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Punchier Samples With Compressor Do's/Don's

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:30 pm
by hseiken
This isn't going to be a long article. It's something I discovered recently to get a clean AND punchy sound out of ESX using the compressor. It works with resample to, so don't be shy to hit shift record on something good!

First, set your FX2 knob on compressor to about 4 or 5 in value. Next, set FX1 knob all the way to left to start out. Finally, whatever you send through it, start at volume 64 and work your way QUIETER (i.e. towards 0 volume). Try not to get louder than that with a properly normalized sample. With things like drums, it works wonders to get punchy sound and carries over when resampled. You'll use FX1 to adjust the volume of the compressor overall. When combined with a little bit of BPF+, and/or EQ, you can get really nice sounding stuff on your samples. Here's a small list of what to use it on and what not to use it on:

Use it on:
Melodic samples without much dynamics (i.e. a lead synth)

Don't use it on:
Samples you intend on playing solo at some point with a long tail as it will start getting digital artifacts at low volume on the tail
Bassline sounds on their own

Situations to use it in without resampling:
Send all drums to it. Play with the levels to get that pocket you like.
If you have a good effect path, send all FX to it as final effect and your mix will come alive

Situations to not use it in without resampling:
Don't send your bassline to it. Keep your subs clean if you don't want a pumping sound. Making your bass volume low enough to not effect the compressor will cause artifacts, making your bass less clear and deep.

Don't make things louder to surpress other sounds, drop other sounds down instead. This will lead to punchier mix without damaging the dynamics too much. It takes a while to get a sound to be happy with so don't get discouraged at endless track select->volume adjust. This is what mixing is all about! Once you find that sweet spot, you'll be glad you took the time to do this.

I hope you guys can use this. Ever since I discovered this VOLUME 60 ceiling, my patterns have sound much more full and punchy overall. I used to hate the compressor, but now it's really making me happy. It just takes some experimentation sometimes!


Re: Punchier Samples With Compressor Do's/Don's

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:16 am
by sqz
Agreed, the compressor is a beast.
Dismissed by many, but very powerfull once tamed.