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Really simple noob question about compressors Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 22nd March 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
Really simple noob question about compressors

Hello everyone!

I'm really really new at the recording area, and I still know almost nothing about recording.
This is a really simple question.

Why do people use compressors ? (Doesn't matter if it is a plug-in or an analogue compressor, that is not the point)

What are the advantages of using compressors ? What does it add to the sound ?

Whenever I try to use compressor(the standard pro tools compressor) on anything (vox, bass, guitars, drums) the only thing I notice is a difference in the volume, and that whenever it would cilp, the compressor "holds" the sound in other not to clip.

I wonder, what else should I expect while using compressors...

And, BTW, it would be great if someone could send me a link of a tutorial of how to use compressors, I don't know how to deal with it, for example, what is ratio, attack, release, knee, what is the difference between input and output (for me they both just change the volume)... I searched for a tutorial but couldn't find it = /

Thanks a lot everyone already!
Old 22nd March 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
160 views and nobody can tell me what is a compressor ?
Come on guys!! Help me out!
Old 22nd March 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 

a compressor is a tool for controlling dynamics, or reshaping the dynamic envelope of a sound. It is a tricky art to learn. Most of us are still learning.

Threshold: the point at which the compressor is engaged.
Ratio: hmmm... the amount of volume compression relative to the original signal once the threshold is met.
Attack: the speed at which the compressor clamps on the signal. Too fast and the initial transient of the note is crushed.
Release: the time it takes for the compressor to stop compressing.
Gain: use this knob to increase the gain relative to the amount of gain reduction the compressor is introducing. If you are reducing an average of -4db of a signal, you have the option of bringing its overall volume back up +4db.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Here's mine:

Compressors and Limiters

--Ethan
Old 22nd March 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salivan View Post
Hello everyone!

I'm really really new at the recording area, and I still know almost nothing about recording.
This is a really simple question.

Why do people use compressors ? (Doesn't matter if it is a plug-in or an analogue compressor, that is not the point)

What are the advantages of using compressors ? What does it add to the sound ?

Whenever I try to use compressor(the standard pro tools compressor) on anything (vox, bass, guitars, drums) the only thing I notice is a difference in the volume, and that whenever it would cilp, the compressor "holds" the sound in other not to clip.

I wonder, what else should I expect while using compressors...

And, BTW, it would be great if someone could send me a link of a tutorial of how to use compressors, I don't know how to deal with it, for example, what is ratio, attack, release, knee, what is the difference between input and output (for me they both just change the volume)... I searched for a tutorial but couldn't find it = /

Thanks a lot everyone already!
what compressors were designed to do and what engineers use them today are really 2 different concepts.

With digital domain they are used in different ways than they were in older analog recording paradigm. Certainly there are parallels and overlap in how they are used in both scenarios, but today and for years many people use compression as almost an instrument in itself, though it's design intent was to basically even out peaks. Essentially fixing poor inconsistent performances. Today with digital they are often solely used for texture and effect not affect as they were design for.

long story short it's really too involved to put in a paragraph what compressors are used for in all capacities.

read up on compression/limiters/expanders and then read up on things like analog tape saturation. And in today's world how they are used and abused for all sorts of things. For one sucking the life out of music and attempting to soften and polish crappy harsh sounding A/D converters. I addition along with fixing dynamically poor vocals, bass and drum performances from lame musicians........ compression i and limiting are some pretty amazing forgiving devices
Old 22nd March 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Compressors are essentially automated level controllers which use the input to determine the output. This increases lower volume and decreases higher volumes - compressing the 2 together.

We used limiters during the analog days more because tape has less dynamic range than digital. This was done to get a hot signal to tape without over saturating distortion.

However this also increased noise like tape hiss during mix so compressing while tracking was often done. Its easier to compress during mix in digital.

Sources with lots of dynamic range like bass and vocals benefit with compression depending on style.

For example if you have a song where the bass is the anchor for the tune you may want the bass to have as little of a dynamic range as possible. So limiting the bass 3 or so dB 10:1 may be good. Just as an example.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #8
Registered User
A compressor is a hammer. You can do a lot of things with a hammer. For me it's about shaping sounds and moulding them around the other sounds and to the groove and ultimately to the final mix. Like melting cheese. Except I wouldn't use a hammer for melting cheese.
Old 5th April 2012
  #9
Gear Head
 
MarkhamCornoit's Avatar
 

Does anybody have info about or know about the GML compressor that was before the 8900? It looks similar, but layed out a little differently. I'm wondering if they're any good or how they compare to the 8900? Also trying to figure out what it might be worth?
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