Mixing Tutorial

Compression Explained

14 Tutorials (2hr 0min 57sec)
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    Tutorial 1



    Welcome to Compression Explained! Let's get to know each other and learn the best way to approach this course.

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    Tutorial 2

    Audio Signal Anatomy


    Before we can understand how compression works, it's important to understand the basic components of what make up an audio signal. We take a look at audio signals, and learn more about levels and metering.

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    Tutorial 3

    Dynamic Range


    Learn the basics of Dynamic Range as we continue exploring how to read an audio meter.

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    Tutorial 4

    A Brief History


    Find out how compression started as a tool, and ended up becoming one of the necessary staples of recording equipment.

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    Tutorial 5

    Compressor Types


    Learn about the 4 types of compressors and the electrical components that control them. We'll take a look at some classic staples that paved the way for the industry.

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    Tutorial 6

    Threshold, Ratio & Makeup Gain


    Get out your abacus! Its time to do some audio math and figure out what these important controls do to our audio signal.

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    Tutorial 7

    Envelope Controls


    Learn how to shape your sound by exploring the different types of Envelope controls.

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    Tutorial 8

    The Knee


    Explore the area where the threshold meets the ratio, and see how it plays an important role on the sound and behavior of the compressor.

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    Tutorial 9

    The Sidechain


    Control your compressor from a different audio signal and learn about the sidechain input.

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    Tutorial 10

    Alternative Compression Types


    Learn all about alternative compression types like multiband compression, upward compression, and limiting.

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    Tutorial 11

    Stacking Things Up


    Parallel compression vs. Serial compression. Find out what these techniques and concepts are all about and learn what to watch out for when using compression.

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    Tutorial 12

    Mixing with Compression Pt. 1


    Learn about the approach to mixing before compression is applied. Now that you know how to compress, learn when to compress.

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    Tutorial 13

    Mixing with Compression Pt. 2


    Learn about the essentials when using compression in a mix. Find out what goes into the decision making process when applying compression to different tracks.

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    Tutorial 14

    Mastering with Compression


    When it comes to mastering, its important to have a grasp on what goals we are trying to achieve through the means of compression. Learn about average loudness, level matching, Mid-Side processing, and stereo linking!

If you produce and mix music, youve got to understand how compression is the glue holding everything together. In this all new, in-depth video tutorial series, studio expert Dave Askew teaches you everything you need to know about compression from the beginning to end.

NOTE: If you purchased the original version of Compression Explained, log in now to download the new version for free!

This series sets out to explain what compression is, how compressors work, and how to use compression in sound design, mixing, and mastering.

Daves videos highlight using native and DSP-based software compressors, as well as hardware compressors, so you can use this information with any DAW or hardware compressor unit.

Dave starts out with a primer on the basic components of an audio signal, which leads into an explanation of the basics of dynamic range. After that, Dave offers a brief history of how compression developed into the staple of audio production it is today.

Next, Dave explores the kinds of compressors in use today, and the electrical components that control them, as well as the components the software versions emulate. That leads directly into videos on the specific controls common to most compressors: threshold, ratio, and makeup gain.

Dave now covers the more creative compressor controls by showing you how to shape your sound with various types of envelope controls. He reveals the different knee behaviors, where the threshold meets the compression ratio, and explains how you can control your compressor using a different signal via the sidechain input.

Dave continues with a video on alternate compressor types, such as multiband compressors, upward compressors, and limiters, as well as how you can stack compressors using parallel or serial compression.

Finally, Dave wraps up the series with videos showing you how to apply everything youve learned. He shares his approach to mixing with compression, and what goes into his decision making process. Then he shows you how to use compression when mastering audio for final release to the world.

Knowing how to use compression can be the difference between a muddy and dull sounding mix or a polished and exciting one. If youve ever wanted to master these vital dynamics techniques, watch Compression Explained today!

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I've been a musician since a very early age starting with playing the trumpet, guitar, bass, and piano. Not the drums though, my brother got those genes. I am an excellent finger drummer though to say the least!

