Mastering and compression

Hi,

I’ve only had my op-1 field for a few days and so far I’m very impressed and love the workflow (even if some of it could be streamlined a little). My question though, is how do I achieve this magic I’ve heard about with ‘drive’? I’ve turned it up, bit by bit, and as far as my ear can tell, it’s just making it louder. I can’t hear much difference from just pushing up the volume. Is this supposed to be a compressor? I’ve noticed that the little black level on the meter only appears when you turn the drive way up, at which point everything is clipping and distorted. I’m not sure I really get it.

Any help or suggestions muchly appreciated!

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the drive is magical on the OG
SP (vinyl sim) compression level magic
i dunno if its different on the field
but very well could be given the huge increase in sonic resolution and processing power
maybe they even redid it in the software too
they likely atleast had to adapt it to the 32bit floating numbers
and sometimes that doens’t sound the same even tho in theory it should

like most compressors
its all about how u have everything set
where your sound // tape levels are, where the levels are of hte master LR,
the relation of volumes between the sounds u have going on
the drive setting, the release setting
the content of your sounds, i could go on and on.

generally speaking, (not just the op1)
i think alot of ppl think u just turn it up and everything just pumps but that is not the case
get a feel for it, experiment, u won’t regret it

in a similar fashion, for comparison,
the SP compression sounds like shit in a lot of settings
but when u coax it the right way theres not many things better

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I don’t know exactly how the gain staging works under the hood in the OG-1, let alone the OP-1F (it’s just intuition for me at this point), but maybe play around with the levels you’re recording to the tracks. Maybe if you’re recording very hot or too quiet to the tape, the main drive can’t do as much to shape things.

Otherwise, look closely at the main output level meters. Obviously it shows the left/right output levels, but there should also be some indication of the Drive stage’s gain reduction (some line that bumps below the L/R main level on louder parts). If that isn’t showing anything, then definitely check that your tape recording levels aren’t too low.

Also, try bumping the release setting way high or way low. Should help key your ear into what sort of dynamic changes the Drive stage makes (so you can better pick up what subtler, more-typically-useful release settings do)

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Thanks @docshermsticks and @beefinator. I had a bit of a play around over a few hours and I think I get it a bit more - I need to stop thinking Alesis 3630 style compression and realise that this is something completely different. I think it’s the lack of control I’m feeling.

I increased my input volumes (I realised I wasn’t seeing much movement on the mixer). Then on the master output I adjusted the drive and eventually I could actually hear a difference. I did this test a few times with different things recorded and I’m surprised how much of a different that makes.

It’s also made me realise how loud the final output is. I suppose the real test is to get the wav files and see how it sounds. I get the impression the op-1 needs you to be very experimental with things. And I guess that’s a good thing!

Something else I noticed as well… I saw someone explaining how to bounce tracks to a single track and one method reduced the volume ever so slightly… now I know why, the chain needs all the volumes to be 100% - input all the way up, full envelope, all outputs at 99.

Just thought I’d mention that as I’ve forget where I saw that.

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ah good old 3630! i still have my nano half rack

glad u are getting on :stuck_out_tongue:

Compression is hard to understand even for seasoned producers. Like others have said you’ll need to set your track levels correctly first. This could mean recording hot if the compression/saturation effects are what you’re after. To get a more modern sound, you’d want the drums/percussion to eat a little into the rest of the mix, as in peak above everything else, then you can control the sound using Drive’s release and make it pump a just the right amount. Make sure your track levels are turned up if a lot of drive is what you’re after. Enjoy!

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