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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:14 am 
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As best I can tell, it's about parts interacting?

Voidloss have you heard my music? Would you say the lack of bus compression is noticeable?

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:44 am 
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I'm not very skilled at compression at all, but following the mixbus compression guide, the 'glue' effect seems quite obvious to me, especially if the track has a big bassline.


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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:46 am 
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wayfinder wrote:
As best I can tell, it's about parts interacting?

Voidloss have you heard my music? Would you say the lack of bus compression is noticeable?


yes, parts interacting, which is why I use side-chain compression all the time.

Like I said, I can totally understand Steve's point about cohesion,
but I am not interested in compressing stuff to get a lot more louder signal (or at least most of the time)
So if you can explain the extra momvement I could get, I would love to hear about it.

Anywy, back to my current project and trying out more compression... :)

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:22 pm 
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I know you've been very particular about not compressing your stuff before.
As I see it, you should control the pokey parts of your drums (percs / hihats) with some gentle peak reducing compression (check the general thread about it). And
also controlling macro dynamics over the entire drum / percussion structure of your tracks with "traditional" bus compression (again the threads). You dont need a lot, setting the attack and release right with only a little gain reduction can do it all.

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:27 pm 
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I've done a huge fucking sticky about it, I'm not retyping it.

Techno is not dynamic music.
Dance music is not dynamic music.
EDM can get reasonably dynamic.

Techno is all about impact, it's soundsystem music, everything is a slave to the drums, or drum. In other music the drums are an accompaniment. In techno the drums are the lead.
That's why you can get (albeit boring) techno that is nothing but drums, and it will work, but not the other way round (mostly).

Obviously you don't need to slam things, but sidechaining has a very different effect to the movement to be had from bus compression, sidechaining is more getting things out of the way of each other. Bus compression adds cohesion along with the movement, sounds smear\glue in to each other, reverb gets "printed" on to the sounds. Transients become more consistent. It can add more placement to the space, make things sound like they come from the same place.
You get impact and punch.

Not knocking your music, the musicality is wonderful, the sound design is nice, but the impact and the drums are kinda weak. So as soundsystem music it falls down.

Compression is a part of the solution.


Had a similar problem with the artist blind summit. He did an amazing album and I desperately wanted to release it, he's classically trained too, but his drums were a little like yours, they were a little thin and weak and the tunes didn't hold together.
So I got him to stem everything, he came and stayed at my place for a week and we mixed the whole album down at my place.
It was challenging, but we ended up in a better place.

Sound choice also plays in to this, but I think your impression about compression only being about LOUDNESS says to me you probably need to dig in and learn it a bit more.


Incidentally here is the Blind Summit album. Your music reminds me of him, not because it sounds anything like it, more the accomplished musicality of it.

https://singularityrecordings.bandcamp. ... f-whispers

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:30 pm 
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wayfinder wrote:
As best I can tell, it's about parts interacting?

Voidloss have you heard my music? Would you say the lack of bus compression is noticeable?


No, but I'll take a listen and get back to you.

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:02 pm 
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wayfinder wrote:
As best I can tell, it's about parts interacting?

Voidloss have you heard my music? Would you say the lack of bus compression is noticeable?



right...took a listen..

I would say the mixes have other issues that are more noticeable, balance wise (very mid heavy, some of the mixes.
But yeah, the beat strong tunes are a little stiff and could probably benefit from a touch of compression on the 2 buss, or maybe a bit of drum buss.
Some of your kicks and percussion lack a little weight too, but that`s more individual elements possibly needing a touch of compression rather than buss comps.

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:38 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
I've done a huge fucking sticky about it, I'm not retyping it.


nobody asked you to retype that.
I was simply asking for what you guys think my tracks specifically need. (like the answer Mattias gave).
Nonetheless, I'll happily reread your huge fucking sticky.

Lost to the Void wrote:
Techno is not dynamic music.
Dance music is not dynamic music.
EDM can get reasonably dynamic.

Techno is all about impact, it's soundsystem music, everything is a slave to the drums, or drum. In other music the drums are an accompaniment. In techno the drums are the lead.
That's why you can get (albeit boring) techno that is nothing but drums, and it will work, but not the other way round (mostly).


