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To compress to DAT or not


I have recorded all of my tracks and I am ready to mix and send them to my DAT machine and then dump them in the computer to master. Should I apply any compression to DAT in order to get hotter levels or should I save all the processing for the mastering process?
Greg Clark
September 19, 2001 @01:37am

I am not in the mastering business , but most mastering houses will tell you "Not To Compress"if they are gonna master it..
also your highest peak should just reach zero on your mix down level meters..but as always,, there is different opinions on this..
September 19, 2001 @02:34pm

Compression is but one of several tool used in the mastering process (or none at all depending on the tune!). In any event I would wait and compress along with whatever else you are doing in your mastering process unless your are using an anlog compressor for the sound and the rest of your matering is done digitially. you would have no other choice.
As for the highest peak comment I would say that also depends on what you plan on doing in your mastering process. If your highest peaks to dat reach zero you have no headroom to work with. If you add any eq, for instance, then you will get digital distortion. I would leave a few db headroom going into the dat if you plan on further altering it later. you last steps should be placing it at the right level you want and then dithering (if necessary).
September 19, 2001 @07:45pm
Scott Gould

Just remember, you can't undo compression. So unless you own a really good vintage compressor & know how to get the sound you want from it, skip the compression on the way to DAT.
September 24, 2001 @06:34am

If you've got a nice pair of Distressor's compress!! I wouldn't recommend compressing to DAT with anything else. You should experiment with them, but the mixes of I've done have all gone through distressors knocking off around 5dB or so. They're incredibly punchy for rock music. I would love to own a pair myself. If you have them, try out the Opto setting. It really does wonders to a mix.
Other than that, I haven't had much luck with any outboard compressors. I'd love to FMR's Really Nice compressor. I've heard good things of those.
October 2, 2001 @03:27am

I like the Distressor's too. If you can, try a Summit DCL-200. This is my personal favorite. It has tubes, but it doesn't really sound "tuby." It's VERY transparant and has a lot of punch.
Of course if you're sending to a mastering house I agree that no compression is probably your best bet.
October 2, 2001 @08:59pm