Lower the threshold to apply more compression and vice versa. Compressors remedy this by reducing a sound's dynamic range: compression will reduce the level differences between the mumbled and unmumbled words, making it easier to find a static fader setting that works. Let's say that we're mixing a song where a strummed acoustic guitar has a nice, natural sustain that works really well when it's at the right level in the mix, but you find that you have to turn the fader down whenever the player digs in more during your song's choruses. Your compressor’s release time will control how it shapes the tail ends of words and … Anything heavily distorted will already have been levelled out by nature of the distortion process. With the electric guitar example, you might start off with a fairly low ratio (maybe 2:1) and then set the threshold so that gain‑reduction happens for all but the quietest notes. In this article we’ll focus on the impact of the Release knob. You’ve probably read about crushing a source with the “all buttons in” setting, but did you know you can get a heavily compressed sound even with the ratio at its lowest setting of 4:1? First Look: Pro Tools | Carbon. Example 3: Here’s a conga part with a UAD 1176 LN plug-in on it. If the balance problems can't be solved, try rolling the threshold down further, to see if that makes it easier to find a decent fader level. That makes it sound more “immediate,” he says. Multing can solve a lot of problems on its own, but quickly gets very fiddly if you try to use it to deal with lots of short‑term balance problems (lots of single notes or words that are too loud or quiet), and this is where the automatic processing offered by a compressor can begin to complement multing. But, not surprisingly, the 1176 compressor is also really powerful when you dial in more substantial compression. If you do, though, you'll probably find that it uses the 1176LN‑style input‑gain control setup, and in some cases the threshold may be set to the digital clipping point for mastering purposes, without any post‑compression gain control. Release Time. Pushing your channel compressors too hard is a common mistake that can slowly suck the life out of a mix if it's duplicated across all your tracks, so it pays in the long run to be a little wary.Waves' Renaissance Compressor takes the approach of SSL's popular bus compressor, where you get more compression as you bring the threshold down. (For the sake of discussion I'll refer to Threshold and Make‑up Gain controls, but the same principles apply with a different control set.). A compressor's gain‑reduction meter can be a very good visual guide here, as it'll show you not only how much compression is being applied, but also how fast it's changing. If you want more of the incoming signal to be compressed, you need to turn up the Input knob. You want your compressor to act more gently on signals overshooting the threshold level, so that you can set the threshold just above the level of the softest notes and then subtly squeeze the whole dynamic range down to a more manageable size. Ratio: 1.5:1–2:1 For example, a side‑stick sound (which comprises a short transient and very little sustain) might completely bypass a compressor that has a long attack, even if its level shoots way over the compressor's threshold. Once you're confident of which controls you need to reach for in any given case, you'll find that the more subtle differences between compressors begin to become more relevant, and that the purpose of more advanced multi‑band and parallel‑processing techniques becomes more logical. On the first two, the 1176 compressor is providing a pretty significant amount of gain reduction (up to -10dB), but the release is relatively slow (about 9 o’clock). Some parts often need no compression at all. A final control layout you may encounter is the one used on the Urei 1176LN and which now appears on many of the plug‑ins it has inspired, such as Cubase's Vintage Compressor. For example, they use the beats per minute method of the music. Another common problem is with percussive bass sounds, such as kick drums, which can appear to lose bass content if you compress them with attack times under about 50ms. Next, adjust the attack time as needed. The setting for Example 3, when the release was at its slowest. You can do so by turning up the input and setting the fastest release time. If the action of the Input Gain control sounds rather like that of the Compression and Peak Reduction controls above, you're not wrong. If you look at these controls' legending, you'll notice that the times are usually expressed in milliseconds, although you do occasionally find microseconds and whole seconds. Here's the unprocessed snare hit. On the 1176, particularly when you’re applying a lot of gain reduction to percussive sources, its setting can have a huge impact. All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2020. To help keep the vocals sounding natural, he sets the attack at its slowest and the release at its fastest.