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Compression settings...

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Halo - Dawn of Ages

I'm running a chorus quite hot with over driven lead and rythm guitars and very punchy low end toms...

I'm a complete newb to audio engineering and am looking for good advice on compression settings both for the entire track as well as each individual track...

should I lay it on thick...or keep the dynamics...?

The track i'm working on can be heard here...

I'm looking for compression advice for the chorus starting at 1:32...


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Sweendrix, I love your kick back strumming that you find a way to work into your tracks.

Took a good listen. I like the psych evaluation or interview in the beginning.

As for your questions about compression; It sounds more to me like you need EQing than compression. You mid-hi's / hi's sound overbearing. I D/L your mix and played with EQ in iTunes (yes, yes, this is a simple EQ but it is a quick and easy one to see if EQing will help).

I boosted your 500Hz +3dB, dropped your 4KHz -3dB and curved the other bands around those tonals-


This made the whole mix less resonate, easier on the ears, and brought out the dynamic range a bit more. You don't have to do this EQing on your master fader (Output 1-2) but I prefered the way it made it sound. I only suggest EQing because it doesn't sound like everything has its own place in your mix. Cymbals sharing freq's with the guitar harmonics, samples and synths arguing for a 3KHz tonal, not bad, just needs love.

If you want to compress remember that as you drop threshold and increase ratio your mid-low mids will start to gather acoustic pressure in the mix. You don't want to clean up definition only to muddy up the 200-500Hz area.

What kind of compression hardware / software do you have?

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So I went and listened; I mean I really listened.

Your mixing is heavy (hot), this not a bad thing but some engineers I've worked with get pissy when talent does mixng like that. One thing that kept frustrating me as I tried to play with various EQ mastering settings, compressor mastering, etc. was that your pads or 'sustained chordial notes' (synth, not guitar) are to loud in the mix. Can you try dropping them about ... -3dB, -6dB, or -10dB? See which ones work depending (I don't have your session file here so I don't know). I would recommend -10dB, cause my pads are normally hot at that magic dB reduction helps 9 times outta 10.

Another thing I noticed is your stereo imagery is offest +1.5dB to +3dB to the left channel, if this is deliberate for artistic stereo imagery cool, if not, here's a heads up.

If anything squeeze (compress) the lead guitar so it dominates everything clearly. And I would EQ after compression. Electric guitars have a natural overtone at 5KHz so be mindful of that when mixing.


EQ- 220Hz - 260Hz for fullness on a E.guitar, 400Hz for warmth, and for more string sound 2.5kHz.

Compression- Threshold -17 dB, Ratio 5.5:1, Attack 10-19ms, Release 100-200ms, (if available) Knee 1.0 or Full, Gain ... use your ears its always different each mix. Most standard compressors have these so these are sort of my default settings. I usually tweek and adjust from here.

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