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T4.2 Better Mixes.

Compression

Gain Reduction: Shows how much the signal is being reduced by.

Release: how soon after the signal dips below the threshold the compressor stops.

Threshold how loud the signal has to be before compression is applied.

Attack how quickly the compressor starts to work.

Make UP Gain: Allows you to boost the compressed signal.

Ratio The amount of compression that is applied. For example, if the compression ratio is set for 6:1, the input signal will have to cross the threshold by 6 dB for the output level to increase by 1dB.

Knee adjusts how the compressor affects the signal once it goes past the threshold. Hard Knee settings mean it clamps the signal straight away, and Soft Knee means the compression comes in gently as the signal goes past the threshold.

What is a compressor? A compressor reduces the dynamic range of a signal so you can boost the level without boosting the peaks. You can set the threshold so that when a peak comes through it is turned down. This way when you turn up that individual track the peaks of it dont go through the roof. I had to use a compressor on a few of my track where the audio had quite a wide dynamic range. For example I had a bass guitar which at certain points I would play certain notes louder than others. The compressor is good here because it can reduce the dynamic range so that track sounds more balanced.

Channel EQ

These are filters which cut of the high and low end.

This is a simple shelving EQ.

These are fully parametric EQ.

Frequency

The Analyser shows what frequencies are actually being used. Bandwidth

Q Factor

Channel Eq is used to boost and cut certain frequencies for a cleaner sound. Rather than having unnesersairy frequensies that make the track sound messy. For example on this bass Track I have done some simple shelving EQ where I have boosted the low frequencies that the bass I using and I have cut out the high frequencies that the bass doesnt use.

Headroom
Headroom is where you have space in your mix to adjust volume levels. So rather than having everything at 0.0 and above because you like it loud you turn it down and turn the master up. This way you have headroom in your mix to adjust volume levels without finding you have no space to turn that vocal up. An easy way to think about it is to imagine that you master fader is a room and its flooding. The level of water is the level of your music. You need to leave headroom so you can breathe! This way the track has room for further mixing. As you can see I have left a nice amount of headroom in my mix to adjust any levels I need too.

Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) Signal to noise ratio is the difference between the sound you want to pick up from your microphone and the backround noise you dont want to hear. So if you were recording vocals the signal would be them singing and the noise would be them breathing etc. In terms of compression the Signal to Noise Ratio determins how much the compression is applied to the said track. Like I said earlier, if the compression ratio is set for 6:1, the input signal will have to cross the threshold by 6 dB for the output level to increase by 1dB.

Dynamic Range Dynamic Range is the difference between the loudest parts of your audio and the softest parts. Often people use compressors to lower the peaks of the track so you can bring up the whole track so its at a constant level throughout rather than having high peaks and quiet parts.

Static Mix A static mix is where you use no automation throughtout the song. So you set the faders to one set level and they stay like that throughout the song. In my songs I had parts where I wanted to use automation because there were certain sections which I thought were too loud or too quiet. So to get over this I had to make additional channels and put parts of the audio on them and adjust the level there. It would still be a static mix but I have just moved certain audio samples around to get the sound I wanted.

DBFS DBFS means decibels relative to full scale. Zero DBFS is the maximum possible digital sound level without clipping. Digital sound levels are measured in terms of how far the are below zero DBFS. Peaking at around -13 DBFS as you can see on the effects track is recommended but peaking at 6.2 DBFS is slightly too high and I may get slight distortion because of this.