what does ratio do on a compressor

This will tightly control dynamics and dramatically reduce the difference in volume between the loudest and softest parts of the performance. On the flip side, if you’re hearing the compressor kicking in and you want things to sound more natural and transparent, lower the ratio. Higher ratios will result in a more processed, aggressive sound — which can work well on drums or tracks where you really want to hear the compressor working. This is usually displayed as [value]:1, where [value] is … But don’t worry, because in this article, we’re going to make things easier by zeroing in on one of the most important controls you’ll find on your compressor — the ratio knob. Learn how to use compression with my video: 10 Ways to Use Compression Effectively that comes included with EQ Strategies – The Ultimate Guide to EQ. Today I discuss the basics of compression. Because of this, it’s best to adjust them in tandem instead of just focusing on the ratio knob in isolation. For every signal that goes over the threshold, it gets compressed according to a certain ratio. In most cases, your job is simply to set up the compressor so the different sections of the track sit evenly in the mix without needing to adjust the fader. We have a dynamic range of 24 dBs, from -20dB to +4dB. Essentially, a limiter is just a compressor with a very high ratio. The ratio determines how much the volume is reduced by. Should You Be Concerned If You Don’t Have Haters. Just signup via email to get over 70 tips on making better home studio mixes with EQ. Since compression raises the temperature, the compressed gas is to be cooled between stages making the compression less adiabatic and more isothermal. Ratio – Ratio is the amount that the signal above the threshold will be reduced. *Spam sucks and I will not share your email with anyone. Say we have an example of a loud kick drum that’s peaking at +4dB but we have a threshold at -20dB and a ratio of 8:1. They cause the compressor to softly control a track’s dynamics. For every signal that goes over the threshold, it gets compressed according to a certain ratio. In this post, we’ll be looking at the ratio. Continue to adjust the ratio, threshold, and makeup gain until the track sits evenly in the mix without sounding like it’s being slammed with compression (unless, of course, that’s what you’re going for). This can make it difficult to find a static fader position for the track in your mix. The ratio determines the amount of compression added to the input audio. Everyone has an opinion on compression and everyone uses it differently. When the chorus hits, you’ll feel like you want to turn the track down. And finally, we’ll talk about how to set your compressor’s ratio knob like a pro. I hesitated adding this section, because blindly copying settings and applying them to any plugin can often lead you in the wrong direction. But by listening to everything together, you’ll be forced to make decisions that help the track you’re compressing fit with the other tracks in your mix. The Ratio setting determines how much the compressor reduces or attenuates the signal. To put it simply, a compressor’s ratio knob controls how aggressively the compressor clamps down on a sound. The clue is in the name – it compresses the volume of audio (in layman’s terms). Think of it as in vs out amount. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release. Compressor Controls. The first thing to realize is that all the controls on a compressor work together. So for all intents and purposes, the sound can never get louder than the threshold. Set the ratio to a medium setting (3:1 is a good place to start). RATIO. We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. Compression Ratio. Well, I am not stopping, by offering this free EQ cheatsheet. What Does the Ratio Knob on a Compressor Do? Ratio - how much compression is applied. On a technical level, the controls of a compressor are pretty simple. But before we dive in, make sure you grab my free compression cheatsheet below. A compressor is nothing more than an automatic volume control. But what do some of the parameters on a standard audio compressor do? However based on the diagram above, the input level changes from 0dB to +9dB; this activates the compressor since +9dB is above the +3dB threshold. The clue is in the name – it compresses the volume of audio (in layman’s terms). Now that you understand what ratio is, let’s talk about how to set it on a practical level. The low ratio compression is much more natural and transparent. This effect will preserve more of the track’s natural peaks and valleys and lead to results that sound subtle and transparent. For example: A compressor with a threshold at -10dB and a 3:1 ratio is a nice starting point for vocals. A high tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to explore. Since the threshold is +3dB; the compressor won’t do anything to the input level as long as it is below +3dB (no compression, input level=output level). RATIO. To put it simply, a compressor’s ratio knob controls how aggressively the compressor clamps down on a sound. The numbers on the knob indicate the ratio of input to output. Once the audio passes over the threshold then that is when the actual audio compression starts to happen. Compression can help even things out so the track sits consistently in the mix with one static fader position. In fact, with lower ratios, you often can’t hear the compressor working at all. Let’s say you set up a compressor with a 2:1 ratio. Whenever a sound gets louder than the compressor’s threshold, the compressor reacts by turning it down. A compression of 6dBs reaching its peak at -7dB. Audio Issues believes in a society where people strive to understand each other better through the power of great sounding music. Lower the threshold until you hear the compressor start to kick in. Take a listen to the difference between high and low ratio compression on a drum kit: Notice how much more aggressive the high ratio compression sounds. The ratio knob sets the amount of applied compression. (Don’t worry — you can skip this section if you prefer.) First, we’ll talk about what ratio is in plain English (no geeky stuff). The compression ratio will change as the evaporator load and the condensing temperature change but in general, under near design conditions, you will see the following compression ratios on properly functioning equipment depending on the efficiency and conditions of the exact system. Adjust the makeup gain until there is no difference in level when you flip the compressor in and out of bypass. When a sound gets too loud, the compressor kicks in and reduces the volume. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Leave a comment below and let me know. Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. A ratio of 1:1 (one to one) is the lowest and it represents “unity gain”, or in other words, no attenuation. Every track is different, and the best approach is always to use your ears and determine the right ratio for each sound you work with. Lower the threshold to apply more compression and vice versa. 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