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do you use a compressor on the main output?

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Hi guys, i wanted to hear how many of you mix to a compressor on your master output, when tyou make music, and how many dont!!!


I have heard both for and against, but could be great to hear from people in here......


Which compressors, settings etc etc....................................

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Sometimes it's useful to add that last bit of glue. Put everything into the same package.




I'll slap on one doing some really, really, really, light 10:1 with slowest attack/fastest release to start.




I'll do like a 2:1 with the same settings. Either way I've got the needle barely moving and adjust to taste. The 2:1 works really nice, I find, with the SSL G Master Buss Compressor plug-in if anyone uses it.

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Commonly SSL G384 (Quad) compressor, Alan Smart C2 (which is basically the same thing), or Neve 2254. My favourite is the API 2500, but I rarely mix anywhere where one is available. I'm going to buy one in a couple months when my own rig makes the leap to full mix capability. I love the punch those things bring to some stuff.


I rarely compress a full mix really hard, tho, maybe 3dB at very most (which means you won't even see the meters move much on any of those units). I'll often compress a 'drums' or 'rhythm' (eg. bass drum, snare, bass, keys, rhythm guitar) track when I want to get some pumping in the mix, rather than pumping the 2 bus. I don't like what bus compressors do to some elements of a mix, like the lead vocal, reverbs, 'space' in the drum overheads, etc.


I tend to see 2 bus compression as the job of the mastering engineer, but that's more of a personal aesthetic than an industry standard.

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When making electronic music (ie, dance music, not dynamic band arrangements) I always slap a compressor on the output, especially if i'm going to try a song out in a livegig.


While it's definently not the best hardware compressor unit i have I love the sound of the 3630. Alesis really outdid themselves on this one and it basically gave french house the sound it has. I just smack it up and let it take care of the eq shaping too, it's great.

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