Dbx 286 and editing voice

I have a doubt:
Mike’s hardware setup (let’s assume Mike’s), foresees an input microphone on a dbx 286 and simplifying, the output goes into Audition.

The 286 already uses lowcut 80hz, deEsser, compressor, limiter settings … so our audio already has all these audio applications, because then in the effects presets not for vocals we go further to cut the 80hz, compress the audio, and repeat the same and other audio processing operations ??

Or am I wrong to understand? that is the audio that passes from the DBX is flat without any compression or cut frequencies?

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I tweak how I use my dbx286s depending on what I’m doing.

I don’t always use the onboard compression if I’m solely recording as it can added on post but can’t be subtracted in post.

The dbx286s however comes into its own in a live environment where you don’t have the option of post editing.

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so if I understand correctly, you are telling me that for V.O. the dbx 286s is used only to connect a phantom microphone as then the whole process will be processed in post production via software?

Instead for LIVE uses, the dbx will be used with HP, Compressor, Gate, limiter etc.?

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No not at all.

Through choice I use the the dbx286s minimally for pre-recorded work. I use the EQ and De-Esser only. Only if I’m doing live will use I the compressor and noise gate.

How you process is your choice. Obviously the more inline processing you do the less post processing you’ll need to do. Just remember that compression varies on usage of the audio, you’ll want far less compression on an audio book or podcast than a radio jingle. With that in mind don’t over process on the dbx unit.

If you’re just doing VO then I’d suggest the other two units aren’t required as your mic will be processed in the dbx286s and as you’re adding nothing further you want need the EQ and compression of the other two units.


@Mike What can you tell us more about this?

Yep, @markdenholm shares some great points on the dbx 286s.

You can really dial in your sound with this little unit. You may want to bypass the dbx when recording voiceover so you get the flat unprocessed version that a producer can play with (producers tend to like that) :wink:

There is an easy way to do this. Using the Process Bypass button on the dbx 286s will bypass it but, frankly, I keep my settings on pretty much all the time. The only reason I’d bypass is if I’m testing a mic out.

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I always ask for clarification as it is a bit difficult to understand how to best configure everything.

As @Mike says I could bypass the DBX 286 with the appropriate button, so at this point the dbx would only use it as a microphone phantom power interface.
Mike also says that he DOESN’T BYPASS the dbx so he uses it by recording an audio already with hi-pass, compressor, gate, limiter (this audio will then be reprocessed with the same effects in the audition, so a double hi-pass, compressor etc? ?)

Let’s say we have a configuration like MIKE’s,
Condenser MIC, Signature 12mtk, dbx286 —> PC
if i have to bypass the dbx using it only as a phantom amplifier, at this point i could not connect the microphone directly to the phantom of the signature 12mtk mixer?
If I have to use the dbx with its “filters” in a light way since then everything will be processed by audition, at this point I would not be able to use the compressor, the hi-pass and the phantom of the mixer so as to completely exclude the purchase of the dbx286 ??

Basically from what I understand and do not understand, from the things said by MIKE and the ever-present @markdenholm if I don’t have LIVE needs, the DBX286 processor what would I need ??
(It is certainly qualitatively better than the Signature 12’s internal compression processors etc., but if I have to bypass it, what do I need the dbx for?)

The dbx286s sits in my chain and is never bypassed. The processor connects to my mixing desk which connects to the PC.

I use no compression via the dbx286s (nor the mixer) as you can compress uncompressed audio but you can’t uncompress compressed audio.

I do use the remainder of the dbx286s so if I’m recording a voiceover for a sweeper or drop I compress it in post production but if I’m recording a podcast or a voiceover for someone else to produce then I have done everything at the recording stage with EQ etc all done but no compression so therefore the producer (me or someone else) can compress as they see fit.


What Mark said. You can’t uncompress compressed audio but you can compress uncompressed audio.

I like to add a small bit of compression on the dbx 286s just to keep levels in line and save me some post production processing but I wouldn’t add heaps of compression unless I was using it in a live or online radio situation that required it.

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