[Ardour-Users] Current best method for multi-band compression within Ardour?

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Sun Nov 18 09:25:30 PST 2018

On Sun, 18 Nov 2018 10:10:27 -0500, Seablade - wrote:
>This is about more than just measurements.  I will back up Robin, I
>have stopped using Calf more multiple reasons and yes what Robin
>mentioned is a big part of one of them, significant phase smearing
>that is very audible and in many cases not what you really want.


without verifying your claim, I don't claim that Robin and you are
mistaken regarding phase smearing, however, for my engineering approach
it is not unusable for _some_ serious work. OTOH my approach is

1. Usually I try to do everything just using a good parametric EQ for
each channel and no compressor at all.

2. Often just using a parametric EQ has got some limitations and it
could be useful to use a compressors for some channels, too.

3. For some kind of music, especially if special bass presence is
wanted, I'm using a multiband compressor for the stereo sum. This is a
cheap trick, that anyway requires to remix all EQ and fader settings
done for each channel before and also might require an EQ for the
stereo sum, too. IOW when using a compressor this way, strange things
are done to the frequencies anyway. Using a multiband compresser so or
so always is a little bit fishy, it doesn't keep music sounding
"natural", in a way a "simple" compressor with a light ratio could do.
Multiband compression per se tends to sound strange. I'm aware that
some multiband compressors could be used in a quite decent way, Calf
probably can't be used quite decent. However, if we want quite decent
multiband compression, we could question, if multiband compression
or even "simple" compression is required at all.

Again, I used it to successfully imitate an engineers mixing style,
without knowing, if this engineer does get the sound in the same way.
Another multiband compressor might be easier to use, another mixing
style without a stereo sum compression might do the job, too.

I've got a Roland GR-55 providing Boss Turbo Over Drive OD-2 modeling
and I've got an original Boss Turbo OverDrive OD-2. The modeling can't
be used to seriously get the overdrive produced by the Boss stomp box,
the produced sound isn't nearly similar to that of the stomp box, but I
wouldn't call it unusable. If a compressor used to compress different
frequencies of a signal in different ways, does cause phase issues, I'm
not really surprised.


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