Parallel processing is something you’ll come across at one point or another as you dive deeper into the world of recording. Basically, it’s the process of treating two identical copies of a piece of audio with different effets, then blending them together.

In this video, I show you a way to use parallel processing on drums. Enjoy!

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  • Jay

    Hi Joe, Thanks a lot for the video, open minded me. Just wondering the difference between parallel compresion and using sends (put a compresor on a Bus and them Use the sends to add effect). Thanks!

    • They both essentially accomplish the same thing, but with a send you can have a different level balance. Using parallel like I did, you’re taking two copies of the same signal. With sends, you could JUST compress the kick and snare and not the overheads if you wanted ot.

    • *to

  • Jerimey Apel

    I’ve used this technique with distortion and pitch shifting. I haven’t even thought of using compression this way. Thanks for opening my mind Mr. Gilder.

  • Joe McKenney

    First off I love your blogs cause they are giving me a ton of information since getting back into the bussiness learning the energinig part which i had a basic understanding of is going slow but steady I’m still learning my DAW which is Mixcraft5 i thought was really basic but your videos are showing me things that are there that are not explained in the Manual, keep the good work coming i swear by it.

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  • Your a freaking GENIUS!! where’ve u been all my life!! 

  • Chad

    Great video Joe!

    • Chad

      I have been doing this today since I watched the video and all I can say is thanks man. My drums finally sound right! MTSU didn't show me that one.

  • Wayne

    Great video I’m fairly new to recording. I haven’t done anything serious just some practice runs learning mixing and edits. I have Pro Tools 8 and Sonar 8.5. I like both and each one has advantages. Thanks for the tips and I have watched most of your videos and looking forward to more.

    Thanks Wayne

  • Shawn

    How do you get the Send fader to show up on the mix view like that?

    • There’s a pull-down menu in the upper-left corner of the edit window where you can select what exactly you want to see in the edit window. Click around, you’ll find it. 🙂

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  • Hey Joe,

    Great post! Thanks for telling the world about the wonders of parallel processing!

    I’d be interested to see how you incorporate parallel processing with the other instruments you mentioned…

  • Excellent video, Joe. Very clear explanation of parallel compression with one of the better demonstrations of it in a real-world scenario.

  • Hey Joe,

    Another great tutorial. I’ve never thought of using the output of a track to setup parallel or side chain compression. I tend to route to aux track via individual sends so that I can control how much each track gets compressed independently from the original output. Then I can still choose to send my overheads to the parallel compressor but I can lower their send volume and reduce the extreme compression that stands out during cymbal crashes while still getting some of the benefits of compression.

    Once again, nice tutorial. Keep it up!

    • Thanks Ben! Yeah, there are definitely a handful of ways to route the audio. To each his own!

  • Joe, nice demo. Did you record the drums or is that track from a library?

    I would have liked to hear you mute the compressed sub briefly, to create a quick A/B comparison of the drum mix with and without the compressed copy.

    Also, is your PT doing automatic delay compensation, or does it introduce slight phase differences to have different sets of plug-ins on parallel tracks?

    • Hey Matt. Those are EZDrummer tracks. Good call on the muting and A/B-ing the difference. Should’ve done that.

      Nope. I’m in Pro Tools LE, so I don’t have any delay compensation, but I can’t recall if that particular compressor introduces any delay. I know the SSL Bus Compressor (that I would normally use) doesn’t.