INSTRUCTION STRINGS ACCESSORIES MUSIC LINKS
 Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Post new topic The Art of Compression
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  The Art of Compression
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 25 Apr 2016 1:26 pm     Reply with quote

The Neve I have is a VCA type. I got it because I really loved the Neve pre amp 5012 and figured the 5043 compressor was a good place to start. I got a great deal on it so I could sell it if I didn't like it.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 25 Apr 2016 4:46 pm     NIce! Reply with quote

That looks like a really nice compressor.
It would be interesting to hear how that unit "colors" the sound.
A lot of people really like the sound of Neve preamps.

Thanks for your answer, Bob. Smile
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 25 Apr 2016 8:51 pm     Reply with quote

Rick,
So far with the Neve I'm not getting a colored sound really. It seems more like I'm using a focus on a camera if that makes any sense.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 26 Apr 2016 5:49 am     Reply with quote

My favorite compressor of all time is the Distressor EL-8. I really feel like it has it all in that box--you can do so much with it and no matter what you put through it, it always comes out sounding better at the output. Amazing for vocals, drums, room mics.
_________________
'Steelonious' on Bandcamp
mikeneer.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 26 Apr 2016 11:24 am     Reply with quote

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
Rick,
So far with the Neve I'm not getting a colored sound really. It seems more like I'm using a focus on a camera if that makes any sense.


Got it.
Thanks. Smile
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 26 Apr 2016 11:31 am     Reply with quote

Mike Neer wrote:
My favorite compressor of all time is the Distressor EL-8. I really feel like it has it all in that box--you can do so much with it and no matter what you put through it, it always comes out sounding better at the output. Amazing for vocals, drums, room mics.


I know that a lot of this comes down to personal choice, but what makes you prefer this compressor over something like a DBX 160 or the Neve that Bob mentioned?
It looks like a lot of guys really like the DBX 160 for overheads.

I see the Distressor has a high pass filter. Is that part of the reason you choose it?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
werner althaus


From:
lincoln, NE
Post Posted 26 Apr 2016 6:41 pm     Reply with quote

The distressor has its' name from the words distortion and compressor so you can guess what it does differently from a compressor like the Neve or DBX 160. It's a very popular unit for getting crunchy snare drums via parallel compression, etc. I personally hate it and find it to be very overused but I realize I'm in the minority.
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 26 Apr 2016 8:49 pm     Reply with quote

It is much more versatile than that, Werner. Yes, there is definitely a lot of coloration available, in varying degrees, giving you the ability to have the vintage analog tape, tube and vinyl sound. I loved playing around with it.
_________________
'Steelonious' on Bandcamp
mikeneer.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 27 Apr 2016 5:07 am     Reply with quote

The distressor is a great piece of gear but I am prejudiced against it. I have been in so many sessions where I watched the producer destroy a beautiful track with that box. It was the go to unit to make a great dynamic ensemble recording sound like a couple agitated and angry munchkins for years. If used right it can be great for making a track sound big without taking up more space but I just can't get myself to use it yet. It's sound puts my brain In the same place that hideous and ubiquitous DX7 keyboard sound from the 80's does.

I will revisit it soon now that I am digging into this recording stuff.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 27 Apr 2016 6:41 am     Reply with quote

The Distressor is way too easy to abuse and few have been able to avoid that (Nuke is a dangerous thing!).
_________________
'Steelonious' on Bandcamp
mikeneer.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 27 Apr 2016 11:27 am     Reply with quote

Bob Hoffnar wrote:


that hideous and ubiquitous DX7 keyboard sound from the 80's does.



Ha! Yep, those sounds got old really fast. Laughing
I remember that their emulation of a Rhodes was absolutely terrible.
Maybe it was fine as an added voice.
But as a replacement for an actual Rhodes?
Nope!

Rick
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 27 Apr 2016 11:30 am     Reply with quote

So, does the Distressor act the same as something like the Sound Toys plugin called Decapitator?

I've heard that plugin being used on a vocal track before.
Is that the same type of sound you would get from the Distressor?

Rick
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 27 Apr 2016 3:06 pm     Reply with quote

I can't answer that, Rick. I have no experience with it. I know that Dave Derr is developing a plugin, but the code must be incredibly deep as its taking some time and the price is estimated to be a few hundred dollars.

