Here’s some generalized examples: The release is essentially the opposite of the attack. If your compressor’s ratio is set to 5:1, then you will be getting 8 dB of gain reduction. These numbers are referring to the balance between the input and output above the threshold. Inside Track: Machine Gun Kelly 'Concert For Aliens'. A more transparent approach to compression is to use a compressor as a send effect, mixing the compressed signal in with the unprocessed one — this is often referred to as parallel compression. During the session, I put a compressor over the master outputs, just to catch any stray peaks, and when fiddling around with the settings I found that a low threshold and a low ratio helped to blend the mix as a whole and fattened it up. If you want a more subtle transition into your compressed sounds, the soft knee can be really useful for making it sound more organic. Gain:Adjust so that the output level matches the input level. What is a "hybrid" audio interface anyway? Sometimes the best way to reduce this dynamic range is to manually ride the fader on mixdown, or draw in volume automation to drop the level of the loudest parts by a few decibels. Essentially, it’s the initial snap of a sound. The threshold should usually be the first setting you adjust because it outlines what you are actually compressing, rather than how you compress it. Together, they are the most crucial settings for achieving natural, musical sounding compression. Once you've done this, you can make up lost gain by turning the signal up at the output stage. Recordings of classical music typically have an incredibly wide dynamic range. Your compressor’s attack refers to the speed in which the compressor reaches is maximum compression ratio after the threshold is met. What some engineers do is automate the compressed channel's fader, rather than the main channel's, adding in more of the compressed signal during quieter sections. You don’t need much added gain. If your compressor’s ratio is set to 2:1, then your compression will give you 5 dB of gain reduction. The threshold of the compressor determines the loudness at which gain reduction begins. The ratio actually refers to how much compression will be taking place. Slamming your song to the point of zero dynamics allows you to get the song loud as hell. In essence, compressors control dynamics between loud and softer sounds by making the loud parts softer (referred to as “Gain Reduction”). Any isolated accented chords will be particularly revealing of potentially unpleasant compression artefacts, so listen out for how those sound. Attack: Your compressor’s attack refers to the speed in which the compressor reaches is maximum compression ratio after the threshold is met. That said, most software DAWs now have comprehensive plug-in delay compensation, so this is becoming less of a problem for people these days. Basically, if you are at a 10:1 ratio, then for every 10 decibels above the threshold, you are going to be only getting 1 decibel of sound. I recorded a performance of Handel's Messiah recently, and I was wondering what the common practice is when compressing the whole mix in classical recordings. I'd personally set the attack time fairly fast to track the signal levels pretty closely, and then go for faster release times for more detail/ambience and longer release times for less detail/ambience, but this will inevitably be a matter of taste. Attack:25–30 ms 4. Sometimes the best way to reduce this dynamic range is to manually ride the fader on mixdown, or draw in volume automation to drop the level of the loudest parts by a few decibels. I hope this article was helpful, or at least interesting! ESP Release New 400 Series Metallic Fade Lineup, Avenged Sevenfold Auction Off Gear To Support Music Education, Recording Tip: Using Soft Clipping For Added Punch and Body. Something a little more organic, such as vocals, are going to need a slower attack, because the initial transient is a bit more subtle. I wouldn't go for much more than about a 6dB increase to the quietest sections if you're unsure how far to go. [ENDED] Kiesel Lithiums and Centersun Giveaway! The advantage with this approach is that a human engineer can intelligently anticipate changes in the signal in a way that no compressor can. Let’s learn about the different parameters of compressors! The Knee of a compressor is a useful tool that is often overlooked. For this to work, you need to make sure that the compression processing doesn't also introduce any delay, otherwise you'll get a nasty kind of static phasing sound. Re: Why does Liam Gallagher's vocals sound shit? They can be exceptionally useful, but if used incorrectly, can do more damage than good. Some like to call this “Brick Wall Mastering”, because the audio form looks like a solid wall, rather than showing any dips or peaks in volume. Guitar and bass generally sit somewhere between there and call for a medium attack. A knee set all the way to hard will force the compressor to compress at the exact set ratio on the exact threshold that you previously set. So you’ll be compressing by 9 decibels. Basically, if the threshold is set high, then only the loudest peaks are reduced. If your compressor’s ratio is set to 2:1, then your compression will give you 5 dB of gain reduction. Something percussive like a snare or kick drum will have a very exaggerated transient and will need a fast attack so that the compressor doesn’t miss the transient. One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back! Why does Liam Gallagher's vocals sound shit. The good news is that you live in the modern era and you can find affordable compression pedals and even cheaper (often free) software based ones for your computer! (Most compressors will have these basic parameters that I will go over.). For rhythm guitars, I usually go to a louder spot and start lowering the threshold until I start to hear an audible difference in the compression, then roll it back just a tad bit. Mastering Essentials Part 4 - Mastering EQ: Balance, Don’t Match. All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2020. Attack and release define whether the compressor reaches its full range of gain reduction right away or more gradually. Be sure to check out some of our other recording tips such as 5 Tips for Guitar Mixing! This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana. Re: Clip tuner that responds acoustically. Generally, electric guitar sounds are pretty compressed. You might be tempted to use multi-band compression with similar settings, as many people do when working with more modern music styles, but I'd steer clear of this, to be honest. So a faster release will be a more abrupt change and a slower release will be a bit more organic and subtle. First Look: Pro Tools | Carbon. We upload new review, guides, and interviews daily so if you liked this one, make sure to check out some more!