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Compressing Kick Drum - How To Set Up A Compressor On Kick Drum

beginner compression drums Nov 24, 2021

Compressing a kick drum is a great way to actually begin to hear compression. In this video, I go step by step compressing a kick, concentrating on what to listen for when setting up the attack and release.


What is a compressor used for in audio?

A compressor is used to even out the overall dynamic range of an audio signal. It can be used to even out the sound of an entire song, or to give emphasis to the kick drum. 

This is a deep dive lesson for beginners, so there won't be any fancy terms or techniques used. All you need to know is how to use the attack and release controls to get the best results.

Compression actually changes the shape of the waveform depending on how you set up the parameters, namely:

  • Threshold
  • Ratio
  • Attack
  • Release
  • Make up gain

Compression is also one of the last techniques to click into place when you start mixing music so the idea of the video is to point out what to listen for when setting up a compressor and I give some general settings to start you off so you are in the best position to hear what compression is doing to the sound. 

The most important aspect of using a compressor is to know what it is you are trying to achieve with compression. Listen closely to the kick without fiddling with the settings and decide how you'd like to change the sound. Then you can go about adding a compressor.

Watch the video for the demo!

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