Kenny's Tip of the Day - Do Not Fear The Mix (Master) Buss
Do NOT be afraid to put something on the Mix Buss. Whether it be an EQ, Compressor or even Distortion. Mixing allows us to adjust things at 3 different levels. Individual tracks, Busses and the Master 2 Buss. Use all of them. That's why they are there. Anyone who tells you to avoid this point doesn't understand what mixing is. Or more importantly, think YOU don't.
They're trying to save you from yourself. They don't trust you to make adjustments at this stage so they recommend that you don't. I understand why they say this but I don't think that's any way to approach mixing. Maybe you want to avoid doing drastic things on the Master Buss but ignoring it all together would be mixing malpractice.
The reason I mention this is more important with a compressor than an EQ. Whereas you CAN put EQ in other places and get the same effect. Even though it might take longer so there's no point.
BUT with a compressor (or any dynamics plugin) there's simply NO way to get the same effect at any other point in the chain . There just isn't. I don't care how much compression you put on your busses or your individual tracks, it will NEVER sound the same as having it on the 2 buss. Which is where you can control the dynamics of your drums, working with the bass, working with the guitars and working with the vocals.
And leaving that place empty because "someone told you to" is just silly. Try it. If you like it (like I do). Do it. It's a huge part of mixing.
You can learn more by watching any of my mixing videos over at www.groove3.com
I hope this message finds you well. Kenny Gioia