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Using the New York compression trick

From: Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Video: Using the New York compression trick

There is a great trick that really punches up the drum sound without adding more compression to the individual tracks. It's something I call the New York Compression trick because when I was first starting out every mixer in New York used it on their mixes. Now everyone uses it, so it's not that exclusive to New York City anymore, so we can just call it by its more academic name--parallel compression. In this movie I am going to show you how the New York Compression trick is set up. The trick centers around an additional drum subgroup that has a compressor with some rather extreme settings inserted into the signal path. Once the subgroup is set up and the compressor is kicking, the subgroup fader is gently raised until it's just barely heard underneath the original drum mix.

Using the New York compression trick

There is a great trick that really punches up the drum sound without adding more compression to the individual tracks. It's something I call the New York Compression trick because when I was first starting out every mixer in New York used it on their mixes. Now everyone uses it, so it's not that exclusive to New York City anymore, so we can just call it by its more academic name--parallel compression. In this movie I am going to show you how the New York Compression trick is set up. The trick centers around an additional drum subgroup that has a compressor with some rather extreme settings inserted into the signal path. Once the subgroup is set up and the compressor is kicking, the subgroup fader is gently raised until it's just barely heard underneath the original drum mix.

If you want the drums punchier, just add set more subgroup level. So you can see here I have a drum subgroup set up. This is called from Drum Comp. What I am going to go first is I am going to add a compressor to it--it doesn't matter which compressor. In this case I am going to just add the generic Pro Tools Compressor/Limiter, and I am not going to worry about the settings right now. But I will do is set up a input signal path to that particular subgroup, and in this case I am just going to select bus 23-24.

It could be any two that you select; 23 and 24 just works for me now because they are open. Now I'm going to go down to the first drum channel, which is the Kick-in, and I'm going to select the send for it. I'm going to say Bus 23- 24 and up comes the send. I want to put this about 0. The easy way to get there is you say Option and you click on the fader and it automatically moves to zero, which is kind of nice. There is another trick. In order to assign this particular Bus 23-24 at all the other channels, all you have to do is press and hold the Option key and click and drag to the other channels. You click and drag that bus 23-24 send, and it's a very easy way to do things.

Now that I am sending it to the Drum Comp channel, let's have a listen to what it sounds like without that particular New York compression. (music playing) Now let's look at the compressor. (music playing) We want some rather extreme settings, so I'm going to bring this up to at least 10 to 1. Once it becomes 10 to 1, this turns from compressor to a limiter. And it doesn't matter what plug-in you have or what dedicated hardware piece; whenever a compressor is set at a ratio of 10 to 1 or more, it now becomes a limiter rather than a compressor.

Now the whole trick here is to bring up the New York compression underneath the normal drum setting. You can just bring it up once again until you just hear it. (music playing) You can hear how much punchier it's getting. Now let's listen without it and then with it in. (music playing) Sounds pretty good, huh? One last thing.

We are going to make this even more extreme by adding an equalizer to it. So once again, I'm going to insert just a generic 4-Band Pro Tools EQ, and I am going to come done here to 100 Hz and bring it up to about 3 dB or so. You can bring it up a lot more radical if you would like to. And on the high frequency I will bring it up to 10K and bring this up 3 dB or so, and once again you can make this a lot more radical if you like. And let's listen what it sounds like now. (music playing) We have a lot more snap and a lot more low end.

Now let's listen before the New York compression and after New York compression. (music playing) So that's how the New York Compression trick is done.

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This video is part of

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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

