Old 02-15-2014, 01:28 AM   #1
Naji
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Default Parallel compression in Reaper

Yesterday I watched someone applying parallel compression in a daw. He duplicated an audio drum track. The original was dry without any fx, the 2nd was with a compressor fx.
Finally he added the compressed track to the dry track by moving the volume fader to the desired amount.

In Reaper one can do that in a simpler way - a CPU friendlier way.
You only need one track and apply compressor fx. By moving the dry/wet knob of the fx plug-in you are able to add the desired amount of parallel compression. If the knob is moved to the very right(=100%wet) the audio signal is completely compressed.

Is this procedure correct ? Or is the better way to duplicate a track in order to add parallel compression ?
By the way compression is not the only fx one could apply, one could also first apply an eq in order to affect only a certain range of frequencies.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:15 AM   #2
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mmmh, yes it's the same if you want to apply a parallel compression to a clean track without any other processing on it.

I always do that with a second track, actually, speaking about drums where the parallel compression is most used, or reverb, i use to make 2 busses, one for the clean and one for the compressed.

It's different because on the clean bus i can put a compressor too, to glue the drumkit, some eq or whatelse, while in the parallel compression bus i use to put only the compressor heavily compressed, to punch out the attack and give more punch to the "clean" bus.
That works for reverb too, a reverb bus where i send all my tracks and move the fader to balance the reverb amount is so much easily to do then always opening the fx window and move the dry/wet fader.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:35 AM   #3
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You apply a compressor as a send/return fx this way and not as an insert fx, I see. I am not sure, but I think doing it your way you have a higher CPU usage ?! and you have to create 4 tracks (2 Audio and 2 Busses) only for adding fx to drums.I am just thinking of the best way to reduce CPU usage...

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Old 02-15-2014, 03:40 AM   #4
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no no, that's the way i do:

let's say 8 drum tracks with audio file, and their fx to make the cool sound for each one (usually, eq for fixing resonances, comp and eq to cut just the final drum mix).
then, i create two empty tracks that i call "bus drums" and "bus parallel".
Then i send the 8 tracks to both the busses.
So now i have 2 busses with the drum mix.
Till now, no difference cpu usage, just a couple of sends.

Then i want to process the whole drum mix into the song mix as a single instrument (which drum is in reality) so i m going to eq and compress it to cut the song mix..cpu usage? yes the plugin i use on this track..but hey...i need them even without the second bus right?

On the second bus, where i have the clean drums, without the new eq and comp i put on the other bus, i applied only the comp, squeezing it as much as i can without ruin the sound to have all the punch the drum can have.
cpu usage? the same of applying a comp to the other bus :P
Then i adjust this level to give to my "real drum" the cool punch.

What's the difference between having a dedicated bus for the punch compression and putting it on the drum bus directly?
In this way i dont squeeze my "final drum mix" with his own eq but i squeeze the "clean drum mix".
A compressor after or before an eq gives a different result by a compressor without any eq
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:31 AM   #5
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Ok, you apply a compressor as a send / return fx and you do it twice.
You have one send / return bus for normal / smooth compression and one bus for heavy / parallel compression. Now I see.

That´s the way I do it with reverb fx. Most engineers say it´s better to use reverb as send / return fx.
If you have a snare Audio track. Create a bus track with reverb fx. Send snare Audio to this bus and appply reverb
and adjust the amount of fx. But you could also have the reverb directly as an insert fx in the Audio track and adjust
the amount of fx with wet/dry knob !
Send / return maybe is better as for cpu usage, because you can send different tracks to the send / return fx bus !
When I want to add reverb to a guitar, to a snare and to Percussion, I only have to send them all to an reverb fx bus;
I could also insert the reverb in every single track, but that would cause more CPU usage !

Last edited by Naji; 02-15-2014 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:09 PM   #6
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Back to the OP. There's only one instance of the Comp either way, and I don't believe that the "extra" track adds enough CPU usage to bother thinking about. Track faders are slightly more convenient to automate, and some folks would just rather have that visual/tactile experience. It's a matter of taste, I think.

