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  • Herb Sevush

    June 26, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    [Brett Sherman] “Compression is really just altering the gain dependent on the level coming in.”

    I thought compression altered the gain but only beyond a threshold point, whereas riding level alters the gain throughout the signal. Which is why compression can raise the noise floor when the peaks are brought back up but level riding maintains the distance between peaks and noise floor.

    Herb Sevush
    Zebra Productions
    nothin\’ attached to nothin\’
    \”Deciding the spine is the process of editing\” F. Bieberkopf

  • Oliver Peters

    June 26, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    [Brett Sherman] “I’m not sure there’s a real technical difference between compression and level riding.”

    Actually there’s a ton of difference and you can hear it if you A/B the two. Compression essentially “squeezes” the dynamics by a ratio for levels over a threshold point. At an extreme ratio with an aggressive input level and threshold, you effectively hit a brickwall and lose all the “openness” of the sound. Riding the level simply adjusts the volume down when it is too high, preserving that “openness”.

    For example, Waves offers both Vocal Rider and MV2 for the similar application of controlling dialogue fluctuation. MV2 compresses top and bottom. The results sound quite different. Sometimes one is preferable, sometimes the other.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters –

  • Brett Sherman

    June 26, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    It is definitely hard to set a compressor right, which is why products like Vocal Rider are great. And I’m not saying there is absolutely no sonic difference between the two. But they are both doing a form of Gain Reduction for peaks. The ballistics are a bit different though, and that may be where the advantage of the Vocal Rider comes in. Here is a video showing both a compressor and the Vocal Rider in action. The similarities between the two are pretty clear.

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  • Michael Gissing

    June 26, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    [Oliver Peters] “I haven’t had great luck with third-party plug-ins in current versions of Resolve.”

    I suspect the WIN VST platform for plugins is far more robust, being the most used. Developers will naturally prioritise them over MacOS and plugin formats.

  • Michael Gissing

    June 26, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    [Brett Sherman] “I’m not sure there’s a real technical difference between compression and level riding.”

    There should be. Compression of dynamics changes the attack and release character. Manual or automated level riding is changing gain without affecting the transient attack or release. It’s just gain, not dynamics. Personally I consider an important part of a mix to be manually riding gain on dialog (with a good fader not a mouse) before it then hits a compressor/ limiter. The two combined is ideal. Obviously I automate the gain riding.

  • Brett Sherman

    June 27, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    I think you are misinterpreting what attack and release times mean in a compressor. They don’t shape transients in the way you’re thinking. (there are plug ins that do this but they aren’t compressors – SPL Transient Designer for one).

    Attack refers to the time it takes to ramp up (or down depending on how you look at it) to Gain Reduction. Counter intuitively a longer attack time actually lets more transients through. Release time is the time it takes to return to zero gain after the threshold has been passed. And again counterintuitively this is a ramping UP of volume.

    Nothing completely replaces manual volume riding as it is intelligent about where the empty spaces are and how high quiet sections should be pushed. Compressors can be used to give voice more energy or for longer leveling depending on the settings and the particular plug-in being used (an optical compressor is a different animal than a digital one) For me an automated thing like Vocal Rider is really a time saver.

  • Michael Gissing

    June 30, 2019 at 11:59 am

    [Brett Sherman]”I think you are misinterpreting what attack and release times mean in a compressor.”

    No misinterpretation. I’ve mixed over a thousand docos so I do know how a compressor & limiter attack & release affect transient response and signal recovery.

  • Oliver Peters

    July 1, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    [Michael Gissing] “I suspect the WIN VST platform for plugins is far more robust”

    Just circling back on this one in regards to Resolve as a host. After some more testing, I’ve concluded that the issue may well be with the Mac App Store version of Resolve 15 and not the versions you download directly from Blackmagic. I retested on my home machine running the R16 Beta and it all worked correctly there. The work machines are running the MAS version and that’s where I’ve encountered issues.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters –

  • Michael Gissing

    July 1, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Yes I only download the WIN Studio version directly from BM.

  • Jeff Berlin

    October 2, 2019 at 1:33 am

    FWIW Quiet Arts Wave Rider 2 plug in is what I use to keep levels consistent. In ProTools it runs as a midi controller, literally moving the fader up and down in response to audio levels on whatever track you set. The beauty of this is zero compression – the dynamic range remains intact.

    I find Waves Vocal rider does add a touch of compression.

    ERA Vocal Leveler is basically a compressor, like an AGC.. I tried it today, but have no use for it.

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