2. What training have you had?

For formal training I took regular music lessons in grade school and high school which were fortified with training from private tutors. After school I joined the Army band and went through the Army School of Music as well. I'd like to say that most of what I've learned though came through experience and having hands-on opportunities.

3. When did you get into recording?

During my stay in the Army I was the live sound manager. I loved operating the mixing board but I loathed the 'live' environment. I truly enjoyed making things sound great but I didn't like the fact that there is so little room for error in the live setting. I had wished for more time to invest in being able to make something that sounds ok, turn into something phenomenal. I started by recording our Army band performances on a Yamaha AW1600 for fun, but really enjoyed that I could capture that moment then take my time to make it sound amazing without having to worry about the crowd booing. The rest is history!

4. People you have worked with/for?

A few musical highlights have been running live sound for the President of the US, and doing some on the side tech work for the band Dope. I also was able to work with Virus on one of his side projects. Over the years though my focus has been mainly in customer service and tech, so I've talked with thousands of industry professionals on a daily basis which have truly been too numerous to name individually.

5. Why are you so good at training people?

Growing up I always felt that I spent a lot of time training myself how to do things, but oddly enough I always thought I'd never make a great teacher even though I'm a geek through and through. In the early part of my career I turned down so many opportunities to teach music and engineering. I think part of that came with my own insecurity of not having the formal education that society tells us that we need to succeed. It took a lot of time, practice, and personal education to get me past that hump of feeling confident in trusting that what I taught myself was legit. I've finally reached a point where I feel like I have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge, but most of it has come through investing the time with having the hands on experience that not even formally educated people get sometimes. I truly believe the best way to learn something is to get your hands on it and immerse yourself in every little detail. Groove 3 is a great avenue to be able to share that knowledge.

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Compression Explained is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 25.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully informative tutorial from Mr Askew I've done a few of Dave's tutorials - mostly related to Cubase and in a very short timeframe these complex technologies have transitioned from being tedious foes to becoming old friends. He has a perfect blend of knowledge depth and experience, the ability to convey complex ideas and the energy to make it compelling. In this series the graphics are very well done and really work for visual people. As I progress through this course I am starting to feel very comfortable with the 'dark art' of compression. Finally, after years of messing around and confusing myself with conflicting 'Tube clips and forums, I'm feeling like I'm getting somewhere here. I am very impressed and highly recommend this course.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Tutorial on Compression I needed a refresher course on compression and this one served very well
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super clair ! Les fondamentaux sont expliqués clairement, dans un anglais accessible aux non-natives speakers. Puis, ces fondamentaux sont articulés dans l'exploration d'une utilisation concrète des sus-dits comp. Que du bonheur ;-)
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A crystal clear explained in depth tutorial. I finally understand compression 120% great clear smooth tutorial.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compression explained perfectly Explained all the way down to how equipment worked. This was one of the best courses on Groove3
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good Deep background knowledge about compression. Sadly the last parts about mixing and mastering with compression where a little hasty. I would have appreciated going more into detail there. That why I give it 4 of 5 stars.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absolutely excellent series A great series of lessons on compression and its uses. This series of lessons is good for all levels of engineers from beginners to experts. There are so many techniques described in this series, I would say it's a must for anyone wanting to understand how compressors work, and the techniques involved in using them. From FX, to mastering, this series covers a huge range of subjects. Make sure to have your audio coming out of something better than Laptop speakers so you can really hear what is being demonstrated
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from i don't think this was taught exceptionally iwell Is there a subtle art to teaching? Do different students have different perceptions of what artful teaching is? Bottom line: I don't think this course was conveyed well. It is difficult for me to say this because aesthetically/transitionally it was very well put together...but what else can I say- this guy didn't really convey the information well (in my opinion). Some good fundamentals were laid down on compression though. But a lot of it dragged for me. (i have been home recording for one year (using Logic Pro X), i am by no means an expert. I am an amateur (heavily devoted, but no professional training))
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good overview on compression While I have picked up things here and there form various sources online, this series really is the most comprehensive and straightforward overview on compression I've ever gone through.
Date published: 2016-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect Powerful explaination of how to use compression and all the ways to use it. Fantastic!
Date published: 2016-10-15
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