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Chapter 19. Mastering > Applying Compression

Applying Compression

Compression, which controls the level of a signal, was discussed in Chapter 14, “Audio Effect Plug-ins.” In that chapter, you learned how to use compression on an individual track, such as a vocal or bass track. Compression on a full mix is a very different concept, because the compressor may be working with a mix that includes dozens of different instruments. Each instrument has its own characteristics, and it is very difficult to set a compressor to work with full program material.

The solution to this problem is to use multiband compression. A multiband compressor divides the frequency spectrum into two, three, four, or more slices. Each slice has its own settings for the typical compression parameters of attack, decay, and release. Multiband compression keeps a strong note in the bass, for example, from triggering a compressor to decrease the level of the whole track.


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