compression (i’m new go easy)


New Member
Jul 2, 2017
Hi guys, awesome forum. I’m loving it, I would like to ask a few questions to save my own sanity, if there’s any left.

Please excuse me if i noob and waffle a bit........(questions lead to more questions)

i’m experimenting with compression, i sort of understand what it does but i’m not so sure when to use it. by this i mean...

At what stage is advised to apply compression. I’m not asking for a formula but you guy’s have been here already right? I will be experimenting and my thoughts are these:

- Do I apply compression from the get go ?
Is it advisable to apply compression on my kick as soon as I load it in to the DAW? Then do the same with my snare ? . Doing this leads to me compressing absolutely everything. (which got me writing this post as i confused myself)
- Just at final mix down stage/left for mastering?
- With a limiter on my drum bus or even the master then mix in to that?

Am I right in saying it depends on the samples and what i’am trying to achieve.
Knowing what I want to achieve will come to me in time (maybe years) until I get used to hearing the different results?

Then theres different types of compression.
As a beginner should i try and learn what a compressed signal sounds like in general first. (master used in loose terms)

Then move on and try to master different techniques like side-chain compression. Parallel compression, multi band compression and so on...each step at a time? Just do it all at once?

I apologise if I have baffled anyones head.
Am I going in the right direction, my thinking. My approach ? I have officially hit brain overload.
If I were you I'd start by learning everything about your DAW's native compressor then experiment and watch tutorials on the different types.
As every tune is different there's no set order or process about when/if to apply compression - it may not be needed at all.
I usually apply a glue compressor to the drum bus to try and get them sounding like they're from the same kit. It can also be a good way of shaping/bringing out desired elements from a break loop.
As a general rule - do not use a compressor (or any effects) on the master track.
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