Range Expander, Increase a Signal's Dynamic Range

A Range Expander is used to lower the noise in a recording. They lower the noise but don't eliminate the noise. With volume expanders you reduce the signal by a set ratio.

When recording in your home recording studio there will be back ground noise in the recording. A gate will eliminate the noise below a set threshold, an expander is more subtle as it reduces the noise slowly using a set ratio.

Rane XP 2016a Expander

You can eliminate the breath sounds of a singer with a gate but it will sound unnatural. With an expander you can reduce the breath sounds, leaving some of the breath sound in making it sound more natural.

Expanders can have the following settings:

  • Threshold
  • Ratio
  • Attack
  • Hold Time
  • Decay Time
  • Range

Here is a brief explanation of each parameter:


  • This is the level the expander begins to affect the signal.


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


  • How fast the expander starts affecting the signal once the signal is under the threshold.

Hold Time

  • The time the expander stays on after the signal has fallen below the threshold.

Decay Time

  • How long it takes the expander to reduce the signal that is below the threshold.


  • The amount of signal that comes through that is below the threshold. 

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