Need some compression & limiting help

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Funk Republic Radio
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Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Funk Republic Radio » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:55 am

I need your help with regards to our dynamics.

Yes my station Funk Republic Radio (funkrepublic.com) is an Internet streaming radio station. But having been in AM radio in Seattle from 88-92, I sincerely try to program and engineer my station like we did back in the day. In other words, I treat my station like a bona-fide terrestrial radio station and assume that my listeners do as well. We play a nice mix of funk and soul from the early 60s thru today complete with TOTH ID's, stingers, sweeps, idents, etc etc. Nice punchy tracks with lots of dynamics, BOSS jocks sort of screaming and talking fast... personality!

Unlike many Internet stations, I take my audio, programming and overall sound seriously. Starting with an EV RE-20 vocal mic into a TubePre, into a dbx compressor/gate, into a Aphex Aural Exciter/Big Bottom then in to my Yamaha 16 channel Mixer. Jock vocals actually pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. The main outs on the board dump in to our macintosh computer using NiceCast that has an exquisite effects panel using a host of Waves plugins.

Before hitting the Internet air-waves our audio chain ends with the Waves C6 multi-band compressor and finally the LL3 Limiter. (if you have any comments on plugins you think I should other than what I'm using... I'm all ears!)

So considering I'm sort of going for a 60s-70s style FM BOSS sound with probably a bit more compression than most would like, can anyone give me some guidance with regards to frequency compression settings and limiter settings? How much compression should I use for my final mix? What frequencys should I be compressing more or less. How about my final limiter? Is 10 db of limiting too much?

Any help would be awesome!
JJ Nite
Funk Republic Radio
http://funkrepublic.com

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Deep Thought
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Re: Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Deep Thought » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:20 pm

Here is the problem:

"The main outs on the board dump in to our macintosh computer using NiceCast that has an exquisite effects panel using a host of Waves plugins."

You'll never get the sound you are looking for here. You need to stick with the broadcast or at least pro audio stand-alone processors and forget trying to do it in a computer unless the computer is dedicated solely to the task and runs software up to the task. You'll find that you're better off in the analog world when trying to replicate a "legacy" sound.

Since you've got the Aural Exciter I'd suggest finding an Aphex Compellor and a Dominator to do your final processing. Or, find an Orban 418A or 424A. The former is mostly the compressor stage of the original Optimod 8000. The 424A is a different design more targeted for output level control than audible processing effects.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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Funk Republic Radio
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Re: Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Funk Republic Radio » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:18 pm

Deep Thought wrote:Here is the problem:

"The main outs on the board dump in to our macintosh computer using NiceCast that has an exquisite effects panel using a host of Waves plugins."

You'll never get the sound you are looking for here. You need to stick with the broadcast or at least pro audio stand-alone processors and forget trying to do it in a computer unless the computer is dedicated solely to the task and runs software up to the task. You'll find that you're better off in the analog world when trying to replicate a "legacy" sound.

Since you've got the Aural Exciter I'd suggest finding an Aphex Compellor and a Dominator to do your final processing. Or, find an Orban 418A or 424A. The former is mostly the compressor stage of the original Optimod 8000. The 424A is a different design more targeted for output level control than audible processing effects.
Ok, so I should take my mixer board main outs L/R and send them in to an Aphex Compellor / Dominator and THEN back in to my Presonus Firepod? So in other words I'm not using ANY Waves plugins for processing? Also, I'm using the Aural Exciter / Big Bottom strictly for the jock mic.

And one other thing, if I went the Aphex Compellor / Dominator route... do I need both? Just noticed that the Compellor as a built in limiter.

BTW BIG THANKS!!!
JJ Nite
Funk Republic Radio
http://funkrepublic.com

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Re: Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Funk Republic Radio » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:11 pm

Any comments on some of the DBX compressors and limiters?
JJ Nite
Funk Republic Radio
http://funkrepublic.com

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Dale H. Cook
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Re: Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Dale H. Cook » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:28 am

Funk Republic Radio wrote:... if I went the Aphex Compellor / Dominator route... do I need both? Just noticed that the Compellor as a built in limiter.
The limiter in the Compellor is single-band, and does not compare with the three-band limiter in the Dominator. The Compellor/Dominator combo was, in its time, used by many small-budget stations in the same way that the Audimax/Volumax combo was used many years earlier.
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Deep Thought
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Re: Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Deep Thought » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:34 am

As to the DBX question, they are fine for side-chain processing but I never liked them for main program level control. There are better tools for that.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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Re: Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Funk Republic Radio » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:12 pm

Very nice boys. And it's my assumption that the Jock's mic is processed completely separately. In other words, having compression, aural exciter and big bottom between the jock's mic and the board is acceptable standard?
JJ Nite
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http://funkrepublic.com

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Deep Thought
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Re: Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Deep Thought » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:27 pm

Many "high energy" stations process mics prior to the final mix for both practical and political reasons. Most air talent is so ego-driven and paranoid that they will blame everything--including the microphone and associated electronics--but themselves for any personal performance shortcomings, perceived or real. So, stations often employ mic processing that can be individually set (and locked) for each individual. What you have is pretty much standard practice, except that the AA is normally used more for music or program processing than just voices. It tends to mask the effects of other processing if used correctly.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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Re: Need some compression & limiting help

Post by Funk Republic Radio » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:35 pm

Deep Thought wrote:Many "high energy" stations process mics prior to the final mix for both practical and political reasons. Most air talent is so ego-driven and paranoid that they will blame everything--including the microphone and associated electronics--but themselves for any personal performance shortcomings, perceived or real. So, stations often employ mic processing that can be individually set (and locked) for each individual. What you have is pretty much standard practice, except that the AA is normally used more for music or program processing than just voices. It tends to mask the effects of other processing if used correctly.
Yes those are 100% true statements. I've worked with those EGO-DRIVEN individuals and everything in their ego mind that is perceived as a shortcoming is the fault of everyone except themselves. And yes the engineer is usually the one that gets blamed.

Now that I have my OWN station, I can only blame myself for EVERYTHING! :-) - I try and take the mindset that a "final-product" is what I'm after. So it all starts with MY voice, and I use the Aphex Aural Exciter & Big Bottom to enhance what god gave me. Then essentially use the dbc compressor / gate to give me the freedom to talk low, talk loud, and get a big crazy without worrying about anything blowing up on the listener's end.

Does that theory make sense?
JJ Nite
Funk Republic Radio
http://funkrepublic.com

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