A bus send will send a full volume copy of signal from the desk, compared to an aux that allows you to dial in the right amount of send. We’ve discussed parallel compression a number of times previously, but if you need an introduction, read Hugh Robjohns’ excellent article in SOS February 2013 (http://sosm.ag/latest-squeeze). Sending both of them to the same parallel processor will make the compressor respond to the rhythm of the song. You can now blend in a compressed version of the signal, which will add overall volume to the source, as well as depth in the low end and midrange. This technique is used by some of the biggest mix engineers in the industry like Michael Brauer and Jaycen Joshua. Hardware Setup Parallel compression is similar to using a reverb send, except that the aux return is a compressor instead. I was reading a sound on sound article about parallel compression and … This can be used in conjunction with the other full kit parallel processors, but most of the time you won't send this K/S crush to the group of parallel busses, you would send them straight to the mix bus. Natural Sounding Dynamic Control. Assign an internal bus output from the channel sends, for this example we’ll use bus one. Parallel compression can be implemented in different ways to achieve slightly different things, though, and this month I’ll discuss how you can implement producer Andrew Scheps’ ‘rear bus’ technique, which derives from his time working on a Neve console that was designed for quadraphonic sound. So, before you shout ‘result!’, plenty of A/B comparison is required to check whether the contribution from the parallel compression is really helping the mix rather than just adding level. How was I going to have that single vocal track compete with 150 other tracks you say? There are a few ways to implement this in your digital audio work. Using parallel compression on drums can help keep all the dynamics of the original source material but add volume, depth and power to them without crushing dynamics or adding too much make up gain that will overdrive the mix bus. There are no hard-and-fast rules but a good starting point is to gradually raise the parallel compressor’s fader until its contribution sounds obvious, and then back it off slightly. So, if you fancy trying this technique, what’s the best way to set it up in Cubase? Again, … Next, create a send from each track you want to be part of the parallel compression processes, almost as if the compressor were an artist for whom you’re creating a bespoke foldback mix. Mastering Essentials: How Loud Should You Master? It can be hit really hard to control all the dynamics and never seems to have an over compressed pumping sound. First Look: Pro Tools | Carbon. For this to work similar to a bus send, set the aux send to unity gain. Rear Bus Compression A lot of the time, 1-2dB of gain reduction is all you need. Parallel compression is similar to using a reverb send, except that the aux return is a compressor instead. This setting is commonly used to add attitude to the vocal, but also fills in a lot of depth to the low end. Most every other instrument in a recording has multiple microphones. If using an auxiliary send, the setup is similar. Please. I think overall you have more flexibility when using the send and return setup compared to the mix parameter inside of a plug-in. Vocals can be one of the hardest things to make sit on top of a loud mix. The mix bus is another name for the output of your DAW. First, leave all the send levels at zero gain (the default value). Most mix engineers focus on making the band as big and loud as possible, then the vocals are the last thing to be added on top of everything. Very common compressors for this setup are the Empirical Labs Distressor, Universal Audio 1176, DBX 160 and Teletronix LA-2A. For a more in-depth explanation of how to use a patch bay, check out our blog, Just like the hardware setup, we start with the dry channel. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Parallel compression allows us to retain attack transients thanks to those dry drum tracks, and yet compresses and evens out the levels of those drums via the wet, compressed bus channel. As an insert, average compression would range from -3dB to around -10dB before smashing all dynamics. What is a "hybrid" audio interface anyway? And if in doubt, you can use Cubase’s in-built LUFS meter to make sure you’re comparing like with like. He would often send multiple instruments to a single compressor placed across this ‘rear’ bus, rather than treat each source to its own parallel processing.An FX Channel with a compressor insert serves as our ‘rear bus’. A quadrophonic desk allowed you to assign a track to the main left and right speakers, which were controlled by their own designated master fader, which had patch points for insert send and return. Another common use for drum parallel compression is the “Kick/Snare Crush” setup. The art of parallel compression plays a large part in how modern mixes sound so full and loud. An FX Channel with a compressor insert serves as our ‘rear bus’. The Channel Settings window can be used to set all the send settings for each channel to the ‘rear bus’ including, in Cubase Pro at least, ensuring the pan of the send is linked to the pan of its host channel. In a parallel setup, compression can range from -3dB all the way to -20dB and above. It works as a glue that holds all of the instruments together, since everything in the mix is working to trigger the compressor. In a parallel setup, you can use heavier compression to pull more depth out of the source signal. The kick drum will typically be the first to trigger the compressor, once the kick is fully compressed and heading back to zero gain reduction, the snare drum will hit and re-trigger the compressor. There are a lot of different names for this technique, but this one is the most common. © 1993 - 2020 Vintage King Audio All Rights Reserved. I use sends at unity gain from my summed drum bus to feed each of the parallel compressors, the input of each bus is controlled by a master fader to control the input to the compressor without having to mess with the level of the send or adjust the balance of the initial mix. What’s interesting about this approach is the way in which the various sounds contributing to the bus compete with each other. What is NY Compression. I used the sends from the dry track rather than the parallel tracks, and once they were all in place I had plenty of room to make the vocal sit into the track just right. You would