My fave thing to compress is drums. Sometimes squashing the crud out of a drum kit is exactly what it needs to make it punch through better and have more energy.
Maybe I’m an overcompress’er but I’ve sometimes compressed individual mics, parallel compression, and then my drum master which is drums+parallel compression, just touching this one gently in order to glue the compressed and not so compressed sound, I did this just once, seemed like too much when I thought of what I was doing but I had still lots of punch and good tone, any thoughts? By the way, I agree with your “favoriteness” regarding “compressable” tracks, lol
I’ve found it helpful to not let myself decide how much compression to use by looking at the gain reduction meter and saying “That looks like too much compression.” The more I can use my ears and determine if it SOUNDS like too much compression, the more options I have.
I actually compress individual drums, then parallel compress the close mics. It really adds a forceful punch in the mix, especially with the parallel compression blended in just a little bit, I find adding compressors to the individual drums means you can tame the peaks a bit more precisely than if you just compressed the bus. Depending on what compressor you use, you can also get some nice colour being added just from the drum going through a type of compressor (but of course you knew that).
I love heavily compressing vocals! I definitely agree that if you compress them hard, they stand out in the mix and provide a lot more presence.
Awesome. I tend to like to start with the drum bus and then go back to the individual pieces. Many ways to skin this cat. 🙂
+1 on the drum buss. I like a natural sounding kit as opposed to a “studio” kit sound.