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Compression: When and How to Use It in Nectar, Neutron, and Ozone
In previous articles, we covered different types of hardware compressors and why their behavior matters in this hybrid/digital world. We also covered typical mistakes engineers make in using compression. This article expounds on compression in a specific way: we are diving into the various compressors available in the iZotope ecosystem and relating them to real-world applications.
by Nick Messitte, iZotope Contributor December 9, 2019
Audio Compression Basics | Universal Audio
Compressors and limiters are used to reduce dynamic range — the span between the softest and loudest sounds. Using compression can make your tracks sound more polished by controlling maximum levels and maintaining higher average loudness. Here are some compression basics, different compression types, and some tips to try on your tracks.
Mason Hicks does an excellent job of describing compression, compressors, and why do it at all.
Note that the stock compressor in Logic Pro X can be used for each of the compressor types – tube, optical, FET, and VCA. The “Platinum” compressor in Logic is really none of the types listed, maybe more like a Distressor?
4 Tips for Using Upwards Compression in Neutron
by Nick Messitte, iZotope Contributor September 18, 2019
In an earlier article called “Expanding on compression” I covered unusual forms of dynamic processing, including upwards compression. Neutron 3 offers the ability to implement upwards compression, so I thought it would be useful to cover it further.
6 Parallel Compression Mistakes in Mixing:
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had some experience with parallel compression, the process of blending a compressed track or submix with an uncompressed copy. Getting this balance right allows us to enhance the punch and power of a signal without altering the original transients or eating up lots of mix headroom.
Understanding compressor circuit types in Logic:
Logic’s built-in Compressor plug-in includes a range of different circuit types. In this tutorial, we illuminate the original compressors they’re based on, and the best ways to use them.
Always good to visit the progenitors.
Production Expert | Multi-Band Compression And Dynamic EQ – Do You Know The Difference? Many People Don’t:
Here are three hypothetical audio issues. Because they only present themselves some of the time, regular compression or EQ often don’t fix them satisfactorily. Do you use a multi-band compressor or a dynamic EQ to fix them?
I have dynamic EQs and multi-band compressors. I should know the difference and when to use them.
5 Ways to Use Dynamic EQ with Sidechain:
Set internal (or external) triggers on drums
Mixing drums is one of the bigger challenges in a song because we expect them to be many things at once: loud, groovy, punchy, cohesive, clear, etc. Compression and transient shaping are a big help here, but dynamic EQ proves useful when carving a unique space for each drum hit. For example:
If the overhead mics picked up too much snare bite and this conflicts with the close-miked snare sound, use the main snare to trigger a momentary cut in level in the overheads whenever it’s played.
Is your snare struggling to shine because of masking with the hi-hats? Place one node on the snare harmonics and another on the lower end of the hi-hats, then set the sidechain to duck the hi-hats when the snare is present.
Unpitched percussion with considerable low end can conflict with the lower frequencies of a kick drum. To keep that pulse but prevent sloppy collisions from occurring, get your dynamic EQ sidechain to high-pass the bassy parts of the perc only when the kick comes down.
I need to check to see if each node in the Neutron 2 EQ can have a separate side chain. The side chain choices are internal – all the bands – and external (the one set in Logic as side chain). It looks like I can only side chain one external track.
I can do something like side chain the overheads from Logic and set the nodes in N2 to side chain from the different bands…that will have to do.
Also see “7 Tips for Mixing Drums”
How to Use Dynamic EQ in Mastering:
A dynamic EQ is a powerful tool that combines the precision of an equalizer with the musical ballistics of a compressor.
I have dynamic EQs – a couple of different ones. I find that I don’t add compression to tracks in a lot of situations.
Friday Tips: Frequency-Selective Guitar Compression – PreSonus BlogPreSonus Blog:
Some instruments, when compressed, lack “sparkle” if the stronger, lower frequencies compress high frequencies as well as lower ones. This is a common problem with guitar, but there’s a solution: the Compressor’s internal sidechain can apply compression to only the guitar’s lower frequencies, while leaving the higher frequencies uncompressed so they “ring out” above the compressed sound. (Multiband compression works for this too, but sidechaining can be a faster and easier way to accomplish the same results.)
This handy hint should work similarly in Logic Pro X. I will have to try.
Which Vocal Compressor is Right for the Mix? – Produce Like A Pro:
We’ve stressed the importance of mixing vocals time and time again! Because lyrics are what average listeners immediately identify with, making a singer sound great should almost always be a priority. Amongst other tools, the perfect vocal compressor for the job can really elevate the overall sound of your mix!
Video is “Mixing Vocals to Sit Properly in the Mix”.
Compressor – Neutron 2 Help Documentation:
Simply put, a compressor adjusts dynamic range. Most commonly, it reduces it using downward compression, but as you’ll discover, Neutron is capable of both upwards and downwards compression.
This is the current documentation for the N2 Compressor.
MV2 Compressor Plugin | Waves:
With high and low level compression controlled by a streamlined interface, the MV2 is the simplest, most flexible way to control your sound. With intuitive dual faders for quick dynamic optimization, it’s never been easier to maximize your volume
Equal time for Waves MV2. The catalyst to my “upward compression” search.
Today I want to dig in to compression and expansion. I understand compression. I am starting to understand expansion. I really don’t understand the difference between “downward compression” (the typical) and “upward compression” (not so typical).
Waves has a plugin – MV2 – that combines an upward compressor and a downward compressor. Warren Huart (Produce Like A Pro Academy) thinks highly of it.
I am confident that the iZotope Neutron 2 processor can function similarly to the MV2. There are 2 compressors, both of which can do downward compression (positive ratios) and upward compression (negative ratios).
Set Compressor 1 to the negative ratio and “upward” threshold, set Compressor 2 to the positive ration and “downward” threshold. Use the output gain control to adjust.
Now we get to try it in practice.
Expanding on Compression: 3 Overlooked Techniques for Improving Dynamic Range:
“When many engineers say ‘compression’, what they mean is “downward compression.” In other words, bringing down the level of the signal above the threshold that you set on your compressor, to make louder things quieter. But all too often, we forget about upward compression, where quieter sounds are brought up to the threshold point; this technique can be quite handy in certain situations for a more transparent effect (it can also be approximated with parallel compression, if you don’t have an upward-compressor on hand).
Reference pointer for my Compression post coming up.