Main Control Devices
Whether an engineer prefers using plug-ins or hardware processors, there are parameters which are common for all devices. They let engineers set the character of a compressed sound in a flexible way during professional online mixing services. Let’s consider them in details. In fact, each model doesn’t need to have all these settings, and part of them can be fixed or have autosetting. Yet you must realize the essence of their impact on a sound to use compression consciously during online mixing and mastering service.
This parameter defines audio loudness during which the device starts processing a signal. For this purpose, everything what is below the given volume remains unaffected, and peaks which go beyond the preset threshold level are being compressed. So, if the online audio mixing engineer preset the level of threshold in 10 dB, the compressor will be running idle until the splash of an audio signal overruns this value. In the meantime excessive loudness will be reduced according to the other device settings.
This parameter defines the behavior of a device during the transition from the quiescent state to audio compression. Most of studios are equipped with compressors which offer either soft knee function during which the signal starts compressing smoothly while approaching the preset threshold or hard knee when processing is switched on as soon as the level preset by an engineer has already been achieved. There are also devices with switching of temporary fixed values and even with manual setting of knee parameter what has also become commonly used in professional music mixing services with compression. While choosing between soft and hard knee, the mixing engineer defines whether compression will be evident or soft and unnoticeable.