How To: Use & understand compression when digital recording

Use & understand compression when digital recording

This tutorial video will show you what the purpose of compression is and how compression works through its parameters. Your instructor illustrates a drum beat and a plucked guitar line. Beginning with how to compress the drum beat, take (download) a drum sound pack without compression and to add compression using the software right click on the drum machine, choose create, and then choose combo on compressor. The virtual compressor has all the dials and adjusters found on any basic compressor, you use the virtual image to compare to real time compressors. Envelope sections have tack and release; other sections are the threshold and the ratio. Compression takes an audio file and shapes it. It can take one sound component of the file and increase it while other components of that same file can be squashed or made smaller. You need to be careful when using compression not to zap all of the life and dynamics out of your music. You want to process an audio file by adjusting the three parameters on the compressor, the threshold, ratio and envelope parameters. Threshold indicates at which point the compression will start taking place. The ratio determines the amount of compression that is being applied after the threshold is reached. With a ratio of 4:1 it will be reduced to 1/4 its previous size, 15:1 equals 1/15th and 3:1 means it is reduced to 1/3rd the original. Attack is the length of time the compression takes from ground 0 to full compression and release function states the time needed to go from full compression to 0 compressions. You can pump the piece by setting the envelope's attack and release at short settings. The settings can be manipulated while running the music. For hard pumping effects set the threshold low, when most of the audio is compressed more pumping occurs. If your piece loses the natural tone try extending the release time setting.

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