Producertech Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Music Production General > General Producer and DJ Chat
  New Posts New Posts
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Compression and EQ

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 4>
Author
Message
RobJones View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 14 Oct 2009
Location: Berlin
Status: Offline
Points: 2648
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote RobJones Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Compression and EQ
    Posted: 16 Feb 2012 at 10:47am
Whether to compress and EQ everything is a question I get asked a lot! Here are some guidelines...

Compression is a tool that allows you to control the dynamic range of a signal, e.g. how much the level goes up and down. The original reason for doing this was when recording to make sure the signal didn't get too loud and cause overloads. When mixing it can help make a signal stand out more, as compressing the signal so that its loud peaks are reduced means that the whole signal can then be safely turned up, to make it louder. Flattening the signal in large amounts can make a signal a lot fatter but you run the risk of losing some punchiness as the transients become less defined, e.g. the loud bursts at the start of sounds don't have as much impact as they did. However, there are ways of restoring this such as mixing a little of the uncompressed signal back in and so on.

Compression can also be used to add character to a signal, as some compressors have their own distinctive sound, or to fuse parts together, so you don't always have to apply it heavily. Some light compression can sometimes be nice on your final mix, for example, setting a low threshold but with a low ratio, so the gain is only being adjusted slightly, but is being applied to the whole signal.

Whether you apply compression to a track or not is normally dependent on its level. Some sounds from instruments or samples may be sufficiently loud enough already, or have already been compressed, in which case there's no real point. You can typically tell this by looking at the track meter or at the signal's waveform - if it doesn't go up and down much then I shouldn't bother compressing, unless you want to apply sidechain compression that is, which actually increases the dynamic range in a flat signal to give it more energy, so works the other way! (this is covered at the start of the advanced course.) However, on a drum sampler track that you're creating a beat with, you should definitely compress it, which will help to make your beat fatter and bring all the drum samples together.

EQ is an equally important tool, as shaping the frequencies of your tracks is essential to make sure they fit together well and the mix doesn't become muddy or crowded. I tend to EQ pretty much all my tracks in most mixes, unless it changes the character of a track in a detrimental way. Most tracks without EQ will contain too many frequencies, so will need filtering or EQing (if you use a filter then there's less you can do - simply rolling off the top or bottom or passing/rejecting a single band, but sometimes this is all it needs). Once you start EQing your tracks, you realize that without the EQ, everything sounds flat and certain frequency areas, especially those that the ear is most sensitive to (1-5kHz or so) can become messy.

I always stress that it's just as important to attenuate (cut) than boost, if not more so. However, it's also a good idea to boost the bottom and top end on some tracks, such as bass and drums, so they sound fatter (more bass) and clearer (more treble). As such, I often filter off or remove the bass on a lot of tracks, to ensure there's room for the bass and kick drum to punch through, making sure they don't become too thin in the process.

Lead parts you can try EQing more imaginatively to add some different resonances perhaps, whilst making sure there are no clashes with other parts. You normally want a sound to have its own uniqueness and character, to make it well defined. Corrective EQ can also be applied though, helping to reduce middle frequencies if a track is too honky, or boost them if it needs more presence, or lessen any unwanted resonances.... etc.

r
Back to Top
OGRC View Drop Down
Tea Boy
Tea Boy
Avatar

Joined: 04 Mar 2012
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OGRC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2012 at 2:35am
 I'm still an amature as far as I'm concerned,but when  I write my songs I use compression to reduce my peaks in my waveform, a few times depending on how many tracks I have to mix.And with that You can see how much it controls the signal movement! I couldn't agree more with this post! This is the kind of information I learn from!!Clap
Back to Top
tscoolberth View Drop Down
ProducerTech Student
ProducerTech Student
Avatar

Joined: 12 Jul 2011
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 45
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tscoolberth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 8:45pm
Been hotly debating this issue with myself.  It's hard enough to write songs, mix them and then attempt to master after the dust has settled .... but I have added the whole Dynamic Range / Loudness War issue to the mix.  The War is particularly hot in the rock n' roll world which is a more tradition bound than what I see happening in techno.  In the world of heavy metal there's quite a bit of splitting the difference .. where guys send drums/guitar/bass to return tracks and compress the snot out of 'em while simultaneously sending through an uncompressed signal and then, I guess, using ones ears to blend the two.
 
On the mastering end ... I'm wary of compression .... It's hard enough avoiding sounding like squashed mud with all the distorted guitars and whatnot. For now I'm focusing on mixing the best i can with modest EQing .
 
In the end, in my newbie state, I'm just avoiding the brickwall look to these songs when the wav form gets uploaded to soundcloud/or whatever .. I want the listener to crank up the volume of their machine and avoid any semblance of digital clipping.  I don't trust my ears as they've been conditioned by squashed music for years and years and I've chosen sides in the Loudness War against the mega-compressed maniacs. (again none of this criticism applies to techno)
http://soundcloud.com/dream-canal
http://www.myspace.com/573343446
http://www.reverbnation.com/dreamcanal
http://www.reverbnation.com/1028740#
Back to Top
SafeandSound View Drop Down
Tea Boy
Tea Boy
Avatar

Joined: 15 May 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 17
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SafeandSound Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 2012 at 2:20pm
I was going to start a topic like this as I wrote a couple of article so to add to your explanations of when to use eq and compression these may assist with how at a basic level..... I may as well pop it in here if thats cool ...

Audio compression tips

Also a text about :

How to eq

cheers

PS I could not a 60pixel avatar to upload only 3kb ? thx

SafeandSound Mastering
http://www.masteringmastering.co.uk/







Back to Top
RobJones View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 14 Oct 2009
Location: Berlin
Status: Offline
Points: 2648
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobJones Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2012 at 2:22pm
Good stuff!
Back to Top
Yuroun View Drop Down
Tea Boy
Tea Boy
Avatar

Joined: 11 May 2012
Location: Tilburg
Status: Offline
Points: 5
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yuroun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2012 at 7:05pm
As with everything: Less is more ;-) Don't over compress things :-)
Back to Top
tscoolberth View Drop Down
ProducerTech Student
ProducerTech Student
Avatar

Joined: 12 Jul 2011
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 45
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tscoolberth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2012 at 2:26am
Whoa, I've learned so much in the last month.  Now I'm aggressively EQ and really fighting those overlapping frequencies ..... but, yes, taking things in their proper order.
http://soundcloud.com/dream-canal
http://www.myspace.com/573343446
http://www.reverbnation.com/dreamcanal
http://www.reverbnation.com/1028740#
Back to Top
RobinWilliams View Drop Down
Tea Boy
Tea Boy


Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 14
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobinWilliams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2012 at 12:52pm
I was browsing from since morning in search of music notes in that search sudden i got your post its really nice and interesting also.
Back to Top
tscoolberth View Drop Down
ProducerTech Student
ProducerTech Student
Avatar

Joined: 12 Jul 2011
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 45
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tscoolberth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2012 at 12:52pm
Man, compression and EQ could be a whole course unto itself.
http://soundcloud.com/dream-canal
http://www.myspace.com/573343446
http://www.reverbnation.com/dreamcanal
http://www.reverbnation.com/1028740#
Back to Top
morganlefaye View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 02 May 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1444
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morganlefaye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2012 at 1:03pm
Well what do ya know me old Buddy

you checked out the music courses.com yet?
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 4>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down