Mittwoch, 16. August 2017

10 Tips for using an audio compressor in the mixdown.

1. The best audio compressor is the one whose presence is not heard at all. (Apart from exceptions such as side-chain compression in EDM).

2. A compressor does not increses the signal, but it reduces peak levels. Only the Make Up Gain will raise the level.

3. This does not make the loud sections of the music louder but the quiet.

4. The compressor reduces the original dynamics.

5. Problematic are the transients (fast attacks), for example of an acoustic guitar. The transients compressed at first, because they have a relatively high level. This reduces the level, but also the original sound, because transients are very important for the sound.

6. Voices can be easily reduced because they have very few transients. 12 dB and more (recommended ratio 4: 1) are pssible.

7. But with a strong voice compression, the breather and other background noises are much louder.

8. With the side-chain input, the work of the compressor is not controlled by the input signal, but by the signal that is present at the side-chain input.

9. For example, a synthesizer in a mix can be automatically quieter when the voice is applied to the side-chain input. This creates space for the voice and makes a mix lively.

10. In the parallel compression, the compressed signal and the uncompressed signal are interconnected phase-stiff. This way you can increase the low level signal and keep the original transients. (Dry control)

Stefan Noltemeyer

Freitag, 28. Juli 2017

technical anaysis of a produced song

Before I start mastering a song, I listen and analyze its acoustic-technical problems. I separate the overall sound into its components.

First, I check out the low frequencies. 
Are the basses generated by the bass,the bassdrum or both?
Are there any other instruments which sounds below 100 Hz? -
If the Lo End o.k or should I use a high-pass filter above 30 Hz. (This shows me also my spectrum analyzer)
Are there any problems between the bass and the bassdrum?

Next, I check out the mid frequencies between 200 Hz and 3000 Hz (where the "music plays").
Is there any instrument or a voice that is too loud?
Is there a single frequency that is too loud?
Is there any instrument or a voice that should be louder?
Is the kick of the bassdrum (the attack) and snaredrum powerful enough?

What about the presences (between 3000 Hz and 8000 Hz)
Which instruments are still involved in this frequency range?
Is the voice sound present enough?
Are there problems with "S" in the voice?
Are there instruments and overtones that are to strong here?
Is the hihat too loud (classic error in the mixdown)?
Is Snaredrum still there?

Next check out the high-end above 8000 Hz
Which instruments play "top"?
(Again) Are the hihat, ride and crash o.k.?

What about the total sound
Does anything boom in the bass?
Does the title sound too sharp or too dull?
What happens in the side channel, are there phase cancellations (stereo information)?
What is the total level, has the sum ever been compressed?
Do we need more loudness
if I´m unsure I will listen to the song in comparsion to other titels same genre.

Stefan Noltemeyer