Well this is interesting:
We use parallel compression on drums. We use it on vocals. We use it on really anything and everything. So why not on the whole mix?
The pros are that you can get a little bit of extra thickness, movement and color in a fairly transparent way.
It looks like a decent list of tips. But, as someone who doesn’t use parallel compression on the mix bus, it doesn’t answer my first question: why?. The closest the post gets is the line a quoted above – “a little bit of extra thickness, movement and colour in a fairly transparent way”. That’s pretty vague though. There are so many ways to add thickness, movement and colour to a recording – at every stage from performance, instrument choice, mic technique, level, tone, dynamics, ambience, etc. What does parallel mix bus compression give me that’s different to everything else?
It’s an honest question.
I use parallel compression when I want to blend two versions of the same track with different processing and I want the blend balance to change depending on the dynamics of the recording. I’ve never found myself wanting to do that to a whole mix. When I want the mix to sound differently based on its dynamics, it’s usually section-by-section and I can make more effective and focussed changes by working on the arrangement or processing individual tracks.
Does anyone use parallel compression on the mix bus? Can you tell me why you use it?