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audio engineering: Basics of Compression

This course will teach you the basic compression skills you need to start using a compressor
4.8 (5 ratings)
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54 students enrolled
Last updated 10/2014
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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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
Who is the target audience?
  • this course is for anyone in audio wanting to learn more about compression
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What Will I Learn?
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
View Curriculum
  • 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.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 14 Lectures Collapse All 14 Lectures 01:30:33
1 Lecture 01:09

this lecture is the introduction

Preview 01:09
Introduction to compression
3 Lectures 07:49

this lecture goes over what a compressor is

Preview 01:24

this lecture discussing what dynamic range is

Dynamic Range

this lecture shoes the difference in compressors and limiters

Compressors vs Limiters
Compressor controls explained
6 Lectures 50:17

this lecture goes over the controls on a compressor

Preview 06:20

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

The batter at the plate analogy

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

how attack and release affects the singal

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

how threshold and ratio affects the signal

this lecture discusses make up gain on a compressor

Preview 06:13

setting a compressor
4 Lectures 31:18

In this lecture I answer some FAQ about compression

Compression FAQ part 1

In this lecture I answer some more FAQ about compression

Compression FAQ part 2

this lecture is a recap of the course


this is the conclusion of the course


This quiz is from information covered in this course.

test your compression knowledge
10 questions
About the Instructor
4.3 Average rating
451 Reviews
9,983 Students
8 Courses
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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