Using Logic's compressor on a stereo channel
Mar 18th, 2013, 12:49
I've been mixing in Logic for years, and it just hit me this evening that I don't know how Logic's standard compressor responds on a stereo channel when the right and left side volumes are different. Apparently, when the compressor is instantiated (as they say) on a stereo track/channel, the stereo version of this plugin is automatically selected. Interestingly, I couldn't find any mention of this topic in the Logic 9 Help menu or anywhere on Google. The reason why I assumed there was a mono and stereo version is because the plugin insert menu indicates 'Stereo' when selecting the main Logic compressor on a stereo channel. So my question is: How does the compressor behave when the incoming gain on each side is different? For example, if I inserted a Direction Mixer in front of the compressor (I never do this, but let's say hypothetically), such that incoming gain was much stronger on one side, do I get the same absolute gain reduction from the compressor on both sides (depending on the Threshold, Ratio, etc.), or does it discriminate and apply more gain reduction to the stronger signal, thereby effectively negating some of the Direction Mixer function? The question is important to me because I use a lot of loops that are stereo in nature and automatically create stereo tracks when they are imported. But I can see from the waveforms that some of these are shifted right or left or, even more commonly, bounce around in the stereo field. I usually don't try to compress such files, but sometimes, to economize the track count, I load these into a track that has another instrument in place for which compression is desirable, and then insert the compressor on the stereo track. I just don't have a clue how that compressor is dealing with the audio region that is bouncing around in the stereo field. Thanks in advance.