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Compression and reverb?
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Author:  wrybread [ Sun May 13, 2018 4:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Compression and reverb?

I'm starting to see one of those in my future.

> It also has the input for the ultralink wireless mics.

How do those mics connect exactly?

Author:  DannyG2006 [ Sun May 13, 2018 4:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Compression and reverb?

wrybread wrote:
I'm starting to see one of those in my future.

> It also has the input for the ultralink wireless mics.

How do those mics connect exactly?

It's usb input just like a computer's. In fact if you have a single mic version, you can use it for recording at home with it connected to your computer. Sounds as good as a Sennheiser 835 wireless mics.

Author:  Bastiat [ Sun May 13, 2018 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Compression and reverb?

wrybread wrote:
or my system I've been using the good ol DBX 166XL for compression and a Lexicon MPX-100 for reverb, and both work well once you get the hang of them. I'm now building out a system for someone who is probably a bit less inclined to learn how to use them though, so I was wondering if there's some fairly simply reverb and compression hardware that someone could recommend? As "set it and forget it" as possible.

Will be feeding a wireless 4 mic setup into it, if that's a factor.

Like most everyone who responded said, a better solution would be to assign each mic its own channel on the mixer (assuming of course that your wireless receiver has as many individual outputs as it does mic inputs), but with your situation you seem to be more comfortable controlling the mic volumes from the wireless receiver. Of course there are trade-offs which you seem to be aware of so with that in mind, I would suggest a couple of devices that may or may not have been mentioned.

So in running all of the mics into one channel, if it were me I wouldn't be using compression, but just limiting. There's a fine line between the two because many devices i.e. the "one knob squeezers" have a hard time limiting without compressing. Without getting into the technical details as to why I wouldn't use compression, suffice it to say that the trade off is that if there are any very soft signals, in the microphone signal path, they won't get amplified. However, as most non-professional singers usually lack a bit of microphone technique, I don't think this is much of a trade-off. The good news is that you won't be compressing the prerecorded content which in many cases is already squashed to smithereens. There was an old analog dbx "one knob squeezer" back in the 80s that did allow you to adjust the threshold and compression ratio thereby allowing it to function as a limiter. I believe the model # was 163X, however it did not have any built in noise gate function. If you wanted to add a noise gate you had to use a separate device called a 463X. Both of these units are 1/2 racks and can be slaved to each other. In other words either device could function as a compressor or a noise gate so you could run a stereo compressor or stereo noise gate. You used to be able to pick these things up on eBay for about $50 each, but these devices are about 30 to 40 years old and used carbon resistors so if you decided to try one of these you need to check it out thoroughly first. If you can find an old Alesis 3630 that is one of the best all time compressors. Just a word of caution about compressors is that there are different types of compressors, some used for tracking some for mastering, etc. For example I have a Tube-Tech CL1-B which is great for tracking and an older UREI/Universal 1176 for mastering. Both of these are studio devices and are great for the purpose for which they were designed, but way overkill for live sound.

As far as reverbs, they've come a very long way over the years, but here again there's a huge difference between studio quality verbs and those designed with the stage in mind. For stage, if you can find an Alesis microverb or nanoverb I wouldn't look any further. The Lexicons and TC Electronic devices have far superior sound (although still not as smooth as a true EMT plate IMHO), but the Alesis verbs have a bit of grain to them so the verbs cut through in noisy environments whereas the silkier sound of the Lexicon and/or TC gets buried in the room noise. One more note, is that when you add these devices inline, they tend to be a bit noisier than if they were inserted so you might want to consider adding a noise gate to your system if the noise is more than you would care to have. Just remember to add it as the very last thing in the chain.

Author:  screamersusa [ Tue May 15, 2018 9:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Compression and reverb?

