So school me on compression

Discussion in 'In the Studio' started by Gary Blanchard, Nov 21, 2017.

    Nov 21, 2017
  1. Gary Blanchard Aging Hippie Folkster

    The new recording/mixing board has a compression knob. I've heard of it, but I really know nothing about it. So what does it do, and why should you do it? :D
  2. Nov 21, 2017
  3. Help!I'maRock! Radical Sandwich Anarchist

    Compression reduces the dynamic range. There are a lot of bad things you can do with compression, like raising the noise floor. But done well, and it will even out your performance. You will likely want a tutorial from Sonik.
  4. Nov 21, 2017
  5. Mark Wein :mad:

    If there is only one knob then its kinda bad.
    Danhedonia likes this.
  6. Nov 21, 2017
  7. Gary Blanchard Aging Hippie Folkster

    I will likely want to continue to get him to produce my stuff. :D
  8. Nov 21, 2017
  9. jelloman couch'd tater...

    In your case, Gary, I'm assuming that you are recording multiple tracks and leaving it to Sonik to mix them down and master them to stereo...if that is the case then leave the compression off and let him work with the raw tracks...

    If you are going to be mixing tracks down yourself then some compression may be desirable to level out the dynamics if they are varied heavily or causing clipping in the mixer...

    Compression works by creating a narrow envelope for the dynamics to exist will raise the level of softer parts and put an artificial limit on the higher level parts, making the overall volume of a track stay at a relatively constant level...too much compression can squash the dynamics to a level that just kills all the life in it, and should be used as sparingly as possible...
    mnewb1, Gary Blanchard and Bob411 like this.
  10. Nov 22, 2017
  11. Gary Blanchard Aging Hippie Folkster

    Yeah, I always record with no effects and let Sonik do his thing. I do like to do a rough mix in the studio I can listen to while I wait for Sonik's mix. This new board will maybe allow me to do better rough mixes. :D
    jelloman likes this.
  12. Nov 22, 2017
  13. mnewb1 HC Refugee

    Also sending similar instruments, all guitars, all keys, all drums/percussion bussed to a common channel where judicious use of compression can help “tie” together those instruments and help them sound like a coherent whole. If that makes sense
    Gary Blanchard likes this.
  14. Nov 22, 2017
  15. bsman b00b

    Place both hands over the breastbone betweeen the nipples and, keeping your elbows straight, push down using your whole upper body to the beat of "Staying Alive".
  16. Dec 1, 2017
  17. Danhedonia Kick Henry Jackassowski

    I have a different point of view: compression is a necessary and crucial part of decent sounding production.

    If I were not at work, I could link you to a couple of good online tutorials, but you should do your own Google search because the different styles of online tutorials tend to be pretty personal.

    You really want to know about threshold, ratio, attack and release, and then you drill down on finer points.

    There are an infinite variety of approaches to producing music, but my take on you is that you prefer a fairly traditional type of palette. To grossly over-simplify, western pop and rock includes so much compression, used in many ways, that if you're going to try to write and record music at any level of sophistication above 'basic demo,' you really need to know about it in order to come up with good arrangements. Given the volume of your output, you're there.

    Compression basically takes the soundwave and -- wait for it -- compresses it (see what I did there?) between a floor and ceiling you dial in. Then, the amplitude of those sounds is also altered within those parameters. Often there is a misunderstanding of how it can work with recordings because people use it in only very simple ways (as a limiter, for example). Good compression does far more than 'squash' or 'step on' the sound, and can actually help accentuate the dynamics in performance. A great example would be singers who 'talk-sing' -- in a fairly loud song, this would sound like crap without good use of compression.

    Anyhow, I encourage you to learn about it, because it is really one of the things you should know about when you invest a lot of time in recording.

    I hope this was helpful.
    parrotheada1a likes this.

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