Professional Audio Compression Techniques and Tips

Improve your audio productions, DJ sets and recordings using compressors correctly and understanding them!
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Instructed by Marco Galvan Music / Production
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  • Lectures 25
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • 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 12/2015 English

Course Description

Learn to use and understand the audio compressors in a complete, effective and fun way! Audio compressors are one of the most important tools for the producer, engineer and musician. Unfortunately, its function is somewhat mysterious for many of them. Even many professionals don't know how to use them in the right way, but that's because nobody explained them how compressors work from a practical and clear point of view.

But with this course you can master the principles of audio compression and have total confidence when using compressors! You can learn:

  • What an audio signal is
  • Why do we use decibels (dB)
  • What are the dynamics
  • What's an envelope and how is it related to compression
  • What is the purpose for each knob in an analog or digital compressor
  • How all this can improve your audio quality

A complete approach to audio compressors!

There are many Youtube tutorials out there, but any of them offers you a complete and well structured learning system like this course. You could spend hours looking for tips and answers on the web and finish with many doubts, but you can get the knowledge you need to get the work done with this condensed course. You'll be guided by an instructor with more that 15 years of experience training audio and music professionals at college level, some of them working for companies like Sony Music, Televisa and even Grammy Award winners, so teaching quality is warrantied.

Course overview

First you will learn the basics you need to understand audio. With listening examples and graphs you will see the importance of compressors. Then you will learn how compressors work from inside, that is, you'll know the internal "blocks" or sections that every compressor has, and how these sections are related to the knobs and buttons.

Then you will see the techniques in action, learning how a compressor is manipulated and, the most important, how it helps you to control and improve your sound!

You will learn techniques for:

  • Vocals
  • Guitars
  • Drums
  • Bass
  • Piano
  • Master bus

And with this knowledge you will be able to apply compression to any kind of instrument with any kind of compressor!

Take the freedom to shape your own sound, and forget about those discussions with engineers and producers. Do not rely on plugin presets, take control yourself!

Who should take this course?

The course is great for all levels, from beginners with little experience to active professionals looking to improve their skills. These techniques and principles can be applied on every musical genre, instrument or sound and work with analog or digital hardware compressors or computer plugins as well.

You only need a compressor or DAW (Pro Tools, Logic, Reason, Garageband, etc.) to start practicing the techniques.

There's a 30 day money back warranty, so you don't have anything to lose and many things to learn!

What are the requirements?

  • The students need to have access to a compressor, hardware or software to practice.
  • Any DAW can help (Pro Tools, Logic, Live, etc.)
  • Audacity is a good free option for PC, Mac or Linux.
  • It's great if the student already have some experience in music or digital audio.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand what audio compressors do.
  • Apply professional compression techniques to audio material.
  • Adjust and tweak the parameter knobs of an audio compressor.
  • Improve the punch and volume of vocals, guitar, drums, bass and keyboard recordings.
  • Have a better understanding of when to compress in the mix, for live or studio applications.

What is the target audience?

  • Musicians who need to improve their sound.
  • Music bands making their own recordings.
  • Music producers and DJ´s.
  • Audio engineers and technicians who want to learn tips and clarify concepts.
  • Podcasters and broadcasters who need more control in their voices.
  • Audio enthusiasts with some experience with audio gear.

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

Introduction to the course and goals.

Section 2: Fundamentals

What's the difference between audio and sound. How audio is produced?


Understand the difference between signal dynamics and dynamic range.


It's not the same audio compression than data compression, learn why.


A very important unit in the audio world (dB) is explained here.


How can we use dB's to describe dynamic range.


Attack, decay, sustain and release, how are these related?

Section 3: Understanding compressors

The internal stages of a compressor.


There are many types of compressors depending on their internal circuits, let's learn that!


The first stage in a compressor.


The compression ratio and its function.


How we can shape our signal's envelope.


We are not in anatomy class, but the compressors have a "knee"!


Understanding this very important type of compressor.

Section 4: Practical applications

How to compress a typical kick drum.


The way to compress a snare drum.


One technique for electric bass compression.


A second technique for the bass.


Acoustic guitars really can take advantage of compressors, learn how!


What about electric guitars? they can use the compressor as sustain but...


How to compress a piano.


Voice is very dynamic and different, but we can learn how to work with it in a general way.


The compressor is a great tool when used in the master bus or sub-group, here it is the technique explained.


All other techniques were serial processes, but we have another great option!

Section 5: Conclusions

Final comments.

5 questions

Quiz about basic topics

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Instructor Biography

Marco Galvan, Avid, Steinberg Certified Audio Engineer, Instructor

Marco Galvan has been active in the music and audio business for more than 15 years. He holds a B.Eng with a major in Acoustics and an MBA degrees from IPN and ITEAP. He is a professional musician, arranger and composer with studies at Berklee College of Music and he holds Certificates in Music Theory and Keyboard Performance from the ABRSM and Trinity College London. In the audio field, he studied at Alchemea College in London and holds several certifications like: Pro Tools User, Meyer Sound System Design, Nexo and DiGiCo operator.

Currently he teaches at Anahuac University, with more than 10 years of teaching experience. Many of his former students currently work for companies like: Sony Music Entertainment (Grammy Award winner), Televisa, TV Azteca, OCESA, Meyer Sound, and for international latin artists like Emmanuel and Alexander Acha, performing in world-class festivals like Festival Viña del Mar.

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