Dynamic range compression—which is different from data compression like MP3—reduces the difference in volume between loud and soft moments in a recorded sound. Matt defines what a compressor does, and compares it to the three other common types of dynamic processors: the limiter, expander, and gate or noise gate. All of these have a parameter called threshold, which defines a specific volume level, and each behaves differently when the audio level passes the threshold.
- The word compression applied to audio…has two possible meanings that…can easily be confused with each other.…So, let's clear that up first.…One meaning is data compression.…Making a file take up less computer space.…MP3 is one example.…It trades off sound quality for smaller file size.…We discussed data compression in another video.…In this video, I'm referring to dynamic range compression.…Let's define dynamic range compression…by describing the tool that does it.…
The compressor.…It's like a robotic engineer that…turns down the volume whenever…the signal gets loud and then…turns it back up when the signal gets quiet again.…The goal is to reduce the sound's dynamic range,…that is compress that range.…The Dynamic Range of a sound…refers to how different it's quietest and loudest…moments are from each other.…So, a sound with very loud and very quiet moments…has a wide dynamic range,…and a sound that stays fairly near the same loudness…has a narrow dynamic range.…
The compressor is probably the most…well-known member of a family of audio tools…
The course starts with explanations of what sound really is and how we hear it, including discussions on frequency, amplitude, phase, and psychoacoustics. Matt explores analog audio signal path, explaining connections, gain staging, and metering. Next, he brings the audio signal into the digital domain, discussing analog to digital conversion, digital gain staging, file formats and compression, and dither.
Then the course digs into digital audio workstations (DAWs), explaining the concepts and misconceptions involved in digital recording systems. Matt describes how memory, CPU speed, and storage affect your DAW's performance, as well as how to manage computer resources and understand the plethora of file formats associated with digital recording. He follows with an overview of MIDI: how to generate, store, process, and communicate MIDI data. He wraps up with the audio processors that are often used for mixing in a DAW—including EQ, compressors, reverb, delay, and many others.
- What is sound?
- The three domains of sound: acoustic, analog, and digital
- The analog vs. digital signal paths
- Converting analog audio to digital
- Digital formats and data compression
- Understanding the five types of DAWs
- Recording performances with MIDI
- Mixing and processing audio with EQ, compression, and other effects
Skill Level Beginner
Music Production Secrets: Larry Crane on Recordingwith Larry Crane2h 21m Intermediate
Drum Setup and Mic'ing in the Studiowith Ryan Hewitt1h 14m Appropriate for all
1. Concepts of Sound
2. The Signal Path: Acoustic and Analog
3. The Signal Path: Digital
4. Digital Audio Workstations
6. Mixing and Processing Audio
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