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Last Updated: 20050910, tendeloo

Friday, October 7, 3:30 pm — 6:00 pm

T5 - Dynamic Range Compression—A Real World Users Guide

Alex U. Case, University of Massachusetts Lowell - Lowell, MA, USA

Compression (of audio, not data) confounds many recording engineers, from rookies to veterans. As an audio effect it can be difficult to hear and even more difficult to describe. As a tool its controls can be counterintuitive and its meters and flashing lights uninformative. This tutorial organizes the broad range of effects created by audio compressors, as audio engineers use it to reduce/control dynamic range, increase perceived loudness, improve intelligibility and articulation, reshape the amplitude envelope, add creative doses of distortion, and extract ambience cues, breaths, squeaks, and rattles. Attendees will learn when to reach for compression, know a good starting place for compression parameters (ratio, threshold, attack, and release), and advance their understanding of what to listen for and which way to tweak.

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