#1
Hey what do compressors do in a live atmosphere when running a mixer through it? How does the sound change? and Do i really need one if I was going to spend money on one?
#2
Your statement tells me you don't know how compressors function nor have you ever used one so i'd recommend throwing your money away on something else you can use.

read this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression

then play with some compressors until you understand how they function.
Last edited by z4twenny at Dec 27, 2011,
#3
Quote by the singer 22
Hey what do compressors do in a live atmosphere when running a mixer through it? How does the sound change? and Do i really need one if I was going to spend money on one?

well in short, they compress the sound. it evens out the sound by boosting quieter sounds and cutting louder ones.
#5
^ it does more than that but yeah... thats a good summation i guess, it raises and lowers the volume of the wavelengths passed through it based on the amount of input and the settings you're using to be more specific. theres lots of uses for a compressor though and you can use it to get a variety of effects. thats why i suggest reading about how they function, learning what they're good for and playing with them for a while also, i'm pretty sure you don't want to run everyone through the same compressor, you use different settings for different things.
Last edited by z4twenny at Dec 27, 2011,
#6
Think about it this way:

You're in the car and your mom's driving. You crank up the volume on your iPod and your mom thinks it's too loud, so she dials it down to a more reasonable level. Then when the song's too quiet and getting drowned out by the road noise, she turns it up a little bit. So she's doing this constantly so that you can always hear the music but adjusts the loudness so that it's not too loud or soft.

Your mom is a compressor.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#7
Ultimately, compression is really hard to instantly hear. Experienced engineers basically have learned the sound of compression through lots and lots of exposure. The people I know who went to MI were basically told, "Set this where I tell you for the first six months ... and you'll gradually learn to understand what it sounds like."

It's very hard to A/B the sound and understand exactly what it's doing - it times time and repetition and experience. A common mistake inexperienced people do is sit there and crank up the compression until they can hear it easily, which robs the sound of a lot of its dynamism.
#9
The main usages I'm familiar with are with a clean sound to add sustain to chordal playing (think Andy Timmons or Eric Johnson), to get some country-ish honk and twang, or to enhance a kind of snappy quality in funk playing. It can be used as a booster of a sort as well. It depends on the compressor and how it's used, as well as what it's used with.

A compressor isn't a necessity, but it can be a useful tool. It's about the feel just as much as the sound. It feels different to play with vs. without a compressor. If you want to do certain dynamically nuanced things, it may make more sense to not use a compressor, since it limits dynamic range.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Dec 27, 2011,
#10
A compressor can be quite useful for vocals. If you're finding that parts of the vocals can be heard just fine, but other parts of the vocals are getting buried, then a compressor could help with that.

However, I think what you need to do is look at what you have, and identify some areas of need to make it better. Once you know what you need to do to improve it, we can help you identify the tool that you can use to address that need.

At the moment, it sounds like you're drawing at straws without really knowing what they are and what they do.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
I suggest going to the Guitar Gear and Accessories forum and see if they have sticky with an overview of different types of effects. If not just start a thread.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


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#12
Quote by the singer 22
Okay so is there really any use for a compressor for an 18 year old band to use live?


I would say it's relatively unimportant. At some point you'll get one and play around with it, but its not a priority.

Quote by axemanChris
If you're finding that parts of the vocals can be heard just fine, but other parts of the vocals are getting buried, then a compressor could help with that.


The only caveat I'd say to this is that this advice only applies if you've actually worked on your vocal technique already. Better to work on that first than to expect technology to bail you out.
#13
^ Yes.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.