I'm sorry but I just don't agree with this.
No doubt most of the techno tracks made are designed to be played on big systems, but there's also enough techno that people enjoy that is just fine to listen to, and where it's not exactly designed to be dancing to. And NO, in that case, not everything is slave to the drums.
The drums are definitely not always the lead. Most techno tracks, sure, but not all of them.
Most of my tracks are not made for "impact" the way I think you mean impact. If I want to have any form of impact on whoever wants to listen to my music, it's that I hope it brings them some kind of emotion(s) listening to my tracks. Musicality will almost always be more important in my tracks than rhythm.
You can disagree, or decide to not call my music techno (which is of course totally fine by me),
hell, I always said I make something inbetween house and techno anyway, still not sure what to call it.
But if you say techno should always be about impact, and that everything is a slave to the drums, then I simply disagree.


Lost to the Void wrote:
Obviously you don't need to slam things, but sidechaining has a very different effect to the movement to be had from bus compression, sidechaining is more getting things out of the way of each other. Bus compression adds cohesion along with the movement, sounds smear\glue in to each other, reverb gets "printed" on to the sounds. Transients become more consistent. It can add more placement to the space, make things sound like they come from the same place.
You get impact and punch.

Not knocking your music, the musicality is wonderful, the sound design is nice, but the impact and the drums are kinda weak. So as soundsystem music it falls down.

Compression is a part of the solution.


^^This is the type of answer I was asking for, thank you.

thx for the kind words in my music. I know you're not knocking on my music, I think the main problem here is :
1. I don't use enough compression and you're trying to make me clear that my drums could use it.
2. I'm trying to say I don't think my music (and the music of some other artists I like) is made to have impact in the way you see it (everything = slave of the drums),
not sure if my stuff will ever evolve in that way (towards your idea of "impact" techno),
but I honestly believe impact is not the only thing. There are things like mood, atmosphere, melody,... which I all usually find more important than drums.


Lost to the Void wrote:
he's classically trained too, but his drums were a little like yours, they were a little thin and weak and the tunes didn't hold together.


I think all of us classically trained are going to start from the idea that the musicality is the most important part of all.
You are right to say that drums are extremely important in techno, but I disagree everythings is a slave to the drums.

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Kind of on and off compression user here, for some tracks I don't use it at all, though I always check whether the drum bus gains anything from it.

And Hades, I think the general idea with drum bus compression for electronic music is not as much that you can only use it to get the drums to stand out/hit extra hard, if you use it right it can introduce some interesting dynamics which are just hard to program or account for when playing in your tracks. At best you have a couple of individual takes, when you compress it all together you introduce a coherence that's just not there most of the time without it. You probably already know how and why it works, though it's a fact it's the easiest way to get these individual sounds to interact with each other in a meaningful way. Unless you really just don't like the sound of it.... While it could be possible it is a bit hard to imagine.

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:14 pm 
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Hades wrote:
You are right to say that drums are extremely important in techno, but I disagree everythings is a slave to the drums.



Disagree all you want, but the massive amount of people *dancing* to techno in clubs and events every week is all the proof you need.
Not just techno, but dance music is drum music. If you make dance music with no\shit drums, people ain't gonna dance. Simples.

Or to put it another way, go to any major vendor of techno.
Juno, Hardwax, Red-eye Records, even buttport. Click on any techno release new, or back catalogue.
I can safely say that 9 times out of 10 (more like 9.7 times) whatever track you click on will be drum dominant. Probably kick and some high end element will be the most present, hats or shakes or something.

It is one of the main factors that makes techno techno.
Of course you might get an ambient track on a techno release on the B2, or occasionally the drums might be more subtle, but majority rules, techno is drum music.
Doof doof doof doof

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
wayfinder wrote:
As best I can tell, it's about parts interacting?

Voidloss have you heard my music? Would you say the lack of bus compression is noticeable?



right...took a listen..

I would say the mixes have other issues that are more noticeable, balance wise (very mid heavy, some of the mixes.
But yeah, the beat strong tunes are a little stiff and could probably benefit from a touch of compression on the 2 buss, or maybe a bit of drum buss.
Some of your kicks and percussion lack a little weight too, but that`s more individual elements possibly needing a touch of compression rather than buss comps.


thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:29 am 
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I use compression on pretty much all my music now. I never used to as I didn't like the effect but kept at it and have grown to like the cohesion and vibe it can bring.

I'm also not interested in gaining loudness from compression, it does so much more than that though. I like the movement it gives to drums and can make everything seem as one. Some tracks I've used very heavy drum compression and it can make for some very weird, interesting pushing and pulling that can breathe new life into tracks.

