Much used but rarely fully understood, compression is an incredible tool utilised by audio professionals in every field. These detailed lessons, taught by Course Director, professional producer and Music and Sound Recording graduate Rob Jones, will take you from a basic to a thorough understanding of this powerful effect. With visual and aural demonstrations, accompanied by a clear and informative commentary, by the end of the course you will have a thorough grasp of how single band and multiband compression functions and how to apply it to individual and groups of drums, vocals and the master buss.
The course starts by giving you a basic understanding of the parameters found on every compressor, including examples of their effects on dynamics and frequency, demonstrating how different settings can alter the sound both positively and negatively. Students learn how to use a compressor both as a precision tool and as a creative device, with specific examples and aural and visual demonstrations, to help get the most out of a mix.
The course is available immediately after purchase and is accessible 24/7/365, with help on hand from tutors on the Producertech forum when required. Accompanying the video lectures are the Live projects made throughout and detailed written notes explaining all of the concepts and techniques taught on the course.
Check out the sample module below!
Module 1: Compressor Basics
Going straight in with an example, Rob shows you how the different parameters on a standard compressor effect a drum loop. Clearly demonstrating the effects both visually and aurally, you’re given a detailed background on how the different parameters affect the signal.
Module 2: Compression’s Effect on Frequency and Level
In this lesson, Rob introduces you to the effect of compression on extremes of frequency. He demonstrates with the help of an analyser how applying hard compression, with varying attack times, alters the amount of high and low frequencies in relation to each other. This presentation enables you to hear how compression may suck the life out of your drums if overused.
Module 3: An Advanced Analysis of Attack and Release
In this module, you will be given a detailed look into the effect of some of the most commonly used parameters available on all compressors: Attack and Release. Using graphical displays, coupled with Rob's experienced commentary, by the end of this lesson you will fully understand the application of these important functions.
Module 4: External Sidechain Sources - Pumping/Ducking
In this lesson Rob shows you how to implement one of the best creative compression techniques: ducking. With multiple uses, you will be taught how to create pumping basslines, using the compressor to create synergy between the drums and bass, as well as how to use ducking in podcasts and voiceovers. A detailed explanation and demonstration of common pitfalls round out this module.
Module 5: Sidechain EQ
Beyond the basic controls, the ability to properly use the compressor sidechain will make the biggest difference your sound. In this tutorial, Rob introduces you to the sidechain and demonstrates the use of EQ and filtering to really begin to master the functionality of your compressor.
Module 6: Multiband Compression and Mix Buss Compression
This module takes you into the world of multiband compression by comparing the effect of single band and multi band compressors on the stereo buss. Given the enhanced ability to set different compressor parameters at different frequencies, multiband compression is a highly effective tool to apply to the whole mix. Rob shows you how to manipulate this increased flexibility, alongside information on additional compressor settings, to give you total control over the dynamics of your track..
Module 7: Compressing a Kick Drum
Applying the skills you've learnt so far, Rob now demonstrates the best way to apply compression to a kick drum, adding punch and power without losing the attack. He also demonstrates compressing a clap sample to help it cut through the mix and round out the sound.
Module 8: Compressing a Vocal
In this lesson, Rob explains how you can utilise multiband and single band compression simultaneously, to subtly smooth out a voice that was recorded with large changes in level. His demonstration shows how to rectify level problems without introducing unwanted noise to the signal.
Module 9: De-essing a Vocal
In the final tutorial in this course, Rob demonstrates how you can implement any multiband compressor to work as a de-esser, cleaning up your vocals and removing unwanted sibilance (the high frequency 's' and 'sh' sounds).
SAMPLE MODULE - Tutorial on Sidechain EQ from the Complete Guide to Compression
This excerpt demonstrates how to utilise the side-chain to get the most out of your compressor.