The last track of this album is amazing (have forgot the name).
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Sorry but I'm not quite sure what you are disagreeing with, Immersion.
Your basic compressor (not multiband) is for controlling amplitude without respect to frequency. So it can smooth a mix that has harsh peaks by knocking those peaks down a bit ... wherever those peaks are throughout the frequency spectrum. So yes, it can cut harsh edges or volume spikes in this way.
An EQ is frequency specific. You can also lower volume peaks with it, but always over a particular frequency range. But of course you can also use it to lower particular frequencies that are already low in a mix, which a basic compressor does not do.
What's important, for me, is not so much the individual compressors used but the individual tracks you have to master. Some tracks can be in bad need of compression because of wayward dynamics that need taming, and this is often a matter of inadequate mixing (and recording) of the track in the first place. But I'd probably still use EQ along with the compressor. Or maybe use a multiband compressor.
A good mix may need no compression, but it may still need some massaging to bring it in line with other tracks on an album ... which is what mastering is all about.
Compressors are great for controlling dynamics in a live recording environment (singer, guitar, drum mics, etc).
Very nicely played. A somber mood, which I love.
Have you considered playing on live show at www.stillstream.com? They'd eat this stuff up.
In the dark/at night, in bed, with headphones, eyes closed.
For me the ultimate way to listen to all ambient/atmospheric electronic music. It adds so much more to the experience than just 'casual listening' (eyes open / no headphones / while doing something else).
The only true test to determine how much I really like the music. My all-time favorites in electronic music all came to be after listening sessions in bed.
At the risk of sounding arrogant, but I have a hard time taking people's opinions on ambient serious, if they never listen to ambient like that. If there's one genre in music that just asks to be listened to this way, it's ambient.
I have not played live yet with my ambient music - but am slowly setting up to do so. Only problem is trying to work out if I can do the level of sound twisting I use in the recorded sound in a live situation.
Which raises the issue of using CD/Minidisc/MP3 as part of the performance....
and how important are the visual aspect of playing live?
Thanks for fielding the questions Anthony!
I'm a big Kaoss Pad fan and have the works. Although they get more powerful with each version,
things also get left behind - so each one has it's own personality. The black/red KP3 that APK uses
is strong in the sampling and quantized effects and the silver KP2 is stronger for non-quantized
playing of effects. My favourite delay from the KP1 did not get carried forward to later generations.
They're all terrific for live performance - where you can spontaneously transform your sounds.
BTW - The KP3 is the strongest as a MIDI-controller if that is also important to you.
I'll jump in ... Immersion, they are a couple of Korg Kaoss Pads, looks like version 1 and version 2.
I recently got Omnisphere as well. It's interesting how Atmosphere had a "sound" to it, and I find that Omnisphere has it's own "sound". I agree that a lot of the patches are too complex/busy to write music with (Atmosphere had the same problem), but I use them as a base and edit them to fit my needs. Also, heavy reverb will smooth out the sharp parts. The hard part is trying to make it not sound too much like Omnisphere, which I usually fail at. haha. Oh well, fun synth in any case.
Immersion said: "one thing for certain is that it brings "clarity" into the mix, since you hear the whole dynamic range more clearly..."
I wouldn't say this is certain. The perceived clarity is perhaps simply a result of a volume increase. If compression reduces the dynamic range then its not adding clarity.
I do quite a lot of mastering, and I'd say that a bit of well-placed EQ work brings clarity to a mix.
I use compression very sparingly.
But I do use a good EQ quite a bit.
And I find that a good visualization plugin is absolutely essential to mastering.
Compression can be very useful, and in fact I incorporate compression often, both in the creation of my own recordings and the mastering of other people's recordings.
But the notion that compression automatically makes things sound "better" is nonsense. In many cases it can make things sound worse. It's nothing more than a tool to change the relative dynamics between loud and quiet parts in a given segment of audio. Used casually, compression is more likely to screw things up than improve things. I've screwed up a master more than once by getting too compression-happy, and ended up going back to pre-compression version of the master and trying to solve the level or volume issues again some other way.
"Redline Monitor makes mixes sound identical on speakers and headphones."
Has anyone of you tried this
From their page:QuoteIts proprietary algorithm performs a sophisticated combination of filtering, frequency-dependent delaying, mid/side processing, and room simulation to create a convincing acoustic soundstage that allows you to properly localize sound sources.
I would never use it, it kind of defeats the purpose of mastering, you don't want to add anything to simulate what you might hear and to then make corrections, you want to actually hear it for real and then add corrections.
Most mastering engineers I know say the most important tools the mastering engineer has are their years of experience followed by the sound of the room he/she uses.
As for compression I don't think its really needed that much in most ambient music, maybe a bit of limiting to make sure their are no overs of the digtial signal. Compression is over used in most popular music, I think its best to stay away from it for the most part.