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Mega Man: The Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet 2013


DarkeSword
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Okay one thing I'm confused about what it means: You guys keeps talking about adding effects in parallel, and I'm not at all sure what that means.

Parallel compression is a way of adding some bonus decay to sounds, especially percussive sounds, but you can use it for anything. That extra amplitude in the decay of a sound makes it more present, louder, and slightly more aggressive-sounding. The idea is to have a dry signal and a wet signal (parallel compressed signal). You will use the send's mix knob to adjust how much parallel compression sound comes through. Basically, the way I do it is as follows:

1. Send the track to have parallel compression added to it to some other mixer insert. Solo the send.

2. Add a compressor to this send.

3. Set the attack to 0 ms or nearly 0 ms. Open the attack slightly to add some snappiness to the wet attack if you want, not necessary. Remember that the idea is to add a lot of decay, so squashing the transient is the goal here, but it's ok to let some come through for attack presence.

4. Set the release to 100-300 ms. Tweak based on the style of song you're working on.

5. Set the threshold to something pretty low. This is totally variable.

6. Set the ratio to a heavy, limiting ratio to really squash the send's signal. Something like 10:1-20:1 will work.

7. Add enough make-up gain to restore the original peak volume. Turn the compressor on and off to see where the old and new peaks are so you can match them.

8. Turn the send's mix knob down to 0, unsolo the send, and listen to the track while slowly turning up the send's mix knob until you get the added presence you're looking for. It shouldn't take much.

Edited by ectogemia
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You set up a compressor, kinda strong like -30 threshold and ratio of 6 or so, and set the release to around 50
Thanks for providing some actual numbers! Nearly every guide or tip I've seen just says things like "strong," "weak," "fast attack," "slow release," etc. without saying what numbers those translate to. I finally have a baseline for at least what someone uses.

Edit: You too, Ecto, thanks. But I'm curious: You both described using fancy sends to accomplish this. Don't your compressors have wet/dry knobs to achieve the same thing?

Edited by MindWanderer
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Thanks for providing some actual numbers! Nearly every guide or tip I've seen just says things like "strong," "weak," "fast attack," "slow release," etc. without saying what numbers those translate to. I finally have a baseline for at least what someone uses.

I got those numbers from Prince of Darkness. Use them wisely. :-)

Edit: though technically for the release try anywhere from 30 to 50, or thereabouts, use your hears. You don't want it to be too long because it's just for the snap.

Edited by Brandon Strader
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Just thought I'd pop in and agree with those of you who think timaeus needs to think more before he posts, especially when offering critiques. It's not that he doesn't know what he's doing -- his mixes usually sound pretty good -- it's that he comes across as a know-it-all, and that looks baaaaad for him when he's offering overtly wrong advice/criticism at the same time. By all means, keep offering critiques, but do so more tactfully and only do so when you're sure there's actually an error and when you're sure how to fix it. If someone disagrees with one of your critiques, just deal with it.

Really? I already said please use careful and nice wording. That just makes it seem like you hate me. I'm not trying to come across as a know-it-all, I'm just giving advice on what I already know. I've already tried and tested everything I advised on that post and I know it works. I just didn't have time to synthesize everything there and provide an example on every single thing there.

Parallel compression is a way of adding some bonus decay to sounds, especially percussive sounds, but you can use it for anything. That extra amplitude in the decay of a sound makes it more present, louder, and slightly more aggressive-sounding. The idea is to have a dry signal and a wet signal (parallel compressed signal). You will use the send's mix knob to adjust how much parallel compression sound comes through. Basically, the way I do it is as follows:

1. Send the track to have parallel compression added to it to some other mixer insert. Solo the send.

2. Add a compressor to this send.

3. Set the attack to 0 ms or nearly 0 ms. Open the attack slightly to add some snappiness to the wet attack if you want, not necessary. Remember that the idea is to add a lot of decay, so squashing the transient is the goal here, but it's ok to let some come through for attack presence.

4. Set the release to 100-300 ms. Tweak based on the style of song you're working on.

5. Set the threshold to something pretty low. This is totally variable.

6. Set the ratio to a heavy, limiting ratio to really squash the send's signal. Something like 10:1-20:1 will work.

7. Add enough make-up gain to restore the original peak volume. Turn the compressor on and off to see where the old and new peaks are so you can match them.

