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audio compression prior to recording

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haden taylor
audio compression prior to recording
on May 22, 2009 at 10:47:02 pm

I can compress an audio file in Audition after it has been recorded.
I want to know if I can apply compression to a voice during the recording process using Audition 3. I have been told it is possible, but I can only seem to do it after the voice has been recorded.
I do not want to buy an outboard compressor (which I know will work).
I want to know if the Audition progran can compress while recording.
Thanks


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Emmett Andrews
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on May 23, 2009 at 1:32:01 am

You can monitor a compressed signal, but you can't record the compressed output...And I can't think of a reason you'd want to. Care to elaborate?


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haden taylor
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on May 23, 2009 at 10:31:03 am

Thanks for the response. I guess I did not describe the issue properly.
It is my understanding that the vast majority of professional recordings in the music industry use dynamic range compression during the recording process. For example, a vocal mic or drum mic signal will be compressed before it reaches the recording software.
Once this signal is recorded, it may be compressed again when mastering and mixing all the various tracks.
Normally this 'pre-compression' is achieved with a physical piece compression hardware. Once this compressed signal is recorded in Audition (or any other program) it can be compressed again using the Audition compression effects. In other words, once the signal is recorded you do not need the outboard hardware compressor. You can use the Audition software to compress a pre recorded signal.
My question is this. Can I compress a vocal track while it is being recorded, without the use of an outboard piece of compression hardware? Can Audition first compress, then record a live vocal track?
Thanks again


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Emmett Andrews
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on May 23, 2009 at 11:30:16 am

There's absolutely no benefit to trying to work this way, whatsoever. Those who compress on the way in do it using outboard gear to get a specific sound that comes as a direct result of the hardware unit, ot to control dynamic range before the audio gets to the soundcard (converters, interface, etc.) Once it passes into the computer, any benefit would be lost. So the sound would not be any different from adding a compressor once it's already recorded. And compressing on the way in is actually a lot less common than you'd think. These days, many, many engineers prefer to record everything completely dry so there's a blank slate to work with inside the box. The benefits of outboard gear are, most importantly, a specific sound that software can't create (i.e. an LA-2A) or to control dynamic range BEFORE the sound reaches the soundcard, in the analog domain. Once it reaches the soundcard and it's in the digital domain, all processing should be done inside the program.

I hope that makes sense!

Emmett



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haden taylor
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on May 23, 2009 at 11:48:58 am

Thanks Emmett,
Just to be clear, you are saying that to pre compress I need an outboard hardware compressor. Audition cannot do this for me.
It can only compress a signal once it has been recorded.

(Let's leave aside the issue of wether it is a good idea or not)



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Steven Talley
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on May 24, 2009 at 3:42:40 pm

Effects are applied to recorded or live audio and can be removed or replaced with other effects at will.

Depending on what audio interface you are using you can record what has gone through Audition. You will need an audio interface that has multiple inputs and can record the main 2 channel mix.


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Emmett Andrews
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on May 26, 2009 at 11:52:50 pm

Exactly. But I'll say again...It serves no purpose. It's the same algorithm. Believe me, I work in a $35 million facility with 130 audio professionals every day. Anyone who has given you the idea that working this way (compressing Audition's compressed signal on the way in) is horribly mistaken about the way digital audio works. Can it be done? Sure. Is there a good reason to try to do it? Never.

Emmett


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James Rashid
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on Aug 13, 2009 at 1:54:24 am

I just read through your discussion, I have the same desire, though the only reason i want the compression is because im tired of the vocalist clipping during recording, more than the compression i just want to stop the clipping from occurring. So would it be possible to explain how i could do this either by using the compressor/limiter built into audition while recording realtime, because once it has clipped the take is of no use unless i punch in again, or any other way without having to purchase additional hardware.


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Emmett Andrews
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on Aug 13, 2009 at 2:51:45 am

Don't record so hot. Should be about -18db average. Why would you be recording so hot in the first place?



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haden taylor
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on Feb 10, 2011 at 5:14:19 pm

I understand what you are saying. But let me ask you this. If you are recording a signal with a very wide dynamic range, would it not make sense to add a bit of compression/limiting with an out board compressor. You could then record with a bit higher level without fear of clipping, and then you would get a better signal to noise ratio - especially if you were recording in a slightly noisy environment?


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Emmett Andrews
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on Feb 10, 2011 at 6:56:36 pm

No, unless your converters are garbage, S/N isn't an issue. Whatever you're recording likely has less than 30dB of usable dynamic range. We're not in 1984 anymore, where 30dB plus 18 dB of headroom would put you close to the noise floor. As far as your background noise, it makes no difference when you compress, the noise will raise. There is no benefit to compressing on the way in.


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keith beam
Re: audio compression prior to recording
on Feb 9, 2011 at 1:07:20 am

I produce a show for the outdoor channel and I continually run into the network compressing my audio making it sound flat. I am running the whole audio level around -20 to -12 with their guidelines being
-8 max. The bass whether it be guitar or drum pedals is made flat by the network. I need someones audio help and experience.
Thank you.
Keith Beam


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