Compress before Amplify or vice versa?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Rockin Mike, Oct 19, 2013.


  1. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    I'm working on audio recorded live at our last gig. This is recorded on a little Zoom Q3HD camera. The gain is set low because I can't know if it's clipping until I get it home and by then it's too late...

    Cleaning up the recording in Audacity. It always needs amplification and generally benefits from compression. Compression can increase the overall volume when the "make up for zero gain" and "compress based on peaks" boxes are checked.

    Question is, should I apply the Amplify process before Compressing of vice versa?
  2. onosson

    onosson

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    "Make up for zero gain" is just amplification built into the compression software, no?
  3. Amren

    Amren

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Depends if you thinks if the dynamics are allright.
    If you want your 'low volume' parts louder and your 'high volume' parts a little less in volume you can compress. After the compresser you put your (brickwall) limiter.
    In the limiter you crank up the gain on the track untill you hit the limiter. Its the best if your track maxes out at about -1dB then you will never clip it.
  4. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    onosson, Yes the make-up gain is basically amplification builtin to the compression module.

    Amren, It's a live stereo recording of an amateur mix so compression to even out the levels is a must. For limiting I would have to run the track through a second compression pass with the ratio set at 10:1. I can do that.

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