8. Turn the send's mix knob down to 0, unsolo the send, and listen to the track while slowly turning up the send's mix knob until you get the added presence you're looking for.

SnappleMan would say "squashing the transient is not the goal here", and it really isn't, in my opinion and in his opinion. In fact, while doing parallel compression it's really important not to squash your transients overall, in the end. You can lose really crucial power characteristics in your drums if you do. This is assuming you have a wet mix knob in your compressor. Yes, you want glue, but too much and it breaks up the frequencies in the top end a bit. Remember that it's going to stack up in your mix. By the time you add in other instruments, it'll make the drums boost a little bit more for every instrument that plays at the same time. That's why it's important to have a make-up gain slightly lower than what you would prefer, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to adjust later if it's not quite there.

I was recreating something the other day that involved really heavy drums, and I noticed my snare breaking up a bit, so I lowered the gain until it stopped, and it just made a huge difference in energy for me. However, that was probably the only time I ever really felt like the transients were squashed to an unfavorable extent; one of the drum layers I used had a relatively long decay already, and it was specifically a drum sample I'd never used before.

That said, the ratio really doesn't have to be that high every single time. It should only be high enough to give the snap you want, but not so high that you lose top end information like in the example I provided above. I tend to just do 2:1 or 4:1, even on drums. And in the end, you'll be turning the wet mix knob down to ~50% to help even more on that aspect provided you have a compressor that can do that, such as The Glue.

Edited by timaeus222
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Since you guys are talking about Orchestral samples does anyone have EWQLSO Platinum? I really want to try to some close mic samples in some of my remixes so if anyone would be able to run off a few midi files for me once I get them done i'd appreciate it.

I'll post another request in the recruit&collab forum once they are closer to being done but i'd thought i would check here since you guys have pretty decent equipment.

Actually a similar deal with Choirs as well. :)

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Been lurking in this thread enjoying the discussion, but...

SnappleMan would say "squashing the transient is not the goal here", and it really isn't. In fact, while doing parallel compression it's really important not to squash your transients.

Right here, I would call this misinformation. You're putting this opinion out as if it is a fact set in stone, when in reality your transients are preserved in the original signal, making the compression bus fair game for anything.

To a newbie reading this thread, your statement will put the wrong ideas in their head about what you can and can't do with parallel compression, and as such is not very helpful.

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Been lurking in this thread enjoying the discussion, but...

Right here, I would call this misinformation. You're putting this opinion out as if it is a fact set in stone, when in reality your transients are preserved in the original signal, making the compression bus fair game for anything.

To a newbie reading this thread, your statement will put the wrong ideas in their head about what you can and can't do with parallel compression, and as such is not very helpful.

I'm not saying it's a fact; it's a testimony, that's all. I'm not going to say "in my opinion" or "in his opinion" or "in her opinion" every single time I type. However, the compressor I use and essentially every other compressors have a gain knob (a very common, basic knob to have on a compressor), and if that's too high, yes, you will squash your transients. With parallel compression there is some leeway, but you still have to be careful if you're using a compressor that has parallel compression capabilities built into it, like The Glue.

How else would I have created this to help KingTiger on his Round 1 entry?

Edited by timaeus222
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I'm not saying it's a fact; it's a testimony, that's all. However, the compressor I use and most other compressors have a gain knob, and if that's too high, yes, you will squash your transients.

The entire point of parallel compression is that you CAN crush the life out of the transients, and because you're blending in the original signal they are still present. So you get the best of both worlds. That's what parallel compression is. As I said, your opinion on the "correct" way to go about parallel compression is misleading/wrongly worded at best, bad information at worst.

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The entire point of parallel compression is that you CAN crush the life out of the transients, and because you're blending in the original signal they are still present. So you get the best of both worlds. That's what parallel compression is. As I said, your opinion on the "correct" way to go about parallel compression is misleading/wrongly worded at best, bad information at worst.

Yes, I realize that, but I did edit my post after you wrote this, so you really didn't *need* to write this. I'm talking about parallel compression built into the compressor, like the one I have.

Besides, about a minute before you posted, I had in the post:

And in the end, you'll be turning the wet mix knob down to ~50% to help even more on that aspect provided you have a compressor that can do that, such as The Glue.
Edited by timaeus222
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Yes, I realize that, but I did edit my post after you wrote this, so you really didn't *need* to write this.

Because I'm not clairvoyant and didn't realize that you WOULD change your post in time? I'm glad you edited it to reflect your opinion, but come on.

