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Compress 1st or Reverb 1st?

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Tydusis
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Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-06 18:04:46 Reply

I've been practicing different techniques and this question came to mind.
Pro's/Con's?
Also, when is the best time to EQ in relation to these two?


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The-iMortal
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-06 18:21:22 Reply

You should have your reverbs and delay on the sends.

As far as which should go first, EQ or compression, just swap the two around and hear what sounds best. My FX chain is usually as follows:

Instrument > effects such as distortion, phaser etc > EQ > compression

Twune
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-06 20:22:41 Reply

Traditionally you'd run time based effects on the auxs. If you are using a verb over the insert for whatever reason, try before, after and both before and after.. the results will be quite different.

As to eq in the chain, it matters. I usually will default to running an eq post compression on an instrument but that changes on a per case basis depending what I'm going for.

Figure out what the sound you're going for is first, then build your chain to achieve that.

Blackhole12
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-06 20:49:58 Reply

At 2/6/13 06:21 PM, The-iMortal wrote: You should have your reverbs and delay on the sends.

-> provided you don't have special reverb for one particularly annoying instrument or need precise control over a single instruments reverb in order to create a certain effect.

midimachine
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-06 23:41:35 Reply

as with all mixing decisions, it depends on what you're doing

classic 80s rock snares and hands-up/NRG kicks generally go reverb -> noise gate -> compressor, for example
in one of my ambient tracks i used long, heavy reverbs on short notes with a high-ratio compressor to make long notes with very peculiar characteristics.

if you want your reverbs to just sit nicely over the top of each concurrent note then compress before. the length and size of the reverb is also something to consider.

as for EQ, putting it before the comp will change how the compressor reacts to the signal so that's something to keep in mind
the EQ itself will have a more dramatic effect on the sound if it's after the compressor, though.


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Buoy
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-07 00:31:44 Reply

Compression after reverb on a single instrument just sounds weird.

Breed
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-07 01:25:07 Reply

There's a very simple way to go about signal chains. Just think about what the hell each effect does bro!

Do you want your reverb compressed? Do you want that extra decaying tail it provides to be louder? Do you want to EQ the sound the reverb adds, or would you rather leave that clean by EQing the original sound source first?

Simple questions you just have to ask yourself when stacking effect. Know what they do exactly, then decide what order based on how you want to mold the sound.

eatmeatleet
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-07 02:18:09 Reply

Compression on top of reverb is kind of an old technique used in electronic music. Whatever works works


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MetalRenard
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-07 04:44:44 Reply

Personally I like Instrument> Compression> FX including reverb, though reverb is usually last in that set> EQ.
I feel I have most control over the sound that way and I don't push my FX plugins too much thanks to the compressor. I get a more even effect and the EQ allows me to mix the final result.


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Syztm
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-07 05:39:11 Reply

I usually have an EQ on top of the FX chain to cut the low- and high-end (<40 and >18.000 HZ) , then all the FX such as distortion, flanger, phaser, etc., then another EQ and finally compression. I have a couple of different reverb/delay settings on the sends depending on the track.


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Megamannt92
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-07 10:11:31 Reply

I always put compression before almost anything.

Compression > EQ > Saturation > Reverb.


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Tydusis
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-08 14:06:27 Reply

Thanks guys! This is some really helpful advice. I've already started following some of it, and I can't even begin to say how much more straightforward it's making my workflow.


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joshhunsaker
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 01:06:16 Reply

At 2/7/13 12:31 AM, Buoy wrote: Compression after reverb on a single instrument just sounds weird.

This is actually how I get some of the best sounding piano lines. I actually prefer doing it this way because it effectively "ducks" the reverb during loud parts and gives the element of much more dynamic and powerful playing (extra spaciousness during quiet parts and extra clarity/note-definition in loud parts).

MilkyChocolate
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 01:51:42 Reply

At 2/6/13 06:04 PM, Tydusis wrote: I've been practicing different techniques and this question came to mind.
Pro's/Con's?
Also, when is the best time to EQ in relation to these two?

[Compression] --> [Reverb]
The reverb will sound more open and spacious, and the sound will maintain more of the original punch.
Still dependent on your settings on both effects, though.

[Reverb] --> [Compression]
The sound will feel more forced, more loud, if you will. Doesn't sound very spacious to me. I don't use this method often, but in natural recordings in spacious areas, sometimes compression is just necessary.

