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  1. #1
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    Question How to connect my compressor?!

    Hi recording people!

    I really want to add a compressor to my home studio because I know a lot of situations where I can use it. The only problem is that I don't know how to connect it. I want to connect it to my mixer so that I can use it instantly on the entire mix or just when playing one of my instruments, and recording it (one at a time). I've searched a lot on the internet and I came to the conclusion that a compressor is best used as an INSERT-effect, not as a BUS.

    This is how I think I should connect it. The picture is showing the upper right corner of my Allen & Heath ZED-14 mixer and the Alesis 3630 Compressor/limiter:



    It that the right way to connect a compressor in a studio environment? I am so confused so I thaught that maybe someone in here knew how to connect it.

    Thanks!

    Scrooge
    Last edited by ScroogeMcDuck; 11-26-2008 at 02:27 PM.
    $Studio time is money$

  2. #2
    tacman7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    My eyesight's not so good so I can't quite tell what's going on but I don't think your looking at it right. You need insert cables. They are 1/4" TRS jack that convert to two 1/4" TS jacks. So one insert jack is your send and return. Where you want to put it is up to you.

    Bus insert on the main outs or channel inserts on individual instruments. I think of the effects you use with the regular sends and returns as being "system" effects so any channel can send to them but the straight signal goes out also. Inserts are inline.

    Nice Mixer!

  3. #3
    magno's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    To clarify things a bit, an insert is both an input and an output.
    So what you have illustrated might work but I guess it is "wrong".
    Here are 3 different ways to hook it up that will probably work better for you.
    1. use insert cables on one or two individual track inserts.
    2. use insert cables on your master insert.
    3. use TRS or TS cables from your aux out 1 and 2 and then use TRS or TS cables from the compressor outs and plug them in to 2 empty line in channels on your mixer.
    Three is probably your best option.

  4. #4
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    Smile Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    Hey you two!

    Thank you very much for your replies, it is really nice to hear what this is actually all about!

    So.. After reading your answers I can say that there is two ways I may want to do it:

    By using insert cables on the master insert (as you both mention).

    or

    By using TRS/TS cables from the aux out 1 and 2 and then use TRS/TS cables from the compressor into 2 empty line in channels on my mixer.
    --
    But what is the difference in these two solutions? The AUX1 and 2 outs are pre-fade by the way.

    Don't laugh at my ugly drawings but it's the only way I can explain it: Did I understand your replies right, can I use these two solutions?:



    I wish the manual said more about this.. :-(

    Thank you very much for your help!!
    Scrooge
    Last edited by ScroogeMcDuck; 11-26-2008 at 04:45 PM.
    $Studio time is money$

  5. #5
    magno's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    Originally Posted by ScroogeMcDuck
    But what is the difference in these two solutions?
    Let's say you're recording drums with 4 mics. Using the aux sends you could say add compression to the kick and snare independently, and leave the overhead pair untoched. If you put the compressor on the master send then all four mics will go through it. Of course you could add compression to everything when using the aux sends as well, but you will have more control as to what's hitting the compressor.

    Originally Posted by ScroogeMcDuck
    If I use the first solution, how can I use insert cables then? I mean, there is two main inserts, a L & R and an insert cable has only one TRS plug..
    Two insert cables.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    Originally Posted by magno
    Let's say you're recording drums with 4 mics. Using the aux sends you could say add compression to the kick and snare independently, and leave the overhead pair untoched. If you put the compressor on the master send then all four mics will go through it. Of course you could add compression to everything when using the aux sends as well, but you will have more control as to what's hitting the compressor.
    There is only one thing about the AUX 1 & 2 solution that I really don't understand. How can you tell the AUX 1 and 2 that they must be an L R pair and not two seperate mono sends? They must be L & R to be a stereo pair feeding the compressor.
    $Studio time is money$

  7. #7
    magno's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    Aux1 will go to the left input of the compressor and aux2 to the right. The outputs you can either send to a stereo pair track on your mixer or two mono channels.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    Okay then! So now I know how to do it. I really appreciate your help cuz I knew nothing about compressors and now I know how they work!

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

    McDuck
    $Studio time is money$

  9. #9
    tacman7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    The solution one and two are two ways to route effects.

    Insert and System.

    Compressors can not be system effects. Well they can but it's a waste.

    The difference is the entire signal goes to the effects box on an insert.

    The system effects routing is good for reverb and the like because the signal goes to the regular output (dry) and is also sent out to the effects box and then the effected signal (wet) is mixed back together with the dry.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    Originally Posted by tacman7
    The solution one and two are two ways to route effects.

    Insert and System.

    Compressors can not be system effects. Well they can but it's a waste.

    The difference is the entire signal goes to the effects box on an insert.

    The system effects routing is good for reverb and the like because the signal goes to the regular output (dry) and is also sent out to the effects box and then the effected signal (wet) is mixed back together with the dry.
    I also chose solution 1 (insert). The reason was that I need AUX 1+2 for my Korg Kaoss Pad Mini and I need AUX 3 for my Alesis MicroVerb FX. So the best solution would be solution 1. I've also heard something about that compressors should be insert. And effect processors can be BUS (system).

    So I ordered 2 insert Y-cables for my compressor!
    $Studio time is money$

  11. #11
    tacman7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    The main thing I use a hardware compressor for is vocal mic. Everything after that is software compression.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How to connect my compressor?!

    Originally Posted by tacman7
    The main thing I use a hardware compressor for is vocal mic. Everything after that is software compression.
    Okay I also want to use my compressor for vocals but also a little for my instruments (synth and more). I've seen a lot of cool stuff you can do with it.

    By the way, do you recommend any software compressors? Because I would like to try that too.
    $Studio time is money$

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