Mastering: Parallel Compression, Upward Expansion


Trying to experiment with self-mastering using Bob Katz’s book.

He recommends using ‘parallel compression’ and upward expansion as an alternative to ‘maximizer’ plug-ins. So…

If anyone here is using these techniques, I’d appreciate some tips on how to set it up in WL. My specific questions are:

  1. You need to make sure the parallel version is time-delayed so that the delay of the compressor is matched with the uncompressed track. Is there a way in WL to see the precise delay induced by the plug-in in samples?

  2. What plug-ins can I use to do upward expansion?

Are you talking a real compressor or a plugin?
Most compressor plugins have a wett/dry button, this is the easiest way to do it in WL
I never use expanders, but SONNOX has one

A plug-in.

I figured -everyone- had seriously read Bob Katz’s book except me. :smiley:

I guess I could use a compressor with wet/dry, but that’s not what Bob does. He splits the signal in two, runs a comp on one leg and then delays the other leg by the amount of the compressed side processing.

The same trick is also used with an UPWARD expansion plug-in.

He recommends both these techniques for loudness maximization with minimum distortion or artifacts. He does NOT recommend using ‘Finalizers’ or other forms of straight downward compression.

Bob’s book is more than years old, people didn’t think of wett dry dials on plugins at that time
The delay compensation is needed to make up for the DA <> AD round trip of the analogue compressor.
It’s no rocket science, others called it NewYork compression at that time.
It’s all just parallel compression, the advantage of retaining transients, while increasing RMS at the same time by heavy squashing. You basically increase the meat, without losing the edge :wink:

Which mastering comps are you suggesting? I have old UA and Voxengo mastering comps with no wet/dry.



Try this one, it’s free