Audio Compressor

An Audio Compressor is used to compress the dynamic range of sound. Dynamic range compression is used in recorded music to reduces the difference between the loudest an softest sound.

With a compressor you can:

  • Prevent distortion
  • Maintain dynamic range
  • Raise the loudness of the recording

With dynamic range compression you set parameters to control how the sound is effected.

The can have the following parameters:

  • Threshold
  • Ratio
  • Attack
  • Release
  • Gain

Here is a brief explanation of each parameter: 


  • This is the volume level the compressor begins to affect the signal. 


  • This is the amount of compression applied to the signal. 


  • How fast the compressor starts affect the signal once the signal is over the threshold. 


  • How long it the compressor stays on after the signal has fallen below the threshold. 


  • Adjust the make up volume after the signal is affected by the compressor.

Two more terms with compression are:

  • Soft Knee Compression
  • Hard Knee Compression

Hard knee applies compression at an even rate.

Soft knee applies compression at a varying rate.

Multiband compressors

They have three or four frequency bands that let you apply different compression to different frequencies.

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