Compressors and dynamic audio compression...There can be no doubt that when it comes to producing Electronic Dance Music, compression forms an essential element of the quintessential sound of modern dance music so an understanding of it is paramount for production. However, with so much mis-information surrounding this processor it can be difficult to form an accurate representation of what it is, what it does and what it can do when pushed the "right" way.
For this sessions tutorial we lift the lid off what is often considered one of the most confusing processes in the studio. We not only examine the controls and how they affect the audio, we also look into the different types of compression from Opto to VCA, FET and MU, and discuss the audible differences between each to help you decide which is the best type of compressor to use in your projects.
We also discuss how compression has moved from being an imperceptible processor into an obvious audio effect that is now requisite for most dance music styles, and how to use as such. A thorough and concise understanding of compressors and audio compression will not only improve the sound of your mixes but also help in all stages of the production process from recording to mixing.
Runtime: 3 hours 35 minutes
An introduction to the tutorial
Session 01: Compressors and Levelling Amplifiers: 20 minutes
In this first session, we introduce the principle of musical dynamics and why compressors were introduced into recording studios.
Session 02: Compression Theory: 38 minutes
Here we examine the theory of compression including a look at logarithmic scales, decibles, threshold, ratio’s, attack, release, make-up gain and how knee’s operate on a compressor.
Session 03: Acoustic Science: 40 minutes
For this session we take a look at some basic acoustic science and discover how our hearing reacts to different stimuli alongside examining the principles of Phons and Sons.
Session 04: Practical Compression: 40 minutes
We now put all the theory we’ve discussed into practice and look at how we set up and use a compressor to prevent peaks and also level audio.
Session 05: Different Compressors: 70 minutes
Any discussion about compression leads to the subject of harmonic distortion and different compression artefacts. Here we discuss the differences between Opto, FET, VCA and Vari MU compressors alongside listening to some examples of these compressors in action.
Session 06: Compression Techniques: 22 minutes
We take a quick look at some advanced compression techniques consisting of parallel compression, serial compression, EQ/Sibilance control and the now ubiquitous production method of pumping a mix.