To wrap things up regarding compressors, I will offer 3 Dos and Don’ts as my final word for now. These are things to always keep in mind when working with compressors. Some may have been previously stated in an earlier blog post. DO avoid using extreme settings to begin with, if you are just trying to control the dynamics. DON’T add compression to every channel by default. Start off with minimal compression, and carefully choose where to add compressors. DO
As you get better with compressors, you will start playing with other knobs and features. One of these is the knee. The knee refers to when and how the ratio starts to change when the compressor starts to take effect. A ‘hard knee’ means the compression becomes immediately active as soon as the input signal hits the threshold. A ‘soft knee’ means the compression becomes audible more gradually. A ‘soft knee’ also means that gentle compression starts happening further below the
After learning the basics about compressors (see Compressors 101 earlier blog entry), then you can use this general guide of the type of overall effect you are going for. If you want a Natural sound (the compressor is not noticeable): Use a slower attack (longer than 75 ms) and gentle ratios (less than 2:1). Always allow the compressor to “relax” back to zero several times a measure.
For a Punchy Response:
For a harder, punchier sound, use higher ratios and thresholds, but k