Dynamics Processing (Compression in Audio Mastering)

This mastering tutorial explores three of the most common forms of dynamics processing in mastering; single-band compression, multi-band compression and limiting. As in the previous chapters, this chapter seeks to help you realise the very purpose of the mastering process, as well as revealing some great tips when using your dynamics processors. A mixture of text articles, diagrams and live demonstrations will provide you with valuable insights into the mysterious world of audio mastering.

In this tutorial

  • Introduction – Brief introduction to the compressor and its role in the mastering process.
  • How Compressors Work – An in-depth look at the controls/parameters on a compressor, discussing how different settings affect the sound in mastering situations.
  • Circuit Types – A brief explanation of some of the different types of circuits found within analogue compressors that give them their character, of which our digital counterparts are direct copies of.
  • Fatness and RMS – Explains what RMS is and how it relates to loudness and fatness. Further discussion into compression techniques that can fatten a mix on another level, whilst at the same time helping you realise your goal when mastering your music.
  • Limiters – Leading on from the previous page, this section focuses on limiters and RMS, providing some useful guidelines on using limiters in mastering situations.
  • Limiters and RMS – Leading on from previous pages, this section describes in great detail how a limiter ties in with the subject of RMS, giving you a greater understanding of the very purpose of the limiter and how best to use it.
  • After the Limiter? – Answers the question of whether you can process further after using a limiter.
  • Multi-Band Compression – An introduction to a very useful tool and an explanation about the major differences in operation from single-band compression.
  • Demo of Multi-Band Compression – A video demonstration of multi-band compression being used in one of the discussed situations from the previous page.
  • Final Word – A few brief words summing up the chapter.

Next page…  Introduction