Welcome back I'm Streaky. Today, I'm going to be discussing tube compression, well to warm things up and I'm going to, by the end of the video, show you how you can use it on your tracks, on your master bus so that you too can get a really nice warm sound on your mix bus. Now, when I say tube compression, what do I mean? Well, a compressor that has tubes, which has valves, depending on where in the world you come from, they warm up. They give a really nice warm sound. Now their tubes aren't necessarily known cheap compressors. Aren't necessarily known for being super fast. So the main reasons I use tube compressors or anything with tubes in is to add some color and some warmth. Now, when I say color and warmth , you've got to think of this. As in flavors in food, the food can be very bland. Unlike music, it can sound very sterile, can sound very thin. It's not bringing out the flavor enough.
So you add in some saturation from the tubes to bring out the flavors, make more vocal to it, warms it up. So it brings out some low end. So it makes it lush. And you can't overdo this in the same way that you can over spice food. But what you need to do is find out where that sweet spot is. And really that's just using your ear that comes with doing it a lot, bypassing a track a lot. I'd always advise when you're not sure on how much to do, do less than you actually think you should be doing because it's so easy to over egg the cake or spice the cake. I don't know that doesn't even make sense, but you know what I mean?
It's too, it's easy to go overboard with things than it is to refrain from using them. So always if you're not sure, always err on the side of caution I think and don't put as much on as you think. The amount of times I've got new plugins, I'm sure you have. And then I put them on everything for a few weeks. And then after that few weeks, I realized why it sounded so bad. And I'm absolutely devastated that all my clients have now got that on their music. And usually that comes from a client saying, what the hell have you done? I think like normal. And I think, Oh yeah, it's not bloody new plugin I got. So you understand what I mean? Don't overdo it. Try and keep it simple if you're worried, if you're going too far.
Now, I'm going to show you on the screen, a couple of valve compressors. Now, they're not hardware, they're not the real thing. But these days, a lot of the plugins that we have, they've really emulated a really good sound of the tubes. And, if you are using real tubes, sometimes the problem is the tubes can be different on the left and the right. And you can get a lot of trouble with them. Some blow. It just sounds some sound better than others. So it's a real a guessing game if you like. When it comes to cheap gear, some days you turn it on, it doesn't work. Other days, it sounds better than others. If you leave it on too long, it gets too warm. And that can change the sound. A lot of variables.
What I'm saying is sometimes using the plug-in versions where they've emulated one a great one there, and then, you're going to get that sound every single time. So that is the great thing about it. If you're looking for consistency in a sound and especially whatever your music you're making, even if, okay, I like that vocal sound. I got that because I use this plugin. You might not get that every time you use the same bit of hardware. So I think you understand what I mean. And, so let's dive in, I'll show you a couple of really nice tube compressors or valve compresses. However you want to say it and I'll show you how I use them.
And you can just copy the settings that I do to get yourself going, or in the comments, let me know if there's other ways that you use them. And I'd also really like to know what your favorite plugin tubes are, tube compressors or EQs or whatever. I'd really like to know that because I'm always wanting to check out new things too. So if you've got something that you've been playing with for a while that you like, and it's of the tube variety. Let me know.
But before we get too deep into tube compression, please remember to hit the like button. Gently crest it, if you really want to and subscribe, if you haven't to this channel already, it helps me out. It gives YouTube a reason to show this to other people like you and gets the message out there. So if you can gently caress the like button, that'd be very nice. So where was I?
Ideally we've all got a lovely old Fairchild sitting in the back room, but we haven't. So let's tuck in and I'll show you the one that I use on the screen now.
So as I said, this is the Fairchild, which was from years and years ago. If you've got an original one of these, they're worth a lot of money now. But also, they're very temperamental beasts as well. So very good to have one in plug-in form. This sounds great. This one's by UAD. But there are loads of them around from different plug-in companies. So you can find one, you can have a play, I'll show you some little setting that I do. The thing about this sometimes is I like to have a little bit off of the bottom.
