Everything else I use is stock Reaper plugins. I am more or less self taught as well, mixing for one and a half year now, actually working for some friends and local musicians. As every instrument within a song is just a part of a whole compisition, I find that no plugin or mixing move stands alone as well. This works great on things like snare drum or bass guitar. I simply don’t understand what all those nobs are doing ( ratio, knee, attack, release), I don’t really know what to listen for when I turn the individual nobs. I don’t think I’m using the compressor properly. But it’s uninteresting and boring. I have to admit that it was very hard to reach a good dynamic without it. VCA compressors are not faster then i.e. So how far can I go with the mix and applying compression to the instruments before hand? Not both. I have been trying for my last two or three mixes to stop being “afraid” of the compressor, and used it kind of roughly (best way to learn is to make mistake, I guess!). So if you’re going to throw a compressor on a track, only do so because you have a plan for it. I have destroyed my mixes by using too much gain on my compressor. EQ and compression are you best friends for making better sounding mixes. Use a fast attack and release, so it reacts immediately to the peaks but resets just as quickly so it doesn’t affect the rest of the audio. Use a low threshold so that it only reacts to the peaks. You always hope the dealer busts, and when he has a low card, there’s a higher chance of him losing. Then without question you have inconsistent volume as the simple switch from a consonant to a vowel (remember elementary school anyone?!) The really fully geared studio used some kind of compression hardly ugly pumpin’ on the master, because they had problems to “understand” our music i think and we did not had the money for a master (or even a copy on DAT tape, CD burner was’nt available at that time) so we asked for a “fast master”… ~ß), The result can be heared here: However, then there always seems to be one of the quiet words that becomes the loud one! If you want to see and hear all three of these things in action, watch the One Hour Mix compression video. It won't necessarily be aggressive, but it will (should) fall in place. Curtis, +1 on Klanghelm. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. I appreciate Graham’s clear explanation of why you compress individual tracks. One of the most useful things you can do with a compressor is to simply contain and control the volume of a track by reducing it’s dynamic range. Let me tell you how to approach compression by telling you a little story about gambling at a Vegas Blackjack table. Got a bass guitar that has some super loud notes, but then some super quiet ones as well? Then I have to go start backing things off but that doesn’t seem to be the right approach because I start to loose the dynamics of the song. Some compressor plug-ins have more types, but these three are the most common. And yeah, I know that in the end it’s all about listening and to decide what sounds good or bad. Of course I have destroyed mixes completely with too much compression. That takes dedication. Mute reverbs during breakdowns to create contrast. Try to see if bussing your drums through a compressor set to a FET setting will produce something similar to what you hear in your head. My work around for this I learned from Graham here. But I’m still very much a beginner at this game… Which is why I like reading your articles – you set out some ‘simple rules’ to the game, which makes playing the game all the more fun. WHAT DOES A “FASTER ATTACK” LOOK LIKE ON THE COMPRESSOR. And finally, I always parallel compress the drums and shape the snare compressor in time with the track. These days I use compression on every mix, but for three distinct reasons and strategies. Finding the good and nice sounding tune that works perfectly with the rest of the mix and not trying to overdo something because you think it can be better.