I hope someone can help.. I've recorded numerous songs using Ableton.. drums, bass, guitars and vocals and in my opinion they are finished.. but I've been told and keep reading that before I burn them on to disc or upload them, they should be compressed..

Any ideas, help or suggestions how I do that? There is a section for compression under effects, but I really can't understand how to go about it..     

Please help!!     Thanks!!
Do they mean typical audio compression? Or file compression? Both are different in function.

Audio compression on the master tracks can be useful but it is not something I would say has to happen. If your loudest parts of your songs are really loud in comparison to the rest of the song, then yes you will need to compress. Those peaks (say the kick and bass guitar hit a note together just right, causing your drivers to run out of headroom for that transient) can cause your overall volume to be soft, as your software could be catering to those peaks and having to bring the rest of the track volume down to compensate, to prevent the audio from clipping. If you say it is finished, that to me says your volume is overall "correct" or even. Really, that kind of volume "correction" should happen at the mixing stage not at the mastering stage.

File compression I would say has to happen, or else your files will be huge and possibly take up way too much space. I am not even sure if most consumer media players will be happy about using uncompressed files like .wavs compared to .mp3's. This is an area I am unsure of, though.
Last edited by Will Lane at Mar 31, 2017,