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Thread: Compressor presets

  1. #1
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    Compressor presets

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    4 years now i've been making beats and the two hardest things to get,is playing the keys and compression,can somebody please make a sticky of like 100 presets so I can enjoy my life pleeeeasse.here is a example 808 bang,lead compress,thump,knock ect.somebody please help us all with this,im sure im not the only one that dont understand compression

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    Hi there, there is no such thing as a good preset sadly as the compressors action will always be dependent on the level of the source masterial and where it is relative to the compressors threshold. Here is some basic info.........

    Compression does a few things :

    1)It reduces the difference between loud and quiet sounds but overall reduces the level(peaks) of the sound (so you need a makeup gain control, see below)

    2)It changes the sound of audio as the compression works based on time constants which affect how the tone of an instrument is perceived.

    Threshold : Point at which the level stsrts being reduced.

    Ratio : How much the gain is going to be reduced (input level Vs output level)

    Attack : How quick level will be reduced once threshold exceeded.

    Release : How quick the level will return to previous after compression

    Make up gain : overall output level control.

    There are other settings such as Peak and RMS detection and Hard and Soft knee but we won't deal with those right now.

    Some elements of a mix may be sticking out a little so a compressor can be used to for example even out the notes in a bass line, some higher notes may poke
    through the mix too loudly so a compressor can even them out. (on the source track i.e. the bass guitar)

    You can change the body of an instrument and it's tone using attack and release controls you could make a snare ring a touch more/give it more body and you can
    artificially ehhance the decay.

    I would get a decent drum loop and a few old mixes you have done and set a compressor up with 5-6 dB of gain reduction and listen very carefully to the sound of instruments as the compressor controls are moved.

    TOP TIP : to hear compression working start with extreme settings :

    attack 1-3ms
    release - 30ms
    Ratio 10:1
    Thresold : try - 30dB or so
    Make up gain : +10dB

    Anything going through this should sound pretty weird
    the words blatty, jittery and pumpy spring to mind.
    (kind of musically innapropriate sounding)

    Armed with the above start adjustng the controls slowly and bringing them down to more mellow setting such as:

    attack 10ms and release 250ms and a ratio of 3:1 as you
    then raise the threshold so you have around 4-6dB of gain reduction, adjust the controls and refer to what I have listed below. This will even out the peaks and troughs in your signals, do not be afraid to use the make up gain control to increase overall output level and counteract the gain reduction (lowering of peaks) which is
    intrinsic as compression occurs.

    In addition every compressor has a unique sound which means no 2 really sound the same which also adds to the
    confusion, try a standard DAW plugin in Logic or Cubase, Ableton etc etc, these will probably be pretty standard (not too smooth) and you will hear the compression more easily.

    Once you discover the power of compression to effect music you will never turn back !

    Hope this was helpful.
    PMC IB1S, Full analog, Massive Passive hardware, Custom analogue mastering EQ. SafeandSound Mastering Mastering FAQ and audio examples

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    Presets are useless because the compressor action is signal dependant. Note also that compressors have only four basic settings wich are ratio, threshold, attack and release so using presets doesn't make sense. Possible presets can only be considered as a starting point. Note also that the time values (attack release) are different from a manufacturer to another. When the release time is set to 200 ms, that can means the unity gain (no action) is reach in 200 ms, or the gain will rise of 6 dB in 200 ms. So there is no magic wand. You have to experiment and learn.
    Last edited by laurend; 04-02-2011 at 07:54 AM.
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    It's a little ironic isn't Laurend, I thought your DSP process was a preset robot?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SafeandSound View Post
    I thought your DSP process was a preset robot?
    If you consider that a preset is a bunch of parameters set to fixed values, the MaximalSound process isn't preset based since almost all parameters are signal dependant. The only part of the treatment that may be regarded as a preset is its general architecture.
    Last edited by laurend; 04-03-2011 at 09:37 AM.
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    Think about car controls, there is a reason why designers made them available. For example, to avoid walls and pedestrians. Now, when a developer decides to open these controls to public, he'll also expect that you will be using them - and consider this in it's design (i.e. will make it less "intelligent" to offer more flexibility). What Laurent is saying makes sense IMO.

    Seriously, a compressor is not much more complicated than driving a car. Just learn what the controls mean and do.

    But compressors are totally different. It's pointless to compare their displayed values.


    I run Tokyo Dawn Records. Check out my latest audio plug-ins over at the Tokyo Dawn Labs.

  7. #7
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    True, compressor presets will be largely useless, follow the guide above and sculpt the sound to what you want and listen to what happens. Compression is not a blanket procedure to make things better, it can easily make things worse. Compressing is an art which tales time to learn and when you do, you will be very happy you invested the time.
    Last edited by SafeandSound; 04-05-2011 at 01:07 AM.
    PMC IB1S, Full analog, Massive Passive hardware, Custom analogue mastering EQ. SafeandSound Mastering Mastering FAQ and audio examples

  8. #8
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    Prestets is good to use as a basic ground but you have to make them sound good in the beat by using you ears and try to turn some buttens

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