Excellent Video on Parallel Compression in Cubase 6.5

If you haven’t seen it go watch it.


It was produced by Steinberg and has a very educational “before” and “after” comparison. I knew what parallel compression was and why it was theoretically needed but until I saw this I didn’t think it was worth the effort. I’m now completely sold on the concept.

I’ve been having fun using parallel compression for vox lately. Lots of ways to skin a cat, but I’ve got my routing a little different. As near as I can tell in the youtube (by memory now, being at work), the fader work he does at the end changes the level of the compressed signal that ultimately shows up in the 2-bus, but not the amount of compression. I don’t think he mentions altering the amount of compression in the youtube, but in his example I think that might have to be done by manipulating the send slider in the combined drum group.

Another way to adjust the amount (rather than just the level) of compression is to make the send post-fader, instead of pre-fader like he did. Then you can adjust the fader on the uncompressed drum group to adjust the amount of compression. This might be a little easier than trying to manipulate the send slider, especially if doing all the adjustments by mouse. The overall signal will get louder when you do that (just like it would if you manipulated the send slider thingy), but you can compensate by bringing the fader down on the final overall mixed drum group. (To adjust only the level of compression, you can just mess with the slider on the compressed drum group like he did).

Hope I didn’t have a brain zzzt typing all this and saying something backwards!

Thanks for pointing this one out. I was wondering if there was a way to keep the volume across the two channels the same to really appreciate the effect. A lot of what I heard was the increase in volume as he brought up the compressed channel.

What I’m wondering is how this technique compares to using Transient Master from NI.

What does that do? … can u discuss?

Basically the same as the Cubase envelopeShaper, the Sonnox Transmod, SPL transient Designer, waves transX… It controls / shapes the volume envelope of a signal.

Can you help me understand how the time-based tools like Envelope Shaper can help approximate parallel compression (I have a hard time seeing how to think of that as a time-dependent effect …)?

Thanks -

I may be lost but I don’t think you can approximate parallel compression with a transient shaper. The reason is, well, you are dealing with peak levels where compression deals more with rms/average levels. For me, transient shapers are a utility for standing something out or back and I don’t use them much. Sonnox transmod is awesome and cubase’s transient shaper is very hit or miss. Anyway, compressors work so differently and they bring up the body of a sound when you use them certain ways, or create pumping effects, and other… which is typical in a parallel compression technique. I will aux into a transient shaper and keep the original untouched for more snap or whatever I am after, but this is not parallel compression. This is parallel processing though, not parallel compression.

Could you use a transient shaper to soften the transients which would allow the underside body of a sound to become more present, yeah, but I wouldn’t call it an approximation of compression because it is not compression.

It’s always a science project getting everything to exist in harmony within 20-20kHz. Then you have width, elevation and depth too. Itsah-3d-environment :slight_smile:

Bla bla bla arrrrrrrrrr!

As Woodcrest says…

They’re used for things like tweaking the attack/decay of a signal… i use them for things like giving a snare just a little bit more attack or removing some of it’s decay/ring. handy for helping an acoustic guitar to ‘pop out’ of a mix, removing ambience from mic’ed channels…the inverse is also true though… you can use them to bring out ambience… great on drum overheads! calm an electric guitar which is a bit too ‘bitey’ etc… dead handy little tool!
The envelope shaper included isn’t half bad actually… for finer control i like the SPL transient designer UAD pluging though.
so no… not really got a lot to do with parallel compression…

No it doesn’t from a “what does it do to the signal” perspective. But if you consider what you’re trying to accomplish - make the drums stand out in the mix more - Transient Master (which is better than Envelope Shaper in my opinion) does help you reach the same goal.