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Hello all, Ken here. How many of you really know how to use a compressor? Let's see a show of hands.
If you are coming here from Recording Tips 7: show me the Magic Frequencies!
Using one is really easy; the trick to it is to "listen to your music" and feel the flow of the mix. Compressors are used to make the "sound punchy and in-your-face". The trick to getting the punch out of a compressor is to let the attacks through and setting the release to elongate the sound. Setting fast attack times are going to reduce the punchiness of the signal, and the slow release times are going to make the compressor pump out of time with the music, so timing of the Attack and the Release is important!
To set the compressor (assuming you have a constant meter in the song like the snare.):
You want the compressor to breath in time with the song. This will work on any instrument....... Cool right?
Look at a compressor as an instrument in your sound. But the key to any mix is to LISTEN to your music and make SMALL ADJUSTMENTS. And that's how you use a compressor.
I hope this helps all of you in your mixing and recording.
Tip: Set your frequencies up as presets. When EQ'ing your track, sweep the frequencies to find the "sweet spot". Don't forget to use your gain in your EQ'ing.