In this free video tutorial, Pro Tools Expert Team Member Julian Rodgers considers the different reasons for putting plug-ins in a particular order. When does it make a difference and is it always because of the effect it has on the sound?
Is This Just EQ Before Or After Compression Again?
No. That particular question tends to dominate conversations like this so we'll steer clear of it. There are some cases, like EQ vs Compression which are a matter of taste but there are others where there is definitely a right and a wrong way to do it.
De-essing relies on the difference between loud and soft in the upper mids so putting it after compression would be counter-productive. In the same way, there would be little point in using a gate, expander or noise reduction after compression.
In this example, Julian uses Softube's Saturation Knob plug-in. While feeding a saturation effect pre or post compression will have an audible effect as louder, uncompressed audio pushes further into distortion, a bigger factor on the choice of where to put it might be the lack of an output volume which means that a trim plug-in would be necessary to keep downstream compression consistent if the saturation level were to be changed.
This is a big area but always an interesting one to investigate as most of us have a "usual" order and it's not necessarily the best.