What to compress and EQ?

djones

Junior Members
Let's say I'm writing a Psy-trance track:
I have these tracks playing:

1.Kick

2.Hats

3.Other percussion

4.Bass

5.Lead

6.Lead 2

7.Pads

8.FX


Now, how do I mix things up?

I usually use the kick to trigger the sidechain compressor on the bass and hats.

All the Percussion I route to a subgroup and add some compression.


After this I don't know how I should compress the rest especially to not get the sounds to interfere with each other.

I could really need some help on this.

Any help is welcome!

Btw, what pan settings should I have on the kick and bass track, just in de middle or all the way panned to the left and right?
 
M

makdaddy

Guest
mono kick and bass panned centre is good, i guess if you panning hard L & R your using a stereo signal ?
 

djones

Junior Members
makdaddy said:
mono kick and bass panned centre is good, i guess if you panning hard L & R your using a stereo signal ?

Yes.

I use Fxpansion GURU, work with stereo samples and Audiorealism bassline for the bass.
 

psyfi

Pie Fly
Mono bass and kick is the general rule of thumb only to be broken on special occasions IMHO. Hats I would use a de-esser on to take care of any harsh high freqs and a high pass to subtly remove any nasty low and clang. I always duck my bass off the kick but that’s just me. I'm not one for compressing a sub group of drums. It would depend on how vast the range of frequencies with in the percussion and volume of each part was. I try only to compress thing together if they are very close to each other in these properties as not to have on element of say a loud snare disrupting a subtle bongo line. As for leads I use compression on individual tracks to smooth out the overall level of a lead or to shape it's attack and so on. As far as not having leads clash with other parts this is more a case of EQ and It would be very rare that I would EQ a group of leads. My feeling is that a lead should be treated, as it's solo part and not be affected by other things. As for FX. A reverb that needs to be brought out but that contains a lot of muddying frequencies I would EQ these out and then use a long attack and release comp with low thresh and ratio settings. The same goes for delays but I might use a different comp setting to bring out and attack on the delay. To be honest with most FX I leave them alone unless they are really intended to be noticed rather than a background aspect.

As always this is just how I do it at the moment and not Da rules. There isn’t or shouldn’t be any such thing just different ways to get what you want.
 

Zen Cat

Shizzle to the Nizzle
psyfi said:
Hats I would use a de-esser on to take care of any harsh high freqs

Hmm... interesting technique. I have never done this. I normally use an EQ notch if the hats are too harsh. Will have to play around witht he De-Esser.
 

psyfi

Pie Fly
oooh forgot to say. Some time thing can just turn out right in the first place and don't need any EQ or Comp. You can as with all things over do it. The skill I would guess is in knowing what is too much / to little. Also with samples they may have had eq and compression all ready. In which case adding more especially in the case of comp would sound bad. Better to really listen to a sound rather than apply effect at a matter of course.
 

Zen Cat

Shizzle to the Nizzle
psyfi said:
oooh forgot to say. Some time thing can just turn out right in the first place and don't need any EQ or Comp. You can as with all things over do it. The skill I would guess is in knowing what is too much / to little. Also with samples they may have had eq and compression all ready. In which case adding more especially in the case of comp would sound bad. Better to really listen to a sound rather than apply effect at a matter of course.

:iyes:

Very good point. Also, consider trying to make a track without any compression. If your kick and bass don't interfere, you don't need to get into the whole side-chaining malarky.
 
M

makdaddy

Guest
or, dont place a bass note when a kick is being triggered as a lot of fans of the "dugga dugga" 16th note basslines do
 

Zen Cat

Shizzle to the Nizzle
makdaddy said:
or, dont place a bass note when a kick is being triggered as a lot of fans of the "dugga dugga" 16th note basslines do

Indeed. :iyes:

<nods sagely and strokes non-existent beard>

PS. If I could grow a beard, I would stroke it all the time.
 

BeatNik

DJohn Mustard Project
djones said:
Btw, what pan settings should I have on the kick and bass track, just in de middle or all the way panned to the left and right?


I presume by this question you mean how the kick and bass should be side-chained and not where they should be placed audibly in the stereo field.

Simple answer: it depends on what you're using to compress with...

With waves C1-sc
If you're running a group track you have to set which side of the stereo field is the key input. The choice will be between R>L and L>R... right compressing left or left compressing right...
Therefore if you want your kick to compress the bassline route the kick (via pre-fader send) into the group track panned hard-left (using the dual stereo panner)... and the bass hard right (like normal into a group track)... then in the group track itself use the dual stereo panner again to centralise the bass (i.e. ctrl click on both sliders to 0)...
Or vice versa of course

You will in this way end up with a mono bass and kick anyway :Smile3:

If you are using a sidechain like the native pack from TC... then merely assign the key input vst to the kick track, and the compressor to the bass track, and route them both into a mono group track...

As for compressing other things... use your ears and your mind, to read up and gain knowledge of where and how you want to apply compression and e.q.ing.



On second thoughts, i'll give you a brief idea of how to get sounds to not interfere...

Consider the frequency spectrum to be a room the left and right walls being 20Hz and 20Khz... in this room, as in real life, you can't place things in the same space unless you in some way push them together i.e. make them interfere with eachother... the trick however is to make each sound obvious, and give it space.
The boundaries of each object is determined by e.q. - HPF and LPF govern the frequencies where suonds begin and end at...
Of course, you can overlap sounds, but as though you were taking a photo... the more things overlap the less obvious they become...

That metaphor could be expanded on... but I have to continue with my history coursework... :Smile3:
 
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