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I think it's kinda cool how when I went from aiming for loud to aiming for punchy, the way I used compressors basically changed completely.

Went from:

Brick-wall on RMS mode, no attack to keep peak volume down, then release/sustain as low as possible before distortion, then cut the top off with saturation.

To:

Moderate boost in peak, large attack so transients get through and are boosted to shape it to be really sharp, then clip a little bit with saturation for better aggression.

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Also like, damn I'm going back and forth between my thing and some other people's stuff and holy shit I think I'm onto a winner here. Just as an overarching approach to production I am aiming for "punchy like those cool professional people" and that is exactly what I'm getting this feels so good!!

Difference is *really* noticeable going back to my old tracks. Taking the first and last from each broad approach:

Mix by ear alone:

Micro: way too wide at the low end (it'll all cancel out); drums really weak; not properly balanced (too much low mids, too little highs).

Clairvoyant: significant improvement; drums are stronger but still completely buried under everything else; whole mix is quite blurry/clouded.

(1/3)

Aiming for loudness:

Full-body Experience: significant improvement again! drums way stronger but are very flat; mix is definitely cleaner though, but very mono.

Praxis: Really loud!! drums are still completely flat though as a result; mix clearer still; think I went a little too hard on the saturation though because a lot of things just sound like they're clipping (mostly cause they are lmao); definitely has a lot of impact though.

(2/3)

Aiming for punch:

Shatterstar: immediately way better stereo image; mix by far the clearest; sub is incredibly smooth and powerful; drums *very* punchy and nice and high in the mix; transients very snappy all around; extremely happy with this.

(3/3)

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