Parallel Compression – Digging Deeper

stacked compressors

Wow, Pensado’s Place Episode 4 really got me inspired this morning. Here’s a follow up on my first post about parallel compression, which hopefully got you thinking about blending in compression instead of just putting a compressor on an insert and leaving it at that. If that works however, it’s all good…

Look at this setup:

logic pro parallel compression

I’ll explain.

Audio 1, containing a drumloop, sends to bus one, two and three. They all have a Channel EQ on them. They output to bus ten, eleven and twelve. That’s where I put three random compressors. One for midrange, one for lows and one for highs. All compressors output to bus 20, which goes to stereo out.

Midrange Compressor:

logic pro parallel compression

I would have preferred an attack of 20 but the settings are not really the point. Tweak until the mids go whack! Solo this bus until you like the whacks you hear. If you feel that the lows of the loop are in the way, filter them out at the source : that’s why the Channel Eq’s are there.

The whacked mids:

The same applies to the other compressors: tweak until you like what you hear. Soloing the busses really helps. Don’t worry too much about the settings, find out what you like yourself. It’s a great way to get to know your compression plugins. I did notice that larger attack values work better for the lows, and as I moved up the spectrum, the attack values became smaller. For the highs, I used the smalles attack possible in the Waves C1.

I wanted some restlessness in the hihats of the drumloop, and the C1 gave me that. Be very careful working with soloed highs, and give your ears some time to adjust once you start blending in the bus again after soloing it.

Final notes : the noisegate I used was to isolate the kick and snare. Don’t let the attack of the noisegate mess up your whacked transients, so set it to zero. And if you don’t have Waves plugins, try the different modes of Logic Pro’s stock Compressor. Or try this freebie search. Try panning the compressor busses for some extra stereo. Try it on vocals too.

Have fun blending !

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  • Very interesting article. I was reading something about Michael Bauer and I found exactly what I wanted here.
    I have the same plug-ins and I tried to reproduce that myself. It works fine.
    I have some interrogations about the noise gate. I setup the attack to 0 but about the rest I don’t know. The sound can change radically when I touch the threshold and the reduction for example.
    I have a silly question, but I guess I already know the answer…
    Do I have to make a new set of 7 auxes for the vocals or use the same ones?

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