I’ve never experienced this personally, but I’ve seen it in movies.
You know the scene. The dorky main character in the movie is trying to get into the exclusive night club, but first he has to get past the bouncer.
The bouncer’s job (I assume) is to only let the right people into the club. If he lets the wrong people in, the whole vibe of the club could change. You gotta keep the dorks out and the cool people in.
(FACT: I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get in…definitely not cool enough.)
But when it comes to mixing, do you know you’ve got a tool that acts much like a bouncer at a night club?
Yep. It’s a good old COMPRESSOR.
Specifically, the attack knob on a compressor.
One of my favorite things to do with a compressor is to play with the attack setting. I’ll set it up on a track, adjust the threshold and ratio until I’m getting the right amount of compression. THEN, I’ll adjust the attack setting.
If you’ve never messed around with the attack setting, you’re missing out.
You can dramatically change the sound of a track by dialing in a slower or faster attack time.
The attack acts kinda a like a bouncer. It only lets the right amount of transient through to the mix. The rest gets squashed by the compressor.
The good news? YOU can control how “strict” the bouncer is, on a track by track basis.
To learn all about compression (plus my 7-step process to compressing ANYTHING), go here.
Now…go be your own bouncer. :>)
Joe Gilder is a Nashville based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner.