Compression Dos & Don’ts

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         experiment with different types of compressors – hardware and software. There can be differences in how they sound. Compressors can and do sometimes sound different from one another.

DON’T  Forget to bypass the compressor occassionally while setting to check the results.

DO         Remember to balance the output gain so the level doesn’t change when engaged and bypassed. This way you can accurately compare before and after. Also, typically compression is added AFTER the mix has been balanced. So you don’t want to alter levels with either compression or EQ.

DON’T  Be afraid to experiment. Some of the greatest sounds in the history of recorded music came from misused and abused compressors.

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