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Low shelf and high shelf EQ boosts right before the compressor


musicismygas
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Go to solution Solved by David Nahmani,

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Hi everyone,

 

I don't remember where I've seen this, but is there a reason why some engineers boost subs with a low shelf, and highs with a high shelf, right before a mixbus compressor?

Would I be right to assume that the lows and highs would trigger the compressor and bring up more of the mids than the extremes?

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Yes, that both booths lows and highs and compresses them more than the mids. When used in parallel compression, it is known as "New York Compression", often used on drums.

 

https://studioslave.com/ny-parallel-compression-mix-tips/

 

Makes sense. So in this case, where they place it in series (right before the mix glue compressor), does it achieve a similar effect?

And just to confirm, this technique boosts the mids and compresses the lows and highs, is that correct?

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It depends how it's done, and what settings you're using exactly, but it should generally boost the lows and highs, not the mids (because you're boosting the lows and highs, so they're more compressed than the mids).

 

Best to just give it a try to hear for yourself what that sounds like. Don't hesitate to use extreme settings at first to make sure you understand the effects of the two plug-ins.

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It depends how it's done, and what settings you're using exactly, but it should generally boost the lows and highs, not the mids (because you're boosting the lows and highs, so they're more compressed than the mids).

 

Best to just give it a try to hear for yourself what that sounds like. Don't hesitate to use extreme settings at first to make sure you understand the effects of the two plug-ins.

 

Will do. For some reason I had thought that since those lows and highs will trigger the compressor, they would we the ones that would get 'cut off' more than the mids

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You forget that first you boost them. Then they get compressed.

 

In a nutshell, the loud lows and highs stay at the same level (they are boosted then compressed), the soft lows and highs are boosted (they are boosted but then still don't trigger the compressor). The mids aren't boosted, and don't trigger the compressor, so they stay the same.

 

So basically you've compressed the lows and highs by turning up the soft lows and highs.

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You forget that first you boost them. Then they get compressed.

 

In a nutshell, the loud lows and highs stay at the same level (they are boosted then compressed), the soft lows and highs are boosted (they are boosted but then still don't trigger the compressor). The mids aren't boosted, and don't trigger the compressor, so they stay the same.

 

So basically you've compressed the lows and highs by turning up the soft lows and highs.

 

Starting to makes sense. If there is a makeup gain, though, wouldn't those untouched mids be turned up?

Or does makeup gain only affect the sections that are actually compressed?

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You forget that first you boost them. Then they get compressed.

 

In a nutshell, the loud lows and highs stay at the same level (they are boosted then compressed), the soft lows and highs are boosted (they are boosted but then still don't trigger the compressor). The mids aren't boosted, and don't trigger the compressor, so they stay the same.

 

So basically you've compressed the lows and highs by turning up the soft lows and highs.

 

Ok, so here, Justin Colletti is adding those boosts AFTER the compressor, to make up for the squashed lows and highs. Which makes sense.

What I'm confused about is why some engineers add these boosts BEFORE the compressor.

 

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I haven't watched the video, but what I explained was detailing what goes on when boosting lows and highs before a compressor. Makeup gain is just gain, it's the same as turning up the volume on your channel strip, it turns up the entire audio signal, so what I explained is still exactly the same: when you said "doesn't turn it up the mids"? My answer is "it turns up everything equally: lows, mids, highs." The balance between low+highs and mids, and the dynamic (what gets compressed) is unchanged.
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I haven't watched the video, but what I explained was detailing what goes on when boosting lows and highs before a compressor. Makeup gain is just gain, it's the same as turning up the volume on your channel strip, it turns up the entire audio signal, so what I explained is still exactly the same: when you said "doesn't turn it up the mids"? My answer is "it turns up everything equally: lows, mids, highs." The balance between low+highs and mids, and the dynamic (what gets compressed) is unchanged.

 

Makes sense. So the makeup gain turns everything up equally, after compressing those extreme lows and highs is that right?

Furthermore, how different is makeup gain from output gain?

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Furthermore, how different is makeup gain from output gain?

The Output Gain is at the output of the Compressor, so after the limiter, distortion and mix stages. The Make up Gain is at the output of the compression stage, so before those processes.

 

Yes, thanks!

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