Professional Audio Compression Techniques and Tips
4.4 (11 ratings)
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Professional Audio Compression Techniques and Tips

Learn to compress, improve your audio productions, mixes and recordings using dynamic range compression effectively!
4.4 (11 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
60 students enrolled
Created by Marco Galvan
Last updated 1/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $30 Discount: 67% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand what audio compressors do.
  • Improve the punch and volume of vocals, guitar, drums, bass and other recordings.
  • Apply common compression techniques to any kind of audio material.
  • Adjust and tweak audio compressors to taste.
  • Have a better understanding of when to compress in the mix, for live or studio applications.
View Curriculum
  • Any hardware or software (plugin) audio compressor to practice.
  • A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Pro Tools, Logic, Live, Cubase, StudioOne, etc.
  • Preferably some background in music production or digital audio.

Learn to use and understand audio compressors in a complete, effective and clear way! Audio compressors are one of the most important tools for the producer, engineer or modern musician. Unfortunately, compressors are not too obvious to understand and its function is somewhat mysterious for many people. Even some professionals don't know how to use them in the right way. Dynamic range compressors can improve the sound of a production by giving more "punch" or impact to the sound. It's one of those little tools that can make a song sound like a polished professional production or, when misused, like an amateur work.

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

  • What an audio signal is and how it behaves
  • What the decibels (dB) are
  • What does dynamic range mean and how to manipulate it
  • What is each knob in a compressor used for
  • How all this can improve the audio quality of vocals, guitars, drums and more!

A complete approach to audio compressors!

There are many tutorials out there, but they don't offer you a complete and well structured learning system like this course. You could spend hours looking for tips and answers on the web and end up with more questions or doubts, but you can get the knowledge you need to get the work done with this condensed course. You'll get only the most important and practical information in a couple of minutes.

You'll be guided by very qualified instructor with more than 15 years of teaching experience with audio and music professionals at college level. Some of his former students are now 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 signals. With listening examples and images you will see the importance of compressors in sound production or mixing. Then you will learn how compressors work from the inside, that is, you'll know the internal "blocks" that every compressor has, and how these sections are related to the knobs and buttons (in other words, what are those weird knobs for!).

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
  • The master bus

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. Do not rely on plugin presets, take the control yourself!

Who should take this course?

The course is great for all levels, from beginners with little experience to professionals looking to get some new ideas. These techniques and principles can be applied on any musical genre (pop, rock, electronica, hip-hop, etc.) or instrument and work with analog or digital compressors.

You only need a compressor or DAW (Pro Tools, Logic, Reason, Cubase, Garageband, etc.) to start learning by doing.

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

Who is the target audience?
  • Musicians looking to improve their sound (bass, guitar, drums, vocals, etc.).
  • Music bands that want to produce their own recordings.
  • Music producers and DJ´s.
  • Audio technicians who want to learn tips and understand concepts.
  • Podcasters and media producers who need more control in their voice recordings.
  • Audio enthusiasts.
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Curriculum For This Course
25 Lectures
1 Lecture 01:32

Introduction to the course and goals.

Preview 01:32
6 Lectures 12:23

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

Preview 01:27

Understand the difference between signal dynamics and dynamic range.

Dynamic Range

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

Dynamics vs. Data compression

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

The decibel (dB)

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

Dynamic range measurement

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

Understanding compressors
7 Lectures 12:10

The internal stages of a compressor.

Compressor stages

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

Types of compressors

The first stage in a compressor.

Preview 01:36

The compression ratio and its function.

What is Ratio?

How we can shape our signal's envelope.

Time constants (Attack and Release)

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

Soft and Hard knee

Understanding this very important type of compressor.

The limiter
Practical applications
10 Lectures 48:44

How to compress a typical kick drum.

Kick drum compression

The way to compress a snare drum.

Snare drum compression

One technique for electric bass compression.

Preview 05:19

A second technique for the bass.

Bass compression (part 2)

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

Acoustic Guitar compression

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

Electric guitar

How to compress a piano.

Preview 03:22

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

Vocals compression

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

Master bus compression

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

The secret weapon: parallel compression
1 Lecture 00:42

Final comments.


Quiz about basic topics

5 questions
About the Instructor
Marco Galvan
4.6 Average rating
197 Reviews
923 Students
7 Courses
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 from the National Polytechnic Institute. 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 among others.

Currently he is an Associate Professor 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 events like Festival Viña del Mar.

Marco Galván ha estado activo en la industria de la música y el audio por más de 15 años. Tiene el grado de Ingeniero con especialidad en Acústica por el Instituto Politécnico Nacional. Es músico, arreglista y compositor profesional con estudios en Berklee College of Music y cuenta con certificados en Teoría Musical y Teclados por la ABRSM y el Trinity College London. En el terreno del audio cursó estudios en el Alchemea College de Londres y tiene diversas certificaciones como: Operador Pro Tools, Diseño de Sistemas Meyer Sound, Operador Nexo y DiGiCo entre otras.

Actualmente es profesor asociado en la Universidad Anáhuac, con más de 10 años de experiencia docente. Muchos de sus antiguos estudiantes trabajan para compañías como Sony Music (ganador de premio Grammy), Televisa, TV Azteca, OCESA, Meyer Sound; y  para artistas internacionales como Emmanuel y Alexnder Acha, actuando en eventos de clase mundial como el Festival Viña del Mar.