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compression setting causing a -10db loss

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Nelson May
compression setting causing a -10db loss
on Nov 11, 2013 at 10:31:15 pm

My compressor setting mysteriously changed. I spilt coffee on my desk, but I opened my dbx266 and nothing got in.

Anyway, when I cleaned up and put everything back together, the compressor seems to be kicking in a lot fast and harder. My audio going in has dropped about 10db in Pro Tools 11. I am a voice actor and know nothing about pre sound. I had an engineer set up my studio. I have to get another engineer back in, or maybe you guys can suggest something. I know this is the compressor because when I am in my audio booth I can hear the highs through the headphones. After my first syllable I lose those highs and I think I am looking gain. My setting are the same, because I marked them in case they were bumped. That is why I can’t figure out what changed. Last week my audio was good and strong….up to and around 6db coming in and now I am loosing 10db.

I have a TLM104 going into a presonus blue tube amp. Then it goes into the dbx266

Threshhold at -18 to 20
Ratio is just past the halfway mark of 2:1 and 4:1
Attach is almost on Fast
Release is almost ¾ of the way over toward slow
And Output Gain is about -3db

I have played around and can’t get anything to change.

I am using an mbox 2 and I have played with the gain on my mbox and presonus and still have the same problem.

This is a bit of an issue, because I am trying to record an audio book, and the compressor is allowing some strong attacks, and keeps everything else around -10db.

I want to gain back that -10db. It also makes the audio sound less “crisp” and I have to add some eq on the high end.

One thought, should I move everything over to the other channel on the compressor and see if I have a bad channel. The dbx will be a year old in Jan 2014.

Thanks.

MBP 2.4GHz 4MB RAM, 30"cine, MAC PRO 2.6 8 core 6GB RAM, Mbox, Neumann TLM-103, FCP HD 7. Pro Tools 8, Adobe Creative Suite, Reason 3.0, Macromedia Studio, ProAnimator, HVX200 with Firestore v4.0


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Peter Groom
Re: compression setting causing a -10db loss
on Nov 12, 2013 at 8:11:07 am

HI
Ok 2 things here.

1) For me, as a dubbing mixer who receives and records many voice overs for tv, Id be horrified if i thought that any vo was applying any compression whatsoever. I specifically ask and get them to remove any processing. I dont see it as your job to make the sound punchy etc etc. Just say the words we supply the way we supply them and perform as directed. ILL take care of the mix issues.

2) I think your clue is in "After my first syllable I lose those highs" That suggests that your threshold has got moved relative to the audio signal level, and that the fast attack is grabbing it and applying gain reduction (which is exactly what compression does)
Try backing off the attack time a bit and adjusting the threshold to see if you can lose the rapm effect youre hearing.
Youre sure youve nothing else thats got switched in by mistake, such as a gate or expander??

Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Nelson May
Re: compression setting causing a -10db loss
on Nov 12, 2013 at 10:02:11 pm

Thanks. I have checked all my connections and that is what is worrying me. I don't do much VO anymore. I work as a set dresser and catch an occasional VO for an old client. I wrote and book and I am reading it to CD. I wanted to have some post processing for my private work. I even have a few clients that like to "drop the audio" and want the compression and a bit if pre sweeting for quick TV turnaround.

I will play with the setting you recommended. When the compressor was set up, I put a mark next to the setting in case the dbx ever was bumped. That is why I can't understand the big change. My mic placement is the same. If I read a a lower volume level, I can hear the compression kick in. I am going to use the other channel on the dbx and also play with your recommended settings.

Thanks for the help. Hopefully I will become better trained in pre and post sound.

MBP 2.4GHz 4MB RAM, 30"cine, MAC PRO 2.6 8 core 6GB RAM, Mbox, Neumann TLM-103, FCP HD 7. Pro Tools 8, Adobe Creative Suite, Reason 3.0, Macromedia Studio, ProAnimator, HVX200 with Firestore v4.0


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