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Using Compression to adjust volume


billbates

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When recording with Logic Pro X I have used Automation volume to fine adjust the individual tracks volume which is fine .... but to reduce the overall volume of the individual track I have used the compression gain …. bringing it down to a minus figure.

 

Is it OK to do this? Or does it mess up the compression of the individual track?

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Is it OK to do this?

Yes, it's perfectly ok.

 

Or does it mess up the compression of the individual track?

No, it doesn't mess up anything: the output gain of the compressor is placed after the compression. It's the equivalent of placing a gain plug-in after the compressor.

 

I would just use utility gain plug in as I would imagine its processing is a lot more efficient

As far as CPU resources, it should be pretty much the same, if not exactly the same, to use the compressor's output gain or the gain plug-in. I would consider one or the other only for workflow purposes: with a gain plug-in, you have the possibility to turn on/off gain and compression independently, whereas when using the compression's output gain parameter, you have the ease of turning on/off both simultaneously.

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When recording with Logic Pro X I have used Automation volume to fine adjust the individual tracks volume which is fine .... but to reduce the overall volume of the individual track I have used the compression gain …. bringing it down to a minus figure.

 

Is it OK to do this? Or does it mess up the compression of the individual track?

 

It will not alter the compression as long was you use Output Gain or Makeup Gain, like David stated, but it could alter the sound of a more complex signal chain. One good example would be some kind of distortion effect after the compressor.

 

Other than that it's more than fine. It's a pity that it only offers adjustments in 1/2 dB steps.

 

Have you tried the new trim options in Logic Pro X 10.1?

Those are pretty neat and will help you alter volume automation post all inserted plug-ins.

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Many people do this kind of thing with their main volume slider on their channel, and there certainly isn't anything wrong with that.

 

Personally, however, I think its a bit counter intuitive because as you have found out, it locks out your main volume controls so you can't adjust any overall balance. Yes you can use the output of you compressor or the Gain plugin.

 

I like to leave it free for just such occasions and automate it right at the end for any final volume tweaks and fades before rendering.

 

Where I put my actual surgical automation is in the plugin automation. I have Gain plugin right at the top of my effects chain as apart of my template for doing just such thing going INTO my effects chain, and a gain plugin for after the effects chain, this is where I do my main volume automation work.

 

The plugin I use for this commonly is the FreeG from Sonalksis. It's simple, effective and allows for one degrees of manipulation. The company seems to be quite dormant though. I haven't seen anything new from them for years, besides the upgrade to 64 bit.

 

It frees up my channel strip sliders so I can do whatever I'm like with them. Generally though, the sit at -3.0, so I have a bit more push and pull leeway. I compensate for this by setting a +3.0 gain on my submixes. By the time my mix is in full swing however, I usually drop the level on the input so the sum of my instruments don't clip the buss inputs.

 

Sounds more complicated than it is.

 

http://www.waves.com/1lib/images/products/plugins/full/vocal-rider-live.jpg

 

There are times, however, I swap out the Gain plugin at the top for Bass Rider or Vocal Rider. They are extremely useful I find to level out my audio before it hits my main processes. Their automation can even be written out to track for even more fine manipulation.

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