Compression

Vanden

-nieuwenhuysen
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#1
I've seen it written a lot that compression is one of those things that is hard to understand, and most people use it incorrectly. As a beginner, I want to read up on it so that I can attempt to use it only where necessary and in the correct way.

What blogs/articles/videos have people found useful in the past? I don't mind some proper in-depth, technical explanations as I have a EEE degree so will understand the technical speak.

Currently reading this one: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb13/articles/latest-squeeze.htm
 

RUSSLA

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#3
Have a search on here for sure, I'm sure I posted a wicked vid that explains it all in real-time. Also the fab filter vids are badboy
 

Neojunk

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#6
since you're a beginner i would recommend you paul whites 'the producers manual'
it was the perfect book for getting into music production for me!
some really good and rather unknown compressor techniques icluded...
follow it up with mike seniors mixing secrets to get even deeper into it

to master the art of compression take a look into bob katz' mastering audio (bob katz is a
legendary mastering engineer and his book is super helpful for everyone in the audio domain ;)

also for me having a visual representation was super helpful!
check out abletons built-in compressor or FL-studios Maximus (read the manuals!!!)
(try maximus demo if you have another DAW... i have cubase and bought maximus the other
day because it's a beast of a multiband compressor!!)

guess that'll keep you busy, hope it helps ;)
 

Vanden

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#7
Thanks everyone! I get the concept of what compression does after reading, just need to understand better when it's necessary to use it, and how much.
 

RUSSLA

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#8
Thanks everyone! I get the concept of what compression does after reading, just need to understand better when it's necessary to use it, and how much.
Use it when you want something to be less dynamic, simple as that really imo. I'd just mess around with all the different settings (EG Ratio of 2:1, 4:1, 10:1, then the same with -50db thresh, -30, -15 etcetc) on the same sound for 30 mins and really listen to what it does. Also a good way is to bounce the same thing out at lots of different settings to see how it effects the waveform too, like kinda test yourself and your ears by comparing with the visual output. HTH
 

Vanden

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Use it when you want something to be less dynamic, simple as that really imo. I'd just mess around with all the different settings (EG Ratio of 2:1, 4:1, 10:1, then the same with -50db thresh, -30, -15 etcetc) on the same sound for 30 mins and really listen to what it does. Also a good way is to bounce the same thing out at lots of different settings to see how it effects the waveform too, like kinda test yourself and your ears by comparing with the visual output. HTH
Cheers mate. When should one use a glue compressor over a normal compressor?
 

RUSSLA

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#10
I actually don't know to be honest, i'd assume that a glue has a smoother algorithm therefore less harsh overall. the attack and release times play a massive part in how the compressor reacts to the signal.
 
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#11
You don't need to compress EVERYTHING; in that AMA Optical did I read that he rarely ever compressed his older work. I'm talking Wormhole-and-earlier stuff.

Personally I save compression for last or in case I know there are parts of a track where two elements of equal (or near-equal) frequency values are gonna hit at the same time and could produce a volume spike. In that case it's helpful to sidechain so that you can control what transients strike for which sound and when. But honestly compression can be used for pretty much anything, including lots of nifty effects. You just kind of have to experiment around with it.

Also I'd definitely make sure to learn the differences between compression and equalizing; lots of beginners confuse them for one another when they're two completely different things with quite different applications. And FWIW I've made it a personal habit to EQ sounds selectively on bands before dropping a generic filter on them; just gives more control over sculpting the sound.
 

lug00ber

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#12
Cheers mate. When should one use a glue compressor over a normal compressor?
When you want several tracks/sound to sound like one. Essentially, at buses.

Note that there's no technical difference between a normal compressor and a glue compressor (although some compressors are better for specific tasks). What you want is a relatively low amount of gain reduction (I aim for 1-2 db GR, depending on the bus), and I generally find it better to use a low ratio (less than 1:2 or something like that) than a higher ratio (which will result in audible pumping).
You're not supposed to hear that it's compressing at all, the (somewhat diffuse) end goal is a "more coherent" sound.

In addition, you might opt for some character that fits your sound. I tend to throw Variety of Sound's FerricTDS for glue on my buses, as the character of that compressor sounds pleasing to me.
 
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