Compressing all 4 mics on one channel is NUTS...period. That said,
A limiter maybe more usefull.
Generally when I run 4 mics, use the 4 inserts to add comps, I find I have to use different settings for each singer.
Bad singers sound better with more comp, better singers need less. Some singers lean on the compressor for certain songs
intentionally so you have to set the threshold lower. Each singer is different.
With one compressor, If one singer is overpowering or bassy, the other singers get squashed.
If you INSIST on ONE compressor then insert either an eq or a low cut filter before the compressor or you will
have problems. It will never sound right but these days it seems no body cares anymore.....untill they hear it done right.
You will also have trouble mixing because you will be chasing the compressor around everytime you adjust one of the mics.
Unless you are doing this for home recording of rehearsals, I wouldn't try to use just one comp, especially in a karaoke type setup.
Both my PA's have quad compressors connected via the insert jacks for vocals.

I love the idea of the one knob comps but.....there are no indicators on many of them so you have to guess where they are
and the threshold is the mic gain. The meters help big time on a real comp. DBX quads sound really good but a Behringer will work fine.

The TC pedals are about as set it and forget it as you can get BUT...the adaptive dynamics will drive you nuts as they will lock onto the loudest sound and adjust. Then you have to wait for it to re adjust, it will also clamp down on rock singers so while I love the product, I can no longer use them live as TC has refused to provide a manual compression mode that you can set and lock. I had to switch to a modded rolls mic pre/compressor and a Boss Ve20 for consistency.

Author:  cousinvinnie [ Wed May 16, 2018 3:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Compression and reverb?

Set your comp similar to what the guy in the video is doing. Also use a "Plate" reverb on your FX.

My personal preference:
1) for vocals > Never use the noise gate
2) for vocals > Set threshold of compressor to around -20db
3) for vocals > Enable Soft Knee and Set compression between 2:1 and 3:1
4) for vocals > Set the makeup gain to desired volume (Keeping channel pre-amp around 12: oclock position on the mixer)

Author:  Bastiat [ Wed May 16, 2018 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Compression and reverb?

So the more I read through this thread it has occurred to me that a novice may be mislead into thinking that using the inserts alone will provide the user with more flexibility than placing the compressor at the end of the chain (before the amp stage of course), but that is simply not the case unless you have separate compressors for each mic/channel. The fact of the matter is that whether you send all of the mics to a compressor via the mains as you are now doing, or if you send the signal to the compressor via the inserts doesn't really matter in terms of how much compression each mic will get. What dictates the functionality of the compressor is what appears at the input of the compressor as it doesn't matter if it sees the signal from the insert or from the main out. For example, if you have 4 mics plugged into a single compressor, what will trigger the device is determined by the threshold settings. So if for example you have the threshold set to -6db, the input of the compressor will be activated whenever it detects a signal at or above that threshold.

If you have 4 mics sending a signal simultaneously to the input of the compressor, and let's say 2 mics are below the threshold at -10db and 2 mics above the threshold at -5db, the compressor will apply whatever compression settings (i.e. 3:1 a good rule of thumb for a starting point with vocals) to all mics equally including the 2 mics that are below the threshold at -10db. This is the case whether you send the signals via the inserts or through the mains. The big difference here is that when you place the compressor at the end of the signal path, you end up compressing everything including the program material and whatever else is in the signal path which is not a good idea. To get individual compression on each mic you would need to have a separate compressor for each mic i.e. either 4 mono compressors, 2 stereo compressors or a quad compressor. Many high end mixing consoles such as Neve, Trident or a Euphonix, etc. have individual channel strips with built in compressors for each channel. The other issue of course is that you are using a multi-channel wireless system, which admittedly I know nothing about so I don't know if it's even possible to send 4 separate signals to individual channels on your mixer or outboard devices.

Author:  cousinvinnie [ Wed May 16, 2018 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Compression and reverb?

Keep in mind that
1) using a compressor at the end of the chain before cross-overs / amplifiers will result in loss of dynamics.
2) Loud singers will still over power quiet singers if connecting multiple mics to a single compressor. Some people use inserts on subgroups but same results including loss of dynamics.
3) Inserting is the absolute best way to connect any processor into a mixer channel.

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