buy a new plug-in you’re wasting money, you’re wasting time on learning it, and you’re never going to truly learn it because you don’t have time to learn 10 different compressor plug-ins. Get 65% Off Mix Essentials. And in most cases, single-band compression will do the job just fine. When your attack time is too fast, it … For this reason, many mixers dial in fast attack times by default. Before long, you’ll be compressing like a pro. This is likely why Bruce Swedien avoids compression altogether. 4. All that matters is how it fits within the rest of your mix. I'd like to receive the free email course. They put it on everything. Feeling overwhelmed with recording and mixing? Using a really fast attack time means the compressor will clamp … This can make it difficult to determine whether the compressor is actually making the track sound better. Flip the bypass button in and out, and you’ll probably prefer the track with compression. Mistake number 7 is not having an intention. Playing by the Rules. Regardless of what compressor you use there’s going to be some kind of visual feedback that shows you how much compression has been applied. So then, instead you’re clamping down on the tail, and this has the effect of now the transient is louder so it sounds more aggressive, it brings out in the mix more, and it’s also easier to avoid over compression if you’re apply 10 dB of compression to something to really keep you under control. Share it with our community by leaving a comment below. Splitting a track into multiple bands and processing them independently can create artifacts and phase problems. Add too much makeup gain, and your track will end up louder than it was originally. No other industry romanticizes the past to such a great degree. Compression is not ketchup. It’s hard to know. View all posts by this author. Use them together. So, there’s a link in the description. My vocals are too quiet in some parts and way louder in others. I also included a list of my 5 favorite plugin compressors, so you can make sure you have the best tools for the job. You can spend YEARS learning how to mix, and still not fully master compression. Grammy-winning mixer Bruce Swedien has a famous saying…. But these decisions often don’t hold up in context. Any compressor you use will have some kind of meter that shows you how much gain... 2. Over 5,000 people have already downloaded this cheat sheet and used it to improve their mixes and now I want to share it with you. If you struggling with that use reference tracks listen to a track in that genre, listen to how much compression is applied, and then apply that to your own mix. To hone in on difficult decisions, many mixers solo the track they’re working on. Well, there’s your intention you’re going to use a compressor to bring out the excitement and aggression of that vocal, but you need to have the intention first. 3. Ride up the words and phrases that get lost. You can spend YEARS learning how to mix, and still not fully master compression. So, that’s it from me. And the same goes for the instruments. Here are a few mistakes to avoid as you explore and experiment with your compressor settings. Then, they add a few coats of paint. You’ll get all the benefits of compression, while retaining the punch and impact that makes music compelling. And if you’re looking to dive deeper, download the compression cheatsheet below. But are there no better tools available today? Mistake number 8 is ignoring stock plug-ins, because the stock compressors in your door in many ways are better than a lot of the premium compressors out there. Introduction. Tracks sound clear and impactful. It features tips and tricks for compressing common instruments, as well as my top picks for plugin compressors. But some people love ketchup. But today, we have the internet. 2. Now, what fast attack times do is they clamp down on the transient, they attack the onset of the note, and if you do this too much, if you over compress with a fast attack time your mix is going to end up sounding flat as a pancake. Awesome. I’m going to jump into Logic now just to show you how to do this. So, if you want to learn how to use compression like a pro, keep watching because in this compression tutorial, you will learn how to avoid these 10 crucial mistakes, so you can start making radio-ready mixes that sound professional and clear.

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