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How To Use Mix Bus Compression Like A Pro (Live Demo)

Download Your Free Mix Bus Compression Guide
In this video you’ll learn how to use mix bus compression like a pro.

Hey, this is Jason from Behind The Speakers. And before we dive in, make sure you grab my free “mix bus compression guide” by clicking the link above or in the description below.

Now I’m about to show you a clip from a live mixing session that I recently hosted and inside you’ll watch me use mix bus compression to glue the mix together and enhance the overall groove of the song. Let’s take a look.

So, I’m going to use a slow attack time and I’m going to time the release. I’ll use a 2:1 ratio and I’m just trying to kind of glue everything together to make the mix feel like it kind of gels a little bit and I’m going to A/B this in a second. Once we set it up you’ll hear the difference.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit, from last year ♪

♪ They want more from life, if it exists ♪

♪ I guess we’re all looking forward to us shining ♪

♪ A couple holidays from now we’ll all be fine when ♪

♪ We finally get a chance to walk along horizons ♪

♪ Or we’re bored of trying, organized, and 45 and tired ♪

♪ We were shopping mall pilgrims, outlaws at yard sales ♪

♪ We wrote our names in ash and cigarettes on guardrails ♪

♪ So if they do report me missing and my car bails ♪

♪ I was 21 the day the engine in my heart failed ♪

♪ Someday I wanna leave the state, move away and gone ♪

♪ Every wrinkle in my face says I’m aging wrong ♪

♪ Wake up… ♪

I’m feeling like the compressor is reacting a lot on the kick, but I don’t really want it to. And one of the cool things about this actual compressor is it has a high pass filter engaged on it so when you turn this up it basically tells the compressor not to listen to the low end of the mix. So if I’m feeling like the compressor is grabbing the mix every time the kick hits and I don’t really like that and I want it to kind of not listen as much to the low end and not respond so heavily, I can crank this up a little bit and so take a listen now.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering… ♪

So, see how the meter is not moving as much when the kick hits? So that actually allows me to get the compression that I’m looking for and leave that low end open and sounding really big and bombastic at the same time.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit, from last year ♪

♪ They want more from life, if it exists ♪

♪ I guess we’re all looking forward to us shining ♪

♪ A couple holidays from now we’ll all be fine when ♪

♪ We finally get a chance to walk along horizons ♪

♪ Or we’re bored of trying, organized, and 45 and tired ♪

♪ We were shopping mall… ♪

The one thing I’m not really liking about this is I’m not really able to get this compressor to bounce in time with the music. It doesn’t really feel like it’s reacting musically to the sound of the track, so I’m going to actually try another compressor and see if we can get something a little bit better. I’m going to try the FG-MU, which is another one of these Slate compressors, and it reacts a little bit slower, so I don’t typically use this one, but let’s see if we can make it work.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit, from last year ♪

♪ They want more from life, if it exists ♪

♪ I guess we’re all looking forward to us shining ♪

♪ A couple holidays from now we’ll all be fine when ♪

♪ We finally get a chance to walk along horizons ♪

♪ Or we’re bored of trying… ♪

It’s still not quite doing what I want it to. I’m going to try another one. Let’s see. Let’s try the FG-Red.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas… ♪

I think this is the one.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches… ♪

Yeah, this is the one. So, what I’m really trying to do is I want the meters to kind of bounce in time with the music and I’m trying to get the compressor to kind of bounce and to give the mix a groove and so I’m looking for the compressor that’s kind of going to respond that way.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit, from last year ♪

♪ They want more from life, if it exists ♪

♪ I guess we’re all looking forward to us shining ♪

♪ A couple holidays from now we’ll all be fine when ♪

♪ We finally get a chance to walk along horizons ♪

♪ Or we’re bored of trying, organized, and 45 and tired ♪

♪ We were shopping mall pilgrims, outlaws at yard sales ♪

♪ We wrote our names in ash and cigarettes on guardrails ♪

♪ So if they do report me missing… ♪

That’s sounding really good. So, let’s try this drive knob and we’ll see what it does.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit ♪

Just adds a little bit of distortion. I’m not hearing much of a difference.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit, from last year ♪

♪ They want more from life, if it exists ♪

♪ I guess we’re all looking forward to us shining ♪

♪ A couple holidays from now we’ll all be fine when ♪

♪ We finally get a chance to walk along horizons ♪

♪ Or we’re bored of trying, organized, and 45 and tired ♪

♪ We were shopping mall pilgrims, outlaws at yard sales ♪

OK. Let’s see how this is doing in comparison with the bypassed.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit, from last year ♪

♪ They want more from life, if it exists ♪

♪ I guess we’re all looking forward to us shining ♪

♪ A couple holidays from now we’ll all be fine when ♪

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit, from last year ♪

♪ They want more from life, if it exists ♪

♪ I guess we’re all looking forward to us shining ♪

♪ A couple holidays from now we’ll all be fine when ♪

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

Listen again and I’m going to flip it in and out and notice how the mix feels like it’s a little bit more glued when the compressor is in. It feels like things don’t poke out as much. Everything kind of feels like it’s part of the same space. Take a listen again.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

♪ These front porches haven’t taken down their Christmas shit, from last year ♪

♪ They want more from life, if it exists ♪

♪ I guess we’re all looking forward to us shining ♪

♪ A couple holidays from now we’ll all be fine when ♪

♪ We finally get a chance to walk along horizons ♪

♪ Or we’re bored of trying, organized, and 45 and tired ♪

♪ We were shopping mall pilgrims, outlaws at yard sales ♪

♪ We wrote our names in ash and cigarettes on guardrails ♪

♪ So if they do report me missing and my car bails ♪

It’s subtle, but with the compressor engaged what I feel is that I don’t hear as much of the kick and the snare kind of poking out above everything else. It feels like everything kind of just glues together a little bit more and it feels like all the tracks kind of exist as part of the same space. So, that’s what I’m liking about this compressor.

So, the key here is that, you know, going back to that whole idea of getting the compressor to bounce a little bit, I’m using the release time to time the compressor so that when I look at the meters the meters actually bounce in time with the music. So take a look at the meters.

♪ It’s 2am, I’m infinite. ♪

♪ Wondering if I can make this last before it finishes ♪

So, see when the kick hits it’s like boom, boom, boom boom, boom there’s this kind of slow movement that’s in time at the music. That’s what I’m looking for because that groove that the compressor is actually adding to this mix is going to enhance the rhythm of the track. It’s going to make it sound like it just has a pulse. So that’s what I’m looking for.

So, hope you enjoyed that clip. And if you’re ready to dive deeper I recommend that you download my free “mix bus compression guide” which will explain all the parameters that you find on your typical mix bus compressor plugin so you can approach mix bus compression with more clarity and confidence right away. Click the link above or in the description below to download this free “mix bus compression guide” right now. And before you go, leave a comment below this video and let me know: do you use mix bus compression in your mixing process? I’d love to hear from you, so leave your answer in the comments section below. And for more tutorials like these, check out my channel right here on YouTube or go to BehindTheSpeakers.com