Zero Attack Compressor Trick

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Rook
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Post 26 May 2016

Probably old news to some, but I just saw this and thought it was really cool.

It's so simple, I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of doing it before.


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Zac
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Post 26 May 2016

It was new for me, thanks.

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selig
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Post 26 May 2016

This is not actually "literally zero attack time" as claimed - it's simply "look ahead". The attack time is exactly the same as before! This is important because zero attack time can distort audio.

For example, Selig Leveler has true zero attack time, one of the only compressors I'm aware of that can claim this. However, when using pitched material distortion will be heard. This is why Look Ahead was added (along with some behind-the-scenes trickery).

The advantage to using lookahead is that you can leave the attack time slower than "zero" and still catch transients.

This "trick" works quite well in Reason with very little prep - in fact, even better than the example above in Pro Tools because you don't have to copy a track. This means you can send multiple sources into such a compressor without multiple copies of the audio tracks in the sequencer. Just one more way that Reason, despite being behind in some areas, excels in others!

Here I demonstrate how you can add look ahead AND side chain filtering to the Master Compressor in Reason using only two devices (three if you use the DDL-1 instead of a true stereo delay like The Echo, because you need two: one for each channel).

In this example I use DDL-1s because they allow 1 ms increments. Here's what the routing looks like:
Image

I setup the insert programmer to control the crossover frequency with one Rotary, turn Look Ahead on/off with a button (by using bypass on the delays), and a second Rotary to control lookahead delay from 1-10 ms.

For this to work you must set the Stereo Imager to NORMAL (Solo mode), and select the Hi Band on the back for the second pair of outputs. You also need to make sure the insert routing for the Master Insert is set to "INSERTS PRE COMPRESSOR".

Basically the main output of the Stereo Imager passes the signal un-processed on to the delays, which add the delay (naturally). The non-delayed signal gets hi-pass filtered and passed to the KEY input of the Master Compressor. By delaying the main signal, the KEY input effectively "sees" the audio BEFORE it hits the Master Compressor, effectively creating the "pre-delay" required for Look Ahead to function.

Hopefully this all makes sense, and demonstrates how Reason can handle some fairly complex functions much simpler than other DAWs!
:)
Selig Audio, LLC

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ljekio
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Post 27 May 2016

I hope for manual track delay offset option ever come in Reason
2016-05-27 09-22-48 002b297c.jpeg (1600×900) - Google Chrome.jpg
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Loque
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Post 27 May 2016

ljekio wrote:I hope for manual track delay offset option ever come in Reason
2016-05-27 09-22-48 002b297c.jpeg (1600×900) - Google Chrome.jpg
Why?
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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ljekio
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Joined: 21 Jan 2015

Post 27 May 2016

For full control of time positions in the mix and controlled delays from devices.

Clips are strictly on the grid, and all the delays and the lookaheads is already accounted for.
Perfectly. :)

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Karim
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Post 27 May 2016

Giles, Please....
Write yourself a good book like the Anselmi one.

Focused on Reason but that would apply in any Daw. All gems that you had given us in the old forum have been lost.
You knowledge is really a game changer and literally you change my workflow.

I' d buy at any price !!! :puf_smile: ( seriously)

Have a nice journey and thanx !

selig wrote:This is not actually "literally zero attack time" as claimed - it's simply "look ahead". The attack time is exactly the same as before! This is important because zero attack time can distort audio.

For example, Selig Leveler has true zero attack time, one of the only compressors I'm aware of that can claim this. However, when using pitched material distortion will be heard. This is why Look Ahead was added (along with some behind-the-scenes trickery).

The advantage to using lookahead is that you can leave the attack time slower than "zero" and still catch transients.

This "trick" works quite well in Reason with very little prep - in fact, even better than the example above in Pro Tools because you don't have to copy a track. This means you can send multiple sources into such a compressor without multiple copies of the audio tracks in the sequencer. Just one more way that Reason, despite being behind in some areas, excels in others!

Here I demonstrate how you can add look ahead AND side chain filtering to the Master Compressor in Reason using only two devices (three if you use the DDL-1 instead of a true stereo delay like The Echo, because you need two: one for each channel).

In this example I use DDL-1s because they allow 1 ms increments. Here's what the routing looks like:
Image

I setup the insert programmer to control the crossover frequency with one Rotary, turn Look Ahead on/off with a button (by using bypass on the delays), and a second Rotary to control lookahead delay from 1-10 ms.

For this to work you must set the Stereo Imager to NORMAL (Solo mode), and select the Hi Band on the back for the second pair of outputs. You also need to make sure the insert routing for the Master Insert is set to "INSERTS PRE COMPRESSOR".