Note also, that what metal_priest describes could probably also be accomplished on one multichannel track using the pin connectors. Again, this "hides" the basic controls required to actually mix the parallel paths in the FX windows.

I use both methods depending on just about everything else that's going on.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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Side note: when I want to create a buss, like a drum buss, I usually just put all of the individual drum channels into a folder track. And that folder becomes the buss. For my purposes the routing is simpler while having the same ability. If I want a send effect like reverb or delay, Then I set that extra track as a send effects track.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:03 AM   #8
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You can do it in many ways, especially in Reaper. I like to use the method of metal_priest, not only because you have more freedom with a separate track for
the parallel bus (you can add other effects after compressor (like saturators eqs etc), but also because it is much more easy to blend the parallel compressed signal with the original one using faders in the mixer that a micro-knob wet-dry in the fx window.

I suggest you this routing:

kick disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
snare disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
hats disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
etc.. disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp

Then make a folder 'DRUMS' for kick, snare, hats,(etc..), DrumBus, ParallelComp. Reason: you can now control the total volume of your drums with DRUMS fader, and shape the sound with other faders (kick, snare,...,DrumBus, ParallelComp). You of course can add a ReverbDrumBus in the same way.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:57 AM   #9
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Hi,

found this thread cause I had phasing issues with parallel compression.
I use a folder as drumbus and sent that to a new track with a comp on it.
When I bring that par comp track up in level with the drumbus the sound gets less clearer the higher the level is. I flipped the phase and its even worse.
I used par. comp before with duplicate tracks and that never gave me this trouble.
Is this because of the latency that the compressor (Hornet FatFet) causes?

Spinlud wrote in his post above;

"I suggest you this routing:

kick disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
snare disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
hats disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
etc.. disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp

Then make a folder 'DRUMS' for kick, snare, hats,(etc..), DrumBus, ParallelComp. Reason: you can now control the total volume of your drums with DRUMS fader, and shape the sound with other faders (kick, snare,...,DrumBus, ParallelComp). You of course can add a ReverbDrumBus in the same way."

Is that the solution in Reaper? I will try it anyway.

I would like to understand it, cause it's not all clear to me.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:11 PM   #10
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If you're having phasing problems with a parallel bus (due to the phase shifts introduced by whatever plugin you're working with):

Either record a quick post processing test sample for that track to zoom in and note the offset in samples. Now manually offest your parallel track by this and you can adjust things in real time again. Do this if you really need to hear the whole mix while dialing up the compressor track.

Or... Just process the comp (or whatever you're doing) track and then nudge it into place (correct phase alignment). Now just push up the fader and mix to taste.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:34 PM   #11
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Thanks Serr,
I will give it a try.
I still can't understand if there is a difference concerning phasing issues between;

-Using a folder track as drumbus, sending that to a new track with a (smashing) compressor and blend that in to taste
-Send all drumtracks to two tracks (dissable send to the master) one with a gentle compressor and other processing and the other with the smashing compressor.
Mix the levels of the two tracks.

How come that the first technique doesn't cause phasing and the second one does? Or is this not true?
I just want to get it.
Maybe there is a good read about this somewhere.

Last edited by electricthing; 08-15-2014 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricthing View Post
Thanks Serr,
I will give it a try.
I still can't understand if there is a difference concerning phasing issues between;

-Using a folder track as drumbus, sending that to a new track with a (smashing) compressor and blend that in to taste
-Send all drumtracks to two tracks (dissable send to the master) one with a gentle compressor and other processing and the other with the smashing compressor.
Mix the levels of the two tracks.

How come that the first technique doesn't cause phasing and the second one does? Or is this not true?
I just want to get it.
Maybe there is a good read about this somewhere.
There's no difference in routing between using the dedicated folder bus track and a standard track used as a bus. Route point A to point B? Point A goes to point B.

