At 9/27/10 07:24 PM, jpbear wrote:
lately when mixing/mastering, ive been using a multiband compressor(maximus) on just about every instrument, ive heard over compressing is bad, but why? To me it just makes everything pop out, the instruments i leave it out on i hear as dull.
Having a little bit of compression on most instruments will make them a lot crisper, brighter, and more in your face... plus of course, louder!
The problem with overcompressing is not having too many compression effects going on, but having too hard of a compressing effect.
For instance, let's say you have an electric guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, and drumkit. If you put a little bit of compression (2:1 ratio 3 or 4 dB under the max peak or less) it can make any or all of those sounds very nice sounding! If you put a heavy amount of compression, though (3:1 ratio, 4:1 ratio, even further down in the dB spectrum, etc.) it really kills the dynamics of the instrument - it squashes the attack transient. Your drums will be louder, but the punch will be from sheer volume, not from the dynamics of the attack, for instance.
So, while a little bit of compression can be good in keeping attack transients under control (so your kick doesn't peak at -3dB but sustain only at -15dB for instance) and for making things a little bit hotter, putting too much compression can result in fatiguing volume levels and kill the dynamics of the volume going up and down. There comes a point where you can't have loud without soft, so removing all softness from your track is not always the best way to make it louder!
So, if you use a little compression on each instrument, then a limiter/maximizer in your master buss appropriately (and sparingly!) it is absolutely alright. But you need to be careful not to use too heavy compression on each instrument, then to be heavy handed again with the maximizer/limiter in your master channel, because that will result in a very undynamic song. You can look up information on the term "loudness war" for more detail, or consult the compression section of the fl studio manual.