When producing music, what does a compressor do?

I don't know what a compressor does sound wise or how to use it so I was wondering if someone could fill me in. I'm pretty sure you use it for drums normally but I don't know why.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    it raises low volumes and lowers high volumes.

    a good example is television. you can hear people whisper just fine. and when they yell, you can tell theyre yelling, but youll notice the volume actually isnt much higher than speaking volume

    this "evening out" of volumes is called compression

    on a heavily produced piece of music, its used on all instruments. but youre right, its important on drums because you want a constant sound from hitting the drums, not snare hits at different volumes. just doesnt sound as nice.

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  • jeudy
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Compressor Music

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  • both poster's offered great answers so i won't repeat them, just elaborate.

    first of all its not just used on drums, its used on all tracks and there is no perfect setting. there is a compression culture, complete with styles, preferences, trends, and things like that.

    as the previos poster's mentioned it reduces the dynamic range of audio.

    the ratio is how much it will be compressed. for example, a 2:1 ratio would represent: for every two DBFS coming in, only 1 DBFS will go out.

    the threshold is the dynamic range of audio that will be effected by the set ratio. anything under the threshold will retain original dynamics, anything above threshold will be dynamically destructed.

    the attack is how quickly the compressor will inforce the ratio after the signal meets the threshhold. this is so you can let the batter head punch of a kick drum come through but then imediately compress the body of the sound without losing that front end transient.

    release of course is when compression resides and dynamics return to normal. you don't want to compress a sound that has gone back down under the threshold but the compressor does not automatically release. you have to set it.

    gain of course is to make up for volume lost when compression takes place. and the knee is for how quickly the compressor applies compression after attack time is met and threshold is broken.

    a limiter is a compressor with a 100:1 ratio or higher.

    google : side chain compression, parellel compression, and serial compression for some common techniques besides the basic use of dynamic destruction.

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  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    When producing music, what does a compressor do?

    I don't know what a compressor does sound wise or how to use it so I was wondering if someone could fill me in. I'm pretty sure you use it for drums normally but I don't know why.

    Source(s): producing music compressor do: https://shortly.im/FG1Eq
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  • Debra
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Here is a common Progressive House Arrangment also. 0-1min: Intro 1-2min: Build up to Main Melody, no beats 2-3min: Main Breakdown 3-3:30min: Second Build down, beats are present 3:30-4min: Second Build Up, repeating, drum rolls 4-5min: Second Breakdown 5-6min: Outro

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  • Reduces the dynamic range, making the louds less loud and the quiets less quiet.

    This is needed because recording media have difficulty capturing the full dynamic range, most listening environments cannot use the full dynamic range to advantage, and various technical limitations of radio.

    Compression on tonal instruments such as guitars also gives longer sustain on long notes.

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