Bus Compressor


DIY Mastering


Lesson Info

Bus Compressor

So the next part to keep going with the fun is dynamics um dynamics are as we discussed much of yesterday the other big part of mastering um these air mostly gonna be done with a compressor on the limiter um the core mastering and what a lot of you'll see is and you know you obviously have read on the internet is bus compressor so your bus compressor is as we discussed yesterday a lot of the glue in the mix um it could be the way you shape the punchy nous and thie transient attack it's could be how you glue it all together um then the multi bad compressor would I like to think of as a released my approach to it is is the way to smooth out and keep tracks big would they want to be big and small that they want to be small and just give it overall gloss to the picture it helps to bring out details it helps tto make things just translate better and by pity because you're dividing a multi bad compressor divides up the compression duty eggs uh most commonly five different places you're able ...

to do different controls and get different sort of characters the decks we have is the brick wall limit or our friend that we discussed a great detail yesterday which is which thought of as making the record louder um lastly we have uh tape situation which will also call you know, clipping distortion most commonly this is going to saturation, but we use that to control our transients, bring out glue, the mix and bring out character the mix that we want. So the first thing we're going to discuss is the bus compressor. Um, as I said, this is a compressor that goes over the overall back now we say bus compressor that's short for two mixed bus compressor there's also bus compressors like you'll do a compression of your drugs, your vocals on a bus it's, a shortened gilbert clincher that could be, uh, sometimes misconstrued. We're talking about a mix that goes over a compressor that goes over the whole entire becks, you hear this on most mixes now? Do most mixers put this compressor on before they send it off to a master engineer? The professional world? Yes, do some not that you great mix is absolutely ross robbins, who I used to work for who's everybody from at the drive in cords, slipknot, class jaw he I really was not into bus compression a lot of the time and would not use it. He's made lots of classic records that I've sold tens of millions of copies. A bus compressor could make the mix punch here more smooth, more cohesive it's kind of your creative domain there's you weren to use this, you could bring out so many different parts of the sounds. So, um, it's definitely one of those tools you want to spend a lot of time learning. So what I use, uh, folks, where is my most common tool? Um, as is the flexor are which could be argued isn't really compressor, but it controls dynamics that's a subtlety argument I'll leave affordable the slave bbc is so also and it's gonna grave reviews from everybody and it's amazing that they did such a high quality product for so little buddy believe it's one hundred fifty dollars when it's on sale every other month um, such a great tool um, I call the massey ct for free it's free in that massey or very kind company who makes great tools that allow you to download all their plug ins as doubles. The thing about it is you and fully use thumb, but their settings won't save unless you pay the whole seventy five dollars they usually ask for a plug in it's very kind of them. If you don't know if you want to buy this or not, you can always screen shot the setting and set it back up and do some testing and playing around as you learn there is such a great company I still just supporting them, though, for making such awesome tools there's tons of other stuff out there and, in fact, to this next deb oh, I'm goingto not use it either these. And I'm going to use what's really the most common bus correct answer, which is the ssl compressor so why's, thie ssl compressor of the most common compressor, because most big records are mixed on it s s l so what's also color with an ssl is that there's imitations of it, such as the allied smart on the t k audio, which imitate this style of compression that the ssl compressor does because it's such a ubiquitous sound and music today, and then they do it with some bells and whistles. Um, the allen smart compressor has simple controls. Or I should say, the ssl compressor us some simple controls, and, um, it really could help you. Word understand compression. It'd just is like, you know, another one of those theories that we've been talking about a lot. This is learned of we're in the rules before you break the rules, I think the ssl compressors the best compressor, the word, the rules before you start breaking into goingto, you know, as you can see from this flux celera compared to any of these other compressors, I use that because I've been dealing with compression for fourteen years, and I know it all those crazy dobbs do it everyone's to allow I need to do some crazy miracle workers somebody was half deaf, that mixed a record, and I can usually fix things by tweaking all those tops when you're just learning this stuff until you're comfortable tweaking all three thousand of those knobs and blending into dr x, I don't recommend going there quite yet, though this thing has some great precepts I will say to so if we could shoot over the computer, I'm gonna pull up yet again. Our friends in ascending from ashes great band from new jersey, I think this records about to come out and they have a song for but already out. So all this mix, I actually used my friend in the phylloxera I mix through this very commonly, but what I'm going to do in this case is on the fly. I'm going to be brave and I'm gonna play with this in this control room and the speakers, I don't know very well established demonstrate compressor on the waves version of the ssl compressor that would be also say this I believe universal audio makes an emulation of this, I believe ssl license to tow urs mix a version of this digital side made one called impact this style of compressor since it's so popular is imitated everywhere this is the eleven, seventy six air probably that to most imitated styles of compressor there ever has been in the audio world, so to show you the basics of it, you have your threshold, your attack, your ratio you're really