You have to adjust the input signal and Threshold together to get the compressor work in the right way and with the right amount. When you’re searching for the perfect vocal compression settings, there’s one goal worth paying attention to: Yes…color and character matter too. As a result, we end up with an unbalanced crappy mix. Some areas of that sound clip may have a high level of intensity and some areas have a low-intensity level. In all the audio effects, a compressor is the most confusing thing for us. Threshold: –5dB; Ratio: 4:1; Attack: <60 ms; Release: About 40 ms; Gain: Add 2dB to allow the compressor to color and thicken the overall sound; You can learn more about mixing rap vocals in general from this helpful article at Pro Audio Files. And I don’t want to mislead you. Setting up release time fast will bring up low-ends details like the tail ends of phrases and breathing. However, for some genres like Hip-hop, we need more aggressive vocals. If your compressor has independent control knob on Knee parameter, then you have to adjust it manually by listening to the vocal. Many bloggers will tell you what the “perfect” vocal compression settings are. 9 Compression Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making, How To Set The Attack Time On Your Vocal Compressor, Vocal Compression: How To Easily Compress Vocals Like A Pro, Vocal Mixing Tip: How To Easily Find The Perfect Balance. He loves music, writing and travelling. In vocals, the intensity is more unbalanced then other instruments. Here are a few mistakes to avoid as you explore and experiment with your compressor settings. Then read this article till the end. This can help put a lid on vocals that need to be tightly controlled. By adjusting these 2 things we can control that how the compression work on the audio signal. How To Nail The Perfect Threshold And Ratio: Sometimes, you can hear the compressor clamp down on a vocal when it hits the threshold. It has a very high compression ratio (20:1 to infinity:1). Generally, the Soft knee is used to compress the vocals effectively. If the vocal’s volume drops down then adjust the makeup gain (input). On the 1176 compressor, the Attack and Release knobs work backward from normal, he explains. Applying effect presets is not the end of your work. To learn how to pull off this technique, watch the video below: Threshold and ratio determine how much compression is applied, and how aggressive it is. Step 4: Now for the second compressor, placed after the first. This setting works well on harder styles of music, like mainstream pop and rock. Here’s where to start…. I this situation we can set attack time fast to emphasize the consonants of vocals. This will cause compression to ease in as the signal approaches the threshold, making the transition from no compression to compression more subtle and less obtrusive. The reason is simple. Why You Should Be Using In-Ear Monitors In Your Studio? This approach works well with softer, mellower genres (think folk, jazz, and acoustic). Generally, compressor plugins have two option for Knee – Soft Knee and Hard Knee. So you should set attack time fast for vocals. Knee decides how compressor transitions between the compressed non-compressed states of an audio signal. But vocals are not like drums. You can slow down the release time with folk, jazz, and. We don’t want to subside the punch in kick and snare so we set the attack time slow for drums etc. In this article, you will learn about the components of a compressor and also how to set it up in the right way to get a perfect vocal. Ideal Release time for Vocals – However, there are no set rules for any of the compression parameters for vocals, you can start between 500ms to 600ms and gradually decrease the time to get it perfect. You can slow down the release time with folk, jazz, and acoustic genres as they demand a soft and mellow voice. There are no magic settings that work 100% of the time. Release Time = 11.1 secs. The main goal of using a limiter is to avoid clippings. With soft knee compressor attacks on the audio signal softly and with hard knee it attacks hardly. I wish I could do that too. However, if you take time to learn compressors and if your ears are sharp, applying compressor would be easier for you with time. Slow release time will make the sound more natural and less processed then the 1st option. But they’re far less important, and focusing on them will often distract you from what matters most. Let the answer be your guide, and you’ll remain on the right track. If you want to use a compressor that pumps and breathes — that is, one that you can really hear working — or if you want to bring the vocals way up front in the mix, try using the following settings. Do you have a trick for finding the perfect vocal compression settings? Your compressor’s release time will control how it shapes the tail ends of words and … But actually, it’s not an easy task to use a compressor in the right way. The problem is, every song is different. Compression ratio is a quite confusing thing. The ratio has to be adjusted with the Threshold to get the perfect compression in the audio signal. Ratio = 2.5:1. 1. But you really can have too much of a good thing. For this reason, slow-attack compression tends to work well on hip-hop vocals, where clear diction is crucial. This can often sound unnatural and distracting. The ratio determines how much the volume is reduced by. It pulls the consonants down and pushes the vocal to the background. Vocal A, Vocal B etc. When in doubt, simply ask yourself the question—can I hear every word? On the other hand, a hard knee will make the compressor react more aggressively when a vocal hits the threshold. Threshold is the most important component of a compressor. We don’t want to subside the punch in kick and snare so we set the attack time slow for drums etc. With that being said, it is possible to quickly dial in the right vocal compression settings, if you know what to listen for. When a sound gets too loud, the compressor kicks in and reduces the volume. Adjust these 3 parameters (Threshold, Ratio and makeup gain) you can hear every word in the vocal clarity. Required fields are marked *. What does compressing the audio do? Fortunately, with time I improved myself in applying right kind of audio effects in right places. The solution is to dial in a softer knee. Aside from that, it is very much like most utility compressors. Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. The compressor has the ability to compress down the peaks softly and make the clip more dynamic. It doesn’t have a threshold control, but turning up the input gain has the effect of turning down the threshold. 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