So now I will move on to actually explaining how I used multi-band compression in the sydney recording studio in quite an extreme case which hopefully will be helpful for more subtle applications as well.
Sydney Recording Studio: Multi-band Compression Taming Frequencies
So for my Sound Healing album I have 4 tracks. As I said, everything was just recorded “Through the air” with a Zoom H4 so I had no post recording control of the mix and had to do everything at the mastering stage. A great example of how I used multi-band compression was on the third track. The third track was basically didjeridoo, clap sticks and chanting. Listening to the recording at the sydney recording studio the didgeridoo and clapsticks are way way way too loud and the voice just gets drowned out completely. The clapsticks are so loud it is almost unlistenable. Enter multi-band compression…
The aim of sydney recording studio multi-band compression in this case then is to tame the didge and the clapsticks to allow the vocal chanting to come more to the front. The following image shows how I achieve this.
For the Low Medium Frequency (LMF) and the High Medium Frequency (HMF) the orange band and the green band, you can see the compression in action. By setting the Threshold high enough for both, a ratio of 10:1 and a low value for attack, for example when the clap stick hits occur, the spike in gain is reduced quickly and considerably allowing the vocal chant to come forward in the mix without losing too much mid to high end.
Very powerful stuff. I really don’t know what I would have done without sydney recording studio multiband EQ in this case.
As I said this is an extreme case where quite aggressive multi-band compression was needed. Most of the time at the mastering stage the application of multi-band EQ will be more subtle.
Here is an excellent tutorial on Multi-band EQ that gives further instruction on how to tame part of your mix but also shows how to boost.