When you are in the mixing stage, you will need to use a compressor to regulate the dynamics of your track. You will need a compressor whether you are creating the best house music mix 2017 or mixing a background music for your Youtube video or for whatever purpose mixing music may serve. Compressors will help create clearer sound. To manipulate the sound character that you want, you need the know the parameters involved.
- Threshold – This is where you set the limit of a signal that will be compressed. Setting it at -24 dBFS will compress any signal louder than that. Any signal below it will have its original form.
- Attack – It sets how fast the compressor can react to a signal that is above the threshold. This is measured in milliseconds. An example is you set the attack at 10 ms. A compressor will compress the signal that crossed the threshold after 10 ms.
- Input Gain – If you want to increase the signal to the compressor, input gain is the parameter you’d want to adjust. By adding more input gain, you will be able to increase the silent parts of the signal.
- Output Gain – As the name implies it is the opposite of input gain. The objective is to put the signal back to its level after compression. If you have a signal that you want to even out this is the parameter you will adjust.
- Ratio – This sets how much compression is needed. An example is 4:1. Every 4 dB of signal that is above the set threshold will be reduced to 1 dB.
- Release – The compressor maintains gain reduction depending on how long the release is set.
Your compressor can have more than the above parameters depending on your hardware. They are the basic settings that you need to fully understand. Creativity can only go so far if you don’t know how to properly use your compressor.