I shot a video and posted it below so you could see and hear how I set this up on my drum tracks. Suggested Compression Settings for Kick. Set attack time to 70ms (e.g. The best compression settings for your mix. 2. The kick drum big three: boom, smack, click. These are three key elements that can be used to describe the sound of a kick drum. Good mixes need ups and downs in energy in order to be pleasing to the listener’s ear. The transients of the drums are out of control and need to be tamed. Set compression ratio to around 4:1 2.) On kicks and snares I hardly reach for compression at all unless one of these situations occurs: 1. Opto compression with a slow attack and release, 6:1 ratio and a very low threshold. Personally in my own music production projects, I do not compress kick drums often in the mix because compressing it can reduce its power during the mastering stage. Set release time to 100ms. One thing to note is that these time settings do have certain side effects (short attack time on a kick drum can reduce the low-end, etc.) The funny thing is, everybody wants to compress their drums… I try my hardest not to! There’s not enough transient in the drums, or there’s not enough tone for my liking. 75ms) … This is the classic drum pumping sound. Your compression should preserve the character of them, not destroy it. The clean drum loop with no compression applied. However if you need to compress kick drums, below are the suggestions: 1.) You can use this technique on ANY instrument including vocals, bass, electric guitars, whatever! Compression can be a great tool to achieve your desired balance, especially with drums. This is the same compression as used above, but with a fast attack. Insert a compressor and an EQ on your stereo bus (this works in hardware and software), squash the drums, boost the highs at 10kHz, lows at 80Hz (leave everything else flat) and send the bus output into two open channels of your mixer. A good way to use stereo bus compression is when you route drum tracks to a stereo bus (not the main L+R) to create a submix. 3.) Start by trying a few of these eq and compressor settings and tweak them in to suit your specific starting drum sound and desired results. First off: a good rule of thumb for compression is “do no harm.” Remember those transients you just learned about? Here is the same drum loop processed with the standard Apple Logic compressor with a variety of settings. Setting up parallel compression on drums is really that easy. All you need in your home studio is a four band eq to start shaping the kick drum sound of your dreams! We’ve looked at three different ways we can affect the sound of a drum hit via the time settings on a compressor.