4. Too fast attack
While being in the pursuit of super compression, the novice can easily make the following mistake – to set attack so short that the compressor will quit letting audio transients pass by cutting them off immediately. Although during this online mixing services the desired compression will be definitely achieved, nevertheless, transients in music are exactly that what allows an instrument to cut through the mix. While selecting much too fast settings, you are in danger of resulting in the opposite and putting the vocals backwards. Professionalengineers resort to this trick during their work with backing vocals – it both turns out to be compact enough not to get lost in music and doesn’t clash with the main ones. As a starting point, attack values around 1–2 ms will suit vocal mixing novices. They let the compressor respond to audio peaks fast without choking music dynamics.
5. Non-exploitation of compression right from the start
This item is the extension of item 2. As far as during vocal mixingmultilevel dynamics processing audio is the norm, it’s logically to use it already at the recording stage – there is no need in drastic values. Just set the compressor so that it can smooth the vocals softly and invisibly. It will simplify the online music mixing engineer’s further work and will let a singer perform his part more comfortable. Keep in mind additional colors which an outboard compressor will add at the audio tracking stage already. It doesn’t matter if there aren’t appropriate devices in the studio; today there are loads of plugins which also cope with the task well. Pick them out to your liking and achieve 2–6 dB of gain reduction by setting ratio 1:1,5–1:3. The vocals will be set to music better, and the work on the further mixing vocal line will get easier.