Compression in Mastering
Compression vs. limiting
Compressors are different from limiters in that they let you work in longer timeframes, while limiters act as a safety, to prevent over-modulation of compressors. Compressors map well to musical signals, anything with sustain or a note. If you find yourself needing to smooth out the dynamics in a track, a compressor is a great choice for that in both mixing and mastering.
How compressors impact level and time
Compressors are good for adding punch and glue to a track, but are not what makes a track loud. They don’t make anything louder; they turn things down. It’s a common misconception that in order to make a track loud, you need to squash it. It does make sense that if you restrict the dynamics of a signal, you might create more headroom to turn it up. But really what you’re doing is turning it down so you can turn it up after the..