chapter  11
18 Pages

Compressors

WithRick Snoman

Compressors are one of the most abused processors in the dance musician’s toolbox. Originally designed to control peaks in audio, their misuse defines part of the sound of electronic dance music. Compressors offer a way to control musical dynamics. By compressing the signal, any part of the signal that exceeds the user-defined threshold is reduced in gain. The effect of this compression is twofold. It will level out any volume fluctuations in the signal to create an average signal level. In addition to levelling dynamics of an entire recording, a compressor can massage the overall dynamic character and response of sound. To make dynamic restriction less noticeable to the listener, compressors feature an attack parameter. This parameter is configured in milliseconds determines how slowly the gain reduction is applied once the threshold is breached. Contrary to many articles written about compression, the release parameter does not activate when the signal drops below the threshold.