Change order of Eq and Compress

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This topic contains 82 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of volounteer volounteer 19 hours, 48 minutes ago.

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  • #92980
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
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    Put the EQ after the compression.

    If your EQ comes after the compressor, the two processes don’t affect each other. If you EQ before the compressor, then the compressor will further affect the tonality of your signal.

    The entire post:

    How Compression Affects the Timbre of a Sound

    In the book The Mixing Engineers Handbook by Bobby Owsinksi, the author interviews several prominent audio engineers on a variety of topics. On the topic of “Compression as an Effect” Andy Johns is quoted as saying:

    I use compression because it’s the only way that you can truly modify a sound because whatever the most predominant frequency is, the more you compress it the more predominant that frequency will be. Suppose the predominant frequencies are 1k to 3k. Put a compressor on it and the bottom end goes away, the top end disappears and you’re left with “Ehhhhh” [makes a nasal sound]. So for me, compressors can modify sound more than anything else. If it’s a bass guitar, you put the compressor before your EQ, because if you do it the other way around, you’ll lose the top and mids when the compressor emphasizes the spot that you EQed. If you compress it first, then add bottom, then you’re gonna hear it better.

    What Johns is saying is that if your EQ comes after the compressor, the two processes don’t affect each other. If you EQ before the compressor, then the compressor will further affect the tonality of your signal.

    #92984
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    paperlapapp

    from last century
    this is simply b……it
    we talk about live sound,
    then sometimes it is way more important to have an uncompressed but EQ’ed signal for monitors
    some things are more pragmatic then you think

    if your compression is not usable because it introduces feedback then you can’t use it

    on the other hand on the more expensive desks it is switchable as you like,
    but this requires knowledge how to handle this

    #92986
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    There is a new kid in town which allows you to reorder the input channel processing individual and provides, beside high and low cuts and a six band eq, an additional three band EQ for the pre fader busses. Such a concept might not be a blue print for a feature for the QU, which has an already mature design. But probably it would be something for the SQ but for shure for the Avantis and the dLive.
    The QU is what it is, a more or less simple entry level console for users which do not dive so deep into all the concepts of so called pro audio consoles. And for me the console should stay as simple as possible for that type of users.

    #92987
    Profile photo of BRS
    BRS
    Participant

    In a live sound situation, more often than not you want the EQ first so that you can reduce or eradicate frequency issues which cause tonal problems, THEN compress so that you keep a more consistent level for your audience to be able to hear that instrument and to even out performance variations.

    If you compressed first you’d be compressing on frequency elements which are then filtered out afterwards which would sound very odd and lead to non-correlated pumping.

    Studio sound is a different thing with few constraints. But you wouldn’t be using the SQ channel for that, you’d be in the box.

    So it’s good as it is in my view.

    #92989
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @SteffenR

    I want to do upwards compression aka NY or parallel compression.
    The article cited said it is better with EQ after.

    This is for live sound.
    Serious problem with too much DR on some speakers.
    Upwards compression looks like it would fix the problem.

    EQ after compression would save me having to loop around to EQ again on another path so as to have it after the compression.

    #92990
    Profile photo of BRS
    BRS
    Participant

    🤔

    If you’re doing parallel compression you’d need a second channel anyway? And if you have too much Dynamic Range, surely upward compression will make that worse? Or have I missed something obvious? That wouldn’t be my first time 😂

    #92991
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @BRS

    I wondered about that which is why I googled for more info.
    I had also hoped to find info on what happens to the freq response when you compress but did not find any info on that.

    What I found was not a lot but that one article did say to EQ after Compress.
    I thought it was so you could fix any problems compression might cause.

    Are you saying that info was wrong.
    That may well be.
    Please give some technical details why it is wrong. Thanks.

    #92993
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    I want to do upwards compression aka NY or parallel compression.

    two different things in one statement mixed together…

    there is no general rule what is compression doing to the frequency response
    it highly depends on what kind of compression technique is used

    there are some different ways to attach a dynamic reduction (compression) to a signal

    opto compression, Variable MU, tube compression, VCA’s and tape compression
    all these alter the frequency response different and it also depends on the time constants (attack and release, some introduce a hold time as well)

    on of the best videos about compression:

    this is part one, that describes a bit how difficult it is to discuss compression

    #92995
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mfk0815

    how does EQ after compression make it any harder to use Qu than EQ before compression?

    #92997
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @SteffenR

    not according to all sources I have found

    UPwards compression == original name NY compression = parallel compression /=/ wrongly called sidechain compression

    Nothing is mixed. There are multiple names given the technique depending when/who/where the names are used

    But all lower total DR.

    I am well aware of the other compression methods you noted.
    But UPwards compression is the type we need for the problem we have.

    #92998
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    NY compression is parallel compression… first introduced in some NY studios in the 1970’s
    but sidechain compression and upward compression are totally different

    parallel compression discribes the mix of a compressed signal and an uncompressed signal with the same origin

    upward compression is compression that applies under the threshold and is very rarely used
    I only know one device/plugin that does this the Eventide Omnipressor

    sidechain compression describes the ability to control the compression with an external signal “brought in to the detector from the side”
    this is not possible with all the above mentioned compressors
    since not all of them have a separated detector

    But UPwards compression is the type we need for the problem we have.

    I highly doubt that

    #93000
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @SteffenR

    Pretty sure that is what I said.
    At least that is what the vast majority of sites say about it.
    And actually it was used by dolby before NY made it popular.

    Sidechain compression is NOT NY/UPwards/parallel compression although it has some similarities.

    Guarantee that we either need upwards compression or AH gives us an AGC fx on one mike to use.
    Why you cant buy mikes with AGC built in is a mystery. This is a common problem with amateurs and over emoters.

    If you have another solution to a speaker that goes from very very soft to VERY VERY LOUD VERY fast please let us know.
    Riding the faders is not feasible although it helps some, but there are still annoying spots that are too loud or too soft.

    #93001
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    Hmm, some thoughts.
    First, the only true remedy for such speaker is a good speaker training. There is no technical tool available which can compensate this bad behavior without leaving „annoying spots“ and/or audible disadvantages.

    Second, sidechain compression is completely different to Upward or Parallelcompression since sidechain defines to use a different signal for controlling the compressor. All others defines how the compressor works based on any controlling signal. So you can used Upward compression with side chain usage.
    As far as I know is Upward compression closer to a downward expander, something I personally miss on A&H consoles.

    And last but not least, @BRS: in the past, when we are used to work with analog consoles, it was usual that the channel insert point was either fixed before the channel EQ (A&H GL or ML series for instance) or switchable (E.g. Midas Heritage). So we were used to run channel compressors before the EQ in those days. It might be true that nowadays we are used to run more extreme compression and EQing on digital consoles, and thats the result of the changed order. Nevertheless it would be nice to give us the opportunity to choose.

    #93003
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    Nevertheless it would be nice to give us the opportunity to choose.

    at least on dlive you can

    #93004
    Profile photo of BRS
    BRS
    Participant

    Yeah. I guess that’s why they have an increasing range of mixers getting more expensive and more complex as you go up. On QU series I definitely don’t think that kind of flexibility is helpful for the target users – that’s why you can’t remap faders to other channels etc.

    Interesting thread though.

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