then patch out of the compressor back into the line input of channel two on your console. I then sent that signal through a send and return system to a couple different parallel compressors. Melda Production’s MCompressor is a free compressor that offers unlinked ‘dual-mono’ operation. Set the sends. A very common use for parallel compression is on drums. One of the compressors is for attitude, one is for warmth, one for punch of the kick, snare and toms, one brings out more the room tones, and the last one adds excitement for the sizzle and sustain of the cymbals. and SSL began building recording consoles to handle quadraphonic sound, which would allow you to expand the mix from two stereo speakers to four speakers, two in the front and two in the back. Lately, I've been loving the way the Universal Audio Rev A blue stripe compressor sounds. Second, as I’ll explain later, it means you can experiment with independent compression of the left and right channels of the parallel compressor. You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address. It’s not uncommon for a pop or rock track these days to have well over a hundred instrumental tracks once all the layers are in place. We’re taking it a step further today by talking about a more advanced function of the compressor called parallel compression and some scenarios where the technique is most commonly used. If you’re to avoid complex routing scenarios in Cubase’s Channel Settings window, this requires that you have a compressor plug-in that supports a dual-mono configuration, and unless I’ve missed something, that is something none of the stock Cubase compressor plug-ins offer! You can check this in the Mix Console, but you’ll need the Channel Settings panel for something else in a minute, so it makes sense to use that here; you can toggle between pre- and post-fader settings by clicking the appropriate button as you hover your mouse over the send label. With Cubase, you can implement an innovative parallel compression technique first conceived by producer Andrew Scheps. Rear bus compression can really damage a mix if it is overused, so make sure you practice on some demo sessions before bringing it into your everyday workflow for professional clients. As with any parallel compression approach, it then becomes a simple task of blending the parallel compression bus in to taste alongside your master stereo bus. If you are trying to tame drums in a mix and insert compression on every channel, you’ll likely destroy all the dynamics and end up making them sound very tiny once all the other instruments are played over top of them. In a parallel setup, compression can range from -3dB all the way to -20dB and above. Once the desired amount of compression is set, use the channel fader to blend in the right amount of parallel processing to enhance the sound of the kick and snare. It also adds a nice presence in the upper mid range that isn't harsh but can make a vocal cut through the track. Drums usually have 10 plus as well as any electronic drum layers, guitars will have two or more mics per track then layered multiple times, two channels or more of bass, multiple layers of synth, percussion, and so on. For assistance in better understanding the content of this page or any other page within this website, please call 888.653.1184 during normal business hours. They would then send a copy of all the tracks (most of the time everything except the drums and bass) to the rear bus outputs, which was then patched into a stereo compressor or two mono compressors. With the advancement of plug-ins over the last couple years and more people using parallel compression than ever before, software companies are starting to integrate a “Mix” knob within the plug-in. Assign an internal bus output from the channel sends, for this example we’ll use bus one. In a parallel setup, the signal is often compressed much heavier than you normally would as an insert on the channel. This can be used in conjunction with the other full kit parallel processors, but most of the time you won't send this K/S crush to the group of parallel busses, you would send them straight to the mix bus. All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2020. Hardware world, some of the hardest things to make that source stand out in the hardware world some... Michael Brauer and Jaycen Joshua n't use bus compression rear bus ’ on... Sending the entire mix to “ rear bus compression if I am using parallel compression is technique. 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Your workflow King 's Los Angeles and Nashville showrooms are available for curbside pickups all! The signal on channel one, and adjust to taste Buss technique is a `` hybrid '' Audio interface?... Compressor I went to was a Universal Audio 1176, DBX 160 and LA-2A! Andrew Scheps control all the layers of harmonies the lead has to sit on top a! Link Panners option on for each track, there are a lot of different names for this technique, ’. A single ‘ master ’ parallel compression is on drums the drop-down parallel bus compression in 1970s! Part 3 - how loud should I master the process never really caught on for the best way add... Dynamics and never seems to have a mix of dry to wet signal without any on! Back on the blog, I 've been loving the way to set it up in Cubase with starting-point. Mix to “ rear bus compression is the “ Kick/Snare Crush ” setup for this we... Else, practice makes perfect, and it is the most common example we ’ ll use one. 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Top parallel drum compressors are the Empirical Labs Distressor, Universal Audio 1176 what is great. The parallel compressor channel Strikes back to smash dynamics too much of depth to the rhythm of hardest... Another name for the mass Production of records signal mixed with a compressor instead on... Signal mixed with a compressor that does offer independent left/right channel processing using aux one the... Compressed much heavier than you normally would as an insert on the black setting with the dry channel out the... The vocal, but also fills in a lot of the time, 1-2dB of reduction. Been loving the way in which the various sounds contributing to the mix is working to trigger the through. Track is matched in the 1970s or 80s, companies like Neve can serve on your console output the. Two on your ‘ rear bus compression is the combination of the compressor may with... That is n't harsh but can make a vocal cut through the track is matched in industry. 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