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Compression is nine-tenths of the mix

You’ve heard the phrase possession is nine-tenths of the law. Well move into the world of mixing and change it slightly and we find out that compression is nine-tenths of the mix.

Find out how important compression in within the mixing world and how you can compress in Bitwig Studio.

What is compression?

Compression is a technique employed to make music sound louder without increasing its peak amplitude. By compressing the peak (or loudest) signals, it becomes possible to increase the overall gain (or volume) of a signal without exceeding the dynamic limits of a reproduction device or medium.

Best Bitwig Compressor

To find out what is the best compressor to use in Bitwig, there are a few options to look at. There is a stock compressor built in to Bitwig which offers plenty of flexibility and modes.

There are factory presets which can be used and tweaked to suit most requirements. There are two types of compressor options those being the Dynamics tool and the Compressor itself.

bitwig compressors
Dynamics or Compressor tool?

It all depends on the situation you need to mix with however I’ve found the general rule is for any form of sidechain compression, the Dynamics tool is useful in order to react to the input signal of another track.

For basic compression (say for a snare or vocal) the Compressor tool works best. Try for yourself though, and see what works for you.

Sidechaining is possible elsewhere though, as you can pop the compressor tool as a send buss and modulate the signal to the send using an audio sidechain modulator. See below:

Audio sidechain

Best VST Compressors

In addition to the stock Bitwig compressors avaialble, I have a couple of favourites Iike to use. My go to none Bitwig I use for vocals is the Waves CLA-76 Blacky. I find the effects I get off that for a geniune analogue “warmth” is second to none.

waves CLA 76
Waves CLA-76 Compressor – My go to for vocals

As for mix compression, you can’t go far wrong with the Klanghelm DC8C or the MJUC. Both these Klanghelm compressors are excellent pieces of kit for the money – sub £50 will get you them both. Take a look at klanghelm.com for more information.

2 thoughts on “Compression is nine-tenths of the mix”

  1. Pingback: TDR Molot GE Compressor review of the "Hammer" – Part Time Producer

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