Popular Compression Mistakes- Part 2

Moving forward with this topic, and discovering other compression mistakes. Today I have two more compression mistakes which are also very common. So watch out for them too. Lets get to it!

Mistake no.3 that people make, is assuming that they need to put a compressor on every single track. I already talked about this, but reffering to the eq… First of all, you need to listen to the track for which you’re preparing to compress, and based on what you heard, you’ll decide are you going to compress the track, and how hard it will be.
It’s important and crucial to listen the dynamic range of the track, because that’s what you’re going for. With compressor you’re going to shrink that dynamic range. But also, sometimes you get some of the tracks which are pretty hard compressed already, while recording, so there really is no need to push it even more.

I know that sometimes, I got some tracks that where simply overcompressed while recording, which is big problem, because you can’t get back and “un-compress” them. You can even see it on the tracks while watching the signal. For example on the drum, every hit looks the same. It gets totally squashed out.

Further on, popular compression mistake no.4 is that people believe too much in the compression presets they have in their DAWs. I think that they are a lot better then eq presest, because eq presets really don’t make sense. For example every vocal really needs a different eq decisions to make it work out, and people how made those presets didn’t know which vocals are you going to mix. But compression presets can be pretty good settled on attack and release time, and even sometimes ratio. But you’ll always need to tweak at least on make-up gain and treshold knob.
I never used presets this way, and I really don’t recommend you to mix in the way of turning up presets and leaving them settled the way they are. I really never did such a thing.

BUT, I recommend you to take out some presets and put them on your track, listen to how they work, and use them for inspiration, just start to tweak and play with them. Use your presets as a potential idea for your own compression solution. Use them for a point from which you’re starting to compress your tracks. Not always, but sometimes. It’s fun, and inspirational.

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Thanks for being part of sound investigation!
Mihael Vrbanic

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