Anyone use Parallel compression (New York Compression) for Orchestral ?

Discussion in 'Mixing, Post-Production, and Effects' started by ManicMiner, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. ManicMiner

    ManicMiner Member

    Nov 3, 2018
    Ever since I found out about New York compression for my EDM tracks, I've found out that it really enhance my mixes.

    I don't think Orchestral typically would use this approach, that my guess. But I thought that I'd ask you more experienced guys if you use a similar technique in orchestral/cinematic ? Just curious...
  2. burp182

    burp182 Active Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Not too much for orchestral work, since dynamic change is an integral part of the canon. There are always certain circumstances that call for dynamic reduction but in general, not a primary arena for compression, NY or otherwise.
  3. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    Sep 23, 2018
    Alan Meyerson talks about using parallel compression on orchestral percussion in his Mix with the masters series.
    ManicMiner likes this.
  4. Dietz

    Dietz Space Explorer

    While I wouldn't see the necessity for parallel compression in a classical orchestral context, I use it quite a bit in "hybrid" arrangements, where the orchestral parts fight with lots of percussion, electronic sounds, untypical solo instruments and all kind of effects. It helps to add density, stability and "power" to the orchestral elements without killing all the short-term dynamics.
  5. MatthewHarnage

    MatthewHarnage New Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    Definitely in the more aggressive and rock-ish tracks.

    I write game music so I'm writing battle themes and things like that pretty often. I usually put a little parallel comp on my staccato med/low strings to beef them up some, and then some on my short brass. I try to use a pretty transparent compressor too with a med attack so the transient doesn't get squashed and you can't hear it working. I think it sounds damn good and better than it'd sound in real life for those situations.
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  6. germancomponist

    germancomponist Senior Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Yeah, so you give them a chance to be heard. :)
    + 1
  7. thevisi0nary

    thevisi0nary Active Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    I think it's important to note that "orchestral music" is sort of an umbrella term, and there are many people here who are writing more classically inspired orchestral music, and in that context most people are not doing a lot of heavy processing. For the more modern bombastic orchestral type stuff you would hear in games (especially with hybrid sounds), I would guess that the majority of them are using tons of processing like parallel compression.

    Almost positive this one would have something like parallel compression.

    This one I wouldn't think so and it doesn't sound like it. Though I am no expert.
  8. enyawg

    enyawg Member

    Aug 28, 2016
    I have used NY compression on orchestral perc, brass and low string subs in the past. All had Ok results.
    I almost always use an SSL Comp on my mix bus even when not using NY comp on my subs.
    ManicMiner likes this.
  9. Beat Kaufmann

    Beat Kaufmann Active Member

    Generally: In classical music, the New York compression is often used, because it does not touch (compresses) the loud dynamic peaks in order to keep the sound as natural as possible - specially with the fff parts.


    I think, it is less related to the music style than to the way the music is played.
    If you produce music with samples you have rather the problem that enough dynamics (difference between loud and quiet) arises. The video examples above show a second case that classically oriented music can also be "puffed up" as one would never hear it in the concert hall. Any form of compression is welcome, the main thing is, it gets loud, louder, loudest - without any dynamic range of coarse.

    When you record classical music, you often have too much of these differences between loud and quiet (dynamics).

    For my recordings I usually use both types of compression: I amplify the quiet parts a bit (NY) and compress the loud parts a bit as well (normal compression).
    Depending on the situation, I even do that twice (or more). However, I always do this very gently so that the listener will not notice anything >> example...
    The fact is, nobody (and no PC-Speaker) wants the true dynamics of (for example) a symphonic wind orchestra in the living room.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019 at 8:25 AM
    ManicMiner, miket and MartinH. like this.

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