EQ / Compressing tips

Pricey Aug 31, 2004

  1. Pricey

    Pricey Ontologist

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    I've been learning the basics of compression and EQing to bring out a bit more 'life' in some of the tracks I've been working on. Thankfully I've had a few DJs on hand to help explain the EQ philosophy (or at least their take on it), compression has been more a 'try that and see' process.

    I just wondered if any of you 'Pro' psy-trance producers out there had any tips or tricks for these parts. I've had a good read of the 'Louder is better' thread - very useful, so I'll try to avoid duplication here.

    One point I want to check views on is whether different voices can share the same EQ space and still sound OK? Is there any rule of thumb here, is it a plain and simple 'no no' or can it be done effectively?

    I've noticed creating an 'EQ space' where nothing fills that frequency range can be a nice trick to give some real space to a mix - any thoughts on that... or just do it when it sounds good?

    I've also been trying to figure out whether it's worth EQing (and for that matter compressing too) bussed sends when they've been passed through an effect (e.g. reverb or delay) on the bus? This tidies the whole frequency-space of the track, but is this equivalent to 'Compression Overkill' much berrated in the aforementioned thread?

    Also wondered if there's been much use of track automation of EQs throughout a tune - i.e. the frequency space of a certain part changing over time - potentially to allow other parts to dominate.

    Any pointers, tips or tricks much welcomed - othewise I'll just keep on pressing buttons and twidling dials until I've got my own opinion of what works. :Smile3:
     
  2. Abstraction

    Abstraction happy juice

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    well, im certainly not a pro, but there is one tip i could give you:

    i generally put chorus/flangers/phasers (ie any effects which actually change the shape of the wave)before compression cos they can make the level jump all over the place and compressing them is unlikely to make them sound wrong (unless lots of feedback is being used). reverb and delay i almost always put after compression because the tails get fucked up otherwise.

    :sun:
     
  3. RezN8

    RezN8 Ave it !!!!!!

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  4. j_s

    j_s Junior Members

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    Which ain't necessarily a bad thing.....
     
  5. soliptic

    soliptic whirling mathematician

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    here's another

    http://www.dnbscene.com/articles.php?mode=display&id=79

    dont be put off by the whole dnb thing.... thats just the site it happens to be published on so obviously it had to pretend to be relevant to that. really its relevant to anything.... learnt most of it from psytrance as it happens anyway :Smile3:

    to pick up a couple of your specific questions

    hmmm. its barely possible to make a tune WITHOUT two sounds sharing the same "eq space". i suppose theoretically you could manage it but it'd sound like turd. frequency overlap is normal.... think about.... there isnt a separate parametric on every instrument in the orchestra, they still fit together nicely. lots more on this topic in the article.

    hmm, never tried that. interesting idea. imho, usually a hole in the frequency span sounds like exactly that - a hole. in a bad way. but i can certainly see that hole-in-a-good-way is a perfectly feasible outcome, so i'd just operate on the "if it sounds good, it is good" principle on this one :Smile3:

    well, i only compress sends like verb + delay when i have a specific reason to do so.

    for example, on one tune i put tons of reverb on my drumloop (which was already filtered and generally buggered up so as to not sound liek a straightforward drumloop), then compressed the hell out of it, which brought up the reverb, so that layer ended up with a strong "breathing" quality. you can feel it swell and suck and whoosh far more than an uncompressed send , which in that instance is what i was after.

    similarly i sometimes have to put compressors after delays, when i'm getting into my ohmboyz-dub-filter-delay overkill .... its easy with these fx for the harmonic you're picking out with the filterdelay to be pretty weak, so the volume drops off and gets lost in the mix much quicker than you want. so , when i find my delay vanishing, yeah, a compressor will come out.

    but as a general rule - i dont compress unless i spot the need :Smile3:

    personally my stance on this is pretty similar to track volume automation. which is that if you keep having to automate things to make parts fit in different places, its probably a clue that you have bigger problems. in other words its not really a bad thing in itself -- indeed, like anything, i'm sure it could be used to wonderful effect. But, as a very general rule, finding yourself doing it is usually a good hint that there's an issue elsewhere, and fixing that at source would be a 'better' way.
     
  6. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    Dude that is absolutely excellent. I've been taking a lot more care over this sort of ting of late and your articles articulate the idea perfectly - how did you do those colourful spectrum analysis things?
    I look forward to the compression bit :Smile3:
     
  7. soliptic

    soliptic whirling mathematician

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    Paint Shop Pro :Smile3:

    You should probably know its been "coming soon" for a little over a year so far :?
     
  8. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    :sad: OK Slightly less impressed here...

    Ah. :Grin:
     
  9. Pricey

    Pricey Ontologist

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    Wow, that's some seriously useful stuff! Just read the articles - may need to go and try some of it out first hand just to get my head around it... sounds pretty clear tho. Particularly liked the idea of using an EQ boost to find what sounds bad, then using a cut at the same frequency to improve the sound.

    Think I'd been approaching tune-writing with a clear intention of giving each voice its own frequency-space as to avoid EQing, but as rightly pointed out this ain't possible with most sounds - they do overlap. Thanks for the pointers they should help reduce the clashing of sounds.

    I think this thread in conjunction with the Compression thread (mentioned above) should give me about all the education on this I was looking for right now. Hopefully I'll manage to put this to use on some new material.

    Oh, and I'll see if I can work on that 'frequency-hole' idea - I'm talking of using that to give the impression something IS missing, then to bring that freq into the mix (i.e. introduction of a lead that 'fits the hole'). Just an idea to increase tension / expectation in a tune.

    Anyway, much appreciated!!! :Grin:
     
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