A compressor is an mechanical volume control that turns loud parts of a music signal down when the VCA seeâ??s the signal larger than a certain level that was set by the user. This makes us able to bring the complete volume of the song up and in return, the softer sounds get louder. In return, we can print the entire track with a louder signal level. Its a fantastic tool for recording instruments with a wide dynamic range.
The 5 Parameters of a Compressor:
Threshold is the point where the compressor starts recognizing the signalâ??s amplitude. When the amplitude rises above an established, it will start to act in a way defined by the attack time, release time and ratio settings. There are 2 ways that the threshold works. It can boost the signal up into the threshold or it can be moved down into the signal. In both the ways, the only part of the audio that gets processed is the part that goes above the threshold.. After the signal goes above the threshold, the VCA turns down the part that is above the threshold, leaving the rest of the signal unaffected.
Attack Time controls the amount of time it takes the compressor to turn down the signal after it passes the threshold. The attack time need to be adjusted just right. If its set to fast, then the compressor can turn down the transients and that can cause the instrument or song to lose its life.It can also effect vocals if its set to fast by making the â??tâ? and â??sâ?? sounds disappear. The opposite can happen if the attack time is set to slow. It will exaggerate the â??tâ?? and â??sâ?? sounds because it will pass through uncompressed because of the long attack time.
Release Time is the time it takes the compressor to let go or turn the affected signal back up when It gets below the threshold. Fast release times work very well with the fast attack times and slow release times work very well with the slow attack times. Release settings are crucial, because if its set to fast, it can boost noise that is between the notes and if its set to low, it can compress a quieter note that follows the note the was above the threshold.
Ratio determines how extreme the VCA action will be. The ratio is a comparison between what goes through the threshold and the output of the VCA. The first number of the ratio will indicate the increase of how much dB will result in 1dB of increased output. The higher the ratio is, the more compression there is.
Output Level makes up for reduction of gain that the VCA causes. If the was reduced by 5dB, the output level can boost the signal back to its original level.
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