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Not trying to be hostile here or anything, real talk. I've just found over the years, discussion specific mixing techniques that work for you in the context of your own songs, don't necessarily work for everyone else. That's why I try to couch my language in "here's my opinion, here's what generally has worked for me in the past (and why), YMMV". I've become more hesitant over the years to take a hard stance on these things, in case people have the wrong perception. Parallel compression is actually one of the few "magic pixie dust" techniques I can recommend to pretty much everyone, but even then, how you go about it is a matter of personal preference.

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Not trying to be hostile here or anything, real talk. I've just found over the years, discussion specific mixing techniques that work for you in the context of your own songs, don't necessarily work for everyone else. That's why I try to couch my language in "here's my opinion, here's what generally has worked for me in the past (and why), YMMV". I've become more hesitant over the years to take a hard stance on these things, in case people have the wrong perception. Parallel compression is actually one of the few "magic pixie dust" techniques I can recommend to pretty much everyone, but even then, how you go about it is a matter of personal preference.

Yes. I just have a hard time sometimes wording things so that people perceive it as suggestions only because I don't often do long posts like that unless I really want to help. Aside from that, much of what I say really is just suggestion, and it'd make total sense to assume that by default as it's generally the case it's not a "rule" anyways.

In some cases though, something is just way off in a mix, and if you don't say anything about it, the remixer won't learn. And if you do say something about it, but emphasize that it's just your suggestion, then they might just not try it at all if they're not open to it, in which case it's essentially the same as your not saying anything at all.

Anyways, I'll be going back to that large post I made and synthesizing examples.

Edited by timaeus222
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In some cases though, something is just way off in a mix, and if you don't say anything about it, the remixer won't learn. And if you do say something about it, but emphasize that it's just your suggestion, then they might just not try it at all if they're not open to it, in which case it's essentially the same as your not saying anything at all.

Offer a suggestion, all you can do is share your opinion. It's really not your job to "teach" anyone. You're not a professor. Whether they learn has little to do with your opinion of their mix, and more to do with their own experimentation. Trying to force the "right way" to do something on someone is just wrong, because there is a multitude of correct ways to get something done. You can say "This would sound better if"

but stay away from

"the ratio really shouldn't have to be"

"It should only be"

"while doing _______ it's really important not to" (unless it's something finite, which it wasn't)

"you should always" or "you should never"

"not to mention killer studio chops"

"i worked as hard as anyone"

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Offer a suggestion, all you can do is share your opinion. It's really not your job to "teach" anyone. You're not a professor. Whether they learn has little to do with your opinion of their mix, and more to do with their own experimentation. Trying to force the "right way" to do something on someone is just wrong, because there is a multitude of correct ways to get something done. You can say "This would sound better if"

but stay away from

"the ratio really shouldn't have to be"

"It should only be"

"while doing _______ it's really important not to" (unless it's something finite, which it wasn't)

"you should always" or "you should never"

"not to mention killer studio chops"

"i worked as hard as anyone"

Thanks for the advice, which I *will* keep in mind. In all seriousness, what I said---it's just advice, not rigid "taught" material. Whether they learn *more* has something to do with whether or not they try out advice given to them, though. If they don't try it and the person just so happens to be right or has a good idea to try, then the advisee basically didn't get to experience what the advisor had suggested. Part of learning is independent study and acquiring feedback, so following some of the feedback suggestions is still a good idea to *quicken* your learning if you feel confident that you can distinguish good from bad well enough. Again, I'm not saying you have to or should follow advice. It would just be somewhat closed-minded to refuse to do so for your entire life and do everything yourself with zero help.

That aside, I've gone back and finished synthesizing examples for classes and timbres of synths I named that might be unknown to some people. That should be more helpful.

