The last part of this effect to discuss is the ‘Attack’ level which is the speed at which the compressor starts to work, and can have a big effect on how the effect actually sounds, and what the end result of your compression looks like.
Take this audio example I gave at the start of the blog – this is speech:
Note: I am using Audition, but it’s the same in Premiere Pro. These are the settings I’m going to apply:
Note that the attack value is at 25ms.
Here is the end result after applying the FX. (Note: You can’t see this in Premiere Pro as the effect is applied in a different way than in Audition – I’m using Audition to show you what’s happening.)
You can see that there is some improvement, but there are some strong peaks still showing through.
So, let’s decrease the ‘Attack,’ so the compressor kicks in faster. I am going to use 8ms:
See how more of the fast paced words have been caught and reduced because the ‘Attack’ value was much faster.
Lastly, I’m going to keep the ‘Attack’ value at 8ms, but increase the threshold to -18dB:
See what a difference this has made to the dynamic range of the audio – however, you would need to listen carefully to the end result as compression at this level may be quite noticeable. Also, notice that even at 8ms, some of the fast peaks at the start of some words still got through. To bring the audio level back up you would use the ‘Output Gain’ control.
Have a play with the Tube-modeled Compressor and see what it could do for your audio workflow, especially when used with the Parametric Equalizer.
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