Basically the main output of the Stereo Imager passes the signal un-processed on to the delays, which add the delay (naturally). The non-delayed signal gets hi-pass filtered and passed to the KEY input of the Master Compressor. By delaying the main signal, the KEY input effectively "sees" the audio BEFORE it hits the Master Compressor, effectively creating the "pre-delay" required for Look Ahead to function.

Hopefully this all makes sense, and demonstrates how Reason can handle some fairly complex functions much simpler than other DAWs!
:)
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Dabbler
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Location: Louisville, KY

Post 12 Jun 2020

Sorry to revive an old thread.

But could someone show me how to do this with Reason stock devices?

I understand the part about making a copy of the track and using that to trigger the compressor on the original track, which essentially give a zero attack setting, but the wiring is what I do not grasp.

Much thanks

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Loque
Posts: 7472
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 12 Jun 2020

Dabbler wrote:
12 Jun 2020
Sorry to revive an old thread.

But could someone show me how to do this with Reason stock devices?

I understand the part about making a copy of the track and using that to trigger the compressor on the original track, which essentially give a zero attack setting, but the wiring is what I do not grasp.

Much thanks
Here is a quite simple solution, stock only. Note, that the "lookahead" introduces a delay, which you can compensate manually on the back if needed.
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:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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Dabbler
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Location: Louisville, KY

Post 12 Jun 2020

Loque, thank you for this. I will study it. Much appreciated.

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Dabbler
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Post 17 Jun 2020

Loque wrote:
12 Jun 2020
Dabbler wrote:
12 Jun 2020
Sorry to revive an old thread.

But could someone show me how to do this with Reason stock devices?

I understand the part about making a copy of the track and using that to trigger the compressor on the original track, which essentially give a zero attack setting, but the wiring is what I do not grasp.

Much thanks
Here is a quite simple solution, stock only. Note, that the "lookahead" introduces a delay, which you can compensate manually on the back if needed.
Well I am getting nowhere with this.
The combinator doesn't make sense to me when I watch the original video.
All the MixBus guy did was shift the triggering track and send it to the original track's compressor via side chain.
All help appreciated.
thanks

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selig
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Post 17 Jun 2020

Dabbler wrote:
17 Jun 2020
Loque wrote:
12 Jun 2020


Here is a quite simple solution, stock only. Note, that the "lookahead" introduces a delay, which you can compensate manually on the back if needed.
Well I am getting nowhere with this.
The combinator doesn't make sense to me when I watch the original video.
All the MixBus guy did was shift the triggering track and send it to the original track's compressor via side chain.
All help appreciated.
thanks
That's fine for one track, but the Combinator solution allows you to send ANY audio through from multiple sources if you like, such as on the master bus (something you can't do with the track solution because there is no master track to "shift").
Selig Audio, LLC

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Loque
Posts: 7472
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 17 Jun 2020

Dabbler wrote:
17 Jun 2020
Loque wrote:
12 Jun 2020


Here is a quite simple solution, stock only. Note, that the "lookahead" introduces a delay, which you can compensate manually on the back if needed.
Well I am getting nowhere with this.
The combinator doesn't make sense to me when I watch the original video.
All the MixBus guy did was shift the triggering track and send it to the original track's compressor via side chain.
All help appreciated.
thanks
Forget what other DAW users do, try to think in "Reason". Often simple things are quite complicated in other DAWs.

I try to explain, what the Combinator does and i highly must recommend to look at the back inside the Combinator's devices:
* Split the incoming audio signal
** One goes into the Compressor Sidechain (this is the main audio trigger)
** One goes into a Delay fx, with no feedback, full Wet and a delay-time representing your wanted "lookahead"
** Connect the Delay fx output into the Compressor Input (this is your delayed audio signal which will be compressed on the "older" Sidechain signal!)
* Adjust your compressor

The trick is, delay the signal to be compressed and send the original (non-delayed) signal into the sidechain. Now the "old" signal triggers the compressor earlier than the now "delayed" signal.

Hope, that helps.
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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Dabbler
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Location: Louisville, KY

Post 17 Jun 2020

You sir are a genius.

Oh man what transient sculpting options I have now.

Notice how the transients have been reduced in the lower green track.

Thanks a million.
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Loque
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Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 17 Jun 2020

Dabbler wrote:
17 Jun 2020
You sir are a genius.

Oh man what transient sculpting options I have now.

Notice how the transients have been reduced in the lower green track.

Thanks a million.
Your welcome 😂
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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