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Compressor term clarification
Old 22nd January 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Compressor term clarification

Hi All,

I have a fairly basic question about the terminology used to describe the parameters of compressors. I often read something to this effect: "use a fair amount of compression, 10 dB or so." Does this dB value apply to the threshold? The amount the output signal differs from the input (and therefore subject to the threshold and ratio and knee)?

Any clarification would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
Old 22nd January 2009
  #2
Here for the gear
 
KUTCH 1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've always taken that to mean the signal gets turned down 10db in the loudest parts, and I suppose it could mean either average or peak. If you look at a VU meter in Gain-Reduction mode, it should drop to -10db at the most. Its not exactly "the amount the output signal differs from the input" because at times the signal will drop 10db, other times it will be less, and others not at all. I think this answers your question...
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the only thing thats confusing, is that it all depends on your input material.
lets give it a number, lets say the compressor input shows -10db.
so if your setting your compressor treshold to -20 your compressing 10dbs.
of course all the other variables come into play like ratio, attack, release, knee etc.
with the compressors output trim you control the amount of gain being added.
Old 22nd January 2009
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tritone87 ➡️
Hi All,

I have a fairly basic question about the terminology used to describe the parameters of compressors. I often read something to this effect: "use a fair amount of compression, 10 dB or so." Does this dB value apply to the threshold? The amount the output signal differs from the input (and therefore subject to the threshold and ratio and knee)?

Any clarification would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
5down1up was correct - "How Much Compression?" is answered by how much gain reduction happens.

Two Things affect this:

1. The threshold setting - using a lower threshold makes more peaks/swells exceed the threshold and more gain reduction is applied by the unit.

2. The Ratio: a 2:1 ratio means that an input peak 2 dB above the threshod would be turned done (gain reduction applied) so that only one more dB got out to the output. A 4:1 ratio means that foe every 4 dB the input is higher, the output only allows one more dB out.

So higher ratios also cause more gain reduction.

Hope this helps

Bob Dennis
Old 22nd January 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
yea man...it looks as though others answered it, but if someone says to me "i applied 4db or so of compression", it means that the gain reduction meter/needle is spending most of its time at 4db
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