Do you need more clarification on vocal compression?

If compression isn’t making much sense, let me clear this up for you. First I want you to listen to the vocal with no compression. How dynamic does it sound? Are there really quiet words and really loud? Or maybe it’s pretty consistent and doesn’t vary too much. This will let you know upfront the type of approach you should have. If the vocal is very dynamic then it’s obviously going to need a lot of compression. I suggest using more than one compressor with similar attack, release, and ratio settings. If both compressors have a combined 8-10db of gain reduction, that may be okay. Use your ears at this point. Does it sound too harsh? Does it sound just right? The faster the attack, the more gain reduction that happens. Try slowing down the attack just a bit. Compression is a balancing act just like eq. Start with a low ratio on the compressors around 2:1 or 3:1. For attack time, remember that fast attacks will make the vocal more controlled, more round, warm, and sit in the mix. Slow attacks will be more percussive, cut through mix, and it will let the vocal be a bit more dynamic. Both can work, but it’s up to you to figure out which fits the track best! Comment below!

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