I always made good grades growing up.

I annoyed the daylights out of my older sister. She worked her tail off to become valedictorian. I didn’t work all that hard and graduated 4th in my class. (Okay, okay, it was a class of 30 people, so I wasn’t even in the top 10%.)

Heading into college, I thought I was a pretty clever fella.

Then I took one of my first recording classes, and the teacher was explaining what compression is.

I was lost.

He explained it over and over again.

We used a digital console with a visual readout of what the compressor looked like and was doing (much like what your compressor plugin looks like).

I had the hardest time understanding it. I got the basic concept, but I couldn’t understand WHY you would use it, or what it actually did to the sound.

Color me frustrated.

Fast-forward to today, and I love compression. There are so many cool things I can do with a compressor…but I wouldn’t be able to do them if I didn’t have a firm foundation in what a compressor is and how it works.

I don’t feel like my college teacher explained it very well. He was very “technical,” and I’m very creative. I wanted to know WHY you’d use it, not how the inner electronics work.

As it turns out, I’m a very good teacher of this stuff. I can help you understand the basic technical stuff, but I focus much more of my time on the WHY.

That’s exactly what I did in this cool video I created called “What is Compression?”

It’s fun to watch, and you’ll learn a lot from it. Check it out here:


Joe Gilder
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