So yeah overall I'd say I'm a convert in the last year or two. I think I used to say I didn't like the sound, then I kept at it and started to hear what it could do and now use it regularly, mainly for cohesion and interaction/ sometimes just to mess with something.


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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:01 am 
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will finish reading the thread but usually I use fairly transparent compression for a bit of dynamic control, nothing too fancy. or to glue layers together.

I have done some more creative things with it before. definitely used it to smush a sound into its reverb tail.

edit: read the rest. Good thread. I agree that techno is soundsystem music, but I also think more ambient stuff or whatever that doesn't hit as hard is perfectly valid. I'm actually getting a little sick of how aggressive so much new techno is coming out. There is something to be said for banging, extreme music, but subtle stuff can work well in more intimate situations as well. The truth is that if you want most DJs to play your music, compressing your drums and mixing them so they have a lot of impact is important. On big systems, mixed into other tunes, more ambient/weaker stuff will sound exactly that, weak. Even artists who do a lot of more chilled out tunes often play heavier in a live set. But I don't think it should be a competition to see who can get the most "impact" - that's the domain of festival trap & edm producers. Techno can be more subtle. If the drums in the next track are a bit softer, it probably won't clear the dancefloor. It sucks to bring in a new track that has a weaker kick, but if you are playing properly on a good system you should have the headroom to turn up the bass enough to give it the impact you want.


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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:35 am 
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Yeah but even when the drums are subtle they are "there". In fact you have to be even more clever with your compression control.
Those tracks where the kick is basically a click pulse, hardly present in the mix, with more melodic elements around it, but on a rig there's a big round whump underneath that click....., compression.......

I'm not saying techno is only ever full on banging shite, if you think that is the point I am trying to make you have misread me.

Mnml was a good example of subtlety. When it was at its best when clickhouse became techno... It was an art in production technique. Taking the subtle but allowing it to be the main "thing". Minimal was an exercise in precise production technique and a lesson in the subtleties of compression. Making something completely not in your face but very powerful.
It's a good example of the power of compression.

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:46 am 
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So when I saw this subject took off, I wanted to see, what the fuzz was all about.

I will pay for videos!

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:37 am 
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I honestly think a lot of people dance around the topic of compression or say they "don't need it" purely because they don't really understand it, and what can be done with it.
It's partly why mastering gets called a black art.
I think then main reason is that it is quite hard to explain what it is doing, unless you are demonstrating it.

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:04 pm 
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I use it in a kind of hierarchy.

As an insert for effect like as already been said to make some intense reverb effects, or to maybe smooth out a dynamic vocal sample or something.

At bus level to glue the different elements, hats, kick + bass, etc

Master out for glueing the mix.

Usuauly getting more and more delicate settings the further up the hierarchy as I go but with many exceptions when my ears tell me so.

For stand out elements such as leads or for example an off beat hat that I want to be prominent, I will prob route them past the buses so they get glued less and operate in their own dynamic space separate to the glued elements and get the transients very specific with a transient shaper.

My goto compressor also has saturation and dry wet which I try to use carefully at each stage as well.

But this time next year I will end up thinking this is stupid and likely do it a different way as learning never seems to stop.


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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:33 pm 
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anyone who says stuff like 'i dont really use compression, i dont need it' but then uses things like saturation plugins, doesnt properly understand the sound of compression.

Essentially the act of compression isnt only in the form of a bog-standard compressor plugin. All these things like harmonic distortion & tape saturation are all compressing the signal and reducing dynamic range. Which is why them type of plugins can sound nice and glue things together.

If you like the sound of them plugins but dont really use compressors, then you should make the time to properly try and learn it. Understanding compression better is only going to help you refine the sound of your mixes more.

Techno is primarily sound system music - dont be afraid of losing dynamics.


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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:12 pm 
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Well I tried to use some presets on some of my percussion elements, and that's how I discovered that there's definitely something to learn in compression for me. I would like to not rely on presets, but at the moment it's a bit black box for me and more "well, now it sounds better and more impacting"

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 Post subject: Re: How often do you guys use compression?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:31 pm 
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compression presets just don`t work, unlike chorus, or delays or something
Compression is entirely input content dependant, so presets just aren`t applicable, and I`m not sure if you can learn anything from them in terms of how to use compression.

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