So rather than go into detail as we did above, let’s talk about some general guiding principles. Your email address will not be published. In this example, I settled on attack and release times of five and 60 ms respectively and dropped the blend down a further eight dB, a full 22 dB below the dry signal. What Is Normalization And When Should You Use It? After achieving the style of compression I’m after (often done listening to the compressed signal in solo with the fader at unity), I’ll drop the fader all the way down. You’ll find a Mix fader on a lot of the modules in iZotope plug-ins like Ozone and Neutron, allowing you to perform parallel processing from directly within the plug-in window. For sharper, snappier transients, an attack time anywhere in the 10–30 ms range might work. In a parallel setup, you can use heavier compression to pull more depth out of the source signal. © 2020 Push Mastering. It is the combination of the dry signal mixed with a compressed version. To that end, I’ve used the same settings in each band with the only difference between Mid and Side being a 6 dB drop in the side thresholds to achieve similar gain reduction amounts in each section. And as always, careful, attentive listening is required. However, if we tune the compression and blend it in with the dry signal at the right level, we can get the transients to pop through while leaving the obviously compressed sounding bit below the average level of the program material. Compression crushes a lot of dynamics when overdone, but to make a song the loudest it can be without blowing up speakers, it needs to be heavily compressed. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Its input is set to Bus 2—again with input monitoring enabled—and its output is set to your master output. Use similar or identical attack and release times, ratios, thresholds, etc. Parallel compression uses a send and return setup similar to how you would send signal to an effects processor. As an insert, average compression would range from -3dB to around -10dB before smashing all dynamics. If you are trying to tame drums in a mix and insert compression on every channel, you’ll likely destroy all the dynamics and end up making them sound very tiny once all the other instruments are played over top of them. This is to help accentuate the difference between the transients and the body of the sound. First, here’s an excerpt from “Planet Hop” by dance music duo Horizon Wireless with just some EQ and limiting. Let’s leave such complexities aside for the moment, though, because in this article I really want to try to clear up some common misunderstandings about the increasingly fashionable technique of parallel compression. Sounds crazy right!? Of course, we’ll need to adjust our settings and blend level. How to setup parallel compression in your DAW. The crossovers in any multiband processor can cause substantial phase shift if used in a minimum phase—analog—mode. Notice how the kick drum seems to jump out and have a bit more space around it, without the rest of the track feeling obviously squashed. Add a loudness meter to your master bus. This processing brings out a number of different enhancements in the music: longer sustain in the bass notes without losing the punch of the kick, a subtle thickness in the mids, some extra shimmer in the highs, and an increased sense of spaciousness. When you’re using it across an entire mix though, there are some extra considerations. I’m also going to push the high end above 4 kHz a bit to make sure that any quieter, high-frequency transients are grabbed by the compressor as well. We list six along with tips to sidestep them. I'm familiar with bus compression but I'm not so familiar with parallel compression. There are many benefits to using parallel compression, but like all techniques, there are also pitfalls. Next, here it is with the above parallel compression applied. Then, solo the instrument you want to compress. Its input is set to Bus 1 and its output is set to Bus 2, or you can opt to deactivate the output and just send to Bus 2. On the insert of the auxiliary channel, assign the compressor you wish to use, then set the input of the auxiliary channel to bus one. Lives for gear . Copyright © 2001–2020 iZotope, Inc. All rights reserved. The Vintage Compressor in Ozone is great at doing this, especially in its “Sharp” mode. Once you get to grips with how parallel multiband processing behaves, start introducing the techniques we’ve discussed above to different bands—but always with purpose and intention! Use two, maybe three bands. In these days of practicing i tried to use it before the chain with a waves ssl comp, filtering out some highs, to add some glue and giving some desired downward compression before the mastering, but i'm in search of tips and tricks. Ahh, parallel compression! I know this is a good technique used to blend hardly processed signal with non effected or less effected one while working on a drum set or any instrument but I never heard someone's using it on a STEREO MASTER TRACK. Using a single ‘master’ parallel compression bus in this way yields different results from those achieved by setting up multiple parallel compressors. If your compressor of choice doesn’t feature a wet/dry control, you’ll need to get your audio onto a parallel channel in your DAW. … In this case, I liked 50 and 80 ms attack and release times respectively, and ended up blending the compressed signal in 14 dB below the dry signal. If you hear distortion creeping in but find there’s still too much transient information getting through, back off your ratio a little. This type of compression relies on faster time constants so we’re going to shorten those up, being careful to avoid overt distortion, and tweaking our ratio as we go. One final note, taken from all three examples presented above: you may have noticed that I was blending in the compressed signal at quite a low level compared to the dry component—14–22 dB lower in fact! Blend them together to achieve the amount of parallel compression needed to make that source stand out in the mix. Any compressor can be used for this technique, but in this video Graham is using the SSL G-Master Buss Compressor. Share Quote. Once again, the detection filter plays a major role in helping us achieve the sound we’re after, but in a very different way. Depending on the software, it’s also called the master bus or stereo bus. Compression is a great way to bring a vocal forward in a mix but it can also cause unappealing sonic artifacts that’s why a lot of engineer use parallel compression also on vocals. Using parallel compression on drums can help keep all the dynamics of the original source material but add volume, depth and power to them without crushing dynamics or adding too much make up gain that will overdrive the mix bus. Let your ears be your guide. This allows you to harness the power of a heavily compressed vocal in a way that isn’t easily noticed. The art of parallel compression plays a large part in how modern mixes sound so full and loud. The multiband compressor is one of the more specialized audio mastering tools at our disposal. But just like everything else, practice makes perfect, and it is a technique I highly recommend getting very familiar with. Once you’re below 10 ms on attack, and under 50 ms on release, you’ve probably taken things as far as you can—although this can be highly compressor-dependent. Parallel compression uses a send and return setup similar to how you would send signal to an effects processor. 21st February 2014 #4. dannydawiz ️. As a side note—pardon the pun—if you want to avoid the routing described at the beginning of this article, the Dynamics module has a built-in “Parallel” control, so you can use the Dynamics module in single-band mode for either of the techniques described above. “Isn’t compression supposed to reduce dynamic range?” Well yes, under normal circumstances that can be part of its role. We start with the dry channel and assign an internal bus output from the channel sends, for this example we’ll use bus one. 11th April 2020 #2. biksonije. Although it’s an easier setup and can still give you great parallel compression results, a lot of us old school engineers still prefer the classic send and return system.