103 video lessons · 18720 viewers

Bobby Owsinski
Author

 
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  1. 1m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
  2. 8m 20s
    1. Determining the listening position
      2m 27s
    2. Fixing acoustic problems
      2m 5s
    3. Setting up your monitors
      3m 48s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Setting up your session
      5m 52s
    2. Setting up your subgroups
      7m 50s
    3. Setting up your effects
      6m 35s
  4. 8m 45s
    1. Developing the groove
      3m 46s
    2. Emphasizing the most important elements
      3m 44s
    3. Knowing what to avoid
      1m 15s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Learning the principles of building a mix
      1m 1s
    2. Assigning the drums to a subgroup
      3m 55s
    3. Building the mix from the kick
      10m 8s
    4. Building the mix from the snare
      8m 46s
    5. Building the mix from the toms
      5m 25s
    6. Building the mix from the overhead mics
      3m 53s
    7. Checking the drum phase
      4m 44s
    8. Balancing direct and miked bass channels
      3m 36s
    9. Building the mix from the bass
      3m 26s
    10. Building the mix from the vocals
      4m 19s
    11. Balancing the rhythm section
      2m 44s
    12. Balancing the rest of the instruments with the rhythm section
      5m 22s
    13. Making a mix without building it
      4m 20s
    14. Balancing the harmony vocals
      2m 35s
  6. 23m 2s
    1. Looking at the three main panning areas
      9m 23s
    2. Panning the drums
      6m 9s
    3. Avoiding pseudo-stereo
      7m 30s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding compressor parameters
      3m 42s
    2. Setting up the compressor
      14m 44s
    3. Compressing the drums
      7m 53s
    4. Compressing the room mics
      4m 9s
    5. Compressing the bass
      5m 24s
    6. Using the New York compression trick
      4m 23s
    7. Compressing the clean electric guitars
      4m 40s
    8. Compressing the distorted electric guitars
      4m 48s
    9. Compressing the acoustic guitars
      8m 7s
    10. Compressing the piano
      6m 35s
    11. Compressing the electric keyboards
      4m 32s
    12. Compressing the vocals
      4m 34s
    13. Compressing the horns
      3m 55s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Learning noise gate basics
      9m 23s
    2. Using the noise gate on guitars
      3m 57s
    3. Using the noise gate on drums
      7m 38s
    4. Learning de-esser basics
      2m 15s
    5. Using the de-esser on vocals
      2m 23s
  9. 36m 4s
    1. Understanding equalizer parameters
      10m 16s
    2. Learning subtractive equalization
      8m 57s
    3. Learning frequency juggling
      8m 28s
    4. Using the magic high-pass filter
      7m 39s
    5. Learning the principles of equalization
      44s
  10. 49m 46s
    1. Equalizing the kick
      6m 7s
    2. Equalizing the snare
      2m 57s
    3. Equalizing the rack toms
      5m 4s
    4. Equalizing the floor tom
      4m 32s
    5. Equalizing the hi-hat
      4m 56s
    6. Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics
      6m 49s
    7. Equalizing the room mics
      5m 13s
    8. Equalizing the bass
      3m 59s
    9. Editing the bass rhythm
      4m 21s
    10. Equalizing the rhythm section
      5m 48s
  11. 47m 58s
    1. Equalizing the electric guitar
      8m 15s
    2. Equalizing the acoustic guitar
      4m 55s
    3. Equalizing the hand percussion
      3m 28s
    4. Equalizing the lead vocals
      6m 5s
    5. Equalizing the background vocals
      4m 14s
    6. Equalizing the piano
      4m 46s
    7. Equalizing the organ
      6m 49s
    8. Equalizing the strings
      6m 4s
    9. Equalizing the horns
      3m 22s
  12. 30m 47s
    1. Learning the principles of reverb
      1m 59s
    2. Understanding reverb parameters
      6m 49s
    3. Timing the reverb to the track
      6m 6s
    4. Equalizing the reverb
      2m 51s
    5. Using the two-reverb quick setup
      5m 35s
    6. Using the three-reverb setup
      7m 27s
  13. 59m 8s
    1. Adding reverb to the drums
      7m 56s
    2. Adding reverb to the vocals
      11m 59s
    3. Adding reverb to the guitars
      5m 17s
    4. Adding reverb to the piano
      4m 19s
    5. Adding reverb to the organ
      3m 43s
    6. Adding reverb to the strings
      5m 36s
    7. Adding reverb to the horns
      2m 57s
    8. Adding reverb to the percussion
      4m 46s
    9. Using reverb to layer the mix
      12m 35s
  14. 46m 8s
    1. Learning delay principles
      1m 40s
    2. Understanding delay parameters
      6m 54s
    3. Timing the delay to the track
      1m 28s
    4. Using delay timing variations
      2m 51s
    5. Equalizing the delay
      4m 23s
    6. Understanding the Haas effect
      2m 51s
    7. Using the three-delay setup
      7m 23s
    8. Adding delay to the vocals
      8m 43s
    9. Using delay to layer the mix
      9m 55s
  15. 21m 35s
    1. Understanding the types of modulation
      2m 43s
    2. Understanding modulation parameters
      4m 13s
    3. Modulating the guitars
      4m 7s
    4. Modulating the keyboards
      3m 17s
    5. Modulating the vocals
      4m 17s
    6. Modulating the strings
      2m 58s
  16. 12m 22s
    1. Mixing with subgroups
      5m 5s
    2. Using mix buss compression
      4m 21s
    3. Understanding the evils of hypercompression
      2m 56s
  17. 39s
    1. Goodbye
      39s

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