I do not EQ anything without reason.
The only times I use EQ are to fix recording problems.
For instance, I'm in a band unrelated to my NG content. The bass player's instrument insist on having one frequency area way louder than others, and it sounds like shit.
I EQ that bitch down. I also EQ out frequencies that are silence, usually.
And finally, I EQ pre-compression, pre-reverb.


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MetalRenard
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 05:17:28 Reply

At 2/11/13 01:51 AM, MilkyChocolate wrote: I do not EQ anything without reason.
The only times I use EQ are to fix recording problems.
For instance, I'm in a band unrelated to my NG content. The bass player's instrument insist on having one frequency area way louder than others, and it sounds like shit.
I EQ that bitch down. I also EQ out frequencies that are silence, usually.

That's not good advice to give. In any kind of music you can use EQ, just less so in orchestral (even then you should use some though). Right there you're talking about indie rock I assume, after checking out your uploads, and trust me, you NEED to EQ everything, drums, guitars, bass, everything.
Sorry to go off topic but I just want to make sure everyone benefits from this conversation. :)


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MilkyChocolate
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 12:23:06 Reply

At 2/11/13 05:17 AM, MetalRenard wrote: Right there you're talking about indie rock I assume, after checking out your uploads, and trust me, you NEED to EQ everything, drums, guitars, bass, everything.

No. I'm talking about all styles and genres.

Thank you for your opinion, but I disagree strongly. You don't NEED to EQ anything, and I would more often than not say that almost nothing needs to be EQed if it's mic'd properly.


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Buoy
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 12:41:42 Reply

At 2/11/13 01:06 AM, joshhunsaker wrote:
At 2/7/13 12:31 AM, Buoy wrote: Compression after reverb on a single instrument just sounds weird.
I actually prefer doing it this way

Oh god you have no honor.

MetalRenard
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 13:45:14 Reply

At 2/11/13 12:23 PM, MilkyChocolate wrote: No. I'm talking about all styles and genres.
Thank you for your opinion, but I disagree strongly. You don't NEED to EQ anything, and I would more often than not say that almost nothing needs to be EQed if it's mic'd properly.

Then show me something you've made that sounds professional with 0 EQ.


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MilkyChocolate
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 13:55:49 Reply

At 2/11/13 01:45 PM, MetalRenard wrote: Then show me something you've made that sounds professional with 0 EQ.

You completely missed the purpose of my post, didn't you?


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MetalRenard
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 14:31:08 Reply

At 2/11/13 01:55 PM, MilkyChocolate wrote: You completely missed the purpose of my post, didn't you?

I don't think your post could be any clearer. You said you don't need to EQ music when you are mixing something. I said you do. You said I'm wrong. I said prove me wrong.
It's not opinion when it's fact. Sure, some people like to eq less than others and many don't like to eq orchestral music, but anyone doing this seriously and making money from it knows how to mix music and knows that EQ plays a fundamental role in shaping a sound and making everything sit well together.

Of course there's a chance I have misunderstood your post, and if after that clarification you feel I have then I apologise and hope you will go ahead and enlighten me. Let's just keep this friendly ok? :)


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MilkyChocolate
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 15:15:52 Reply

At 2/11/13 02:31 PM, MetalRenard wrote: I don't think your post could be any clearer. You said you don't need to EQ music when you are mixing something. I said you do. You said I'm wrong. I said prove me wrong.

How? Sound is strictly subjective. Achieving a good sound is not the same as conforming to a vague, if not undefined standard as "professional."

It's not opinion when it's fact.

But it is opinion.

fact
Noun
A truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true.

My actual experience and observations tell me that EQ is not necessary to achieve a good sound.

What you should keep in mind is that I never sad "EQ is bad" "EQ is wrong" or "Do not EQ your music"
I said that "I do not EQ my music without reason. I only use it to fix recording problems."


: "Sorry, but 'FUCK.als' already exists"

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MilkyChocolate
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 15:17:24 Reply

At 2/11/13 02:31 PM, MetalRenard wrote: You said you don't need to EQ music when you are mixing something.

Oh, I missed this.
No, I never said the word mixing.
I never implied mixing techniques.

But I still wouldn't EQ in the mixing phase.

: "Sorry, but 'FUCK.als' already exists"

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MetalRenard
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 15:33:02 Reply

At 2/11/13 03:17 PM, MilkyChocolate wrote: Oh, I missed this.
No, I never said the word mixing.
I never implied mixing techniques.

But I still wouldn't EQ in the mixing phase.

