Posted on
Member Since: Nov 27, 2007

i dont really ever muck around with mastering too much, but i just had a question on something.

not that its mastering, but if want to put a slight bit of compression on the master out channel, and then use the limiter to bring the vol up a bit, i find the drums tend to disappear behind the guitars.

cant work out why really, apart form the fact im not really up to speed working with the whole comp and limiter thing on a master channel,
but the top end definately comes up more on everything and the guitars are masking the drums quite a bit especially in the top end.
before i add comp or the limiter to the master though its clear as a bell and i really dig the mix.

obviously the comp and limiter settings arent good because surely im not expected to try to compensate somehow in the mix before i do anything with it, right?

[ Back to Top ]

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Feb 01, 2010 09:37 am

if you use a compressor on master out, whats with the limiter to bring the volume up, compressors have gain on them as shouldn't need both.

Typo Szar
Since: Jul 04, 2002

Feb 01, 2010 11:45 am

If the compressor's attack is set too fast ur likely killing the transient hits that define ur drums in ur mix. Probably when ur mixing, ur hearing the initial loudness of the drum adn then balancing ur guitars against that. Once the hits r cut by the compressor the guitars take over.

U can adjust ur attack and release to remedy this, just listen in or compress ur drums to give them more meat before u balance the guitars against them or mix in ur guitars with the master bus compression on

Pinnipedal Czar (: 3=
Since: Apr 11, 2004

Feb 01, 2010 12:37 pm


Crux is spot on...

Also. another way to help keep your drums dynamic-impact intact is to have the compression of them on a separate bus... paralelle... then mix them toegether to taste.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Feb 01, 2010 12:45 pm

On a side-note...

You can learn a lot a out any "weakness" in your mix by ramming it into a limiter and seeing what happens. Guitars may disappear, drums may get squishy and unfocused, etc., etc., etc.

The point is listening *after you remove* the limiter...
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Feb 01, 2010 07:57 pm

Thanks all,
firstly dB, yeah that sounds logical. so do they not use a limiter after comp?

to be honest Hue i dont have a bucket load of comp on the drums, maybe thats it.

and MM, yeah its sounds 10 times clearer without the comp etc, does that mean in this case the guitars need less body or the drums need more?
just thinking about it now there could be any number of methods to deal with it i guess.
\im gonna go with i need to learn how to use the audio tools a bit better at this point.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Feb 01, 2010 09:08 pm

I mean it can change the way you hear it when you smash it and then notice things you didn't notice before when you go back.

I know a guy (well, I know a LOT of people) who always uses too much reverb when he's mixing - Then he smashes the buss to see if anything gets "goofy" and that reverb is IN-SANE. Then he turns off the squasher and goes "Wow... There really is a whole boat-load of reverb in there, huh..."
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Feb 01, 2010 10:42 pm

funny you should mention that MM,

firstly all the song is so far is guitars and drums, i only compressed the master to send the song to a mate for a quick squiz, so i thought i would get it a little more stable so to speak.

being such a early stage in the song record wise i still have the drums (ezdrummer) as a single track in my daw and therefore the reverb i had just chucked on there previously is actually on the whole drum mix, kick, o/h's room, everything.

so i guess thats one thing, and yeah MM the reverb i used is way to long in time and too loud, combined with the comp on the master and well there you go i guess.

i think possibly the guitars are little too fat in some areas eq wise im not sure.

if someone wants to take a quick listen its in my profile.
this is the compressed only version, no limiter, and it has verb on the whole kit. I guess you can tell me if the guitars appear too wholesome.
songs called: systematic cell death.

Typo Szar
Since: Jul 04, 2002

Feb 02, 2010 01:22 am

I thought u had live drums, ezdrummer changes everything. Those drums to an extent r already processed for use. When mixing guitars or anything ive found though its good to leave a little space for the final limiting and compression coz really ur music does get "squeezed" into a smaller space, so the differences in volume u once had between instruments will disappear. Definitely work back and forth if ur adding comp to the master buss so u can adjust the levels better, nowadays i really leave my drum hits exaggerated. Remember also there is a differnece in how we perceive and how we should work with "RMS volume" (i dont really know how to use that term) and "Peak Volume" ur guitars r a constant sound for the most part and ur thinking of their volume as the average of that constant sound but ur drums give an initial very loud hit even if their actual RMS value is very low. When u hear the loud hit u think oh ok thats good, and the guitars being constant start low and u turn them up. Eventually the constant of the guitar will be higher than that of the drums.

Related Forum Topics:

If you would like to participate in the forum discussions, feel free to register for your free membership.