Mix: Working with Compression (2)

The Music Telegraph | Text 2021/07/26 [14:51]

Mix: Working with Compression (2)

The Music Telegraph| 입력 : 2021/07/26 [14:51]

 

▲ A soft knee in Ableton Live 10's Compressor

© Ableton



Mix: Working with Compression (2)

 

In the previous article, you learned how to alter the ADSR volume envelope of a signal with compression. This can alter a sound's character in a variety of ways: sometimes, an instrument may need to have the attack accentuated so that it drives the song rhythmically. Or, you may want to increase the volume of an instrument's sustain so that it sounds bigger in the mix. You also used compression to reduce a track's dynamic range so the soft sections, both played and tonally, don't get lost behind another track. 

 

In this article, you will learn how to preserve an instrument's sonic detail with compression.

 

Often times, the delicate details of an instrument's character get lost when it is incorporated into a mix. It's a common phenomenon called "masking". In the following steps, you will learn how to use compression to reduce a track's dynamic range in order to preserve those low level details.

 

 

1) Load your song on your DAW. (e.g. Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton, Cubase, etc.)

 

2) Play the song and set up a mix using the unprocessed drums and bass tracks.

Don't run any dynamics or effects.

 

3) Add in the unprocessed Acoustic Guitar track.

Let's assume that you have an acoustic guitar track in your song.

 

4) Solo the Acoustic Guitar track.

 

5) Insert a compressor on the Acoustic Guitar track.

Leave the compressor parameters in their default settings.

 

6) Listen to the Acoustic Guitar track.

Note it's tonal qualities. Write down your impressions in regard to its tonal, attack/decay and detail qualities.

 

7) Un-solo the Acoustic Guitar track and note how its sound quality is affected by the presence of the other instruments.

Bring the drums and bass back into the mix. Does the Acoustic Guitar lose some presence, tone, or even notes? Write down your impressions.

 

8) Compress the Acoustic Guitar to regain the lost tonal elements.

Compress the Acoustic Guitar track (while in the mix) to bring back the presence, tone and notes that the other instruments are masking. Write down your settings below: 

 

Threshold: _____ dB

Ratio: _____ :1

Attack: _____ ms

Release: _____ ms

 

 

 

 

 

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