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compression
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
compression

Hello, I have a question about the compression. Why when I increase the attack along with it increases the threshold?
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compression-cm1.jpg   compression-cm2.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Bart Nettle's Avatar
Your feeding the compressor program material and as you reduce the attack it attacks quicker. When you increase the attack it attacks slower and lets program material thru.

A compressor is a "voltage turn it downer".
You can determine when it begins to turn it down (threshold) and when it resumes from turning it down(release), even how quickly it does it's "turn it down" (attack) and by how much it turns it down (ratio) so you can push more voltage into it to be turned down and then make up for gain lost from turning it down. jinksdingo
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INTrance View Post
Why when I increase the attack along with it increases the threshold?
No, not for most compressors in my experience.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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JR Mastering's Avatar
 

ATTACK and THRESHOLD are two entirely different settings. One setting should not change the other.

That's like saying you're fixing the contrast on your TV and the volume is going up too.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 

The threshold reads -30 in both pics.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Nettle View Post
A compressor is a "voltage turn it downer".
You can determine when it begins to turn it down (threshold) and when it resumes from turning it down(release), even how quickly it does it's "turn it down" (attack) and by how much it turns it down (ratio) so you can push more voltage into it to be turned down and then make up for gain lost from turning it down. jinksdingo
Nice explanation!
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by pquinn View Post
The threshold reads -30 in both pics.

yes, but the compression level is different
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Sigma's Avatar
if you move the attack you have to adjust the threshold.. a snare drum with a fast attack hitting -3dB will not breach the threshold if you put the attack time to 50ms as the transient has passed and you are now into the sustain of the waveform
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INTrance View Post
yes, but the compression level is different
That's as it should be. The attack and release times will have an effect on just how much is being compressed.
Old 4 days ago
  #10
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CJ Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by INTrance View Post
yes, but the compression level is different
Because you changed the attack setting. Everything you adjust on a compressor will change something. When you change the attack, it will attack the signal faster or slower, depending on what its set to
Old 4 days ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 

You need to understand what a compressor is and what its supposed to do before you can wrap your head around its controls and understand them.

If you break it down to its simplest form a compressor is volume automation, no different then manually riding a volume fader. You ride a fader and turn the volume down as it gets loud and turn it up when it gets quiet. Turning it down quickly or slowly is your attack. Turning it up quickly or slowly is your release.

What happens if you're too slow turning the volume down? You'll lest some of the loud blast of peaks occur before you get it turned down.
What happens if you're too fast? You'll kill all the peaks before they occur. Release is the same thing you're simply working on the ass end.

Threshold is how loud you allow the music to rise before you prevent it from getting any louder.
Input level changes the overall size of the waveform coming into the unit. Makeup is an extra gain stage for adjusting the waveform on the way out.
The knee is a ceiling softener. Instead of banging the wave against a brick wall softening the knee by widening it. Weaker peaks flatten less harshly then stronger peaks.

The benefit a compressor has over manually attenuating the volume is its speed. A human mind an body can look ahead and anticipate what's coming up but it can only respond to a limited number of changes before it begins to melt down. A compressor can react instantly to changes and some of the new digital plugins can even look ahead and know what's going to happen before it occurs.

The things a compressor cant do is adjust its own settings or make changes on the fly. If you set the threshold or attack/release to a specific timing its going to stay there. Its not going to change as the music tempo changes. Typically music has a tempo and the key to using an automatic compressor is to time its attack and release to the music's Tempo. When done properly you can round off the instrument tracks dynamic levels and glue their changes to other instruments and thereby tighten the musical percussion. You can even over emphasize these dynamic changes and get the music to pump rhythmically to the tempo.

No doubt Compression is one of those tools you cant simply open a preset and slap it on a tack. You HAVE to factor in the music's tempo and time the compressor to work with that tempo.

If you want to challenge yourself get yourself a BPS (beat per second) meter. You can download dozens of free ones. You can use one to average the temp of your recording and use that to mathematically approximate your attack and release timings.

As a quick example we'll make it real easy. Lets say the music has a tempo of 60. That's one beat per second for people who don't know tempo is the number of beats per minute. Your compressor has attack and release settings in the millisecond ranges. The attack set for zero should instantly attenuate everything. If you were to adjust the attack up to 1000 ms (I second) it would miss the entire beat like a baseball player swinging too late. If you adjust it to 500ms, you'd attack 1/2 way through the best which is typically as far as you'd ever want to go. Why? Because you still have the release to adjust on the second half. If both the attack and release were set for 500ms then there wouldn't be any peaks.

The track to using a compressor is this. A sharp transient like a snare hit occurs dam near instantly to a huge peak and the sustain does off very rapidly making for a jagged saw tooth shaped sound. By manipulating the attack you can attenuate that initial peak so it doesn't mask every other sound in the mic. Then you can add a longer release which helps increase the sustain of that drum. Done properly you can bring out details you simply didn't hear before because that initial attack was drowning everything else out.

Takes some time to think this stuff through but once you make a mental picture of what you're actually doing with these controls the results become targetable and predictable. You cant miss getting it right because you know what's occurring right down to a microscopic level. In other words you're no longer guessing and and you become a real surgeon wielding that tool.

By the way that BPM meter can also be applied to all your other time based effects. Any effect with an LFO like Chorus, Phaser, Tremolo etc can be timed more accurately to the tempo when you know what that temp actually is. You may get timing drift because the clocks aren't linked but its still better then guessing.

You can use it for echo timing and reverbs too If you have 100BPS, setting the echo to multiples like 200/300 become real easy. You can even do triplets by adding 3rds. You can take a reverb and use 2000, 3000 and see what kinds of reflections you get when the rooms resonance matches the tempo. I used to do this playing live all the time. Once you heard the rooms reflection you'd time your playing to the room and get all kinds of magic happening.

You still have to use your ears of course, especially with any kind of live instrument because a performer is going to vary his timing. If you're into midi that's just timing one sequence to another like a mechanical washing machine running through its cycles. You better know your timing and meters working in that environment or you'll get totally lost. There are even small timing variance when it comes to midi but its doesn't impact things nearly as much as analog recording instruments.
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