In mixing, compressors can be beneficial or disastrous. As you compress, sometimes the soft sound loud and or the loud sound soft. Compression brings together the valleys and peaks of the audio wave foam. It is not simple to use compression while mixing the way you might think. It is important to know and understand the settings of your compressor and know how they work. Understanding that treating every track and or mix differently is crucial and that a technique that will work on one track may not work on another track. One of the key mixing tools you have is your ears so listening is vital.
Here is How to Use a Compressor in 4 Easy Steps
Identify your Compression Aim
Compression can be used in different ways to achieve different goals. Before you get to your compressor, have an aim as to why you are going for it and what you will get from it. Do not go for the compressor anyhow without any reason. A few aims that you may want to target are balancing out the levels of a specific track whether guitar, vocal or any other, and create evenness, creating more glue among mix track to get things together, give a punch, energy or power to your mix, get gain reduction, shaping dynamics of a track and controlling transients.
Determine whether Compression is still needed
Using compression where it is irrelevant is among the most common mistakes that people make. If you are keen enough, you can achieve your goal without including compression. Sometimes you can achieve even better results by opting for a manual technique rather than seeking the services of a compressor.do not compress if you are in doubt.
Get your Compression Settings Right
Dialing in a compressor will require you to follow a few steps. You will start by setting the threshold to the highest it can go and set its ratio and then the attack to the lowest level then the release to be as fast as it can be. Begin adjusting your threshold going down until you see a moderate gain reduction. Quickly turn the attack until you get a pleasing sound. For the release, you will have to do this again. However, you will do it very slowly until it makes a release in such a way that it appeals to you. Be keen and very deliberate as you walk the ratio back down until you reach a comfortable or normal level. You will have to keep on adjusting the threshold going downwards until when you feel like the sound is perfect to your ears.
Engage the compressor and listen to the track
You will have to listen to your track when engaging the compressor and then when it is bypassed. Assess if it sounds better when engaged. If so, you will be good to go. What if it doesn’t sound better when engaged? You will be needed to make adjustments or begin afresh. Like earlier said in this piece, using a compressor might be even difficult than you thought.