Multiband Compressor and Brickwall Limiter


DIY Mastering


Lesson Info

Multiband Compressor and Brickwall Limiter

So up next we have our friend multi bed compression, which um while it has compressor the titles I said yesterday I like to think of this is more of like in the queue family but we're adhering to standards here and I don't want to confuse everybody too much but I like to think of this is how I manipulate the frequency span so a multi bear the compressor is ah hybrid of any cute compressor in that what it's gonna do? Is it khun turned out frequencies that are separated it's great for changing its smooth got your mix a giggle that's what mix to pop out too much to be under control it could add the pub big sad that you hear it a lot of modern music from metal dub step um it's really is a big part of sound what you you know, the modern metal sound these days is so much of this on the drum samples on the guitars, the base it's just if you're going for a really modern sound compared to a more old school sound, this thing is definitely one of the tools you're seeing used all the time and comp...

ression on individual tracks as well. Personally, I uses are my live recorded stare uh bye stare sample by occasionally base all of my I don't think I used even well, I say modern you know I do vintage stuff I do a light multi betting even any guitar I do today it's my sonic palette of how I like guitars to sound bombs like the low mid area mostly metal or yeah okay I mean what's very famous for multi band compression why think brought it into the forefront of metal was andy steep who's a fantastically talented mixer went out and spilled the beans of the secret that he does I've really heavy compression on the low mids on guitars and everybody who's ever recorded a metal record about eight years ago what he posted this took that screen shot and started using this setting on guitars and now we have modern metal thank you, mr steep okay, that makes sense. I've only ever used it on base I've never tried it on guitar it's just like I remember this one makes wanna learn and I will say this to that there's a lot of them that sound terrible it one of the reasons I've always been somebody who was really interested in multi ben compression I really liked it and the way it's sounded but I didn't like the way the compressors sounding in the computer until I met might be ff fucks alchemist um this is the one thing one of the two things you'll see on every one of the things we work on stay is me and the flux alchemists are just I'd sought to get back to the point I use it on my vocals I use it on anything that's recorded terribly this is how I repair a bad truck I use this to shape the sounds I want to hear um in my opinion so we're also calling this multi band compression as you can see down here which I can't point it so I could point here there's a few different things you can do here which is also expanding you don't just in the flux out commenced in a lot of these other ones you can also push frequencies up and we're going to go over that later to how I often do that in the mix. So the flux alchemists though is not the cheapest piece of here you'll ever see the wave c four comes with your waves collection and that thing is awesome I am totally love it but I love my flux a little more because as you could see there's more twitter liebe it's for me to play with and yeah, I keep doing things like that huh? Um so the even cheaper side I think for one hundred dollars you could have the sin al casus c q one which was the first multi bad compressor I ever used where I went ok, this is good enough to use um it's good it's not I would not want to use it these days because I have better toys but I did records that I will go back and I love the sound of that. I'm sure you could get a great result of it. Um can we go over the computer next? So to go it keep with our examples maybe but very up the music's a little bit so that we can keep doing this let's go over to my friend's in love electric who are awesome bad from new jersey who? I think you're putting out a video for either this sucker, the other what we did on tuesday so love electric one word um let's go over this a little so the first thing we see here is thies five bands so flux allows me to set which frequencies I want to set different when you will see we start dissecting all these mixes. This does change a lot for me that the change buy a lot. Absolutely not. Do I sometimes put two of these on the mix when it's something terribly recorded or two of these undervotes? In fact, let me say this. I put three of these on a badly recorded vocals so I could treat it absolutely sometimes you have to go here tto get rid of the really annoying frequency, you know if the vocalist sagging to the mic backwards, I could get rid of the eight hundred, two hundred hertz that make it sound terrible instead of him re singing it when he won't do it by using one of these things there it can be really life stares of size, but so to get back to the point more appropriately, these with common five bands I use so these five bands I'm doing everything from about two hundred twenty down I'm doing then where get the muddy frequencies, which