Let’s describe how it works in a digital system because that’s a bit more clear. }()); Mind you, the detector circuit is always in play. Writer at LANDR. You get a more even and tight drum sound. }); Higher ratios give thump and punch, but can distort or add a pumping effect. For EDM fans, you can have the bass duck out of the way of our ol’ kick drum in a similar way. Apply some light compression on your dry signal if you need to. They’re a key part of your audio effects toolkit. Struggle to HEAR the subtle dynamic differences? var plc291816 = window.plc291816 || 0; She DJs and produces under the name softcoresoft. If the release is fast we may hear level restoration occur between notes — an artifact that’s referred to as “pumping”. Get the ideas, tools and tips you need to grow your sound straight to your inbox. var plc291816 = window.plc291816 || 0; But if your drummer played unevenly, that’ll be accentuated. The compressed signal with a slower attack will add the missing punch and energy. It’s 46% off right now and we can promise you this: You’re … This setting would be more akin to peak limiting and could be used to make sure there is no overloading of our signal path from the occasional kick that was hit a bit too hard. I’m actually writing this article at a coffee shop and The Bravery “Believe” is playing in the background. In this kick drum example, we will need to cater the action of the compressor in order to get the desired results. Remember, compressors have personalities. The issue is that fast overshoots will swing the compressor into high ratio style gain reduction producing a much more noticeably present compression effect. Many elements have varying degrees of percussiveness and connectivity and we may want to adjust the knee to compensate. The main compressor settings are: threshold, ratio, attack and release. There are a number of different designs to this attenuation circuit, but they ultimately aim at the same goal: turn the signal down when the detector says so. Get to know them and start experimenting with your own sound… You’ll be a compression expert in no time! The issue is that the compressor is either on or off, and so it can create a noticeable change between states of neutral and attenuation. If X is time, and Y is gain reduction, the Attack control would dictate how steep the incline of our line would be. So whether we are four decibels over our threshold, or thirty, the amount of reduction will be exactly according to the ratio. They also provide for picking up your cymbals as well since they are sometimes left out of individual miking. Wish you could find new, creative ways to use compression with more confidence. To get the most out of your compressors you need to know how to use the settings right. Set the release so it goes back to zero (the top) before the next hit. Similarly, the gain reduction function will not work linearly, but rather will respond asymptotically to signal level above the threshold. It travels down its signal path into the processor, but it also goes down another path to the detector known as “the sidechain.” If you think about that phrase “sidechain”, it’s actually very descriptive of the detector path. This function tells the attenuator how hard to work. One of the big advantages compression has over volume automation is the ability to function within the envelope of a sound. From all this information and the process of experimenting with various sources, it won’t take long to get a basic feel for compression. Going back to our kick drum, let’s say we want to bring out the low ring to hold a bit more bottom weight. Attack refers to the application speed of gain reduction, not the time it takes for the compressor to act. Do you ever… 1. Anyway, when we have lots of elements competing for space, compression can help our leads along by keeping them locked into the right level consistently. That’s good because it allows you to bring up the gain of the whole signal without clipping. Wonder when to use compression in your mix?
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