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Which first in signal chain: Compressor or Effects?

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  • Which first in signal chain: Compressor or Effects?

    I currently am running vocals into effects and a compressor via a Subgroup like this:

    Mixer=>Effects=>Compressor=>Amp=>Speakers

    The application of the compressor is to level (limit dynamic range) of the vocals. While it sounds fine the way it is, I can't help but wonder if it would be better to compress the vocals BEFORE letting the effects have their way with the vocals, like so:

    Mixer=>Compressor=>Effects=>Amp=>Speakers

    Thoughts?


  • #2
    Can you not use the insert on channel strip for compressing vocals then an aux for effects. That is normal I think.
    www.paradoxband.co.uk

    Comment


    • #3
      I could, buy not in this particular application. Either way, what you're saying is comp, then effects.

      Comment


      • agedhorse
        agedhorse commented
        Editing a comment

        Comps before effects, but your routing is not what I would choose.


    • #4
      I only have one compressor channel open and one effects processor, otherwise I would use inserts on each vocal channel, like I am doing for compression on the kick drum. It's a live setup for a 200-mile radius local gigging band, so having several compressors and effects units is tough to cart around, if you know what I mean. If you have other thoughts that might be beneficial for us to hear, I'm all ears. :-)

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      • #5
        Can you just compress main lead vocal and use an aux for everybody's effects
        www.paradoxband.co.uk

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        • #6
          I would also prefer to Aux feed the effects in parallel, but all Auxes are being used for monitors. We can only do so much with what we have. Luckily the effects unit has a way to mix wet with dry, so we are mixing the effects with the processor and feeding that back into the main mix via a Return.

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          • #7
            Our posts crossed paths :-)

            I was considering what you suggested, too, but lead vocals are being shared by 4 of us. If it means anything, the singer that has more "lead" songs than the others is the one that needs the least "leveling" (bringing up soft passages), although she could use a bit of taming here and there, but not much.

            Comment


            • #8
              One of the other singers is inconsistent with Mic distance, so I figured with the limited resources we have I would do what I could, and run all vocals through both units. FWIW, we did a corprorate event last Saturday and everyone said it sounded great. We always record all our performances live in mono via an Aux channel, for later review and reference, and it sounded fine, but I'm always interested in learning more in the hopes that I can help things improve as we move forward. ;-)

              Comment


              • Rob_H
                Rob_H commented
                Editing a comment

                You haven't shared what you are running for gear so it makes it hard to make any suggestions. Sounds like at minimum there is an opportunity to teach one member why mic distance matters...

                Not sure of your budget either but investing in a digital board would help as you would get channel specific fx and comp,


              • RoadRanger
                RoadRanger commented
                Editing a comment

                MrLeadFoot wrote:
                One of the other singers is inconsistent with Mic distance

                Split his mic into two channels and put a downward expander on his signal to his monitor .


              • Scott Harris
                Scott Harris commented
                Editing a comment

                First you said that you don't have any available aux channels becuase they are all used for monitor mixes.  If true, find 2 people who can share a mix and free up an aux channel. 

                However, now you add that you record through an aux channel?  Use that aux as your efx and record from the built-in mics and get the room sound which is much more relevant than a board recording.


            • #9
              There's not so much a right way to do this. There will be some small sonic differences depending on which way you do it depending on what effects you are talking about

              Generally I'd start with the compressor ahead of EFX like reverb or delay.
              Don Boomer

              Comment


              • MrLeadFoot
                MrLeadFoot commented
                Editing a comment

                dboomer wrote:
                There's not so much a right way to do this. There will be some small sonic differences depending on which way you do it depending on what effects you are talking about

                Generally I'd start with the compressor ahead of EFX like reverb or delay.

                The reason I started with effects into compression, was because I figured that it would be best to keep the vocals and their subsequent effects within a specific dynamic range. Yesterday, I re-routed to compressor into effects, and noticed these differences:

                 

                1) When a level gets loud, it obviously takes a a short amount of "loud" for the the compressor to tame the level, and the effects obviously hears and responds to the short "burst", however:

                2) I noticed that the noise floor is lower with this routing, instead of effects into compressor. Not that it matters a whole lot in live work.

                 

                Thanks for the suggestion, I will try working with this setup for a bit.



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