audio engineering: Basics of Compression

This course will teach you the basic compression skills you need to start using a compressor
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  • Lectures 14
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

Using a compressor and understanding compression is one of the hardest things for entry audio engineers to grasp. With so many different compressors and compressors types its not hard to see why people struggle with compression. Compression is critical to getting good mixes in music today, and without a proper knowledge of compressors and how to use them your mixes can easily turn thin and lifeless. Compressors can add color to tracks, crush drums, smooth out vocals, and add weight to a bass. Compressors can add to an track, or it can take away. For example, with a compressor you add punch to a kick drum, you can take the punch away. It all depends on how you use it. And there are many, many ways to use a compressor. Using compression properly will help improve your mixes by keeping dynamics controlled. My Basics of Compression course will teach you everything you need to know to get started with compressors. Attack, release, threshold, ratio, I explain them all. I also will go over advanced controls such as the mix knob, knee, and side chain that you might see on some compressors. I also answer some frequently asked questioned about compression.

So if your just getting into engineering and you are struggling to understand compression this course is for you. My teaching method and analogies should give you confidence you need to use compressors.

For more on compression including compressor types, kinds, examples, uses, using classic compressors, and more please subscribe to my audio engineering: All About Compression course (Coming Soon!). By sharing some of my knowledge of 15 plus years in audio this course will teach you the following:

  • what is a compressor
  • how is compression used
  • controls on a compressor
  • how use the controls on a comrpessor
  • the difference between compressors and limiters
  • analogy for understanding compression
  • examples of how compression controls work

What are the requirements?

  • no software is required
  • A DAW with a compressor plugin is highly recommended
  • Having a DAW with a compressor plugin will allow you to practice everything I'm teaching in this course
  • If you are using a mac than a DAW named garageband comes free on all macs
  • If you want to use the DAW I'm using it is called Presonus Studio one. The free version does not come with a compressor but a free demo version of the version that does come with a compressor (artist and up) is available to be downloaded.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • learn how set the threshold for your compression
  • learn how to set the ratio for your compression
  • learn how to set the attack and release for your compresion
  • learn what dynamic range is
  • learn what a compressor is and how it is used
  • learn what the controls on a compressor does

Who is the target audience?

  • this course is for anyone in audio wanting to learn more about compression

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

this lecture is the introduction

Section 2: Introduction to compression

this lecture goes over what a compressor is


this lecture discussing what dynamic range is


this lecture shoes the difference in compressors and limiters

Section 3: Compressor controls explained

this lecture goes over the controls on a compressor


this lecture explains my batter at the plate analogy for understanding compression


this lecture goes over how attack and release affects the signal during compression


this lecture goes over how threshold and ratio affect the signal during compression


this lecture discusses make up gain on a compressor

setting a compressor
Section 4: Conclusion

In this lecture I answer some FAQ about compression


In this lecture I answer some more FAQ about compression


this lecture is a recap of the course


this is the conclusion of the course

10 questions

This quiz is from information covered in this course.

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Instructor Biography

Christopher "Czar" Smith, Independent Audio Engineer

Czar was born in Nashville, but got his musical roots while being raised in Memphis. He worked for a few studios in Memphis as well as owning his own recording studio called the Kremlin. In 2000 Czar founded Throneholder Productions, a production company for hip-hop, R&B, pop, and dance music. After years of producing independent artist, Czar later returned to Nashville to pursue a BA in audio production from the Art Institute of Tennessee Nashville, which he received with honors. During school he began to focus on engineering and mixing, which is where he finds most of his work since moving to Nashville. When he's not busy in a studio engineering or in the Kremlin mixing, Czar spends his spare time researching gear, blogging about audio, writing gear reviews, and posting helpful tutorial videos online to help others learn.

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