How to Use Native Instruments VC 160 for Drum Mixing
If you are looking for a classic compressor that can add some punch and grit to your drum tracks, you might want to check out the Native Instruments VC 160. This plugin is based on one of the most famous VCA compressors found in studios all over the world, and it can deliver a bold and dirty sound that works well for hip hop, rock, and retro styles.
In this article, we will show you how to use the Native Instruments VC 160 for drum mixing, and what are some of the features and benefits of this plugin.
What is the Native Instruments VC 160
The Native Instruments VC 160 is a VCA compressor plugin that is part of the Vintage Compressors bundle, produced in collaboration with Softube. VCA stands for Voltage Controlled Amplifier, and it means that the compressor uses multiple detectors to monitor the input signal and respond quickly. VCA compressors are versatile and can handle hard compression situations.
The VC 160 is modeled after a legendary hardware unit that was widely used in the 70s and 80s for mixing drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. The VC 160 provides a continuously-adjustable threshold range and a compression ratio from 1:1 right up to infinity, while still offering intuitive controls for immediate usability. The VC 160 is mostly used for mixing drums, adding a definitive 'thwack' or 'knock' to even the dullest kick and snare.
How to Use the Native Instruments VC 160 for Drum Mixing
The Native Instruments VC 160 has a simple and clean interface that makes it easy to dial in the desired settings. Here are the main controls and how they affect the sound:
Input: This knob adjusts the input level of the signal going into the compressor. You can use it to drive the compressor harder or softer, depending on how much compression you want.
Output: This knob adjusts the output level of the signal coming out of the compressor. You can use it to compensate for any gain reduction caused by the compression.
Threshold: This knob sets the level at which the compression kicks in. The lower you set it, the more compression you will get.
Ratio: This knob sets the amount of compression applied to the signal once it crosses the threshold. The higher you set it, the more compression you will get.
Attack: This knob sets how fast the compressor reacts to the signal crossing the threshold. The faster you set it, the more punchy and aggressive the sound will be.
Release: This knob sets how fast the compressor releases the signal after it falls below the threshold. The faster you set it, the more natural and smooth the sound will be.
Meter: This meter shows how much gain reduction is happening due to the compression. You can switch between input, output, or gain reduction modes by clicking on it.
To use the Native Instruments VC 160 for drum mixing, you can start by applying it to individual drum tracks, such as kick, snare, or toms. You can adjust the input level to get a healthy signal going into the compressor, and then tweak the threshold and ratio knobs to get some compression happening. You can use a high ratio for more aggressive compression, or a low ratio for more subtle compression. You can also adjust the attack and release knobs to shape the transient response of your drums. You can use a fast attack for more punch and snap, or a slow attack for more sustain and body. You can use a fast release for more clarity and separation, or a slow release for more glue and smoothness.
You can also apply the Native Instruments VC 160 to your drum bus or group track, to compress all your drums together. This can help to create a more cohesive and balanced drum sound, as well as add some color and character from the plugin. You can use a lower input level to avoid overdriving the compressor too much, and then adjust the threshold and ratio knobs to get some gentle compression happening. You can use a low ratio for more transparent compression, or a high ratio for more squashed compression. You can also adjust the attack and release knobs 061ffe29dd