On the previous topics we talked about how to record live instrument and MIDI in your MIX, about automation in DWS. And today i want to describe the concept behind dynamic processors and describe threshold, ratio, attack and release.

Dynamic processors are post-production effects designed to manipulate the dynamic range of a piece of audio. That is, they affect how many decibels there are between the quietest and loudest levels. Dynamic Processors can either:

1) reduce dynamic range through compression

2) increase dynamic range through expansion

To compress (reduce) the dynamic range of a piece of audio, you can either increase the levels of the quiet parts to make them louder or decrease the levels of the loud parts to make them quieter. Compressors and limiters are in this category.

To expand the dynamic range of a piece of audio, you can either decrease the levels of the quiet parts to make them quieter or increase the levels of the loud parts to make them louder. Expanders and noise gates fall under this category.

Four main parameters of a dynamic processors are: threshold, ratio, attack and release.

The threshold setting is the exact point (measured in decibels) where compression will begin to occur on the audio signal when its amplitude exceeds the threshold. The gain of any signal louder than this point will be reduced by the compressor.

The ratio is the amount of gain reduction that the compressor will apply to the signal.  A ratio of 1:1 will not effect the original signal because no change is required. Common compression ratios include 4:1 and 2:1.  A compressor will usually have a ratio of less than 10:1. A limiter is a compressor with a ratio larger than that.

The attack setting controls the amount of time the compressor takes to react when the signal exceeds the threshold.

The release setting controls the amount of the compressor takes to react when the signal falls below the threshold after a compression event.

And after this theoretical part  i would like to show you the practical using of compressors on the example of trombone in LOGIC.

We can select any dynamic effect from the list in MIXER menu. Try to experement with the sound to make it better in MIX.

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Before Compressor After Compressor and other effects ;) And the final MIX

Copyright © Roman Shirokinskiy