I know what you guys are saying about the Distressor, but you can blame that on misuse to large degree. It's not a squeaky clean piece of gear, but there is versatility and it is very musical. It can do a Fairchild, an LA2A and an 1176.
_________________
'Steelonious' on Bandcamp
mikeneer.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
werner althaus


From:
lincoln, NE
Post Posted 27 Apr 2016 6:42 pm     Reply with quote

Mike Neer wrote:
It is much more versatile than that, Werner. Yes, there is definitely a lot of coloration available, in varying degrees, giving you the ability to have the vintage analog tape, tube and vinyl sound. I loved playing around with it.


I know that it can be used in ways that I find pleasing but that's not what it's known for. Didn't mean to badmouth your gear, in the end it's never the gear, only the (ab)user.
View user's profile Send private message
werner althaus


From:
lincoln, NE
Post Posted 27 Apr 2016 6:44 pm     Reply with quote

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
...It was the go to unit to make a great dynamic ensemble recording sound like a couple agitated and angry munchkins for years. ..... It's sound puts my brain In the same place that hideous and ubiquitous DX7 keyboard sound from the 80's does.


That's exactly how I feel about it but could never express so precisely. Respect!

I guess the thing that gets me about many of these distortion/ saturation tools is the belief and manufacturer propaganda that it adds "character". In a world where technology makes everything way too easy we're left with legions of "recording engineers" who believe character is something you can get as an app. I may sound like a cranky old man but IMHO there are devices that were designed to do their job with minimal distortion/ color which will produce beautiful distortion/ color when pushed and there are devices designed to create this distortion/ color but are unable to do that other thing, namely the purpose it was supposedly built to perform. I don't care if we're talking compressors, consoles, mic pres, guitar amps......if it's built with distortion in mind it usually doesn't do so well at its primary job.
Having said that, I just today installed AVID HEAT (makes ITB mixing sound like tape and console, according to AVID) on my rig to salvage a musicmix that sounded so clinical it hurt. In the end it's all good, just felt like ranting a little.
View user's profile Send private message
John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post Posted 30 Apr 2016 10:01 pm     Reply with quote

Interesting...I have owned Distressors for years since they came out (one of mine is serial #59--there are 28,000 of them out there). They are very easy to use and can run as clean and gentle as you want, or as hard and bone crushing as you want to take it. For clean, leave the Dist button off and just run a low ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 and slow down the attack and speed up the release...I also use the opto setting a lot...

I own a lot of compressors and if I had to give them all up and only keep one, it would be the Distressor (though an 1176 would be second)....
_________________
John Macy
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Engineer/Producer/Steel Guitar
Fessenden Guitars
Benado Effects
Telonics Amplification
Sarno Music Solutions
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bill D. Terry


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 1 May 2016 5:47 am     Reply with quote

John Macy wrote:
Interesting...I have owned Distressors for years since they came out (one of mine is serial #59--there are 28,000 of them out there). They are very easy to use and can run as clean and gentle as you want, or as hard and bone crushing as you want to take it. For clean, leave the Dist button off and just run a low ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 and slow down the attack and speed up the release...I also use the opto setting a lot...

I own a lot of compressors and if I had to give them all up and only keep one, it would be the Distressor (though an 1176 would be second)....


I agree...this can be one of the cleanest compressors on the planet when used properly.
_________________
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 1 May 2016 10:36 am     Reply with quote

John and Bill,
I have heard the same from most everybody. Next time I find myself looking at compressors it will be at the top of my list. It's always great to discover the beauty and value in something I thought I didn't like.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 2 May 2016 12:57 am     Reply with quote

[quote="werner althaus"]
Bob Hoffnar wrote:
.... It's sound puts my brain In the same place that hideous and ubiquitous DX7 keyboard sound from the 80's does.



I like the DX7 , owned a few, some incredible music and tones came out of those and began an iconic journey for Yamaha which still exists today !

Is it the Push Pull of Keyboards ? Because every other synth company has been chasing the DX7 for decades now.

Laughing Smile
_________________
<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
werner althaus


From:
lincoln, NE
Post Posted 2 May 2016 8:26 am     Reply with quote

[quote="Tony Prior"]
werner althaus wrote:
Bob Hoffnar wrote:
.... It's sound puts my brain In the same place that hideous and ubiquitous DX7 keyboard sound from the 80's does.



