Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

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Electronic Music Blog

Glue Compression on the Master

2 min read

Often, when I hear tracks on Soundcloud, they have this rich, deep and loud sound. A sound I struggled to get. I kept trying to manage each track’s output and get a good clean single that didn’t get the overall Master into the red zone.

It’s a great idea to drop EQ filters on each element, isolating the sound you want. Filtering out any high end on a bass, or low end on a clap. Yet still I was not getting the depth of quality I was hearing in other tracks.

Then I read about a process of dropping a Glue Compressor on the Master track.

The Glue Compressor pulls the audio sounds together, simulating an SSL Bus Compressor. I won’t pretend to understand the science behind it, but I can attest to the result.

By dropping this on the Master track, and then fiddling with the Threshold and Makeup nobs, I found the sound I was looking for.

I pull the Threshold nob back till the needle bounces up to the 5th Marker. Then I adjust the Makeup nob (pulling it up) to the sound I’m looking for. Sounds that were muffled start to come through. A richer, thicker sound is heard.

I set the clip to Soft, that way it acts as a self Limiter, preventing the audio from red lining. As for ratio, I find putting it at 10 works well for my music.

Gluing Rendered Audio

Even in Mix recordings that I do in Serato or Djay Pro, I found if I drop the audios into Ableton and add a Glue Compressor to the master track (doing the above), I get a bolder, richer sound.

A few key takeaways with dropping a rendered audio file (wav, aiff, mp3) into this process… make sure that Warping is turned off. If Warping is on, then Ableton will attempt to compensate the BPM of the rendered audio, to that of the BPM of the project.

So, drag the audio into an Audio track. Look at the audio in the details, and turn off Warp. Drop the Glue Compressor on the track, or master. Modify the Threshold so the needle peaks at 5 or 10. Up the Makeup to the levels you feel the sounds really start to come through. Be sure to set the Clip to Soft.

Once you get the feel for the audio, export it out again as a WAV or AIF.

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