spread ignore make up in rate s for a second says they're not as crucial toe what we do here so our threshold is where the compressor gay engages our attack is how fast the compressor gauges are ratio is at how hard we're going to work. We explain this a little bit yesterday and that obviously our release is how slow the compressor comes back I yet again, as I kind of explained yesterday with compression, I really don't like the idea of visualize ing this and thinking of these as technical terms every time you get a different bit of programme material or different sound this thing is going to react different so door thinker is that thinking about working with jobs are and what I love about this too is as a few different settings aside from the threshold that's the only one that doesn't click into place and the makeup gayed you ableto word a few specific sounds that are very common settings, which is really awesome and easy to learn off um so to go over the first egg our threshold is going to be adjusted every time you basically turned this up to get the compressor too. Stop! Start working as I talked about yesterday, what's very common with bus compression is for d b is ah lot like you were very rarely going to sea for d b oughta mix bus compressor unless their blood to get the dry version of it as well. That's really, really hard and very uncommon. Do some people do more than forty b? Absolutely. But that is not the rare that is the rare case it's the exception, not the rule. The next knob that is very important. Your ratio so ratio while I'm telling you, you know, you have to experience what I like to think of ratio as is a lot of the time that's just how hard the compression sounds. Well, I tend to find is is as I turn this up. It sounds mohr muscular and tough. Um, now I will also say this this one only has to do one and four to one, ten to one. The allen smart has some settings in between. Um allen smart was the guy who actually designed this, and then he went off on his own and he made his own version of it was few more bells and whistles, but ten to one is a very not common setting on this compressor. The two in the four are your most popular ones. If you scroll back and forth between this, you tend the word their sound four to one just sounds tougher and more hard when I want it a little bit more wimpy, and I'm going, you know, this is a little aggressive. I go down to the two I usually personally, if I'm mixing with one of these mics off the four to one, so as you could see on the attack knob next there's point one all the way to thirty, those air milliseconds, so we're talking about a sliver of time that is so so, so fast, even thirty milliseconds is, you know, the sound of us stare drum is, you know, usually about a hundred arms are ten times longer than thirty milliseconds, so the amount of attack we're talking about is literally the first amount of wind astounds happening here that you're adjusting, and part of that is because we're trying to catch the early sounds and shaped the transience that happen. Well, I'm talking about transience. I'm talking about the way a drummer drum hits into a compressor, a lot of the big difference, we hear what we hear these a bastard bastard mixes is the way that compressor catches the beginning of the sounds the funny thing about about this compressor that does that a lot of compressors don't have is this nice little said egg that seems very comforted you at first called you know so that's the cell is famous for the setting is that the auto is kind of this pleasant one that people of that they designed where it's kind of a mix of a fast at a slower release so with this fast and slow release it's kind of this is one of the more reasons that this compressor is so popular a lot of people find this to be a nice happy medium of letting transients go through but bringing out some of the beef of a song you see a lot of guys who basically could rip their ssl compressor off uh the release stop because it's just not auto I am not personally one of those I use auto and one and three a lot the other two settings not so much so the last thing I'll discuss with you is the makeup game which I actually don't like where it sets off mosey that on down real quick um so the makeup gain is um when you're compressing your obviously turning the volume down this is to bring the volume back up to the last cent in you're going to touch in here let's go in and start with cig tow this thing work a little bit so would I tend to dio since we're about to be out of something from ashes they're heavy band in general I'm looking for some punch out of my bus compressor so punch in general and this isn't always because all programs materials different slow release so slow really speak a hop hired number so thirty and fast attack so I'm going to go from this one point two, which is the opposite I want, which is one point two seconds, which is obviously is very long setting where we're dealing millisecond down to one millisecond and I'm going to try listen to it there first so what's that wait so that's setting as you can see that's about trudy be of that did you guys hear anything? Particularly when I was kind of turning that on and off like a big thing I hear is that the drums don't sound is glued to the mix and they said very free standing and if anything I can almost hear I will fully also sell you the drums of this mix are just, uh triggered slate crumbs and there's no life signal, which is something I don't do almost ever um and I tend to actually the funny thing about this always as I hear the drums are west played and more fake when I turn off the bus compressor there's something about the way brings the transience down that separate the glue of the mix down did anybody else hear anything they'd like to talk about? Okay, we'll be keep playing with the settings so question for you this came up before when someone else is using this play and I know she had the analog button enabled on this one which to my knowledge just literally ads noises that the harmonics going say noise but yes to my knowledge the way they modeled this one is that they modeled it too just that the ssl compressor is a very interesting uh what a lot of people like about the way that it s sl sounds is is it uh creates harmonics in a certain way and if anything it creates harmonics in a very different way than with a lot of people