A preset for CG compression?

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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Julian Ward
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Re: A preset for CG compression?

Post by Julian Ward » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:04 am

I think compression has ruined all of our conceptions about how recorded music should sound in general. The actual aim of compression now is solely to maximise the potential volume of a track to make it really loud. What I find far more useful for classical guitar is to just manually go through the track and reduce any nasty spikes and perhaps raise anything that didn't quite come out loud enough but it takes sone careful listening but then you are in control and not the software. As mentioned above, eq should be mimimal.
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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: A preset for CG compression?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:07 am

Julian Ward wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:04 am
I think compression has ruined all of our conceptions about how recorded music should sound in general. The actual aim of compression now is solely to maximise the potential volume of a track to make it really loud. What I find far more useful for classical guitar is to just manually go through the track and reduce any nasty spikes and perhaps raise anything that didn't quite come out loud enough but it takes sone careful listening but then you are in control and not the software. As mentioned above, eq should be mimimal.
True!
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PeteJ
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Re: A preset for CG compression?

Post by PeteJ » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:53 pm

I also feel manual editing is a better option if it's enough to solve the problem. The choice of compressor may also be important.

More and more, though, I agree with Robin that the best approach is to keep working towards a good performance and recording and minimise the editing and tweaking.

Making different mixes for different uses used to be common in pop, club mix, radio mic etc., but for CG the only value seems to be music for sync. This needs to be more controlled than usual. But the music editor will deal with this issue unless there's a real problem. However. if a CG track is intended specifically for radio I can see a case for a little more compression than usual.

One issue is the lack of visual interest for recorded music. In a live performance we can see the player and follow wide dynamic changes quite easily, but too wide a dymnamic range can be disturbing for a domestic recording. I think perhaps this is part of the reason why older pre-digital recordings can seem less demanding on the ear and more comfortable, rather like old film compared to brutal hi-def. There's something comforting about a high noise-floor and early-onset overload, where digital can become a bit of dynamic roller-coaster ride.

Tonit
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Re: A preset for CG compression?

Post by Tonit » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:46 pm

Hi,
I perfer, as every guitarists prefer, no compression.
I was trying to figure out how to achieve this, and then found at a certain distance, the sound become more even in terms of dynamics. It depends on the microphone but I like about 30-40cm from the sound source.

You can get more of this effect if you get even closer, but it will become as unnatural as over-compression.

When I use compression nonetheless, I use it very sparingly, at about 1:1.5 max for just enough to cover the extreme attacs.

For flamenco, I use an onboard mic (iRig Acoustic) and again 1:1.5 max to cover extreme attacks.

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Kl3tz
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Re: A preset for CG compression?

Post by Kl3tz » Wed May 01, 2019 11:38 pm

A little compression is appropriate to give the listener better access to the small sounds. But it shouldn't change the dynamics of the recording by introducing 'pumping' or making the sound too dense. I use a ratio of 1:1.25 or 1:1.5, just enough to kick in. And a slightly delayed attack and sustain. Otherwise the effect becomes too aggressive. You can also experiment with using a track compressor AND a master compressor, so in two stages. And I have found the result to be much better using a multi-band compressor over a simple compressor.
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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: A preset for CG compression?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Wed May 29, 2019 12:44 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:53 pm
...I also feel manual editing is a better option if it's enough to solve the problem. The choice of compressor may also be important.
However. if a CG track is intended specifically for radio I can see a case for a little more compression than usual...
How do we manually compress? and why should a radio version be more compressed?
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PeteJ
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Re: A preset for CG compression?

Post by PeteJ » Wed May 29, 2019 3:02 pm

Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 12:44 pm
How do we manually compress? and why should a radio version be more compressed?
When the dynamics are not a general problem, the variations are occasionally extreme but generally okay, then just automating the few problem areas will be a less intrusive method. The old trick with vocals to avoid unwanted heavy compression was to bounce from one track to another while riding the vocal fader. Then much of the work is already done and the compression becomes about enhancing the vocal rather than keeping it in line. But the variations on a CG are usually too local and brief for this method to be useful. Note by note automation is a gift from the gods for the amateur player recording themselves. It's very easy on any DAW.

Radio versions are compressed for reasons to do with both audibility and loudness. The station will have its own system compressing the output in the stations's style, but there is a view, or used to be, that louder and more squashed versions sound better on radio, This is music and station dependent, a matter of fierce opinion and anyway times change. Thankfully It seems the loudness wars are nearly over. For radio mixes of club tracks dynamics would be one of the issues. You could check out parrellel or 'New York' compression for what happens when this idea is taken to the limit.

I've been experimenting with recording CG for a few years now, coming at it from all sorts of angles. As a solo instrument I've come to think that any compression at all spoils the sound of the CG. There are very few rules to follow and it's all about the sound you're after. In a pop track the CG can be compressed to within an inch of its life and sound wonderful.

Come to think of it, I've never tried parallel compression on CG. I may give it a go.

Tonit
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Re: A preset for CG compression?

Post by Tonit » Thu May 30, 2019 4:12 am

PeteJ wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 3:02 pm
Thankfully It seems the loudness wars are nearly over.
Agreed. I have hated almost all the mixes for decades because of this booster tracks.
They have almost completely ruined all of the digital dynamic range advantage.

While being a non-purist and using compressors/limiters, still I think it is of the essence to first try different mic settings before resorting to effects (maybe except for low-cut EQ). I usually start from the setting last used, but the setting changes depending on the tunes I play. Though the mics I tote around are all sub-standard, sometimes they yield quite OK results depending on the placements. They are not a match compared to studio 1's or 1/2's, but can be handily set up on a music stand or almost anything available, and settings are super fast so that I can more casually record, which I think is increasingly important amid smartphone video age.

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