Getting a Handle on Basic Compression and Limiting

audio rack units

For some reason, compression was just one of those things for me that I could not grasp right away. Ratios, thresholds, limiters, maximizers, attack, release…..I didn’t want any part of it. I just figured that compression was something that HAD to be done on a track, and I would just select a preset I THOUGHT sounded nice, and that was that. Little did I know, I was being a total ignorant fool, and my music sounded like shit because of it.

I found this article a while back, and it really helped me grasp the basic functions of a typical compressor:

How to Use a Compressor/Limiter

I also heard this analogy from a professor at Penn State one time, and it always stuck with me:

A compressor is like a little man who sits there with a remote control for the volume. Every time he hears a sound that is too loud, he turns the volume down until it’s quieter and then he turns it back up to the volume that he enjoyed before the loud sound occurred.

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  • http://none Justin

    Hey Chris, I just checked out that website explaining compression. I was having some difficulty trying to understand the concept as well. That website helped me out. Thanks