Expander?
Benmrx
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#1
8th February 2006
Old 8th February 2006
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Expander?

Don't have any excuse, but I just don't know what an "expander" really does.


I fully understand compression, gating, keying gates, side chaining compressors, but not really sure what an expander does.

The crazy part of it is that I have a CAD CGM-2 2 channel compressor/gate/expander with "dynex"(.....what the hell is dynex?) and I still don't really know what the hell the expander does.....all I can tell is that it seems to be the exact opposite of gate. Is that even close?

Anyone care to to toss some basic, beginners knowledge my way?
#2
8th February 2006
Old 8th February 2006
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Expansion is the opposite of compression. If the expander is after a gate, then it probably expands the sound under the (gates) threshold downward so everything sounds smoother... so you don't end up with on -- off -- on --off when the gate is working. It becomes on -- 1/4 off -- 1/2 off -- off -- 1/2 off -- 1/4 off -- on again. Basically expansion just increases the dB difference between the peak level and the minimum level. There may be a ratio control like a compressor, but the values would be opposite of compression; if you normally might compress at 2:1 or 4:1, an expander's ratio would be 1:2 or 1:4...
Benmrx
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8th February 2006
Old 8th February 2006
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Quote:
if you normally might compress at 2:1 or 4:1, an expander's ratio would be 1:2 or 1:4...
Ahhh Haaa!

Thank you, that one sentence cleared it up for me.
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8th February 2006
Old 8th February 2006
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Like Stan said. It's a slooooooow gate.
Benmrx
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8th February 2006
Old 8th February 2006
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any tricks you care to share on using these? Always love hearing a new idea that I've just never thought of before....it usually leads to learning a bunch of other cool things.
#6
8th February 2006
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I agree that it would be nice to know what some of the more creative ways to use expanders and gates are.

Expanders and gates with sidechain, too!
#7
8th February 2006
Old 8th February 2006
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...I personally don't know of any new uses for gates or downward expanders...

Maybe an upward expander (if you can find one) could be useful. I think the only one I have is a compressor plug-in like the Ren. Comp.

Now I'm wondering... is there any way to make an A/B gate? So that a signal would normally go to output A and then switch to B at a threshold level? ...or even an A//B/C/D 'gate'... could be useful for dfferent EQ at a different level or whatever.

I think DAW automation killed the gate and expansion... could be used when you want to hear / use a transient. I got nothing. Maybe a wierd piano or drum sound.
#8
8th February 2006
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Yup, since the DAW I don't use gates/expanders much. I do still use a Valley People Dynamite that is great in the expansion mode for controlling noisy guitar amps, but nothing tricky.
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