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That compression is one of the thorniest issues to be addressed, first, because the compressor reacts accordingly signal to be covered and second, because the fashions of the moment influence the ways of understanding and using compression.

The dynamic range is the space, mostly expressed in decibels, which exists between the sound lighter and stronger. The ear is the sensory organ of the body with the most extensive trip, then the largest distance between the threshold of hearing and pain for too much pressure to have a mind to different disturbance impressed with the molecules d ‘air since the fall of a leaf and the roar of thunder crashed nearby. The music does not come to these gradients but the classical symphonic music can go really close.

If we were to record the natural events described above would have to deal with many problems, the first certainly would be the choice of microphone but most certainly would be insurmountable for the choice of reproduction, there is no speaker systems capable of reproducing the range dynamic. Some years ago the low dynamic range of media, primarily tape and vinyl, imposed a heavy reduction in travel dynamics, this is to avoid reaching the threshold of distortion is seeing signs of weaker covered by background noise, sound or number crunch in the first place. The first order of compression was then almost exclusively to prevent the disadvantages resulting from excessive travel dynamic. For our ear limitation of dynamic is less detrimental to the sound of distortion or background noise.

Subsequently, the compressor has also found applications in creative sound design, for example on some musical instruments, the electric guitars and basses definition improves sound and allows the attack to add more to sustain notes while the voice is perfect for keeping the words intelligible if immersed in a musical arrangement. If cleverly applied to each component part of an arrangement, the compression makes it possible to maintain any intelligible phrasing of each instrument, limiting the excessive excursions dynamics that lead to the sound of the individual to continually surface and disappear from the body. As a result the material so treated is also more convenient to manage: the average listener to a music in the background without continuous changes in volume is certainly more convenient for a continuous adjustment of the volume knob.

Compressor there are many models and types, the most popular are the outboard discrete components, tube or solid state that are able to work because the sound without losing its identity. For the treatment of single sound is usually prefer those monobanda, because the note played must be controlled by the compressor along with harmonic and also all other components of the sound, compared to the treatment of complex signals, then mixing, are favorites multiband compressors Because cutting and processing signals in distinct portions depending on the range of frequencies involved, to prevent a talk about the low frequencies include sounds in the middle and high bands. Of course even in the virtual environment is wasted choice and the opportunity to provide an apparatus, particularly vintage, is much easier than the “real world”, especially on expansion cards based on DSP can be found compressors that have little to envy to those in “flesh and bones”, with no secondary benefits, in spite of valvular true, the benefits will not be altered with the wear and, unlike the “physical product”, a plug, once purchased, can be inserted on multiple tracks simultaneously.

The most common parameters that allow adjustment of the compressor are grouped into two categories:
Category meaningful for:
THRESHOLD: (threshold) adjusts the level from which the compressor will start working.
RATIO: (ratio) regulates the amount of compression applied, for example. 4:1, if the value is “infinite 1” will act as a limiter.
And the group that controls the compression function of time, a kind of envelope:
ATTACK: (attack) regulates the time interval from exceeding the threshold (threshold) and the activation of compression.
RELEASE: (issue) determines the time of issue of compression from the time when the input signal falls below the threshold for intervention.

Some recent schools of thought prefer recording an already compressed, justifying this choice with the fact that the compressor working directly connected to the instrument responds in a more natural, others prefer the opposite philosophies, pointing out that this is the only way to prevent possible Shooting errors ending with the compromising recording in addition to the advantage of any opportunity remain open until the final stage of mixing. Other thinkers, perhaps more equilibratamente, adopt a mixed technique, carefully selecting sounds from the first trial than treat later. Obviously their experience and their style should be the primary way forward but sometimes, to confirm their choices or to expand them, it is better to be flexible; exploring different techniques from the usual personal, you can discover new worlds fascinated.
Absolutely to keep in mind is and will remain the fixed point, valid for all signal processors, that even with compression you can destroy or enhance the signal Treaty, whatever its nature, much more often than might seem and a good use of his ear combined with a constant reading of structural level is always preferable, especially in the presence of equipment, treatment that is listening, not excellent.

A compression of the exasperation we are living in these years. The radio stations have triggered the disaster dynamic “of modern disks. Years ago someone, surely a record, noticed that the songs played on the radio ended up stronger with more support from the public. Since then started a race that has not yet been completed, increasing to compress the dynamic range, with the clear aim of increasing to more I can not the average level of song, true responsible for impression of a high volume, transforming the delicate and refined process of mastering a sound kind of press! To make sure the costs naturalness of records. Try to listen to a recording of a po ‘of years ago and you will see the sophistication of today’s productions. E ‘clear, is a fashion and as such is intended to last only for a limited period but, in a few years, when we tired of all this over-compression, we end up with tons of CDs with good records tragically affected.

– Alex on behalf of http://www.smap.it

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