a little bit on compressors (before the video)

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Mixing

before I’m uploading the new video,

I wanted to talk a little bit about compression, because the new video will involve compression.

compression is a hard subject, amazingly enough some people says it is not,

why am I saying it is hard ?

lets take just a few of the difficulties and you will understand.

1. each compressor have its own color and effect on the sound.

2. each compressor have it own controllers which often change the strategy for working with such a compressor.

3. each compressor have a uniqueness that will work as magic on some of your production parts,

I am not talking about colors, I am taking about the reaction of the compressors, and this reaction isn’t written on the box, and eve if it is,

you can’t know where and when it will affect the sound in a magical way – UNTIL YOU TRY IT FOR YOURSELF!

that’s where experience comes into the picture.

4. compressors can be used as a transient accentuation tool, a tail accentuation tool, as an EQ, as a tool for bringing an instrument forward or backward in the 3D dimension,

as a kind of distortion, and more..

that’s enough for now to confuse you a little, just choosing the right application for the compressor is a task that can lead to some mistakes even by the most professionals,

but don’t worry, mistakes are part of the ART of music, without mistakes music was a boring subject, some of the best and unique uses of compressors where mistakes, enjoy mistakes listen to them and make mental note while you enjoy them.

I am going to show you an easy way to hear a compressor and it’s effect on sound :

1. set the attack and release to the shortest available.

2. set the ratio to the highest available.

3. set the threshold so there will be an obvious amount of compression going on, that means you can hear the compression (change in the color or the shape of the sound).

4. start moving the attack first until it sounds good enough.

5. move the release until it sound good enough.

6. move the ratio where the sound sounds controlled but still big and appealing.

7. move the threshold to how much compression you want to take place.

8. check an A/B comparison to see if the sound is more appealing then before and adjust accordingly (usually changing the threshold will be enough).

please don’t let the volume confuse you, louder sounds have an illusion to sound better.

another, and a shorter way is to move through the presets and then adjusting the threshold until the sound is more appealing.

some won’t agree on these ways for dialing a compressor setting which is totally fine,

AFTER ALL, everyone have HIS OWN WAY to achieve his ART to sound THE WAY HE WANTS.


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