Audio Dynamics

Understanding compression, limiting, gating and expanders.

Audio Dynamics, an important part of any recording, but how, when and why do you use dynamic processors, a compressor, limiter, expander or gate?

More important, what do they do to the music that you have recorded?

There is a real art to applying dynamics to your mix, and as with any art, it can be learnt and mastered, but it will take time and understanding.

Understanding dynamics and what they can do for your music is what this page and the links from this page will help you achieve.

As an overview for this page I have separated the types of dynamics into four.

  • Compression
  • Limiting
  • Gating
  • Expansion

Here is a brief explanation of each dynamic.


  • Compresses the dynamic range reducing the difference between the loudest and softest sounds.


  • Limits the maximum loudness of the sound
  • by preventing the sound going above a set threshold. 


  • Limits how quiet a sound can be by filtering any sound below a set threshold.


  • Reduces the volume of a sound by setting a ratio, the sound is slowly reduced instead of filtered.

Click the following links for the how, when and why you use a compressor,limiter,expander or gate?

  • Compression
  • Limiting
  • Gating
  • Expansion

Thanks For Visiting Audio Dynamics

Return from Audio Dynamics back to The Home Recording Studio

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