Track loudness Compression/limiting (Ambient Dubstep)

How do you guys raise your loudness while keeping the sound rich? I’ve seen many posts, one recommended compressing each instrument individually. Then again on the master with while using a limiter to essentially brickwall it. I’ve also seen ones where they’re recommending splitting the track into high, mid, and low frequencies then working them with compression, and limiting. Is compression really the end all be all? I’ve tried the first sparingly and it dampens my overall sound. What do you guys prefer to achieve the balance?

1 BigUp

Instead of trying to compress subtly in a direct manner to tame the loudest sections ( if you are trying to level your track from section to section), try to compress slightly more aggressively but with a wet/dry blend. Parallel compression can help to bring up the rms of quiet parts while leaving the loud parts mostly unaffected.

This works because the louder sections of your track should be compressing heavily enough that when blended in, the peaks of the original should be well above the peaks of the compressed signal, but the body if the track is bumped up during the quieter sections.

It’s hard to tell what you are after without having heard your music and what you are trying to achieve, but from the ambient description I’m thinking maybe the rms value is jumping too much (aka too much macro dynamics, while still trying to maintain the micro dynamics you have worked into your mix). Hopefully this helps, but some audio and what your goals are would help for more specific advice.

I appreciate the detailed response. For example

In Aura if I compress main wobble synth it ends up being too sharp in the high frequencies even with a little EQ’ing.
I also seem to loose the ambient pads and stabs over the loudness. The same goes for the second one.

whenever I try this on my tracks I get phasing issues

Unfortunately, this can be a problem in the digital realm unless the compressor has a wet/dry blend knob built in, due to plugin latency.

I’ve not used it myself, but people seem to really love the Tokyo Dawn Recordings vst compressors. I’m almost certain those have a blend knob on them and are reasonably priced

Rad, I’ll check these tomorrow when I get back home ( traveling right now and don’t even have my headphones with me)

What kind of effects are you using?

Try this compressor:

Free version and a 40 euro version. Very high quality processing.

I’m still trying to play around with the compressor. I wish I could get hands on experience with a sound engineer