= tool that compresses (reduces) the dynamic range of a sound

  • single band: processes the entire frequency range of a signal (mastering)
  • multi-band: processes multiple frequency ranges of a signal individually (individual sounds)
  • Threshold = at which level the compressor kicks in
  • Ratio = how much the signal is being reduced
    • low: “compressor”
    • high: “limiter” (clipper = limiter with less control parameters)
  • Attack = how quickly the compressor completely engages
    • fast: thick, controlled
    • slow: punchy, exciting → preferred
  • Knee = the shape of the attack
    • soft: subtle compression
    • hard: obvious compression
  • Release = how slowly the compressor disengages
  • Gain = increase in output level