Compression Disks

Bob Katz Leave a Comment

Message: Hi Bob, I have your book and am a fan of your work. Question: What is a compression disc? My understanding its the name given to a disc between the track recording and mixdown steps, for evaluation purposes and pre-overdubs. Is this correct? If so what processing would you expect to be used?



Dear Pete:

Thanks for your kind words.

I’ve never heard the name “compression disc”. Honestly!  What might be sent to artists/producers between tracking and overdubbing and before mixing is a rough mix. Sometimes they might try to “help” the rough mix by feeding it through a compressor so the producer can hear low level stuff, but it is a dangerous path to take and should be done with skill and experience.

In addition, I’ve been fighting against a certain practice currently practiced by a lot of mixing engineers. They create a “pseudo mastered” product by feeding their mix through (often heavy) limiting and then sending that to their clients. If they aren’t careful, it can paint the mastering engineer into a corner.

I always suggest that mixing engineers send their decent mix to their clients and explain it has not been mastered. There are other factors to discuss, such as including pressures on the mixing engineers, which tend to push them to do things which they don’t want to do. But this is the basic answer.

Hope this helps,

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