RELYING ON COMPRESSION ALONE
It often happens, especially when live recording, that processed sound track is too unstable.
Let's use vocals as an example. A vocalist can go from a whisper to a shout within the same verse. If you try to reign in the dynamics with compression alone, the vocals will sound over-compressed, dull and lifeless.
Instead, use automation to make the volume consistent between different sections. Then use serial compression on top of that to really reign it in. NOT HAVING AN INTENTION
When you start using compression and get to know about the importance of dynamic correction, you might feel like you need to use it on every channel. You don't.
Every mixing move should have an intention behind it – otherwise you are just blindly working around the mix making random adjustments. The need for compression should come before the application.
For example, if a guitar part is too loud on some notes, but too quiet on others or if the lead vocal need more aggression to help it cut through the mix – grab a preferred compressor and get to work. NOT CONSIDERING GENRE
It's that simple. Certain genres call for more compression, others for less. It all depends on the distinctive features of the genre.
If the music should be loud and powerful, such as rock music or dubstep, a lot of compression is required. On the other end of spectrum, we have jazz and acoustic music that require a large dynamic range and little to no compression.
Bear this in mind, and use reference tracks when in doubt. Listen to a professional mix in the same genre, and take notice of the amount of compression. BLAMING PLUGINS, NOT SETTINGS
Beginners producers and sound engineers often start learning compression with a web search query of "best compressors" or something like that. Then they find expensive plugins full of a huge amount of professional features that will definitely distract from the basic points.
We do not recommend to switch to other plugins until you thoroughly examine your DAW built-in compressor, if any. Only when you are experienced enough in compression, you will know exactly which features of expensive plugins you need for a comfortable work.
Everybody makes mistakes, especially dealing with such a difficult matter as mixing music. No unified approach or rule in mixing makes the situation even more difficult. Nothing of what works in 90% of cases may be helpful in your own case. So, it's not that simple just to follow somebody's tips and get the desired result.
Try and learn from your own mistakes. And we, in turn, will do our best to help you with our informative articles.
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