The Controls of a Compressor
The compressor is one of the most important tools in a studio engineer’s tool kit. Virtually every modern recording makes use of a compressor in some way. Compression is the reduction of the dynamic range. The dynamic range is the signal level difference between the loudest and quietest point of a signal.
Audio Signal before Compression:
Audio Signal After Compression:
Task / Experiment:
- Download this vocal sample and load it into your sequencer (DAW – Digital Audio Workstation): Vocal Audio
- Set up a Compressor as an Insert effect on the same channel as the audio sample
- Set up the compressed to Peak Program Meter (PPM)
- Set the Ratio controller to 5:1
- Adjust the threshold until you have approximately -10db of gain reduction
- Apply a Hard Knee
- Increase the output gain to approximately 7db
- set an Attack time of approximately 20ms
- Set a short Release time approximately 5ms
- Use the bypass button to compare the original with the compressed version
- Describe the effect that the compressor had on the audio track.
- What happened when you increased the output gain?
- What happened when you increased the Attack time?
- What is the difference between Hard and Soft knee?