Mix bus compression

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.

Mix bus compression

Postby micahjonhughes » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:51 pm

I mix directly to 2-track, and I'm currently using an Alesis 3630 on my mix bus. This compressor has the worst reputation and is probably not really suited for this purpose. Having said that, I can't say it is doing too much harm to my mixes, but I'm thinking there must be something better for this purpose. To be clear, I'm recording techo, and not acoustic jazz or anything delicate.

I'm looking for suggestions. What are others using? Any suggestions from the bargain bin?
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Re: Mix bus compression

Postby plus321 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:03 am

Haha, now you have me looking at 3630s. Daft Punk supposedly used it on Homework. I think it's good enough. Plus if you blow up, people will think it's really cool. You could always keep an uncompressed master and a compressed master. Use your compressed one for your demo and playing and give the uncompressed one to a mastering engineer if you get your stuff mastered for release.
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Re: Mix bus compression

Postby madtheory » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:15 pm

Well the 3630 is crap, but in a good way. It makes things sound hard as if the attack is too slow, even when set fast, and it's pretty much impossible to get it to not "pump". So probably great for what you're doing- but it would help if you could post an example of your stuff. You're using it to create a signature sound, so it's hard to say what would be "better" especially if you're talking bargain bin. The RNC is super even though it sounds expensive! You'd have far more options if you were in plug in land.

There is always the option of no bus compression, and using the fine control offered by MIDI to create your dynamic interest...
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Re: Mix bus compression

Postby vvd » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:22 am

I also like recording the main mix of my mixer (and maybe sdd some tracks later). Just recently I got an SPL DynaMaxx to keep things under control and to get some pumping if I want it. I chose the SPL because it's cheap yet high quality, easy to use, versatile (decompression, sidechain, gate..) and adds no color (I don't want any extra mud in my mix). It also looks *awesome* IMO!
I don't have any experience with other compressors so I can't say anything about how it compares. I can get pumping, it is quiet, the gate is great and I am really happy with it.
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Re: Mix bus compression

Postby garranimal » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:42 pm

I used to think as you do mixing everything to stereo in one shot. It's straightforward and convenient. But it's a destructive process, meaning you can never go back and revise what has been done and have to start over.

Anyway, I too used to use a 3630 during those times. This compressor is a general workhorse designed for all sorts of uses for vocals, drums, bass, you-name-it. And for clamping down on levels and providing some pump. But doesn't really have that warm, breathing mojo everyone is out looking for. I've always eyed-up the RNC but ended up building a GSSL, a clone of the SSL mixbus. And now I mostly use the UAD clone of the 33609 for recording and I use it religiously.

Back to the 3630 and -the gate- which is quite decent for something in this price range. I used to mess around with the gate to get those Phil Collins reverb-y drum stops. I also used to chop up chord stabs, bass riffs, and arpeggios with that gate. Good times. Even if you're not doing techno with the 3630, you may want to try the sidechain for the drums and bass to keep the lows from getting too muddy.
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