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what IS it with the compressors?


Guest hahathhat
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Guest hahathhat

i don't really feel i understand the motives. is it just about pure massive loudness? like, the science of it all, how a sine wave sounds quieter than a square and you can do xyz to get increased perceived loudness etc. etc.

 

or, is it about accepting that the end-listener will utterly rape any recording they play? my car has a good stereo with shit speakers -- only rated for like 20W when they need to be 45 or some shit -- and it starts clipping grossly if i turn it up too much. makes most music sound like shit... but i'll be damned if clark is more audible than anything else in that car on the highway with the windows down.

 

or is it about the textures? this would be the best reason.... while impressive, the harsh dynamics of it tire my ears quickly !

Edited by hahathhat
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Well I guess it's like a harmony on a different level. You know? Maybe that's what you mean with texture. It's like playing with normal loudness and panning on one level, playing with harmonies and tones on another, with rhythms on another, with the room in another. And this playing with the listener's room is done with compression. See Actress for example.

 

Mhh :facepalm:

 

And another reason: It just sounds so in-your-face :spiteful: You can not not listen to everything because it forces you. That's the reason most of my friend refer to Clark as "rave" and can't bear listen to him :facepalm:

Edited by tokn
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Guest Lube Saibot

It's more that the continuous faux-inter-sidechain that happens when you carefully and clinically mix INTO a limiter/hard compressor (which is quite difficult to not mess up) is quite appealing in it's own right. It's not really about turning knobs to 11, if that were the case it would just sounds like Merzbow or something, pure jarring distortion. While with Clark, there's a continuous balance and separation, the beats are saturated to fuck-all but still retain audible sharp attacks, the bass is all there in all its heftiness, and there's a pleasing, crunchy balance of mids, nothing excessive there. It's all layers and layers of parallel processing, shit constantly subtly ducking other shit, and so on.

 

It's simply about pushing modern production aesthetics to the logical extreme while aurally obfuscating the technique, at least at first listen. Extending creative artistry to beyond the stage of composition.

Edited by Lube Saibot
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i don't really feel i understand the motives. is it just about pure massive loudness? like, the science of it all, how a sine wave sounds quieter than a square and you can do xyz to get increased perceived loudness etc. etc.

 

or, is it about accepting that the end-listener will utterly rape any recording they play? my car has a good stereo with shit speakers -- only rated for like 20W when they need to be 45 or some shit -- and it starts clipping grossly if i turn it up too much. makes most music sound like shit... but i'll be damned if clark is more audible than anything else in that car on the highway with the windows down.

 

or is it about the textures? this would be the best reason.... while impressive, the harsh dynamics of it tire my ears quickly !

 

 

I can't speak for Clark, but I use compression as another effect. There's the obvious use for controlling dynamic ranges, but in addition the right compressor/settings can add sharpness to drums, accentuate reverb tails and bring out other qualities of your source material that might normally be missed. And with this, I'm talking about compressing individual tracks alone.

 

Then there is, at the risk of starting a holy war, some sort of magic that tube compression adds to an entire stereo mix. Partly harmonic distortion, there is no other way to describe it than 'gluing the mix together'.

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Guest Lube Saibot

i don't really feel i understand the motives. is it just about pure massive loudness? like, the science of it all, how a sine wave sounds quieter than a square and you can do xyz to get increased perceived loudness etc. etc.

 

or, is it about accepting that the end-listener will utterly rape any recording they play? my car has a good stereo with shit speakers -- only rated for like 20W when they need to be 45 or some shit -- and it starts clipping grossly if i turn it up too much. makes most music sound like shit... but i'll be damned if clark is more audible than anything else in that car on the highway with the windows down.

 

or is it about the textures? this would be the best reason.... while impressive, the harsh dynamics of it tire my ears quickly !

 

 

I can't speak for Clark, but I use compression as another effect. There's the obvious use for controlling dynamic ranges, but in addition the right compressor/settings can add sharpness to drums, accentuate reverb tails and bring out other qualities of your source material that might normally be missed. And with this, I'm talking about compressing individual tracks alone.

 

Then there is, at the risk of starting a holy war, some sort of magic that tube compression adds to an entire stereo mix. Partly harmonic distortion, there is no other way to describe it than 'gluing the mix together'.

 

It's MOSTLY harmonic distortion, not partly. Tasty, yummy harmonic distortion of the best possible coloration.

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His chris clark days weren't quite so compressed, but they still sounded great. Really to me it just sounds like the tracks are expertly smashed into the tube that is audio headroom. It is an aesthetic choice I guess, going in the direction of many house and EDM producers in the recording side of things but really pushing things compositionally and with effects use that you don't really see done by mainstream producers too often. I honestly don't like body riddle because I think, the way it was composed, it would have sounded way better with more dynamic breathing room. Drum hits were smashed to shit and fucked up the transients on a lot of tracks. Instead of snappiness it was pure chunkyness. I think in the later releases the tracks did benefit from the type of compression used on them, like turning dragon and the new one(my favorite i just can't remember what it is called lol and can't be arsed to look it up).

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if this past trilogy was partly about his compression experimentation it will be interesting to hear what comes next. I think it will be nice if he goes back to an etboy type of production but who knows. I don't think body riddle and certainly not turning dragon would have worked as well without that touch.

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Guest hahathhat

Well I guess it's like a harmony on a different level. You know? Maybe that's what you mean with texture. It's like playing with normal loudness and panning on one level, playing with harmonies and tones on another, with rhythms on another, with the room in another. And this playing with the listener's room is done with compression. See Actress for example.

 

it's hard to explain why clark's textures drive me giddy, but this is the usual explanation i pull out if i feel like making someone realize i'm a bit of a nutter:

 

you drag your fingers along this:

 

AshLG_400.jpg

 

and there are two different layers of textures going on. the first is the semi-regular gap between pieces of wood. this gap is like an 808 pattern (the vsnares analogy where you drag a pencil down venetian blinds to get a rhythm).

 

but, when you use your finger instead of a pencil, you feel not just the gap, but the way the wood grain itself feels. clark excels at that part. i figured the compressor might be part of getting that. i always feel like he's using materials in a way, not just an 808 kick....

 

It's more that the continuous faux-inter-sidechain that happens when you carefully and clinically mix INTO a limiter/hard compressor (which is quite difficult to not mess up) is quite appealing in it's own right. It's not really about turning knobs to 11, if that were the case it would just sounds like Merzbow or something, pure jarring distortion. While with Clark, there's a continuous balance and separation, the beats are saturated to fuck-all but still retain audible sharp attacks, the bass is all there in all its heftiness, and there's a pleasing, crunchy balance of mids, nothing excessive there. It's all layers and layers of parallel processing, shit constantly subtly ducking other shit, and so on.

 

and this is about how i was wondering if he got it. i don't use ableton much, but i fuck around with it if i'm stuck on my laptop. it's fun just dropping a compressor on _everything_ and stacking sidechains with heavy ducking to obscure 67% of a loop etc. once i get a dozen layers going on it sounds pretty dense and organic. i'm just faffing about, but i feel like if i got serious with the science of it i could get pretty in command of some textural aspects of sound !

 

It's simply about pushing modern production aesthetics to the logical extreme while aurally obfuscating the technique, at least at first listen. Extending creative artistry to beyond the stage of composition.

 

that's a different point, but an interesting one.

Edited by hahathhat
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