[Ardour-Users] Parallel compression - Was OT: bus strain on computer resources

Thomas Vecchione seablaede at gmail.com
Thu Dec 13 19:34:32 PST 2012

On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 9:41 PM, Al Thompson <althompson58 at gmail.com> wrote:

> So, this "parallel compression" was simply a work-around technique
> devised to compensate for the lack of high frequency response on a
> specific tape machine, that they stopped doing when they got a better
> tape machine because it then "sounded like crap?"
> And why again are we wanting to do this on digital machines that are
> (supposedly) ruler-flat to 20KHz?
Because it really doesn't sound like crap if done well and on the correct
material.  That is the point of using it today, compress but still maintain
some dynamic feel to it so that it sounds much more natural.  You wouldn't
use it for the same reason they were using it, well supposedly anyways.
You still have it as a tool, and one that apparently has/had multiple uses.

Besides studio work isn't the only place parallel compression gets used.
And as I mentioned earlier, parallel compression is far from the only
affect that requires multiple busses per track to do in Ardour, which is
the tangent that started this entire divergent thread.  In fact a basic
form of parallel compression   And in fact in many cases is popular enough
that most software doesn't require jumping through even those hoops.  To
give an example, my iLive consoles have a compressor that can be set as a
parallel compression path instead with the press of a button, mixing in a
'dry' signal and 'wet' signal out of the compressor together.  Similar
story for sidechains etc.

Which all just brings up the point of, this stuff shouldn't need multiple
busses anyways, it is just that noone has figured out how to do it in
Ardour without losing flexibility and in a reliable manner to deal with the
vast range of plugins that don't identify which port precisely is the
sidechain, etc.  But for the time being it all still requires multiple
busses in Ardour to accomplish.

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