I like the DX7 , owned a few, some incredible music and tones came out of those and began an iconic journey for Yamaha which still exists today !

Is it the Push Pull of Keyboards ? Because every other synth company has been chasing the DX7 for decades now.

Laughing Smile


Haha, awesome. Mr. Green
View user's profile Send private message
werner althaus


From:
lincoln, NE
Post Posted 2 May 2016 8:37 am     thought about compressor generated distortion artifacts Reply with quote

I think we all agree that compressors can add desirable color to our mixes but do yourselves one favor and reality-test your lossless mixes by encoding them to mp3 and listen back, or better yet, upload them to a hosting website and listen to the stream. I'm not a fan of the classic Rock they stream at my local gym but it always strikes me how superior the old mixes sound, especially the way the key elements of the mix (vocals, guitar leadbreaks, etc) cut through vs the garbled mess that something recorded since the mid 90's seems to turn into, once encoded and streamed. Fact is that lossy codecs don't know what to do with distortion so unless you live in a cave and plan to never share your music digitally it helps to be mindful that just because it sounds pleasing in your mix room doesn't mean it'll translate to the real world. A clean recording usually survives the abuses of lossy data compression way better than one with lots of "character". Just my 2 cents.
View user's profile Send private message
Bill D. Terry


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 6 May 2016 6:45 am     Reply with quote

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
John and Bill,
I have heard the same from most everybody. Next time I find myself looking at compressors it will be at the top of my list. It's always great to discover the beauty and value in something I thought I didn't like.


Having an ear for equipment and what it can do for you (or to you) is an art unto it's self. I see you have some good sounding equipment, so you probably grasp this concept as well.
_________________
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 6 May 2016 9:30 am     About those Distressors... Reply with quote

FWIW,

I noticed that the gentleman who wrote "The Art of Compression" has two of the Distressors in his studio.

Also, for those interested, go to around 27 minutes into this video to see what they say about the Distressor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjDUT0saxL4
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
werner althaus


From:
lincoln, NE
Post Posted 6 May 2016 9:14 pm     Reply with quote

Rick Schacter wrote:
FWIW,

I noticed that the gentleman who wrote "The Art of Compression" has two of the Distressors in his studio.

Also, for those interested, go to around 27 minutes into this video to see what they say about the Distressor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjDUT0saxL4


Does anybody use compressors for their intended purpose anymore? All I hear is excessive squish these days, it kinda gets old really fast, IMO. I can't even listen to the demos that Blind Melon guy has on his studio website. So if you want to learn the art of compression maybe you need to decide which art you want to learn, the art of controlling dynamic range w/o artifacts or the art of the squish? I want music to breathe and what many do with compression sucks every bit of life out of the recordings. I have come to prefer simple youtube videos done without much squish over most anything produced in big studios these days. case in point: That's compression messing up the performance on the studio recording. Here's raw and beautiful, really moving performance, not much going on in terms of compression, correct me if I'm wrong:


https://youtu.be/H1wiA-MUTT8

vs studio, lifeless and flat. YMMV

https://youtu.be/5ki5rSmMZHo

I hope it's okay to disagree here but to me the art of compression has been lost on most engineers working today. there are exceptions but those usually get their work destroyed by the Bob Ludwig's of the world.
View user's profile Send private message
Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 6 May 2016 10:54 pm     Reply with quote

werner althaus wrote:

I hope it's okay to disagree here but to me the art of compression has been lost on most engineers working today. there are exceptions but those usually get their work destroyed by the Bob Ludwig's of the world.


The purpose of this thread wasn't to agree or disagree with anyone.
I was pointing out a book that might clear up the confusion for people like me, who aren't exactly sure about when, where and how much compression to use for recording.

Since the Distressor was mentioned, I pointed out a couple of successful engineers who just happen to use them.

I don't actually have an opinion one way or the other about compression.
Quite frankly, I'm still a bit confused about it.
My conclusion is that it's like salt.
Everyone seasons to their own taste.

Rick

PS- I enjoyed the song from the artist that you posted, Werner.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection
www.SteelGuitarMusic.com

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum


BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron
HTTP