Too Much Recording Compression

After mixing a lot of home recorded material, the number one most difficult problem that I have the most trouble dealing with are over-compressed tracks. You would be surprised to know that many recording pro’s use little to no compression on most things when they record even for the biggest recording artists.

If you’re doing it just to do it, don’t do it. You simply don’t need it on the recording side. Save the dynamics control for the mix and know that over-compressed tracks cannot be uncompressed or reversed. Maybe the sound you’re compressing has already been compressed. Many cool productions were rendered limp because of record side compression. Lay it down raw my friends and give us mix engineers an aggressive dynamic foundation to shape with.

Let me add that of course flavor can be added with some compressors and limiters that have character without adding compression. Set your attacks to long and realeases to short and threshold gain to barely touching. But,… I also have to say that compression fx on the record side is cool when it’s the right call and the right box. Sure, go ahead, mash stuff with a compressor, It’s fun when it works.

But, my observation is that too much material is coming in with vocal, acoustic guitar and bass over-compressed. One more thing, there is rarely a time to compress drums on the record side unless you buss> then compress> to a different> track. I don’t want to take the fun out of experimenting, but get it as dynamically as you can on a separate track at least.
I get a lot of hurt tracks ;(

I'm an experienced mix engineer/musician and have worked with top artist/producers such as Michael Jackson . Disturbed . Quincy Jones . O.A.R. and many hard working independent artist/producers. I've mixed thousands of live concerts including 25 years in recording and mixing records. /songworx - facebook . twitter . google+

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