Could you mix a song with nothing but compressors? I think I can

Haha. Could you do it?

If you could only use compressors, and no EQ…

Plus 1 delay, 1 reverb, an autotuner and overdrive.

Like this post if you think it would be amusing to see me try. @Chordwainer…could I use your last track?


I’m pretty sure I could do it with Fabfilter’s Pro MB.

Back in the RR days did an article reviewing Pro MB. As a “proof of concept” I mixed a drum kit using nothing but Pro MB. Unfortunately, the article no longer exists online since RR sank into oblivion… So yes, I think I could definitely mix a song using only FF Pro MB.

Here’s an idea I’ve toyed with in my mind: I reckon it would be cool to try to mix a song using only Guitar Rig. It has everything you need contained in it’s suite of components to do it… I’d like to hear that!

1 Like

If you do that, i’ll mix Patrick’s “9 to 5” with only Thrillseeker VBL, one reverb and a delay.

Sorry, JK. I’m not stupid enough to try. :smiley:

1 Like

If the instrument sounds, performances and arrangements were good I think I could give it a bash at least to the point where 6 months later I wouldn’t be wondering what the hell I was thinking. I guess I’d use more automation to push parts to the front sequentially without fighting each other, if it was needed. But, I think it’d be hard to get contemporary brightness unless it already existed in the recorded sound.

1 Like

Mixing I think I could do this, key filtering would be a huge part of that though, does that count? I don’t even think I would need the overdrive. Going from tracking to the end with no eq would be rough.

pretty sure that if we go back to the early days of rock we’d see that type of thing. Sure they might have had EQs but sometimes it was very minimal. It was probably pretty radical when they got boards that had a simple lo/mid/hi on each channel.

Whats somewhat lost is the way they had to think around those limitations in those days by PLANNING ahead of time and knowing the freq characteristics of each instrument and how to place the performers and the few room mics so that theyd get a good overall picture

Think how primitive the equipment was on stuff like Miles Davis album “Kind of Blue”…which was 1959! Yet it has a killer sound


Get the source to sound as you want it from the begininng. It will mix itself.

There is a success story that used the approach you are talking about. It was the production of the last Daft Punk record. They managed to get the sound they wanted from the start, It is something wonderful. There was a bit of EQ though.



Ahha! I found the files on my hard drive…

Here’s a “live in the rehearsal rooms” drum kit (you can hear some guitar and bass bleed) mic’d with stereo OH, kick in, snare top, rack tom, floor tom and mono room mic…Using only the Fab Filter Pro MB:

Unprocessed Drums:

Drums after Processing with only Fab Filter Pro MB:

1 Like

This ^^^^

That would be a better exercise. Instead of spending time trying to mix with only compressors, spend that time getting better source sounds so you don’t have to mangle the mix so much.

1 Like

Absolutely @Jonathan, happy to help out with this experiment. Email me with what you need and in what format you want it and I’ll bundle stuff up for you this weekend. Looking forward to this!

Do multiband compressors count, or are they too much like dynamic EQ?

I couldn’t mix anything without distortion…Unless it was newscasting or an audiobook. Its become a pretty necessary mainstay in music.

No way. lol. You don’t have enough tools. Hell no. I’d like to see that attempted haha. Even if @ptalbot prints his guitars, I think you’ll only get so far by biasing the compressor. And your brilliance control is fixed…so I’d predict you’d end up with a huge bump at whatever the brilliance knob is fixed at.

But do it…prove me wrong :smiley:

1 Like

I couldn’t mix anything without distortion…Unless it was newscasting or an audiobook. Its become a pretty necessary mainstay in music

I agree, but I would use certain compressors for that as I do now.

I used to think eq was more important than compression, but now I think compression is at LEAST as important- and probably more so!

I’d scream, pull my hair out, and probably make a mess if I did. However I’m sure there are folks that could mix a song running through a cassette tape player and the package the player was delivered in and still sound better then what I can come up with.