As I’ve said before, compression is the “audio combustion” in a mix. Without compression, it’s quite difficult to create contour of a track or series of tracks. Also, each compressor has its own “sound,” and each can be used for specific purposes. In this article and the accompanying clip, we look at three compressors for an all-around and general winner in this compressor shootout.
In the old days of analog equipment, every compressor sounded and behaved differently than any other. Sometimes even the same
model of compressor worked and sounded differently from its siblings. Boo. With the exception of the latter horror, this phenomenon of compressors has carried itself over into the digital domain: no compressor plugin sounds like any other. Even if you have the same settings in every way you will receive different results – and in no subtle way.
Although this is a shootout, all three of these compressors are wonderful for use in the post production process generally, and you’d be lucky to have any of them. That said, it’s critical to know what the strengths and weaknesses are for each make of compressor in order to have them work efficiently. Using the wrong compressor will force you to crank settings far more than they should be, and bad or artifacty results are usually the norm. Double boo.
We’re going to take a look at the Adobe Audition built-in Single-Band Compressor. It’s Adobe’s venerable staple of dynamics processing in both Audition and Premiere. We’ll contrast that with the Waves Renaissance compressor and their staple C1 compressor. All three of these plugins will be used in a very dynamic orchestral score situation which is one of the most difficult audio scenarios to tame.
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