like about like a seventies record but it's become the modern sound because so many people use them part of that is that ovulation okay, so that is that is that you do typically leave the analog but enabled since I don't use this one this very exact model much yes, I would be a being this if I was gonna use this on my mix and seeing which one I like but yes, I would start with the analog on and usually work that way heard for leaving it on policy adds a little bit of noise so it seems uh less jarring when you have like sudden stops you as a little bit of I guess take this. I guess if you wanna call it that as ssl compressors gained stage particularly like if you turn up the alex markets it's cleaned by regular standards, but it's a little little funky of times like it could get a little hissy. Could we hear how some of these settings would be if you were doing, like, fast attack? So that's exactly where I was going to take a perfect transition. Okay, so let's, do the first fight with that fund would with that. So we just herd with thirty sounds like, ah, a lot of punch. So let's go down to three, which I would say is actually private. Most common one I see people use up to thirty in ten. I'd say thirty and three of the most covered that ted so here's three wait. So, obviously it's not as easy to do a quick a b with this, because I have to adjust the threshold and that's more of the many parts that makes recording compression no fun is that you're not able to do these directives. I mean, you could set up to tracks, and I could duplicate thes and gained match them and everything if you really want to get into how you wear it, but what I hear is is the way the kick goetz is it gets a little bit more flood b and just not articulated away like it's not that gutter all pudge fromthe kick drum that I love and the stair doesn't feel like so a smacking me in the face the way I like it a metal song so to get really extreme with it and as you see as we go open attack obviously the compressor reacts way faster because it's turning god faster so I'm gonna turn this down for immediate sake wait so even with this turned all the way down with another top setting it's still giving way borkum pressure than I would ever want to hear all this and working way too fast now if you're doing a uh andrea bocelli record a little bit of that right there could be a really smoothing thing because you don't have these st drum transients or you're doing a really distant room bike bad back setting sometimes could be really really cool so to get back to a more reasonable place let's go back to our happy media will go to ted this time I'm going to show mr wright with this release but real quick so as I said one and three are pretty common six and twelve get ignored on this thing but auto that's a popular guy so wait it's a lot easier to compare release without anything would you guys here what I went from auto tow one um I heard the sound of the compressor a lot more in auto you could hear it engage more aggressively I think it definitely it would have what's interesting though is I think it's a lot more glue um a lot of the times is that and one of the reasons although is so popular is that when you have disparate levels or you have a really chaotic mix and there's synthesizers and guitars as it can really zone things in but the punch of the dot one to me is just so powerful and awesome and music like this but truth be told, like what I'm doing like a pretty acoustic song that auto is just so killer I I felt like it was yeah, it was a lot more visible like it almost seemed like uh like the volume like, you know, as we talked about the volume yeah, like someone is just tweaking the knob back the fourth, which is obviously what with yano stands for, but it almost got to the point where it it distracted a little bit yeah and tickle I agree, and I think that's one of the other good theories that we touched on yesterday is that I think in general you don't want to hear, you know, there's a great say you don't want to hear figures moving in the mix and you don't want to hear your compressor working it's great to hear the sound of compression his compressions of very pleasant sound to all of us but you don't want to hear that it's the journals of the cage are running around um we have any other questions on this compression before I move on to balti bad compression way have just one interesting comment which was uh I was taught to allow the transients through and compression to take effect engage afterwards so I think there's two interesting things there first of all um, that idea and second of all, like the idea that you can be taught second of all the idea that you could be taught, you know, uh, blanket principles that would work for anything? Well, yeah, I don't think you know there's exception every rule and even with that yes, I think it is pleasing toe let transients through I think that's a pleasant sound to most of our years I think that's the general consensus but wedding transients through I think it's a little too blanket of a statement because technically you could still be a transient of a kick I've been depending on what you really want to call the transient at thirty milliseconds, especially with these trap this trap music these days the bass drums last four hundred milliseconds at times of like just the first own of it and like um so that's a weird thing but yes I would agree that generally what I'm compressing drums I wantto let the transit through but here's the exception that you we've all heard when your friend first get his fire pod and he bikes the snare this is the stair drub and he has the bike right here because for some reason he thinks that biking right next the stair job is gonna get this awesome sad you just have this sound that basically sounds like and first there which is the least pleasant side but the funny thing is is the way you're going to manipulate that transit and compress it to actually get it to have some body is gonna be a lot different than what happens when you hear dave girl had drugs you do want to let that transit through um but you want to let that transit through when it's a good trips yet and you want a wet shape that transit to be the way way outside the way you shape a transient between ob how you would do the bee gees drugs compared to these drums is a total different transient shape and you need