Folders are dedicated bus tracks from before Reaper had 'universal' tracks to use however you want. Folder tracks are obsolete and clumsy to use at this point in time as you cannot move them around on the mixing board and they make the routing matrix useless. (You can't see the actual routing as they are always routed to the 'master/parent' - which is the same column as the actual master track.) They're still around for those who made a workflow using them and would be upset to have them taken away.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:22 PM   #13
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Just tried again with the different routing and still the same issue.
Then I did what I should have done earlier; I used RComp in stead of Hornet FatFet CM.
And the problem is gone.
So maybe the FatFet cm has an issue with PDC in Reaper?
I will give Reacomp a go also and also try using the Reaper wet dial to get parallel compression.
It's been a while since I used parallel comp and it's great.

Serr, thanks for that read about the folders, I didn't know. So you advice to use normal tracks as busses? And then not use the master send on the tracks I send to those busses?
Won't be much hassle to change my 'Full Template'.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:27 PM   #14
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Sorry, serr but unless I misunderstood your post (and the similar post you made before elsewhere), that's all completely wrong... (sorry if I didn't get what you mean).

Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
Folders are dedicated bus tracks from before Reaper had 'universal' tracks to use however you want.
REAPER always had the universal track class and introduced bussing folders later, for the convenience and organisation they bring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
Folder tracks are obsolete and clumsy to use at this point in time as you cannot move them around on the mixing board
You can move around folders in MCP and TCP all you want. I don't understand what's "clumsy" with creating a folder (which is very simple), with all the visual aids reminding you what's being routed where.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
and they make the routing matrix useless. (You can't see the actual routing as they are always routed to the 'master/parent' - which is the same column as the actual master track.)
That's the very point of folders, it's completely clear that child tracks always route to the parent and the routing matrix is still a valuable device to manage all tracks that are not in folders.


As for "parallel compression", unless your compressor is read-ahead, all you need is the dry/wet button on the plug-in window frame to create parallel compression "within the plug-in. No need to route anything anywhere.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricthing View Post
Just tried again with the different routing and still the same issue.
Then I did what I should have done earlier; I used RComp in stead of Hornet FatFet CM.
And the problem is gone.
So maybe the FatFet cm has an issue with PDC in Reaper?
I will give Reacomp a go also and also try using the Reaper wet dial to get parallel compression.
It's been a while since I used parallel comp and it's great.

Serr, thanks for that read about the folders, I didn't know. So you advice to use normal tracks as busses? And then not use the master send on the tracks I send to those busses?
Won't be much hassle to change my 'Full Template'.
It could be a plugin reporting an incorrect value for PDC. Or... it could be that the processing the plugin does alters the phase (which I suppose could still be thought of as an incorrect PDC adjustment).

I usually expect phase issues when I run something (could very well be drums or vocals) through a guitar amp sim for example.

Again, if I need to hear the whole mix while I dial something in... I'll make a quick test recording of that track to determine the offset and then manually offset the track to put everything back into phase alignment.

More often I'll just dial up the squash I'm after, freeze or render it, and then nudge it into correct phase alignment. (For example, Soundtoys Decapitator plugin is always off by 31 samples, while UAD Fairchild 670 for all the shenanigans with their old PCI card and all is sample accurate.)

No need to settle for a second choice plugin just because of phase issues!
One of the beauties of mixing with a DAW.


I do recommend the standard 'universal' tracks for buses/subgroups. I also highly recommend the routing matrix. You can click-drag down one column to assign and option-click-drag down another to un-assign. Takes seconds to route anything to anything.

Think of that checkbox for master as a shortcut for routing the track in question to the master track. That's all it is. (And you can have this unchecked by default in Preferences too.)

Last edited by serr; 08-15-2014 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
REAPER always had the universal track class and introduced bussing folders later, for the convenience and organisation they bring.
I had that backwards? There's a slickness there that's appealing for isolated cases (to me apparently). It just appeared to me that the universal track trumped this functionally.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
That's the very point of folders, it's completely clear that child tracks always route to the parent and the routing matrix is still a valuable device to manage all tracks that are not in folders.
Master/parent is the first column in the routing matrix. Any tracks routed to a folder bus track appear in the 1st column (technically as 'parent') and look exactly the same as tracks routed to the Reaper master track. Use folder bus tracks and it's no longer possible to see your routing at a glance. That's the problem for me. Now if 'parent' folder tracks showed up in the matrix in their actual position whenever you created one it would be different.

Last edited by serr; 08-15-2014 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:08 PM   #17
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Ollie and Serr,

for now I will stick with sending the individual drum- and basstracks to 2 tracks, one of them with par. comp.
Those two go to the bus. I will keep using folder tracks for that.
Thanks for the help, I will give it more thought later. My head is not always open for these kind of things. I can't get my head around technical stuff as it goes musicall stuff. Plus english is not my native language.
It still is really nice to try out something in Reaper and at the same time get some feedback on this forum!!
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:22 PM   #18
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I think what Serr meant about moving folders in is that you can't independently move them around without breaking the bus grouping, that child tracks always have to be directly under the bus folder.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:16 AM   #19
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HoRNet FatFet CM uses and old oversampling algorithm when the HQ mode is activated that had phasing issues in the antialias filters, so if you are doing parallel compression and want that sound, just turn off HQ and the phasing should go out.

You are getting more aliasing sure, but usually the aliasing in that scenario should be easily masked by the uncompressed bus, and anyway aliasing is better than phasing and after all the FET model i use in FatFet, MultiComp, ChannelStrip and TrackShaper is quite clean by itself when it comes down to aliasing.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricthing View Post
Hi,

found this thread cause I had phasing issues with parallel compression.
I use a folder as drumbus and sent that to a new track with a comp on it.
When I bring that par comp track up in level with the drumbus the sound gets less clearer the higher the level is. I flipped the phase and its even worse.
I used par. comp before with duplicate tracks and that never gave me this trouble.
Is this because of the latency that the compressor (Hornet FatFet) causes?

Spinlud wrote in his post above;

"I suggest you this routing:

kick disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
snare disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
hats disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp
etc.. disable master-parent, send to DrumBus, send to ParallelComp

Then make a folder 'DRUMS' for kick, snare, hats,(etc..), DrumBus, ParallelComp. Reason: you can now control the total volume of your drums with DRUMS fader, and shape the sound with other faders (kick, snare,...,DrumBus, ParallelComp). You of course can add a ReverbDrumBus in the same way."

Is that the solution in Reaper? I will try it anyway.

I would like to understand it, cause it's not all clear to me.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:37 AM   #20
electricthing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoRNet View Post
HoRNet FatFet CM uses and old oversampling algorithm when the HQ mode is activated that had phasing issues in the antialias filters, so if you are doing parallel compression and want that sound, just turn off HQ and the phasing should go out.

You are getting more aliasing sure, but usually the aliasing in that scenario should be easily masked by the uncompressed bus, and anyway aliasing is better than phasing and after all the FET model i use in FatFet, MultiComp, ChannelStrip and TrackShaper is quite clean by itself when it comes down to aliasing.

Saverio
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Hi Saverio,

thanks for clearing that up.
I indeed used the HQ mode. I will try without it.
I'm impressed by the sound of FatFet and got my eye on the Multicomp.
In hindsight I could have consulted you but I thought routing was the problem and I was aimed at getting the routing right and understanding it.
Big fan of your SW34EQ.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:43 AM   #21
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I use both methods depending on just about everything else that's going on.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:52 AM   #22
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Default New York style parallel compression.

I just like using some of the better New York Compression VST's. I like the way the compressed signal is EQ'd. Some of the good plugins also have Saturation and other features too so it can help tons.

Some of the VST's also have Motown style compression too.