on this one it looks like I'm doing from two hundred on up to five hundred hertz than from five hundred up to two point two kilohertz two point two kilohertz up to seven is seven k then there's up here, which is seven came up which the majority of the time for my own mixes I don't do anything up here there's usually not much impressive if you look on the spectrum analyzer, which I'll hit play on while I talk there's not really a lot going on as those frequencies go down and I want that aired appears through as you can see, though I'm kind of like it here I did process this a little bit, so what probably was happening here too was there's times that the symbols or the vocal was getting a little harsh on this track, so I decided I would process this a little when you could actually see is very barely touching the bottom end but so what I'm doing with the multi band compressor is I'm trying to find where I can shape this and smooth this out and what frequencies air popping out too much what's great about a multi bad compressor has composed toe compared to what I would do with the cue is that I, um often am able to say you know I love when the bass is present but every once in a while is kick drugs popping out too much this will only push it down when the kick drum pops out and what the bass will be there when the kick drum is not there that's why you see so much of this going round, which is the same reason that like with metal guitar, the reason that got popular is is that when they're doing a high up solo it's not so muddy but then when they get down there chugs it gives it more articulation that's why we love multi band compressions so much so that now put this tracker on and play with this a little I'll show you what happens as I pull these frequencies on and off etcetera, etcetera like the latest fashions make it clear what I'm doing here is some turning off each frequency going up I will touch the frequency first that allows me to engage its butt you could hear their like that greed frequency for example when I turned that up a little too high, it starts to be that veil that you hear on some mixes where it's overly compressed and kind of muted um that's a common thing I hear it a lot of mix is that all right? Back to the mexican gear and asked them to pull the bill t band off is that's a really common mistake? This blue one is aware of the wide the symbol into the rough sounds the sticks, the clank of the symbol are so this is a really coming with or where the guitar is eating the vocal too much ah wait like the latest fashions but a happy medium lets us get rid of some of that. So the other's secret thing here is these air five independent compressors. So if you look at this ratio dob doubt here as I click through these there's a different ratio on all of them as he could see, I'm going pretty hard on the upper mids because I want those two get kicked down really hard because I was not liking how much syllables was tracked on this vocal. These guys are phenomenal, phenomenal singers and but one of the things was is we kept really wanting a really bright radio because we didn't want this song sounds so vintage even know it's kind of like almost like a sixties rock throw back. We want them to have a really modern polish sound. So part of that is getting that smooth vocal. So I had to really engage that hard, but then the bass I have ah, hole, you know, I'm not even at two deby because I'm trying to keep the compression of the base so smooth. Same thing with me getting rid of the world. Mick, one of the best things multi band compressors for four is getting rid the mud. They do it so seamlessly if they're set right and a low ratio. Khun really pump out the mud and then leave your mix full when it's going through. Um but then when I get teo, as you see, like I gotta ramp up the ratio as it goes, this gets a little bit harder. All of these are set with an attack and release that's pretty auto back ten mil milliseconds is what I like on this. I actually think that might even be what comes with it comes with it on. I tend to find that that's always worked the releases different, though a lot of time I adjust the releases a lot, I'm seeing I didn't do it in this one particular because I didn't hear it. But a lot of the time especially in my high mids I make this release mode really fast release because I like it too let go of the ss as fast as possible that's catching um but all this depends on your programme material um so that is multi band compression is there anything I should talk about? What that still or chai move onto our last stage of this yes, questions have come up and schmaltzy had quite a few questions. Okay the question is what are you listening for with attack times? What about released times? What is jessie listening for? When he's doing his dynamics processing? How does he know when he gets it right that's fantastic it's feel and its wording what you do like this is yet again like you know when you're writing a song what are you listening for? When you say you play twenty rifts while you're on your couch and you say that's the one this is that I have learned my instrument enough to say that I have a standard that I say that's the