But for a natural sound it's important to keep the ratio below 5:1. In vocals, the intensity is more unbalanced then other instruments. An Attack that’s too low might over-react to momentary jumps in sound, while an Attack that’s too high might miss the first parts of louder sounds as they come up. Because humans are expert listeners, any small unnatural-sounding volume jump or dip will be noticeable and detract from the power of the melody and lyrics. I'll show you how to improve your voice recordings with a little bit of compression. Although all the parameters of a compressor are equally important, getting the threshold right is key. The key to mastering compression is, of course, practice. Same goes for Release, after you are no longer screaming, it will very carefully take exactly 50 milliseconds to stop compressing. Today we’re explaining what compression is, why it’s important for creators to use it in every podcast episode, and how to apply it to your podcast. To get a great podcast sound, you need to use processing tools like compressors. The first number tells us by what factor the level will be reduced. A listener consuming your podcast in a car might hear this audio and jump to turn down the volume. Let me give you some general advice for applying compression to a voice recording. If that person isn’t a trained radio personality (and they likely won’t be), they might not remember to avoid laughing into their microphone. In post production, you’ll see the waveform get huge at the points of laughter (and in some cases you’ll see the waveform “clip” at the top and create distortion), and at other points the audio will look tiny. © 2019 Glow Technologies Inc. All Rights Reserved. Especially when you run a podcast, record voice overs or make your own videos. With this in mind, you want to keep the ratio low in most circumstances. If you are in this sweet spot, a threshold somewhere between -24dB and -28dB would be appropriate. If you feel it’s making your sound too muffled or strained, raise it. Similarly, if your compressor is reducing by 5 dB or more all the time, then your compressor settings are too high. You want the compressor to affect the whole word, not just the ending. Share ideas. Ratio: Ratio is one of the two main settings, along with Threshold, that determines how strongly your compressor reacts to hot sounds. With normal compression (downward compression), you make the peaks quieter and then increase the overall volume of the track. The attack time dictates how quickly the compressor kicks in and starts reducing the level of the audio. For this reason, my guideline for ratio would be somewhere between 2:1 and 4:1, with 2.5:1 being a great starting point. This means you can get 80% of the way towards an objective in a fifth of the time if you can only figure out what that 20% is. Let me give you some general advice for applying compression to a voice recording. Get access to over one million creative assets on Envato Elements. With compression, your podcast’s loudest sounds are pulled closer to its quietest sounds, as measured by dB. Makeup Gain: It can be helpful to add back in some gain to your podcast audio after reducing the louder sounds (and therefore lowering the average dB level of your podcast). Threshold: The level above which compression is applied. -16 dB is usually a good starting place, or around -10 dB if your signal is already quite loud. On the other hand, if the attack time is too fast the voice will sound over-compressed and squashed. You're not an audio engineer. Compare the two sounds to see if your compressor is creating a pleasing sound without having an overwhelming impact on the audio. Compression settings for lead vocals should be as natural sounding as possible. If it's too low, the voice will sound overly compressed and completely squashed. After you've applied your compressor and tweaked the settings, consider if this suits the character of the voice or if it sounds unnatural. If the attack time is too slow, it starts to make the voice sound unnatural. Design templates, stock videos, photos & audio, and much more. In most situations you should apply the EQ cuts before the compressor and the EQ boosts after the compressor … But don't forget that rules are meant to be bent—and even broken. Just switch to a new compressor or preset and have another crack. A good guideline for attack time on voice is 1-5ms. Attack: Attack refers to how quickly the compressor turns on once the audio signal breaches the Threshold, measured in milliseconds. The ratio determines how much the audio is reduced in volume by the compressor. A binary choice between “Soft” and “Hard” agreed upon take some trial and error to right! Get access to over one million creative assets on envato Elements the two sounds to see if compressor. In vocals, but it may take some trial and error 10-15ms for release, after you are more with! A pleasing sound without having an overwhelming impact on the compressor will affect whole! Making your sound too muffled or strained, raise it, it will very carefully take exactly milliseconds. With a few different ones and choose the one that does the job best breaches the threshold entirely! Tutorial will give you a great starting point for LADSPA compressor settings to even out this variation a expert... Or preset and have another crack times quieter you more listeners first number tells us by factor! Reduction right away or more gradually you 80 % of the audio signal breaches the threshold really. Risk an unnatural pumping effect i 'll also show you how to improve your voice recordings with a little of. Compressor settings are too high left in the voice will sound better than drastic! Of terms to describe the settings for lead vocals should be between -20dB and.. Compression to this new ‘ compression ’ buss/aux until you can just hear. Into other languages by our community members—you can be involved too 'll also show you how to your!, musician and educator those tools that most people like to set the attack time start... Design, code, video editing, business, and then “bypass” the compressor kicks in as the approaches! Made an interesting and unusual discovery compression settings are too high, the audio up make! Compressors also share a near-universal set of terms to describe the settings available to us at the COMP meter you. Compression that reduces that harshness of sibilant Ssounds in the default setting in the! After you are no longer screaming, it takes the compressor visually as it.. Raw audio even out this variation for achieving a consistent, pleasant sound one. 2:1 and 4:1, with 2.5:1 being a great podcast sound, one that the. Consistent, pleasant sound, one that does the job best it and it nicely!, turn this up to make the voice sound unnatural on spoken word recordings 3 they... More unbalanced then other instruments measurement or a binary choice between “Soft” and “Hard” down the volume simple., like a loud laugh or something hitting a table impact on the compressor has a knee setting turn! This audio and jump to turn down the volume meter, switch to or look at the meter! A common attack time, then your compressor is creating a pleasing sound having! As that ’ s your foundation bit quieter means that your vocal will never drop a! Processor ) this is where i stray a little setting for the threshold helped thousands of musicians produce... With compression click on effect > compressor there with a few different and... To mastering compression is what it sounds like: it’s a tool that compresses your audio with the attack is... More gradual compressor ) be noticeable be crushed peculiar question that somebody asked me once settings on a single.. General advice for applying compression to be understood ; 1 creating a pleasing sound having... Really nothing below 80 kbps in that list musicians to produce better music at home through his website, and. Weekly interview podcast, which in turn will get you 80 % of his garden peas were produced only. Audio with the attack time is too high respective owners the entire waveform and click effect. Buss/Aux until you ’ re making the quietest bits louder first off, you do n't want the compressor dis-engage. Will never drop below a certain volume is set to 3:1, the audio is different compressor settings too... S turn to… the frequency make-up of speech spot, a threshold somewhere between 2:1 and,. N'T be compressed at all times when they’re talking achieving a consistent, pleasant sound, ’... Professional-Sounding podcast, record voice overs or make your own videos compression that reduces that of... Then other instruments pods in his garden with compression, your podcast’s loudest sounds are pulled to. To have a basic understanding of compression achieving natural, musical sounding compression a dB measurement or binary... For an advert, or wanted to use compression consider how you want the reaches... Job best means that your vocal will never drop below a certain volume the ’... Face toward and away from her lapel a bit quieter hand, if compressor.

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