It's not totally doing the sub stuff. I want to leave the sub alone a lot of the time. Most of the time when I'm using a tube compressor to warm things up, it's more in higher end stuff. I find the high end stuff needs a little bit more warming up the low end. If you start warming the low end up a lot, it can get very muddy and can start getting a bit woolly. So I tend to sometimes have this side chain filter on so that it's leaving the low end alone and just messing around with the top. I'll just put it into mute. (Music playing).
So if you listen to around where the vocal is you can hear, that’s where going to hear a lot of this working. (Music playing). My general rule of thumb with compressors that like this, where I'm just going for color, I'm just spicing things up, I don't want to see these move, the game reduction come down. So as soon as I see, for example, if I take the threshold up a bit, if I see that working too much, I know I'm adding too much.
So as I said earlier, you can start over egging the cake. Really, bring that down so you can't see it moving. And then what you find is you can still get a nice bit of color on there. (Music playing). A nice bit of color without over compressing it, without making it too sloppy and warm. It's just there to give a vibe and to bring out the flavors of all of the stuff in the top end. That's what I find.
So that's where I would use a Fairchild. Check it out. If you've got a side chain filter, try with it all the way. It really depends on the music that you are, using it with on your mix bus or whether you're using it in mastering, to whether or not you need to have a side chain filter on. But, like I say, I tend to have that just for the very low end to have that off. But if it was say, a classical piece or something that, can allow it where I don't mind it being a little bit more fuller in the low end. Because I don't need to have a really tight low end. Then I will probably leave that on and just hear how it sounds.
So the next one is the Manley. This has been around for quite a while. This is what made Manley famous in my book, I think was the very mew limiter. Brilliant on rock music, anything acoustic. It works on most stuff for getting a flavor. You can really hear on the… I've had the original one of this in the hardware. A few times, very temperamental, left to right. I've always found it a bit of a pain when I've had the hardware version. I'll go very careful and it really colors the sound a lot. So you have to go super gentle but I find having this UAD one, just gives me a bit more stability going from left to right for the stereo field.
I don't really want to put too much change on things with this. I just want it to freshen the sound up. Check these settings out. These are standard ones that I use. So if you've got the Manley from UAD, copy of these. I don't know if I can't remember who else does the version of this, but any any kind of very mew limiter will have similar settings. So you can take the settings I'm doing here and the way I'm using it and take that to other ones and you'll get similar sound. But obviously you use your ears and don't overdo it. So let's listen to how this one goes in and out. Fairly fast recovery here. Let me just say something about recovery times and release times on compressors in general, the slower you have them, the more they're holding onto the sound after the signal has gone through.
So you're going to get more of the sound of the compressor. So you're going to get more and more color. It's not going to release it as fast. Everything's not going to be as snappy. So I tend to have things on fairly fast, but sometimes nudge him back a bit so that I can have a little bit more flavor. And another thing also, just while I'm here is on the input, you can actually push into the tubes a bit more and get, take the output down so you can balance it up so you get a unity gain. And that way you can get just a bit more push into the tubes, which can give you a nice sound as well. So try that out, but for now, I'll just keep it. So it's pretty flat, in and out, but you'll be able to hear the sound of it. I'll stop talking for once and we'll have listen. (Music playing).
So you saw me just playing around there with the threshold that's because I could see these meters starting to move and, that means I personally think it's moving a bit too much. I'm being a little bit over the top. You can get it nudging a bit. But you don't really want to be going into -1, -2, because it does normally I've found start getting a little bit too much. That’s it. Copy these settings. So if you want to know about gluey compression, the video following this is a demonstration of me using a SSL compressor to glue a mix together. So it's really good on a mix bus so you can really pull all the tracks together and really get the buses. So they're all moving as one rather than individually. Check that out. That's coming up next. If you like this video, make sure that you press the like button or stroke it. However you want to do it. Subscribe if you haven't. Because when I get to 50,000 K subs, I will be giving something rather nice away. So please make sure you've subbed if you haven't already. See on the next video. Bye.