Lets talk about Multiband compression and other compression techniques, maximus, izotope, and other compressors

right so i took badly mixed track of mine, and applied maximus and some eq…and got a better sounding result by playing around with the transient envelope curves, and automating the attack, release, and sustain parameters to coincide different halves of the track and simultaneously centered the bass frequencies while placing the other frequencies appropriately in the stereo field…and applied some eq to it

the question is did i do something right?

i feel like i found a quick shortcut to making my shitty mixes sound better…

(apologies for a basic thread, let’s rebuild idmf’s knowledge database)

I think this is a good read
at least to start the conversation

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it was, a good read indeed, it broke down the basics of how compressors work and then some…good find :slight_smile:

they have multiple uses from sound design…to dynamics and mixing, can be used to create artifacts, modify the waveform, give or take away the dynamics of a sound depending upon how its used, and im assuming different compressor vsts/hardware will process the sound different pending upon how they are built/the algorithm they use for processing sound…

but I really havent delved into other aspects of experimenting with compression for mixing and mastering…

ive only used it for destroying or creating transient wierd transients for a sound, and creating feedback/ artifacts, and distortion.

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That website is full of articles. Good for a light read.

And yeah, compressors are really versatile, if used boldly, you could literally make a whole song with some simple waveforms and a few compressors.

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that is a good idea, im actually im gonna try that

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Equing was right. I would eq all samples in the shitty track so that almost no master is needed. Then i would apply your compression now. Compressor is a gain control, not an equalizer. It cannot replace equalizing.

Despite all that’s been said so far, I use these as attenuators and shapers all the time. Multiband processing has some of the best ‘wrong uses’ imaginable because you can completely destroy a sound to your liking… or sometimes totally repair it.

I avoid this type of thing on the master because things tend to fall apart even quicker that way, but if you’re going to town, designing some sound and want things to get weird fast, there’s nothing better. If your master isn’t completely overburdened by drum transients and loads of other percussive content, I could see this potentially working there as well (as you’ve said).

MB is kind of my favorite black magic; sometimes it fixes and sometimes the destruction is great too

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Personal opinion i find that dynamic EQ and dynamic EQ hybrids have superceded multiband compression.no need for a crossover more musical to boot.the whole idea of isolating your mix into a set of bands i have always found a deeply flawed and limited concept(can you tell i’m not a fan of multiband :D)

It has a sound that comes in use for sound design because of all the damage it does before you even process with the thing(because of the crossovers),but for mixing and mastering?i will pick a dynamic EQ or something like Pro-MB(not a multiband comp despite the name)or more than likely Multiplicity every time


dynamic eq’s like this https://www.kvraudio.com/product/f6-floating-band-dynamic-eq-by-waves

and this https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-nova/

wow ive been hiding under a rock…

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I use TB Equalizer4(tried to insert a link but wouldn’t let me)filters sound good in it and it has an external sidechain input for every single EQ node.gives you crazy control over mixes,masters,busses.if you need that level of control.great tool and even has creative applications(not to mention the ridiculously cheap price)

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dang one experiment in with dynamic eq and im gonna say that I liek…uber sound destruction fx chain here i come

dynamic eq + IL maximus = uber trasient destruction

Are transient shapers still a thing?

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Rolled in to mention TDR Nova.


NI transient shaper is still a thing.

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I dunno if you grabbed it or not yet,but you can expand upwards with the TBEQ4 per EQ band,which is kind of the similar thing in practice and sound (not in terms of how they function)to the attack knob on a transient shaper

There used to be a really good Voxengo plugin that did this but its legacyware now AFAIK

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And not one mention of Ableton’s multi-band compressor OTT setting? Ha! Ha! There are guys who will put one on every track. I honestly never used it until the other day. I tend to avoid multi-band compression. A friend of mine sent me a drum loop he’d created and wanted me to do something with it. It was a two bar loop, and it was kind an odd thing to begin with, as he’s an ambient guy, not a drum programmer (weird transient “snares” not on the downbeats, but an 8th note behind, and no compression) So, I made a quick break beat with Ableton’s Session Drum pack, ran both breaks through Trash 2, and did a drop and chop thing with Simpler. The two beats sounded great “genetically spliced”, but couldn’t get them to sit well together until I put an OTT at the end of the chain. Then they just clicked. From there I just did a bunch of micro-edits. The OTT setting is like fairy dust. It squashed all the peaks and raised the quieter transients so there weren’t any drop outs.

EDIT: I just tried posting the result, but my Dropbox link isn’t working, so you’ll just have to take my word that it was pretty awesome.

I tried to match the OTT settings with one of my other multi bands and it just didn’t work the same. Funny thing is, I’ve tried using Ableton’s MB before and it usually only made things sound worse. X-fer Records has a free version available for non-Ableton folks, by the way.


You probably couldn’t match the crucial part of the OTT preset,because not a lot of multiband comps have the facility to boost the transfer curve from the bottom.the upwards compression part.one way to mimic upwards compression though is just with cascaded parallel compression.feeding compressors into compressors in parallel with the dry signal still mixed in.eventually it will reach a point that you will end up with a transfer curve similar to that of upwards compression.

Doing that with multiband comps that aren’t linear phase presents an issue though,as the phase rotation from each of the bands will introduce notches at the crossovers stopbands.may come in useful for just destroying things,but its not gonna sound particularly good on drums


I got ott by xfer I mean yea for distortion and fsuing stuff I get it, but for regular standard compression I’m like meh…it has other uses though so I’m like okay cool.

Good thing its freeware.


you could have fixed all those things in the mix and achieved better results.
i think the topic in question here is probably the break you had between mixing the track and revisiting it with the mastering.
i think if you had noticed the problems when you were mixing the track you could have avoided them more effectively. the problem is we loop our tracks and we hear them for hours on end while finely tuning parameters and we end up sick of hearing it, we get fatigued and we miss flaws while spending hours repairing problems that are not noticable.
when we have a break from hearing the track (which i assume you did between mixing and mastering?) we allow ourselves to hear it from more of a new listener perspective.

Here comes my ignorant hot take:

For a lot of electronic music why are you even using that much compression? Unless you are building a lot of variance in gain into your sounds (synth patches) or doing weird shit with samples you shouldn’t need a ton? Most of my songs have no compressors on them.

I prefer saturation of mix buses over compression for “glue”.