What are we talking about then, if not mixing? lol
But I hate to be the bad guy and tell you you're a bit off the mark, but you really need to consider EQ more then. Sound is subjective, absolutely, but when you bring actual mix engineering into ... the mix, you have to consider not just what "sounds good", but what actually IS good. There are many factors to consider when mixing music, for example, is my guitar eating away at my bass? Do the vocals have enough "room" in the mix?

Please, in all friendliness, show me a track that doesn't have any EQ and yet sounds great. Screw professional, I'm not going to argue about semantics, just something that sounds great and doesn't have EQ.

:)


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Centriptic
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 17:25:24 Reply

When first breaking down a sound, I go with this:

Unprocessed Sound => EQ => Compression

EQing first allows the Compressor to focus more on important sonics. Why add an apparent boost too unwanted frequency? You don't have to over do it on the EQ, but at least get a low rolloff in there.

At this point I apply all single track FX(phaser, modulators, slicers, etc). From there I route the selected Mix channel to both the master and Aux send. On the aux send, I'll place the reverb fx. Make sure you always turn down the dry output of reverb VST. This will help minimize phase cancellations/clips... plus you already have a dry channel sent straight to the mixer.

Once you start running through this method more often, you'll find it goes real fast... You may want to hold off eqing a track fully till you have your track at least 80% complete. I've seen to often where people go all eq crazy right off the back, and down the line, their track have apparent holes in a supposed balanced output.

MilkyChocolate
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-11 22:01:26 Reply

At 2/11/13 03:33 PM, MetalRenard wrote: Please, in all friendliness, show me a track that doesn't have any EQ and yet sounds great. Screw professional, I'm not going to argue about semantics, just something that sounds great and doesn't have EQ.

)

No.
Why? Because good is as subjective as anything we've discussed. All you have to do to 'win' this pointless debate of A or B is say "this isn't good," and use your popularity and 'professionalism' to validate yourself. You imply friendliness but your word choice suggests a patronizing tone.

If, however, you insist, EQ in my NG uploads is scarce, if that's not obvious.

: "Sorry, but 'FUCK.als' already exists"

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MetalRenard
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-12 05:28:45 Reply

*sigh*
My goal is to make sure beginners don't make mistakes that cost them months of their lives for no reason.
I've made tons of tutorials and actively helped at least 5 people get started in music (i.e. spending hours, if not a whole year or more providing constant feedback and pointing them in the right direction. If my goal was to be an arse I wouldn't even bother to hang around here. I'm upset you'd think that of me.

But that's fine, I am a professional and I'm sorry if I have offended you by the tone you're saying I took with you. In my mind it was not patronizing at all, sorry it came off that way.


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The-iMortal
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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-12 05:39:10 Reply

Sorry, Milky, but MetalRenard is correct in this argument. Ask any succesful professional mixing engineer. EQ is regularly used to:

1) Fix any issues in individual audio tracks
2) Make numerous individual tracks mix in well together and avoid frequency clashing/muddiness
3) To bring out the best of individual tracks (usually the lead instrument or vocals)

However, in some cases, a simple high-pass to an individual track can be adequate, and sometimes the best option. It's different each time, and depends on what the mixing engineer is trying to achieve.

Remember, there is a difference between a good mix, and an amazing mix!

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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-20 14:54:14 Reply

At 2/11/13 12:41 PM, Buoy wrote:
At 2/11/13 01:06 AM, joshhunsaker wrote:
At 2/7/13 12:31 AM, Buoy wrote: Compression after reverb on a single instrument just sounds weird.
I actually prefer doing it this way
Oh god you have no honor.

No honor? Your response doesn't really make any sense. I never knew there was an "honorable" way to mix. It's not exactly an artform crafted and conceived by shoguns.

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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-20 15:34:33 Reply

At 2/20/13 02:54 PM, joshhunsaker wrote: I never knew there was an "honorable" way to mix.

You didn't? In my home country you would be hunted down and sacrificed to the storm god for that kind of blasphemy.

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Response to Compress 1st or Reverb 1st? 2013-02-20 22:04:11 Reply

At 2/20/13 03:34 PM, Buoy wrote:
At 2/20/13 02:54 PM, joshhunsaker wrote: I never knew there was an "honorable" way to mix.
You didn't? In my home country you would be hunted down and sacrificed to the storm god for that kind of blasphemy.

It's probably all for the better. My mixing techniques are so unconventional and extreme they are endorsed by 90% of radical terrorist organizations.