Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.

Question:

Question: compression knob: soft distortion

Logic 10.4.1, Saffire pro 40, High Sierra


Hi people,


I am wondering about the distortion knob in Logic compression. Basically, the soft distortion setting sounds great on pretty well everything i have recorded in audio tracks. It seems to spice up vocals, acoustic guitars, bass and the rest and then it sounds great on the output channel too.


My questions are these:


1 - does it sound great because my EQ or other settings are lacking?

2 - am i being tricked by the unfortunate gain boost that comes with using that knob?

(i wish there was no gain boost)

3 - is using it on individual channels and then again on the output against best practises?


Thanks.

os sierra 10.13.3, Saffire pro 40,

Posted on

Reply
Question marked as Helpful

Mar 16, 2018 6:36 PM in response to bellyup In response to bellyup

The distortion on the compressor adds upper harmonics to the original signal at differing amount and frequencies depending on the compressor algorithm you have selected. Try stepping through them to hear the different colors. The harder you push the input, the more distortion you'll get.

Question marked as Helpful

Mar 16, 2018 8:42 PM in response to bellyup In response to bellyup

1 - does it sound great because my EQ or other settings are lacking?

In and of itself, no. Although I've not heard your EQ or other settings, they may or may not be lacking but either way, that's not why the distortion on the compressor sounds great.


2 - am i being tricked by the unfortunate gain boost that comes with using that knob?

Everything you do in mixing is a trick. Compensate. Gain is pretty much the easiest thing to compensate for.


3 - is using it on individual channels and then again on the output against best practises?

No, not at all. When you play an audience (friends, partners, other engineers) your finished mix, without them knowing what you did (your listening audience don't care what you did) do they dig it? My main motto that has served me well for many many years: "The Play Button Never Lies"

There’s more to the conversation

Read all replies

Page content loaded

Question marked as Helpful

Mar 16, 2018 6:36 PM in response to bellyup In response to bellyup

The distortion on the compressor adds upper harmonics to the original signal at differing amount and frequencies depending on the compressor algorithm you have selected. Try stepping through them to hear the different colors. The harder you push the input, the more distortion you'll get.

Mar 16, 2018 6:36 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Helpful

Mar 16, 2018 8:42 PM in response to bellyup In response to bellyup

1 - does it sound great because my EQ or other settings are lacking?

In and of itself, no. Although I've not heard your EQ or other settings, they may or may not be lacking but either way, that's not why the distortion on the compressor sounds great.


2 - am i being tricked by the unfortunate gain boost that comes with using that knob?

Everything you do in mixing is a trick. Compensate. Gain is pretty much the easiest thing to compensate for.


3 - is using it on individual channels and then again on the output against best practises?

No, not at all. When you play an audience (friends, partners, other engineers) your finished mix, without them knowing what you did (your listening audience don't care what you did) do they dig it? My main motto that has served me well for many many years: "The Play Button Never Lies"

Mar 16, 2018 8:42 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Mar 16, 2018 6:37 PM in response to Data Stream Studio In response to Data Stream Studio

Thanks for that, Data.

I had wanted to mention that i do folky-type stuff and use only very conservative compression settings. It's kinda humbling when you think your track sounds really good only to have it sound even better by using one more little knob. Fact is that i don't hear soft distortion as 'distortion' at my settings but rather something like 'sparkle'. I will check out other settings just to gauge the effect.

Mar 16, 2018 6:37 PM

Reply Helpful

Mar 16, 2018 8:42 PM in response to octopi In response to octopi

Thank-you for replying Octopi.

Basically, you are saying that if it sounds good...


Of course i have compensated for the gain boost but i still have to wonder why this boost is there in the first place. Perhaps it's to candy wrap a goodie that might otherwise be ignored. The lure.


In any case i choose to trust you on this and will use this lovely effect as i see fit.

You'll understand that my hesitation was based on my fear of going overboard -- taking a perfectly good song

and tinkering with it till it's good no more.


Merci.

Mar 16, 2018 8:42 PM

Reply Helpful
User profile for user: bellyup

Question: compression knob: soft distortion