Question on Compression

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by eonblue, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. eonblue

    eonblue Guest

    I am current reading the Mixing Engineers Handbook, fricking sweet. I have a question about compression. In the book the author keeps making statements like the following.

    "Hit the compressor fairly hard, at least 10db or more if it sounds good"

    "When controlling dynamics, usually a very small amount of compression(2db to 4db or so at a 2:1 to 4:1 ratio) is used to limit the peaks of a signal"

    In the two quotes above I bolded the parts that I don't understand. I know what threshold, attack and release, and makeup gain are but I don't know what it means to measure compression in decibels. To what control does this refer?


  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    It means that those decibel amounts of signal level are being removed from the original signal. The gain reduction meter will show this, 0 dB being no gain reduction.
  3. eonblue

    eonblue Guest


    AHA!! Ok, that makes sense. So say I need 6 db of compression. I have a preamp with a VU Meter that can monitor the gain reduction on the compressor. Would I want to set the compression to where the peaks on the VU reached 6db?
  4. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    You got it. When the gain reduction meter is hitting are applying 6db of compression.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.

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