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  • Strings Compression -- before or after MIR?

    Trying to think and process more like a legitimate engineer would - a lot of home-recorded for-hire musicians these days may have a decent mic, and an OK preamp, but not many are running channel strips into their DAW, or using a lot of expensive outboard gear during tracking. That tends to lead to some very dynamic recordings on certain instruments.

    Let's say I have a solo, mono violin recording and I'd like to use an optical compressor after it's delivered to me.

    I assume that an engineer would probably use a compressor on a close mic source, and not usually a stage or hall mic source, correct? Idea being that you want to tame the peaks of the loudest source (which would be the close mic).

    Issue I've been noticing is that feeding MIR with a pre-compressed signal sends the same compressed signal throughout the hall. I feel like I'd want those peaks to ring out more into the room, but tame it on the source.

    The other issue is that feeding a mono source into MIR produces a stereo output. If I'm doing this in analog hardware-land, I'd have to use a stereo compressor as opposed to something like a tried-and-true mono compressor, like an LA-2A. 

    What would be the "correct" workflow here? Pre-compress the mono pre-MIR and send the "compressed" mono signal through MIR, or compress the post-MIR stereo signal (which also might affect the stereo image and phase due to some peaks being tamed more on the right than the left (thresholds)?

    Or is there a third option? Like somehow routing the pre-compressed source through MIR, compressing the original source separately on another track and mixing the two - having MIR set to wet only? Seems like a pain in the butt, but if that'd be the optimal way of doing it..

  • Seems as you might be overcomplicating things a bit. ;-)

    Compressor pre-MIR: Use this to even-out any unwanted weaknesses or rogue-notes of the actual performance, and/or to add a certain flavour of distortion to the input signal.

    Compressor post-MIR: Use this to "glue" dry and wet signal components (... just be aware that the perceived "wetness" will increase, in most cases), and/or to add a certain flavour of distortion to the output signal.

    Used properly a stereo-compressor will neither destroy the stereo balance of a signal nor its phase. A mono compressor on a mono input won't do any harm either as long as the input is properly fed to both sides of MIR's stereo processing.


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library