simple question about dynamic effects

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by jake_eskedal, May 17, 2003.

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  1. jake_eskedal

    jake_eskedal Guest

    We aquired (for free) a valley people 610 stereo compressor/expander from my parteners work (a cable tv distributor who was going to throw it, and a ton of soundproofing foam out) and I'm just curious what exactly an expander does. I've f'd around with it a little and got a gate like effect from it, and combined with the compressor made for a kickass bass drum sound, completely got rid of that snare. But I'm still in the dark as to what it actually did.

    BTW Steve, just bought the KSM44, waiting on delivery, it seems like an awesome suggestion.

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    In most cases what is termed an "expander" is a noise gate that you can adjust the amount of attenuation. A gate works buy automaticly shutting off when a signal is not present. By adjusting the "threshold" control.., you control at what level the gate turns on and off allowing the signal to pass or blocking it. With an expander there will be an extra control labled "range". With this control you may adjust the amount of the quieting, instead of simply shutting off the gated signal.
  3. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    Kurt nailed it. All I'll add is that many expanders also have a ratio control, which does the same thing as on a compressor. Many also have attack and release time settings, again working like the same-named controls on a compressor.


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