Edited by timaeus222
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So anyway, on a different, more positive note, I'm crazy pumped to hear all the tracks this week. I LOVE all of Zero's themes, and I grew up with X4 and X5 in particular (didn't have my own SNES until I was about 13 or 14). I played the original X when I was really young a bunch of times at relatives' and friends' houses, and Zero's theme from that one was a track that stuck with me really hard over the years even though it's so short. I got X2 and X3 as soon as I could afford them (shit's EXPENSIVE) when I was younger, and X6 around when it came out, so I'm really familiar with 1-6, and love all of them. Can't wait to see what everyone's done with them this week! I hear Brandon had a crazy good track, I hope everyone's followed suit ;)

Edited by Phonetic Hero
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So anyway, on a different, more positive note, I'm crazy pumped to hear all the tracks this week. I LOVE all of Zero's themes, and I grew up with X4 and X5 in particular (didn't have my own SNES until I was about 13 or 14). I played the original X when I was really young a bunch of times at relatives' and friends' houses, and Zero's theme from that one was a track that stuck with me really hard over the years even though it's so short. I got X2 and X3 as soon as I could afford them (shit's EXPENSIVE) when I was younger, and X6 around when it came out, so I'm really familiar with 1-6, and love all of them. Can't wait to see what everyone's done with them this week! I hear Brandon had a crazy good track, I hope everyone's followed suit ;)

I almost wish I didn't go two rounds ago so I could go now, but hey, it's Darke's pick. :)

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Hey, thanks for all the info on parallel compression! :D When people talk about running effects "in parallel" I had just never heard that term before, but I do understand the idea of running an effect on a send so you can easily mix the dry/wet signal... I have a tendency to simply use the "dry/wet" knob on my effect, assuming it has one. After reading all of this, however, I may start doing more things with aux sends instead, it seems like I can get more control that way.

Also, the idea of using a compressor in parallel to control the decay of things is something I never knew about, so thanks for sharing that great tip :) I usually run all my drums through a bus with a compressor so that they all stay cohesive; would it be a good idea to run a compressor in parallel to that bus (which already has a compressor on it) so that I can manage the decays, or should I use that bus in parallel? (I'm guessing the former option would give the control and mix management desired but I want to make sure)

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Also, the idea of using a compressor in parallel to control the decay of things is something I never knew about, so thanks for sharing that great tip :) I usually run all my drums through a bus with a compressor so that they all stay cohesive; would it be a good idea to run a compressor in parallel to that bus (which already has a compressor on it) so that I can manage the decays, or should I use that bus in parallel? (I'm guessing the former option would give the control and mix management desired but I want to make sure)

It sounds like you're saying you want to use a compressor on a send as well as another compressor in the mixer track. I happen to do that. The other option you suggested seems to simply be not using the compressor in the mixer track. Am I interpreting you correctly? Either way, the first method I described might be more risky, as you have two compressors in a row and you have to manage both, but as long as you know what you're doing and you can check your work somehow (like with a spectral analyzer), I wouldn't advise against it.

I've never tried this experiment before, but I just did now:

I was thinking the signal chain does go [mixer track (leaves wet) -> send (leaves wet) -> master], though if you follow your sending knobs it should be somewhat self-explanatory. Here's what I did:

I went for the extreme and did some insanely bad-sounding distortion on purpose on the mixer track of a snare. I routed the snare to a drum send with a default reverb preset. In that way, it sounded like the reverb affected the snare after the distortion since the reverb was more prevalent. When I put the same reverb on the mixer track and put the same distortion effect on the send (i.e. swapped the plugins' spots), the distortion was more prevalent. As a result, I believe that it does go [mixer track (leaves wet) -> send (leaves wet) -> master].

That info should be of some use. ;)

Edited by timaeus222
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signal routing stuff

So you were basically trying to figure out, if the aux send with the parallel compressor was before or after the light compressor on the track itself? iinnnteresting.... I imagine this could actually depend on your DAW and the settings on the track & send themselves. I'll toy around in Logic and see what happens, although I want to say that in Logic, any effects on the track itself are processed before the signal is sent to the aux send/bus.

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I'm gonna put my song on Youtube on Saturday night (close to midnight, seriously)

It's been ridiculously hard to keep it secret as long as I have. I love it so much. D:

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW GOOD IT IS I CAN'T WAIT TO LISTEN TO IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN ALL WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :):grin::mrgreen:

And I really need to work on my mix now. Like seriously.

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So you were basically trying to figure out, if the aux send with the parallel compressor was before or after the light compressor on the track itself? iinnnteresting.... I imagine this could actually depend on your DAW and the settings on the track & send themselves. I'll toy around in Logic and see what happens, although I want to say that in Logic, any effects on the track itself are processed before the signal is sent to the aux send/bus.

Yep, and that's basically how it ended up. I could have just said "follow the sending knobs", but hearing the difference might help me remember better.

Oh, btw, I left you some feedback/help on your Round 1 track. =)

Edited by timaeus222
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