I use compressors quite often and I am quite familiar with their use to control dynamics but I haven't really got a good enough grasp of multi band compression.

From what I understand, the equivalent would be to put your signal through a number of parallel BPFs crossing over at adjacent frequencies, compress their outputs separately and then mix/add them back together. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

But as you apply a different amount of make-up gain on each band, doesn't this affect the tonal balance of your signal? Is this something you use them for? Or is it a side-effect that you should compensate for?

How do you decide where to place your crossover points?


I'd say that second paragraph is pretty accurate.

"doesn't this affect the tonal balance of your signal?" Yes

"Is this something you use them for?" And yes. Basically, a MBC is giving you frequency specific compression, allowing you to make a track stand out more, while leaving a greater dynamic range than with normal compression.

"How do you decide where to place your crossover points?" This is something I always have trouble with. I've seen people use them as de-essors (and de-essors ARE basically specialized MBCs). I've seen people use them to get a more sub-bass sound out of an actual bass guitar (to avoid bringing in the fret and finger-sounds). The purpose of using the MBC defines where the crossover points will go. Here's a good guide though: https://ask.audio/articles/mixing-tips-understanding-multiband-compression

Lastly, a warning. MBCs are finicky and can ruin your mix very easily. Start very slowly, and keep notes of what sounds good, so you can go back if you go too far.

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