If you’ve NEVER used a compressor in your studio, you’re missing out.

If you’ve used one, but you’re really timid about it — scared you’re gonna mess things up — you’re missing out, too.

Just like EQ is an indispensable tool in every home studio, so is compression.

There’s no reason to fear it, and here are 10 reasons why:

  1. The worst thing that could happen is you get a bad-sounding mix. (For every bad mix I’ve done, I’ve learned something that has made me better.)
  2. Nothing is “permanent” in the studio. You can always undo a plugin setting or simply re-record the track. No biggie.
  3. Compression can make for an interesting effect. I’ve stumbled across countless quirky uses for compression, but I would have never found them if I didn’t take the time to experiment.
  4. A compressor has never killed anybody (to my knowledge).
  5. If you don’t like the sound of compression on a particular track, you DON’T have to use it. Leave it alone. It’s okay.
  6. People can’t tell if you didn’t compress every track in your session…but chances are they could tell if you over-compressed every track.
  7. Compression exposes weaknesses in your recording techniques. (Problems tend to show themselves when you slap a compressor on a recording. That’s a good thing if you learn from it.)
  8. Compression can make a musician with very inconsistent dynamics sound much more “in control.”
  9. Every compressor plugin I’ve ever used came with presets. These are great starting points AND learning tools.
  10. You’ll never be able to really spot over-compression in your mixes (a valuable skill) if you don’t spend some time deliberately over-compressing things and taking mental notes of the audible results.

See?

It’s not so scary, right?

Frustrating at times? Sure.

Especially if you really don’t know where to start.

Lucky for you, I’ve made that part a lot easier. You just need to watch my Understanding Compression videos:

www.UnderstandingCompression.com

The price is going up to $47 on Friday night at midnight (central time), so grab your copy today.

Happy squashing!

Joe Gilder

P.S. For those of you who are asking, the three new videos that I’m adding to Understanding Compression will be available at the end of the week. Anyone who owns UC will get them for free, even if you buy at the old price.

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  • Just to be certain: from 30 dollars to 47?

  • Rambo

    “I have a profound distaste for compression and limiting. I hate them with the passion I usually reserve for the New York Yankees. I must have been born missing the “compress everything” gene that all other engineers seem to have. The sound of things being hammered with compression is such a tragic, conformist cliché to me… I can’t think of one as bad, actually. Maybe a guitar direct through a Pod… Nope, compression is worse. I have tried them all, at various times, on the one or two things a session that genuinely need compression. Our studio owns (looks at list) 24 different types of compressors, usually in pairs: They all sound passable on something or another, but nothing is genuinely inoffensive on everything, so we need them all.”- Steve Albini

    • Interesting quote. I like compression…in moderation…on some tracks. But everybody has different tastes.