Chapter 14: Dynamic Range Flashcards Preview

RRFC - Basic Audio Engineering > Chapter 14: Dynamic Range > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 14: Dynamic Range Deck (24):

When we're going for compression. What are we looking for?

Consistency. If somebody is quiet, they should not be getting lost in the mix. If they are loud, they should not be overpowering the beat or surrounding instrumentation.



Determines the amount of gain reduction. A ratio of 4:1. Every 4 decibels you get 1 decibel back. The higher the ratio, the more intense the compression.


What is a typical range of the ratio?

It really depends on the situation. There is no wrong. Start and tweak.


What is the next thing we need to adjust?

The Threshold.


What is the Threshold?

The decibel where compression starts.


What is the next thing we do?

Set your Attack.


What is the Attack?

How quickly compression will take place once the input pass the sound threshold.


Is there typical window for attack?

Everything is specific to the performance or audio. Just totally depends.


What happens if you set the attack too fast?

It compresses the audio immediately, which especially in vocals, can take the life out of the performance.


What's the next thing we need to set?

The release.


What is the function of the release?

The release determines how long compression will take place once an input passes the threshold.


What happens if you set the release too long?

You will end up compressing audio that is not reaching the threshold


What is the last thing?

The Makeup Gain


What is the function of the Makeup Gain?

To makeup for decibels that are lost during compression. We are just turning back up a couple DB to show you what you are doing.


What should you not do with Makeup again?

SET YOUR LEVELS. That is for the fader. Written into the algorithm of compressor plugins, is a static and earthiness that will produce static that is meant to emulate real compressors.


What is the MAKEUP gain really doing?

Boosting all the lower level inputs to, which makes the waveform more consistent. High decibel inputs are still being compressed and low decibel inputs are boosted.


What happens when vocals or instrumentation are already fairly consistent?

The compression process is not nearly as tedious.


What sucks the life out of VOCALS AGAIN?

Too quick of an attack.


What's the difference between a compressed sound and sound that is simply turned down?

When something is being compressed it is intended to make the sound more consistent and control the dynamic range. If something is simply at lower volume, it will still be inconsistent.


Give examples of situations where different types of compressors would be appropriate?

A simple compressor like CLA-2A, which automatically sets the the ratio, attack and release will probably only work well for a performance or audio inputs that are already relatively consistent. Situations where dynamic range is really wide, you are probably going to want some better more options to dial in the attack and release time for that particular situation.


What is the purpose of parallel compression?

It is more used in the vein of an audio effect versus compression. It is pushing something forward without making out loud. Giving something more presence in the mix.


What is the order of processing vocals in terms of plugins that JOE uses?

1. Subtractive EQ
2. Compression
3. Additive EQ
3. Parallel Compression


How do you go about parallel compression?

1. Create a Stereo Aux Track with a compressor.
2. Send the vocal through the AUX track.
3. Turn the fader on the send high. Turn the fader on the actual AUX track with the plugin compressor low.
4. Make sure the compression on the actual plugin has the threshold cranked up so you're compressing the shit out of it.


Does Joe try this on almost every song?

Yes. It is extremely useful in terms of giving body and presence to the vocals.