Parallel Compression

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Brian Brian 2 months ago.

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  • #110195
    Profile photo of tourtelot
    tourtelot
    Participant

    I have been doing audio for a long time but I still haven’t wrapped my head around parallel compression. It was suggested that I use that technique on the two-mix bus for live streaming classical performances.

    Can anyone give me a quick tutorial, using the on-board compressor on my SQ6, or point me to a clear instructional on the web.

    I need more output with less chance of clipping but still keeping a very natural sound.

    Thanks.

    D.

    #110197
    Profile photo of jmannn
    jmannn
    Participant

    The Mix Wizard explains this well

    #110248
    Profile photo of tourtelot
    tourtelot
    Participant

    Thanks for the link. So PC is not really to prevent output clipping so much as it is to “shape” the sound of the program? For a long time, I have been using a compressor on the 2-mix bus to prevent clipping, “tickling” the compressor maybe -3dB with a threshold of -2 or so to protect against, let’s say, a loud tympani strike, or the like. 4:1, quick release. But a friend and renown engineer (ex of Abbey Road) says he uses PC on all his broadcasts.

    But if I run both the wet and the dry at 100%, and set my levels so the “dry” does not clip, what am I gaining (pun intended). It seems that if I have a mix going, and raise the inputs, I clip the outputs as would be expected.

    Just trying to wrap my head around what I might expect to achieve with PC.

    Maybe back to a simple brick wall limiter to preven broadcast clipping?

    D.

    #110263
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    You are thinking correctly IMHO.

    Using a brick wall limiter is a good idea to guarantee the output doesn’t cross your desired broadcast level, but it shouldn’t really be compressing everything – just the loudest peaks that cross your limit.

    Parallel compression is used more to “shape” the sound rather than “limit” it. You generally want to heavily compress everything on the “wet” signal, but the “dry” signal is what prevents everything from sounding likes it’s being crushed.

    Therefore it is common to use two compressors – one for each technique – at the same time (as the video suggested).

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