#2
Compression smoothes out the peaks and valleys in your sound. It tightens it up, and most of the time makes you sound better. Too much compression, however, can make your distorted signal sound a bit synth-like, like in Devil in a Midnight Mass by Billy Talent.
#4
Quote by qotsa1998
Compression smoothes out the peaks and valleys in your sound. It tightens it up, and most of the time makes you sound better. Too much compression, however, can make your distorted signal sound a bit synth-like, like in Devil in a Midnight Mass by Billy Talent.



I think the effect was intentional, but I know what you mean about over compression being a bad thing. It can also give acoustic guitars a nauseating 'pumping' sound.
There is poetry in despair.
#5
But when you're compressing a mix and not a single instrument, the compression affects *every* instrument. The pumping sound mentioned above can happen to an entire mix too if your attack and release settings aren't right.

Overcompression will make your mix sound lifeless, but will allow you to make it very, very loud - especially when done in conjunction with limiting. Therein is the balance you are striving for. You want your mix to be loud enough to sound what the end consumer will perceive as sounding professional (how often have we heard "we finished our CD but it doesn't sound as loud as the CDs you buy at the store" thing?) At the same time, not so damned loud that you've sucked all the life out of it.

As you work, ask yourself "Does this sound better, or just louder?" Best way to check is to adjust the make-up gain on the compressor so that whatever the increase in volume you have gained by compressing is then turned down so that the end result is NOT louder. Turn the compressor on... and then off.... and then on..... and then off..... Listen to them each at the same volume so you can actually hear the difference without the increased loudness fooling you into thinking it sounds better.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
A good rule of thumb when compressing an entire mix is if the GR needle ever jumps above -6dBr, you need to rethink your settings or mix levels. For limiting, even more so, I'd keep it below -4dBr unless the mix itself has very unwanted volume fluctuations that need smoothing out.