Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

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Early21
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Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Early21 » Fri May 06, 2011 3:57 pm

Hi all, I've been trying to take advantage of the Multiband Compressor in Cubase 6.0. I came from Studio 4.5, so I am new to it. But I am seeing behavior that doesn't make sense according to my understanding:
1. I get a volume gain in a band even if the compressor in that band is not actually doing anything. For example, say I've got the third band for high mids set to a low threshold (e.g. -10db) so that there isn't any actual effect. As I turn up the threshold, the volume of that band is increasing before the compressor gets to a threshold where any activity it taking place. It's most evident when soloing that band.
2. If I turn on auto release, the level of compression as seen on the meters jumps. The Cubase documentation does not describe precisely how it sets release time when auto is check, it only says that it determines what would be "musical". I don't see a way to find out what that is, but one could imagine it's something that would be within the range of the dial. But if you turn auto back off, and sweep the dial, you get no such increase in the compression. I don't see a logical explanation. Even when the release extends to the next peak, I could see that keeping the level of compression constant, but not increasing by a lot.

As I'm really just learning here, hoping someone can either explain how Multiband Compression is different, or confirm that the behavior is strange.

Thanks,
Early
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mr.roos
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by mr.roos » Sat May 07, 2011 2:26 am

Nothing is easy in dealing with Multiband compressors - until you figure them out. Read this article from SOS: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug02/a ... tiband.asp , it should help. Your threshold number is not independent of your ratio setting, remember. Don't forget the google-way to solve your problems, youtube has videos of a lot of Cubase functions, too.
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Early21
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Early21 » Mon May 09, 2011 12:08 am

Thanks, mr.roos for the link to that useful article.

In net, I don't see any explanation for a compressor applied to a filtered band to behave differently from a normal compressor, and the behaviors I'm seeing are not like a normal compressor. Is there anyone who has seen similar behavior?

Thanks.
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by JohnOnKeyz » Mon May 09, 2011 4:10 am

You have to approach a multiband completely differently from your standard compressor. The best way to start out is by just playing around with it. The first thing I did was to mute all but one freq range, and play around with it until I got the sound I wanted. You have to train your ear with how each range is affected, then you have to retrain for listen for changes with all bands active. It's not the easiest thing to do, but multibands are useful for a ton of stuff. Like I'll use it frequently to squash the low-mids, removing the "boxy" sound without losing their impact on the whole song. (Just one of many).

Don't think of it in terms of volume, I think that would end up more confusing than before.
John
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by andreasm » Mon May 09, 2011 10:22 am

please note, that you need the latest update for Cubase 6, because in the 6.0.0/6.0.1
the Multiband Comprossor suffered from a severe blocksize dependent bug.
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Early21 » Mon May 09, 2011 4:22 pm

andreasm wrote:please note, that you need the latest update for Cubase 6, because in the 6.0.0/6.0.1
the Multiband Comprossor suffered from a severe blocksize dependent bug.
Thanks, andresasm, I had seen that there was a fix listed in the 6.0.2 log repairing a problem with low frequency artifacts (which I also experienced). Are you saying that there's another problem causing the behaviors I'm seeing? Unfortunately for me, and I guess some others, 6.0.2 introduced a couple of severe problems on my installation and I had to back it out. See this topic:
http://steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=8009

Are you suggesting that there is a workaround by increasing the buffer size?
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Guest » Mon May 09, 2011 7:58 pm

i can recommend the waves c4 multiband compressor ... :roll:

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mr.roos
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by mr.roos » Tue May 10, 2011 8:25 am

team714? I get emails from Waves and they are really trying to push the plugins these days. I got one today on their C4. I also saw that they had a group of producers and they were sharing some of their personal C4 settings?

Well, skip to the chase, I have not purchased the C4, but I did download these settings just in case I make the buy and they go away. Well, I clicked on one of them to see what was up and it tried to send me to a website. I am curious, how exactly does this process give you presets that you can save in the C4 program? Obviously I won't be going on line to load a preset while I'm recording. :/

What's the deal here, do you know and would you explain it to me please? Thanks.
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Guest » Tue May 10, 2011 10:13 am

you can download artist presets http://www.waves.com/content.aspx?id=5242
and load them very easy with "load" into your intern presets library.
The artist presets help you in some kind to get some great starting points. There are presets that have great frequency settings starting at 82hz (deepest Guitar E) that does make sense.
Really interesting to check this out and you ll have a great range beside the standard-presets to switch trhough that shape your sound in a very different way, depending on Artist. The C4 can do up and down compressing, you can use it as deesser or limiter too. The opto is good for backing vocals for subtile compression. Electro is more aggressive.
The C4 is non-linear so the crossover between the bands acts with subtile resonance. For mastering you should go with the waves linear phase multiband 200$ at mo. price is ok i think. Those plugs can do everything and everything very well. Cubase plugs do only sound good in the instruction beside some exceptions (delays, all distortion fxs) ;)

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mr.roos
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by mr.roos » Tue May 10, 2011 7:14 pm

team714 - OK, thanks for that. I have tried a few Waves programs, not particularily gassed by how they load up into Cubase actually. Well, but this was during the 'trial' period and I never made a buy. I dunno, it seems even the seperate file storage of Waves products - away from the Steinberg folder - is not the best. Other plugins that I have bought, I can just drop them into the Steinberg folder where they load pretty quickly. Does this loadup process change when you actually own the plugin? Or does it always have that on screen moment where a Waves screen comes up as you load Cubase? That would be good to know.

