We’ve been talking about the Loudness Wars all week, and for good reason.
Today is Dynamic Range Day, the day we celebrate mixes that actually sound good.
If I haven’t beaten the idea into the ground yet, here’s a video demonstration of what happens with too much compression.
Are Your Mixes a Casualty?
Here are a few things you can do to double-check that your mixes have enough dynamic range.
- Use Good Reference Tracks – Base your mixes off tracks that have lots of dynamic range. If you’re checking your mixes against an over-compressed commercial track, chances are your mix will suffer for it. If you’re unsure how to use reference tracks, check out How to Use a Reference Track to Improve Your Mixing.
- Use Good Metering Plug-ins – I use the stock meters in Logic for most of my measurements. They’re probably not accurate enough. Use great metering plug-ins that tell you exactly how much dynamic
- Leave the Master Bus Alone – Especially if you’re handing your project over to a mastering engineer. The mastering engineer can’t fix a mix that already has too much compression. If you’re bouncing a stereo track, leave the compressor off.
- Leave the Compressor Alone – On a recent track I hardly used a compressor on the vocals. The only compression was a peak limiter that controlled the peaks. Instead of compressing I used automation to fit it into the track. Certain phrases were quieter than others and I used volume automation to make it work. Sometimes there’s no need for compression.
- Breathe – Take a deep breath and think about what you’re doing with your compressor. Is it really making your track sound better? I it will sound better.
Have You Missed Anything?
Well, that’s it for this week’s Dynamic Range Day 2012 coverage. I hope you checked out all the DRD posts on the site. Just in case you haven’t, here’s the rundown.
That said, have a great weekend.
Compression is a necessary part of a great mix. It’s easy to overdo it, like the Loudness Wars show. But if you’d still like to know more about using compression correctly, check out www.UnderstandingCompression.com for your in-depth video guide.
Image by: DigiTaL~NomAd