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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The New York Compression Trick

I often asked about the New York Compression Trick, which is just my name for parallel compression. Here's where the term came from, a section out of the first edition of the first book I wrote, The Mixing Engineer's Handbook.
One of the little tricks that seem to set New York mixers apart from everyone else is something I call the “New York Compression Trick”. It seems like every mixer who’s ever mixed in New York City comes away with this maneuver. Even if you don’t mix in NYC, once you try it you just might find yourself using this trick all the time since it is indeed a useful method to make a rhythm section rock.

Here’s the trick:
1) Buss the drums, and maybe even the bass, to a stereo compressor.

2) Hit the compressor fairly hard, at least 10dB or more if it sounds good.

3) Return the output of the compressor to a pair of fader inputs on the console or two additional channels in you DAW.

4) Add a pretty good amount of high end (6 to 10dB at 10kHz or so) and low end (6 to 10dB at 100Hz or so) to the compressed signal.

5) Now bring the fader levels of the compressor up until it’s tucked just under the present rhythm section mix to where you can just hear it.

The rhythm section will now sound bigger and more controlled without sounding overly compressed.

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Anonymous said...

I've heard this trick works well with vocals to maintain dynamic but still stay on top of the mix, as well

Anonymous said...

I like NY compression for drums but I like the Motown compression for vocals

both achieve the same or similar goals using slightly different methods



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