Album Challenge: Post 21

It’s been some time so I’m just going to lead with some work. A bit of technical stuff will follow. This one is called “Make Up in the Car”. Here is an earlier version.

Here is a later one. I don’t know how finished this is. I do know I’m getting burned out on it. It’s a better idea to move on to the next song.

Now for something more technical… I’ve been trying to facilitate fast recording. The idea is to capture ideas very quickly.

One thing I’m doing regularly is setting my vocals up for quick compression. That way I can hear how it will mix faster. It also lets me compare vocal takes quickly.

Here is how it works in Reaper. Reaper lets you define your custom settings as defaults. So I can set up a default compressor with the ratios and thresholds I like. I can set up a default track to have two instances of that compressor. Now every time I add a new track I get two compressors loaded on it (in bypass) with my settings. The compressor’s threshold is tuned for a normalized vocal. So I normalize the vocal and I’m good to go.

I spent some time dialing the compressor in. I wanted to compress things a lot but not hear the compressor. What I figured out is compression at low ratios (2:1, 4:1) starts getting heard at about a -6db reduction. That’s when they start to sound like someone is cranking down the volume. There is a bit more to this. Obviously there were some other parameters I needed to change to get a natural sound… attack, pre-attack, and this is only valid for Reaper’s ReaComp compressor. Also note the second compressor will not be operating on a normalized peak of 0 since the first compressor will knock that down.

I know someone is going to say this is equivalent to using presets. We all know presets can be useless on the wrong source. But in this case it’s not quite the same. I know the maximun peak on the audio. And I’ve tested out my settings on the compressor. So imo it’s just a time saver. kind of like a custom preset.


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