Using compression while recording

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riel777
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Using compression while recording

Post by riel777 » Fri May 31, 2013 9:16 am

I was just wondering what everybody thoughts were on using the compression plugin while recording? I thought I'd post this question just to see what everybody experiences was. On one of the older video tutorial on YouTube he used a standalone compression pedal on his mic (SM57) and wondered if he did this to save on system processing and memory.

Thanks :mrgreen:

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Acoustica Greg
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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Acoustica Greg » Fri May 31, 2013 9:43 am


riel777
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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by riel777 » Fri May 31, 2013 10:02 am

Thanks Greg. Thanks for URL link too. Time to read! :D

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Acoustica Greg
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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Acoustica Greg » Fri May 31, 2013 10:05 am

Hi,

You were thinking of audio compression, not dynamic range compression. Confusing terminology, I know.

Greg

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Acoustica Eric
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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Acoustica Eric » Fri May 31, 2013 6:35 pm

If you use a software plugin while recording, it has no different effect than adding it after you record. The point of running a hardware compressor in line with your mic or guitar, etc. Is to provide a dynamically smoother signal for mixcraft to record, making it easier to smooth even more with the plugins afterward.

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Ianpb » Fri May 31, 2013 7:34 pm

If you add compression while recording it won't be possible to take the effect out anyway later when mixing. However, having a software plugin compressor active in Mixcraft won't affect the recording at all, unless there is a way I haven't so far figured. I always have a software compressor and some reverb active when I record vocals to raise the level and make it sound live more like it would sound when mixing. However, this never affects the actual recording.

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Acoustica Eric » Fri May 31, 2013 8:33 pm

Right, but by not using compression hardware, you are not getting the best source possible and you are trying to get more from a plugin than it can deliver. Normalizing the analog signal before it is converted to digital is much better than trying to rely on software compression to make drastic changes in dynamics.
Example: your recording has low and high points, the compressor plugin will attempt to raise the level on low points which is basically trying to convert low bit to high bit, which obviously causes hiss and low quality sound. So, delivering a smoother analog signal to the pc to start with, ends in better quality and less cpu demand.

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Ianpb » Fri May 31, 2013 9:00 pm

So what you're saying that using a plugin whilst recording will produce a noticeable drop in fidelity compared to using a hardware compressor?

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Acoustica Eric
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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Acoustica Eric » Fri May 31, 2013 9:06 pm

No, using a plugin during recording does nothing to the recorded audio, it's the same as using nothing during recording and just adding after ward.
Using a plugin after ward to make more drastic changes than necessary is what degrades the final rendered audio.

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Ianpb » Fri May 31, 2013 9:47 pm

Right. sorry, I misunderstood you.

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by gypsy101 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:05 am

I use the Pultronic tube eq vst during recording for my bass sound.it's basically my bass amp for silent recording.

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Acoustica Eric » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:09 am

But doing that has no effect on the recorded audio, it only effects the playback or monitoring. Take the pultronic off and you'll have the exact same recorded audio as if you used nothing.

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Ianpb » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:37 am

Acoustica Eric wrote:But doing that has no effect on the recorded audio, it only effects the playback or monitoring. Take the pultronic off and you'll have the exact same recorded audio as if you used nothing.
Understood. However, using such compression when monitoring raises the audio to a more usable level, and also gives a better idea of how vocals or playing will sound within the finished article, thus enabling a tweaking of singing/playing technique.

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Acoustica Eric » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:46 am

Yes you can use it for reference, but we're sort of getting away from my point that using harware compression reduces cpu strain and raises audio quality.
If you entered a photo contest, would you want to start with a high quality 20mp image, or start with a small 1mp image and try to upscale it?

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Re: Using compression while recording

Post by Ianpb » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:07 pm

Not so easy.

I've been looking through the internet at hardware compressors. It seems strange that the only standalone ones are expensive rack-mounts, and the only budget standalone one I can find is the ART Tube MP/C, but this has one of those dubious starved cathode preamps attached. I'd much rather spend the money on a dedicated in-line compressor but none seem to be available. I guess the reason why Behringer hasn't made one is because there are no more expensive ones to copy.

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