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Jeff
post Oct 2 2008, 09:09 PM
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Hey Marcus,

Question about compression... when recording with Pro Tools and via PODxt, do you add compression to the guitar signal in the PODxt before recording to Pro Tools, (I guess you would capture the ideal sound that you want if you did that - but could not adjust it later) or do you use the compression in Pro Tools after recording the guitar? Maybe you use a combination of both depending on the song.

I don't know if there is a destinct advantage of one over the other. I do have some nice RTAS compression plug-ins and I know the rule of thumb to "use your ears" smile.gif but perhaps in this case there is a "best practice"? Maybe I shoud be asking "how good is the compression in PODxt vs. Pro Tools?" - but then again, I guess it depends on which Pro Tools compression you are using... dry.gif

thanks!
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Marcus Lavendell
post Oct 2 2008, 10:18 PM
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Hello Jeff smile.gif

My rule of thumb is to be careful with adding compression pre-recording. And the reason is very simple - you can't take away the compression once it is recorded, as you said. Decisions about compression should generally be made while mixing - not recording!

But there are exceptions, like when we record vocals. Then it's a good idea to have a little compression so that the input signal doesn't clip, and that we use as many bits as possible. Then once it's recorded we can experiment with different compression that fits the mix...

However, when we record a guitar with lots of distortion the signal is kind of already compressed. So most of the times there's no need to compress it (it wouldn't have much effect). We should always have a compressor on the master fader though, but that "master compression" mainly makes the instruments blend together, so that's another story...

Now to answer your questions smile.gif
Yes, I do use a combination of both POD and plug-in compression, but the POD compression is very very small and I could probably remove it and not notice any difference. I think it's more a mental thing for me, that I don't want the signal to clip rolleyes.gif

I think both the POD and the RTAS plug-ins are great, so I can't really say which one is better. But of course, it depends on what plug-ins we're talking about. The free ones from Bombfactory for example are amazing and does wonders to a lead guitar track! smile.gif With the plug-ins there are usually more options though (the POD only have ratio and threshold, right?)... so on second thought I'd say the RTAS are better smile.gif


//Marcus



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Jeff
post Oct 2 2008, 10:38 PM
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Thanks Marcus -

QUOTE (Marcus Lavendell @ Oct 2 2008, 04:18 PM) *
But there are exceptions, like when we record vocals. Then it's a good idea to have a little compression so that the input signal doesn't clip, and that we use as many bits as possible. Then once it's recorded we can experiment with different compression that fits the mix...

However, when we record a guitar with lots of distortion the signal is kind of already compressed. So most of the times there's no need to compress it (it wouldn't have much effect). We should always have a compressor on the master fader though, but that "master compression" mainly makes the instruments blend together, so that's another story...


I'm a little confused about having a compressor on the master fader. I'm probably misunderstanding the purpose though. In pro tools you can add the stereo master volume fader - is that where you are talking about adding a compressor? (I'm new to pro tools so sorry if that is a stupid question) If so, does that add compression to the entire take? For example, lets say I'm ready to bounce my mix to disk. Would adding compression to the master volume fader add compression to the mix at bounce time?

I think I see what you mean by adding compression to the input signal for vocals. I have never done it that way with vocals. I've always added it afterward but made sure that the input level on vocals never clipped by adjusting the input volume rather than adding compression. Unfortunately, I am not in front of pro tools right now but when I get to my studio, I'll check all of this out and get back to you. (this is you after reading my post --> huh.gif )

laugh.gif Thanks!
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Marcus Lavendell
post Oct 2 2008, 11:01 PM
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smile.gif

Yeah, the master compression I mentioned is on the master track and you'll hear the effect as long as the plug-in is active and that you're not in low latency mode (so it's not just when bouncing). So what you should do is simply to create a stereo master fader, and add a compressor to it and it will compress all the tracks.

Then on top of that I always add a limiter (which is the same thing as a compressor but the ratio here is often set to ∞:1 by default, and it has a faster attack time) and it boost up the over all volume on the entire mix. So don't mistake this for single instrument compression smile.gif

Try it, and I'm sure you'll realize what it's about wink.gif


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Jeff
post Oct 3 2008, 06:07 PM
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I tried the Bomb Factory Limiter and compression on the master track. Works great. Pro Tools is awesome. Actually, the reason I got it in the first place is that I saw you were using it. So I checked it all out, spoke to a few engineers and made my purchase. Don't regret it one bit. In fact, I'm usually up all night playing around with it. It's addicting! blink.gif Unfortunately, late at night is almost the only time that I have for it anyway. Maybe I should have asked you about that part of it first! laugh.gif

Thanks for the help. Oh yeah, is there any good pro tools websites besides digidesign that you can recommend?
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Marcus Lavendell
post Oct 3 2008, 06:57 PM
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I'm very happy with ProTools as well. I'll probably never even try another software smile.gif

QUOTE (Jeff @ Oct 3 2008, 07:07 PM) *
is there any good pro tools websites besides digidesign that you can recommend?

Hm... actually no. I've only used Digi's website. The forum (called the DUC 'Digidesign User Conference') is great and I always find the answers I need there.


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