Using New York style compressors really picked up my game a bit. I wish I'd learned about the sound decades ago. Strangely enough, they didn't even mention the technique back in Sound Engineering college several years ago.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:18 AM   #23
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Electricthing- did you ever find a resolution to your phasing issue? I am having the same problem, except you mentioned RComp working. I don't have RComp, but I do have some Waves plugins that seem to create this issue, as well as IK Multimedia plugs. The workarounds suggested in this post make it impossible to mix in real time without moving all of my drum tracks from their original positions, which makes me nervous, or rendering my sidechain tracks which is a PITA if you want to continue to make changes to the settings.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:05 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJFarmermac View Post
Electricthing- did you ever find a resolution to your phasing issue? I am having the same problem, except you mentioned RComp working. I don't have RComp, but I do have some Waves plugins that seem to create this issue, as well as IK Multimedia plugs. The workarounds suggested in this post make it impossible to mix in real time without moving all of my drum tracks from their original positions, which makes me nervous, or rendering my sidechain tracks which is a PITA if you want to continue to make changes to the settings.
Render a small section of the track through the plugin in question and import it to a new track (as recorded timeline-wise).
Zoom in and note the offset from the source just like you would for a loopback test.
Insert the JS time adjuster plugin. Enter the negative offset in samples that you just measured. Now you're back in real time.
Keep a running note with a list of plugin latencies that need correcting and/or save a plugin chain with the JS time adjuster already inserted.

There is always going to be the odd plugin either reporting incorrectly to PDC or they just didn't care. (Amp sim plugins tend to "not care".) The JS time adjuster is how you deal with them and run them in phase in real time.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:16 AM   #25
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Aha! Just what I was looking for- keeps me from having to render and re-render. Thanks, serr!
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:30 AM   #26
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Didn't go through the whole thread, but if you're having phasing issues with the dry/wet knob, it's because the dry signal path isn't latency compensated for some reason. So, can't use that feature with latency-inducing plugins.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:53 AM   #27
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You kind of want to avoid the wet/dry control in the plugin anyway for parallel work. Yes, you COULD adjust things that way (assuming no phase issues) but it's easier and more intuitive to have the separate parallel elements on their own mixer tracks. Then you can simply mix between them and/or go back and easily solo or mute parallel elements and so forth. You don't want to have to open a plugin, move a wet/dry balance, and then have to readjust the levels every time you do that!
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:36 PM   #28
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Been a long time but I'm still having this problem

Quote:
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You kind of want to avoid the wet/dry control in the plugin anyway for parallel work. Yes, you COULD adjust things that way (assuming no phase issues) but it's easier and more intuitive to have the separate parallel elements on their own mixer tracks. Then you can simply mix between them and/or go back and easily solo or mute parallel elements and so forth. You don't want to have to open a plugin, move a wet/dry balance, and then have to readjust the levels every time you do that!
Actually, it seems that the wet/dry knob is a way to do parallel processing without using extra tracks- you're adding in a certain amount of the compressed signal with the dry depending on the knob- isn't that essentially the same as creating another bus with the same signal compressed and blending it to taste?

Regardless- this problem occurs the same way when I create a separate bus and put the compressed effect on said bus- the minute I introduce the effect instance, I get the flanging/phasey sound as if compressed bus track is slightly misaligned with the dry signal. I can't seem to lock down how far out it is timing-wise
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJFarmermac View Post
that the wet/dry knob is a way to do parallel processing without using extra tracks
Yes, that is fine so long as the compressor doesn't introduce latency. The phasey issue has nothing to do with where the parallel part occurs and everything to do with whether latency is introduced when the signal travels through the compressor vs the dry signal.

Quote:
I can't seem to lock down how far out it is timing-wise
If the compressor can't operate with zero latency and you must to use that compressor, dry/wet may not work because of the latency on the wet side. IOW, you could get around the latency by just adding a copy of the compressor with no compression on the dry side but that screws up using the wet/dry knob.

Another way is when the compressor has it's own wet/dry knob which bypasses all this extra work (or it has no latency) hence a compressor without the latency or one with it but it's own internal blend or parallel knob is easiest.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:27 PM   #30
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Render a small section. Zoom in and note the offset from the original. Put a js time adjuster plugin set to negative the offset on the track with the offending plugin.

Then save the track with the plugin and time adjuster plugin as a track template for easy recall next time.
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