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Where does the compressor go...?


easy1

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I'd like to run my 2 keyboards (stereo amp, KP200s)) and my violin (mono channel) through a compressor for my live setup -- What's the best way to do this? Do I need a mixer? -- Thanks in advance, I'll try to get back to the forum asap to view any suggestions -- Peace --

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What compressor is it - a multiband or not? Do you want to use a compressor to single things out, or something that simply will take care of any peaks so you don't blow up the speakers? And, with 3 soundsources, I'd get a mixer anyway ;).

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I'd like to run my 2 keyboards (stereo amp, KP200s)) and my violin (mono channel) through a compressor for my live setup -- What's the best way to do this?

 

With a mixer.

 

Do I need a mixer?

 

Yes :)

 

You can use one stereo compressor on the output of the mixer, or alternatively a compressor (or a number thereof) as inserts on the mixer, depending on what you are trying to acheive.

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To tag on another compression question, what sort of dynamic range should one aim for in the final mix?

 

I know it's often suggested that the threshold level be set a bit below the optimum signal level, with a subtle ratio like 4:1, but what's a good dynamic range? and how high should the bass percussion be peaking above the 'ambient' level?

 

Sources are several synths plus percussion sampled from accoustic material and scrunged up a bit.

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Yeah compression is an ear thing for the most part (unless you're recording and using drums or something). I know with snares you want really fast attack but that's it unfortunately...you might want to try dropping into the recording forum and asking for links on compression because I remember a pretter cool website someone posted there with a table of different applications and values to start at. I'm always changing my compressors's settings on my voice all the time...kind of a mood thing.

 

But with keyboards compression is very rare so that'll be an ear thing, which is good anyway since it's probably a unique sound you have in mind anyway.

 

And yes a mixer is as far as I know the only way to use it on the violin, though I'm not positive about the keyboard. You can't run a mic directly into a compressor because the signal hasn't been pre-amped yet (hence the fact that it's a great idea to get a mixer and use the inserts), but I'm not sure if keyboards are line level or what. I have a feeling you might be able to use the keyboard's line out directly into the compressor's line in since I've used mics with things that keyboard were driving too hard (an old recording deck - the keyboard signal was too much)...there's defininate more signal coming out of a keyboard, the question is "Is it enough?".

 

I say just get a mixer though. Even if you can go directly into the compressor it's a useless setup anyway. Unless you want to mess up your sound, the only way to change volume with the keyboard would be to use the output gain on the compressor, assuming it has one. Using a mixer would give you a nice channel fader to use. Much easier, especially live.

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What compressors are y'all using by the way?

 

I use a dbx 266xl or something close to that in designation on my voice and I've been very pleased considering the price. No it's nowhere near what I've used in studios, but it's very smooth and warm (unlike the Behringers I tried) and it's dual channel that can be linked for stereo. I love the thing. Also used it on the drumset when we were recording and it helped immensely on the snare and kick...much easier to get the sound we wanted.

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You'd most likely want to use the compressor to knock off excess transient peaks. This allows you to work amps preamp & amp harder without clipping or damaging speakers. This is best done with it just before amp. One can also use compressor to even out volume of wanted via boosting low volume signals and decreasing high volume ones. Some nice budget ones like behringers also have other goodies on em. If amp has an effect loop you could put it in there. Though most often its inserted between mixer & amp. Or in mixers effect loop.

 

I like & use Behringers autocom pro when I use a comp.

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