Differential equations governing the behavior of first-order peak-detecting and RMS feedback and feedforward analog compressors are presented. Based on these equations, the relationship between feedback and feedforward compressor behavior is explored, and simple, accurate digital emulations are provided. Feedback and feedforward gain reduction trajectories are shown to be equivalent by transforming the feedback gain reduction into a feedforward gain reduction having a level-dependent time constant. This time constant has the effect of slowing down the transition into and out of compression, and accounts for much of the difference in compression character between the two architectures.
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