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compression: has a penny dropped?

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compression: has a penny dropped?

Postby SableTones » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:20 am

hi...could someone 'kindly' confirm if i have understood, if only partially...one aspect of compression please.

When i read (SOS of course) that, for example, one should be careful with the threshold as too deep a setting will encourage lower level noise......

Is this because the ratio of low to higher level audio/noise is thereby altered detrimentally even 'BEFORE' any make up gain is applied?

Does compression always implicitly imply that make up gain is added (unless simply managing overshoots/transients and so on?)

I realise as i read on and on...i am not sure if i have even grasped the fundamentals!

with humility
cheers in advance
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Re: compression: has a penny dropped?

Postby Jack Ruston » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:56 am

When you compress you're turning the whole signal down, noise included. The balance within the audio doesn't change. But as you've added make up gain to bring the compressed signal back up, the noise will be louder when the wanted signal is not present. Eg between words in a vocal, as the compressor recovers you're left with uncompressed source with added gain. With a fast release you're going to be bringing up a lot of detail on the quieter words and in between words, and that includes noise.

But in the context of most modern production styles, noise is really something to get too worried about unless the recording is really noisy to start with.

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Re: compression: has a penny dropped?

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:19 pm

^^^ Wot 'e said.

I'd also add that if the noise begins to become intrusive you can try adding a fast-acting, low-threshold noise gate, or an expander to the signal chain to reduce the noise between phrases. Usually I'd put the expander/gate before the compressor, but sometimes it can work better the other way around.
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Re: compression: has a penny dropped?

Postby Zukan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:29 am

And don't disregard the difference between Peak and RMS.
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