Your audio journey – Part 29 – Compression Part 1

Welcome back to the Audio Journey and we’re looking at compression now.

Compression is the reduction of the dynamic range in audio. Dynamic range is the difference between the highest points and lowest points of audio. By adding compression to audio you make it a more consistent volume all through so it’s easier for people to listen to.

Imagine someone is listening to something in public through headphones, or listening to something in a car. They’ll set their volume for the average of your audio, any loud peaks could be too loud while any quiet parts could be too quiet to hear!

Compression has to be appropriate for the audio you’re creating. You can put more compression on audio for radio imaging than you would for a news showreel or a demo. Podcasts and news should have more dynamic range so if using compression pick a low ratio.

In Adobe Audition there are many ways to add compression to audio. We’ll look at the single band compressor, the compressor in the dyanmics effect, setting a processor via dynamics processing and multiband compressor.

This is a brief introduction to compression, over the coming episodes we’ll take a look at more specific uses of compression.