one that's what's feels right to me and that's why you have to learn this like it's an instrument is that you know I think it's a bob dylan quotas it's like you know what makes a songwriter is what you throw away versus what you push out to the world it's the same thing with this is what makes a good engineer versus bandages whatever your standards where you have decided this is the right setting now I also said this those standards get better why did you have a good relationship of your speakers as I'm dialing this stuff today this is not my room this is not by speaker set I'm doing with these air telling me I doubt my speakers would do this say is tell me the same thing it's all about what your perception is and what you decide is right our last setting is there will be no analog piece of year because this is one of the only pieces of equipment that does not exist in the analog world you know there's a great saying that there's been pretty much no recording equipment that hasn't been beijing in the analog world here's your exception the brick wall lipitor which is a liver that always us the digital domain did it tells a signal kadak oh above this vibe you think of a compressor as with a signal exceeds the limit that you said on the threshold depending on how high the ratio is, how hard it's max it out or higher ratio it's maxed out a brick wall libre is an absolute no if there's no exception to the rule you can not go above this frequency so that then clips the signal as I say, the sex thing allows you to clip audio and push it down instead of the hard sound of equipping of bus. So why is that? If it's just clipping a bus, a brick wall limiter has an algorithm that's been designed to make this a more pleasant sound. So it is the same in processes clipping the bus, but it's doing it in a more musical way it as a release setting. It has frequency spans that they've determined. This is how we do this without it sounding really, really terrible. You could also use a multi bad version of this. If you two just clip the frequencies that clip. So, with that, this is why I used the waves. L three, bolty. Um, most dawes come with a brick wall limiter. It's. Not half assed. Good as the waves. All three multi the waves l waddle to all three have all been a standard, as have some of the tc stuff. Uh, isotope zod has a brick wall labor a lot of people uses. Well, the waves will tl three, um, has a equivalent. If you ever see, you know, there's, a tc what'll remote control thing that you'll see a lot of the mastering engineers and big type audio guys use that has a multi bad brick wall limiter it as well that all the big mastering guys use that charge you ten thousand dollars or alan at west west side jamal at west west side use um the tc fight a wiser has one and there a cz well it's a fine piece of gear but it's become a little out of date and what no one wants to look at the tiny little computer screen with they could be doing it on their computer screen so with that while we shoot over the computer screen it will stay with this example we're going to look at this brick wall limiter so yesterday we talked about um how bad it sounds when you turn it up or down I think that that's an obvious thing that you know if I play with this a lot wait somewhere around that middle we actually get a good sound but so what I think is much more interesting to talk about here is let's look at the way that love electrics on we were just listening to gets clipped so as you can see we have five different frequencies actually use the real pointer uh that are all getting acted different but have us have a relationship with each other so with the kick drum pushes down it pushes that the kick drum and it does push as you could see the bad goes down here a little bit too this basically makes a wide and you could shape the slide by loading a handful of different presets into it like, you know, if you scroll through this there's tons of different curves that are made where it will react different, I really like that precept their tracks labor so you could kind of choose a curve where it reacts differently as it comes across that zero and where that zero is of the different frequencies as well. Um so what's nice about this, though, is what gets that loud. Is that what say you're pretty hi, ed, if you joe do the multi bad version of this, you're pretty high ad gets pushed out when you're well and exceeds what I love about this is my pretty high end could get made tade and we could get the track louder because we're reacting to it at different frequencies. So now one of the things we discussed yesterday with compression is that a lot of the time um you are have base be the thing that shows off how much compression you do have a lot of people will slide off the bass a little bit later on this stuff and let it clip a little bit waiter that the trouble the base to get their records louder, I very rarely employed that, but I know a lot of friends who employed this a lot but as we've said, the brick wall limiter is the last piece of the chain and ob. You know, this is going to be a lot of your wildness, but not your only loudness. Uh, tool.

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.