- DYNAMIC PROCESSORS
Some types of sound source such as certain instruments, by
virtue of their construction or performance characteristics and
human voices, are capable of producing a wide range of dynamics -
for both very loud and soft sounds. During a recording session, the
risk of unpredictable peaks when the signal is too loud or too
quiet is an important factor.
Dynamic processors can greatly enhance the quality of mixes and
songs. They manage these elements within fixed parameters so that
they can be controlled within the mix. They act like automatic
faders, riding the signal and either evening out unwanted peaks or
remove some sounds entirely. They directly relate to a signal's
perceived or relative loudness in the mix.
4. THE USE OF COMPRESSORS IN MIXING
At the tracking stage the most basic use of a compressor is to
function as an automatic volume control, reducing the fluctuations
in level that are common when recording live instruments. For
example, when a singer is moving around slightly, or an open chord
on an acoustic guitar tending to be louder than a fretted one. In a
digital recording system, there is a maximum signal level that can
be recorded before the clipping occurs. This is referred to as zero
decibels full scale (0 dBFS).
It is the peak volume level of a signal that determines how much
gain can be applied before this 0 dBFS point is exceeded.
Unfortunately, our ears are not very sensitive to the short, loud
transients (such as drum beats) that create signal peaks, and it is
actually the average signal level that our ears use to give us the
impression of loudness or lack of it. Reducing the level of a
signal's peaks allows you to apply more gain to the signal as a
whole without causing clipping, and this in turn results in a
higher average signal level, making it sound subjectively louder.