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Plain electric guitars can greatly benefit from compression since they usually have a lot of dynamic range with a lot of peaks. In this movie I'm going to show you how to control those peaks and keep the level study with the right compressor settings. First of all, with an electric guitar, the more it's amplified, the more it distorted, the less compression it usually needs. If it's direct, usually it needs a lot of compression in order to keep the level steady, because there's lots of dynamic range. Let's have a listen to what guitar 2 sounds like soloed. (music playing) Now let's listen to it in the track.
(music playing) You can hear it, but especially on the turnaround, it sort of gets lost, so let's add a compressor. Once again, we're going to just use the generic Compressor/Limiter in Pro Tools. Let's solo it up first, have a listen. (music playing) And just like we did before, we're going to set the attack time as long as it will go and back it off until we start to hear the transient dulled a little bit.
(music playing) So there is no transient there. We've gone away too far. (music playing) So over there is okay. Now let's set the release. Now we can do this couple of different ways. We can set it so it's fairly short and it breathes with the track, or we can set it so it's so long, so it elongates the envelope of the guitar itself.
Let's set it a little longer first. (music playing) It was actually pretty good there. And the more peaks there are, the more dynamic range, the higher the ratio has to be, and that will control a little bit more. So everywhere except the turnaround, it sounds pretty good in terms of level, but at the turnaround, it begins to lose some of the chords, so let's bring ratio up.
(music playing) It's still pretty good. I'm going to back off the attack, because I can hear some of the transients actually dulling a little bit on it. And let's add a little bit higher ratio. Now we're above 10 to 1, so it's actually becomes a limiter. Listen again, especially on the turnaround.
(music playing) Now that's a little closer. The only problem is now we've lost some level, because the compressor has attenuated the single, so now let's use the gain control and the bypass switch in order to equalize the level between pre-compression and the post-compression. (music playing) Okay, that's about right. Let's listen in the track.
(music playing) So that's how we compress a clean electric guitar.
Start with the attack and release set so it breathes with the track, and adjust threshold and ratio controls for the right amount of compression. The more peaks the guitar track has, the higher the ratio will need to be.
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