Pro Tools: Compressing Vocals | Tips & Tricks | Berklee Online

(instrumental music) – [Female Speaker] Let's compress this vocal So I've already got the EQ on here, I've got his soloed, and I have one section of the vocal isolated

So I'm going to go to the next insert point here, and I'm going to navigate to Dynamics this time Let's load this Bomb Factory 1176 This is native to Pro Tools So right here this might just be confusing and overwhelming, but let's take a look at all of the different parameters here, and we'll start by looking at this meter So however far this needle goes up the meter, that's how much gain reduction, that's how much compression is actually happening

So you can see here I have 10 decibels, and then it goes straight to 20 so it gets a little bit more extreme the further you get up the meter So we want to set the input, which is equivalent to the threshold so that we're docking or compressing a tasteful amount, maybe somewhere between five, six, definitely under 10 dB for a vocal So let's start by doing that and see if we can get this input knob set properly – [Female Vocalist] It's not that easy, too much of a sacrifice Don't, it's not that

– [Female Speaker] So that's actually pretty good It looks like I'm getting six or seven dB of compression or reduction Let's just adjust this and you can see what's happening as I raise or lower the input

– [Female Vocalist] It's not that easy, too much of a sacrifice Don't, it's not that easy, too much of a sacrifice Don't, it's not that easy – [Female Speaker] Let's go to a different part of the song and see what's happening here – [Female Vocalist] You don't remember them, they remember you

You turn around and there they are, staring back at you, put you in your place – [Female Speaker] So a lot less compression in this area, but that makes since because we've got less gain, less signal – [Female Vocalist] Oh, close your eyes, and see the light – [Female Speaker] So this is a good level for it So now we need to set the output so that we're getting pretty much the same amount of signal as we were before and after

A lot of people use compression to get additional gain or volume which is the incorrect use for this tool We're just evening out the dynamic range So let's go here, this is a very dynamic area You can see there's lots of peaks and valley's and then I'm going to just set this output so that as I bypass it you don't really notice a change in the volume – [Female Vocalist] It's not that easy, too much of a sacrifice

It's not that easy – [Female Speaker] So it's a lot louder naturally so we need to raise the output here – [Female Vocalist] It's not that easy, too much of a sacrifice It's not that easy, too much of a sacrifice It's not that easy, too much of a sacri

– [Female Speaker] I think I went a little too hot, it's a little bit louder Like a little bit is fine you just don't want to be using this to give yourself more volume So once this is set, I've got about seven below 10 dB

of gain reduction with the input and we can see that metering here Then I'm going to raise the output level so that as I bypass this plugin we're not getting extra volume We're just using it to even out the dynamic range

Here's where we set the ratio so four-to-one is a good setting for a vocal It's subtle, it's not overly compressed You don't want to get rid of the dynamics you just want to manage the dynamics a bit better So this 20-to-one would be more of a limiter situation, and we can just be here at four-to-one, and that's how you're going to set the compressor for your vocal (Electronic music and drum beat)

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