the words you know truth be told I love doing dead seventies drugs I do it all the time but when somebody calls me up and says I have a disco song to record on drums I am excited even though I don't want to listen to it I'm excited to do those drugs because they're fun and different and I learned from it I didn't realize we didn't do something so um right here this one's a lot heavier this is a manly very mu um this is one of the most common mastering compressors there is um it is a awesome awesome piece of gear modeled after the twenty five thousand dollars piece of gold joy and gear nerd um the fairchild compressor vary mu is a type of compressor that has a specific release an attack so what you could see though on this is if we get into the settings is these settings are pretty much all the same as what's on here there is an exception of that this has a dual inputs which allows you to how you stereo chain your compressor which is a pretty much pretty war advanced setting than this with that basically does is it allows you to say how much of the left and the right are interacting each with each other the compressor do you want the compressor toe operate pushing down the left of the writers to a dependent things or should they act as one that if the rights what's causing it should the left get pushed out too that's a great setting but that's really the only difference this then obviously the other differences is this has a really awesome tube circuitry and that warms up your sound the allen smart in particular is based off of a non tube design at all it's all just very eighties analog circuitry if we talk about eddie air of bad sound bad saudi gaudio gear the eighties gets a bad rap but this is a classic piece of gear this is a classic piece of gear of they're two totally different sounds now if you have a really cold mics and you're looking for analog vintage sound, you cannot get betterthan that something like this or some of manly and chandler's other pieces that have great transformers with tons of color and sounded it. But if you're looking for the digital precision which is being warm or common in metal hardcore dance these days this may not be the piece of gear it's going to do a lot of color it's going to do and part of warped that you may not want or you may want um basically though what I would say is big differences so this is called a vary mu compressor where is this is thie ssl style compressor the's have totally different tax and releases they when it comes to compress it aside from just the you know if you model this in the computer there's tons of bottles of not particular this but the fairchild and the computer the way it attacks and releases and works with those transients and works with the compression is totally different then this one when you see all these models for compressors that's one of the big things like you know the other most popular when I mentioned is thie eleven seventy six compressor so eleven seventy six is not really a bus compressor that's this good pressure that's been you passed out to be a great vocal compressor guitar drums all sorts of things but it doesn't handle the two mix bus. Well, it also didn't help for them getting popular that most of them were very noisy when they first came out so you did not want them weird a home that they produce all over your trucks? Um where is this in part of this amazing sonic color like the fairchild or this and the pendulum audio version which alland ouch issues is that west west side just sounds amazing. So obviously, while I said this is great toe word off of um you can also go over best with there's tons of different bus compressors that slate variable bus compressor has a couple of different ones. It even has the new shadow hills compressor there that lots of people are using a big rock records that has tons of different dials that you can use to shape this out and as you get to know these you khun move up and learn to use all the things like the duel in putting stuff like that but those controls there are the core of what your compression is and what you're gonna word off of and, like, do the majority of shipping. I will tell you the absolute truth. I've hit that raid s button about five times in my life. You don't need it. Uh, make everything great, you know yet again. There's also presets in here for you the words, some of the settings. Um, so with that I'm gonna step this down. Did you have a question? Yeah, I was just hoping we could listen to the different ratio setting. Sure, sure wants to see how it is. When it's crushed. I want to get this back to the setting I liked it at before we do that. So wait what I always hear with that. And maybe it's just me. Is it's just a lot about the heart that's the tend to what is just so overboard. The four to one what I'm doing, like an aggressive metal track like this it's just so in your face, but like something for like that. Hey, auto track going down to a tew toe water being really, really gentle and let her get b area breezy and open really, really feels great to me.

Class Description

Mastering is often the difference between a good recording and a bad one, but mastering is notoriously difficult to understand. In this two-day workshop, sound engineer Jesse Cannon — who’s worked with the likes of Ross Robinson, Saves the Day, Animal Collective, The Misfits and Man Overboard — shares what he’s learned about mastering from working at top-tier studios like WestWestSide Music and Cannon Found Soundation. 

While there’s no substitute for having an engineer master your music, that’s just not feasible for many artists. This class is the next best thing: a comprehensive guide to DIY mastering.

Jesse breaks down the mastering process from start to finish. You’ll discover the basic principles behind mastering, and learn about the processes and tools at your disposal. Jesse will identify and troubleshoot basic rookie mistakes, discuss lesser-known essential concepts as well as share his essential behind-the-board tools as he takes you through a few real-life examples.

After two days with Jesse, you’ll have everything you need to master your tracks with affordable tools.


Michael Pena

This class was awesome. Jesse goes into detail about the mastering process and best practices for mastering in an easy to understand way. The live mastering session was very informative and educational.