Hard-Hitting Mix: Compression (Step 4/4)


This is the fourth follow up video for “4 Steps to Make Mixes Hit Hard” and it’s all about compression. In the step one we recorded tight guitar and bass tracks whereas in the second step we edited the them. It’s time to continue mixing the tracks (step three was EQ). This is how you use compression for hard-hitting mix:

The point of compression is to add consistency to the tracks, but also breath life and energy into them. Compression is a super useful tool, yet at the same time it can be intimidating.

The only way you’re going to learn is to use it. That being said though, you can speed up the learning curve by watching someone else do it in front of you – which is the entire point of this video.

You have probably heard warnings of over compression and killing dynamics, maybe even that automating is the way to go instead. Well, you see me compress pretty hard in this video and it makes the song only to sound better.

Few pointers to get you started with compression for hard-hitting mixes:

  • The higher the ratio, the more obvious the compression is
  • Slow attack time (and fast release) is great for drums as it will emphasize the transient, which will lead to more attack and energy
  • Faster attack time can emphasize the ambience of the track (for example drum room) and evens out the transients
  • For guitars and bass start with medium attack and release

For more thorough guide on using compression read my post “The Easy Approach to Compression”.

Hopefully you found this video helpful. If there’s anything you want me to cover in the future videos let me know. Send me an email or leave a comment below. Ask if there’s anything unclear or if I left something out. Cheers!

DO NOT Create Another Song Until You Read This PDF-Guide

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