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Corbin Pratt


From:
Nashville
Post  Posted 12 Nov 2020 11:44 am    
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Does anyone use a compressor on their steel in post while mixing? If so, what's your strategy with this?
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2020 2:46 pm    
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I have been tracking or mixing (sometimes both) with a touch of compression pretty much forever. An 1176 is awesome or a Tube Tech CL-2B is great. I have just started experimenting with a Neve 2264ALB. It is pretty sweet.

I'm talking about hardware compressors used for a very light touch of focus. I'm not talking about those nasal choked steel tones that overly enthusiastic engineers get from those DBX boxes or Distressors.

For mixing what I do is shoot for maybe 5db of slow reduction at most. If I can hear it I dial it back. If I'm using it for repair or to help with dynamics I record my part again.
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Corbin Pratt


From:
Nashville
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2020 4:15 pm    
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That’s super helpful Bob. I appreciate it!
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John Macy

 

From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post  Posted 16 Nov 2020 2:43 pm    
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Depends on the track for me. I use less in more open sounding tracks than I do I for denser ones. I seldom track with one unless it’s for the vibe of the unit (you can switch off the compression in an 1176 and still get the vibe of the transformers and electronics). I’ll use clip gain sometimes to even out some dynamics so the track hits the compressor more evenly.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 17 Nov 2020 6:19 am    
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John,
You bring up the thing that is confusing about learning how to use compression. There are no set rules because everything is contextual. It seems like there is a lifetime worth of study only balancing the input and output knobs of an 1176.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 17 Nov 2020 6:36 am    
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The pedal steel is no different from any other instrument. You are probably going to compress most things slightly to make them more audible. Apart from the question of density, it also depends on the context of whether you already have the listener's attention or you're trying to get it.

If you can hear it working it's too much.
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Bill Terry


From:
Bastrop, TX
Post  Posted 17 Nov 2020 12:53 pm    
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Quote:
It seems like there is a lifetime worth of study only balancing the input and output knobs of an 1176.


I owned a vintage one for a few years, way before they became so valuable (I paid 50 bux for mine at a ShowCo garage sale, they had dozens for sale at that price..arrgh). I liked it a lot, but basically I had to re-learn what I already thought I knew about adjusting a compressor. A different animal, but in a really good way.
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Ron Shalita


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 17 Nov 2020 7:51 pm    
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I have used a compressor for so long now that I would feel lost without it ....
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Been playing all of my life, Lead Guitar, and Pedal Steel, sing Lead and Harmony.. play other Instruments also but I hate to admit to it..
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John Macy

 

From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post  Posted 18 Nov 2020 4:08 pm    
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Bob, legendary engineer Shelly Yakus used to say "tape cardboard over the meters and turn the knobs till it sounds good...". Good starting point...
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John Macy
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
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Ron Shalita


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 18 Nov 2020 4:40 pm    
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John is correct.. too much will squash your signal just a little will sustain longer.. I use a keely pro, it has some LED’s on it to show you how much signal is being compressed .. I usually hit a string hard and make it come up to one LED .. but most of the time like John said my ear is really best ...

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Been playing all of my life, Lead Guitar, and Pedal Steel, sing Lead and Harmony.. play other Instruments also but I hate to admit to it..
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John Macy

 

From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 9:02 am    
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Bob, I think the 1176 is one of the easiest of all compressors to use. 90% of the time my attack is on the slowest and release is on the fastest. Adjust input to the amount of compression you want and use the output to set lever to tape or to match the original using an insert. Of course, I do love pushing in all the ratio buttons and doing a Bigfoot stomp on the appropriate signal. Smile
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John Macy
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Engineer/Producer/Steel Guitar
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Ron Shalita


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 10:44 am    
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John is this something that you take to gigs with you?
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Been playing all of my life, Lead Guitar, and Pedal Steel, sing Lead and Harmony.. play other Instruments also but I hate to admit to it..
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John Macy

 

From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 8:00 pm    
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No, I seldom use compression live on my steel. If I do, I have an Origin Effects Cali 76, which is basically an 1176 in a pedal, very cool.
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John Macy
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Engineer/Producer/Steel Guitar
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Ron Shalita


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 4:29 am    
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has everything that the Keely pro has on it its even 18v .. looks like a good one
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Been playing all of my life, Lead Guitar, and Pedal Steel, sing Lead and Harmony.. play other Instruments also but I hate to admit to it..
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 23 Nov 2020 9:34 am    
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Ron Shalita wrote:
John is this something that you take to gigs with you?


Ron,
The original question is about post production compression which is very different than compression used for live playing.
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Bob

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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 23 Nov 2020 9:40 am    
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John Macy wrote:
Bob, I think the 1176 is one of the easiest of all compressors to use. 90% of the time my attack is on the slowest and release is on the fastest. Adjust input to the amount of compression you want and use the output to set lever to tape or to match the original using an insert. Of course, I do love pushing in all the ratio buttons and doing a Bigfoot stomp on the appropriate signal. Smile


It's amazing how versatile that simple machine can be.
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Bob

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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 23 Nov 2020 4:52 pm     Re: Compression on Steel (Post Production)
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Originally, Corbin Pratt wrote:
Does anyone use a compressor on their steel in post while mixing? If so, what's your strategy with this?

I compress everything subtly so that it sounds "better" without it being apparent why. There's another thread running on this.
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
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