Well, since you own the product and run it, am I just whining here? Do you ever feel that the Waves plugins have bogged your Cubase down in any way? I know they are popular, not questioning that. Thanks, if I've caused you some laughter, no worries, I guess I am just slow to accept the Waves way.

So, in your opinion, Cubase and Waves = a match made in Heaven?
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Keith99 » Tue May 10, 2011 9:03 pm

Why can you not side chain a multiband compressor?

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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by DanielAyo » Tue May 10, 2011 9:58 pm

Keith99 wrote:Why can you not side chain a multiband compressor?
My thoughts exactly, i mention this on this thread http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopi ... =19&t=8167 hopefully, Steinberg can address this...
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by andreasm » Wed May 11, 2011 12:46 pm

Early21 wrote: Thanks, andresasm, I had seen that there was a fix listed in the 6.0.2 log repairing a problem with low frequency artifacts (which I also experienced). Are you saying that there's another problem causing the behaviors I'm seeing?
No, I was referring to the already fixed bug creating artefacts especially in the low band when using small asio blocksizes.

I am going to have a look at the MB-Compressor again, following your report to see if I can find anything wrong.
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Early21 » Wed May 11, 2011 6:16 pm

Thanks again, andreasm, look forward to your analysis.
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Early21 » Fri May 20, 2011 11:22 am

To Andreasm, were you able to investigate these symptoms?
Thanks,
Early
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by andreasm » Fri May 20, 2011 3:08 pm

Early21 wrote:To Andreasm, were you able to investigate these symptoms?
Thanks,
Early
Not yet.
Andreas Mazurkiewicz, Technical Lead Plug-in Set
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by andreasm » Tue May 24, 2011 10:15 am

[quote="Early21"]Hi all, I've been trying to take advantage of the Multiband Compressor in Cubase 6.0. I came from Studio 4.5, so I am new to it. But I am seeing behavior that doesn't make sense according to my understanding:
1. I get a volume gain in a band even if the compressor in that band is not actually doing anything. For example, say I've got the third band for high mids set to a low threshold (e.g. -10db) so that there isn't any actual effect. As I turn up the threshold, the volume of that band is increasing before the compressor gets to a threshold where any activity it taking place. It's most evident when soloing that band.
/quote]

The effect you hear comes from the 'Auto MakeUp Gain', which is automatically activated for each band. Don't mix that up with the Auto switch, that turns the auto release on and off. Changing the threshold parameter leads to a new calculation of the Make-up Gain value. It has kind of a 'compensation' functionality.

When you use auto-release you'll get a totally different compression behavior, which does not need a user given release value. That's why we called it auto-release. The algorithm behind this is far more complex than the usual estimation of a program dependent release value.
Andreas Mazurkiewicz, Technical Lead Plug-in Set
Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Early21 » Wed May 25, 2011 3:51 am

Andreas, thanks for looking into this. It is my understanding that the multiband compressor is supposed to function in the same way as if there were four compressors each following a filter that narrows the band of the signal coming in. So, for any particular band on "solo", the compressor should behave in the same way as a full band compressor would work over that band with makeup gain set to "auto". I have just tested for myself that the normal fullband compressor set to "auto" makeup gain does not affect the gain until the threshold is lowered to the point where the compressor begins to act upon the signal. In other words, if there the threshold is lowered within the headroom above the point where the compressor would act, the gain is not changed. So the compressors within the multiband compressor are definitely not functioning in the same way that normal compressors do. Am I misunderstanding, and the compressors within the mbc are not supposed to act like normal compressors over their frequency band?

I have also verified that the auto-release function of the four compressors within the mbc is not behaving the same as the auto-release of a fullband compressor. If you select auto-release on one of the four compressors within the mbc, the amount of compression jumps up to something that you could not get on any position of the manual release dial. This is not the case with the fullband compressor.

Is there a reason why they are different in these two ways?
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by andreasm » Wed May 25, 2011 8:49 am

Early21 wrote:
Is there a reason why they are different in these two ways?
Yes, there is a reason. Of course you could build a Multiband-Compressor by implementing
four instances of a standard compressor in four different bands. The Steinberg Multiband-Compressor
works differently. It is more like a four band loudness optimizer. It was designed to work this way, that's all.
Andreas Mazurkiewicz, Technical Lead Plug-in Set
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Split » Wed May 25, 2011 9:01 am

I always found MBC's as a quick way to mess up the sound, normally saved for corrective work and just never got on with them really and the steinberg MCB messes things up even quicker than most!!!

Still I do appreciate that others have different requirements, I just wonder what those are?
??????Split
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Re: Multiband Compressor strange behavior (or user error)

Post by Early21 » Wed May 25, 2011 12:18 pm

andreasm wrote:
Early21 wrote:
Is there a reason why they are different in these two ways?
Yes, there is a reason. Of course you could build a Multiband-Compressor by implementing
four instances of a standard compressor in four different bands. The Steinberg Multiband-Compressor
works differently. It is more like a four band loudness optimizer. It was designed to work this way, that's all.
Andreas, many thanks for that explanation, I now understand it.
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