compressor settings

hi there,im sure this topic will get a lot of replies hopefully.
im writing dance music,tech-house,techno.
im always hearing about how essential compression is.
can anyone give me some good settings i can try on kicks,snares,basslines etc.
i have worked with compression settings,but,for instance i never can notice how it sounds better with compression.
for instance i have 2 kicks layered.and they sound better without compression than with.

by the using the cubase compressor.

Go with whatever sounds best. Compression is mostly about volume. Apply it to sections (grouped) brass or drumkit, say, as a whole or on the whole track at mastering time.
You can use it as an effect but use your ears as overuse can be very tiring for the listener in the long run although it might sound good on the day.
Unless you are someone who uses it every day like a broadcast engineer the results can be very subjective to yourself.
If you do need it for final release your cutter will probably apply enough for commercial purposes.

I use it to tighten things up on group tracks sometimes, especially snares and lightly on kicks and also for side chaining (I really like the first compressor under Dynamics for this). I do notice the difference now. When I was fresh into this, I really didn’t. Get to really know what the controls do, if you don’t already. I have to say I very rarely apply it to just one track.

Use Youtube and learn what’s up and down on compressors!
Best place ever for info overdose! :mrgreen:
Compressors are easy when you know them and a big fûcking enigma when you don’t!
You can just as easily ruin a mix with the wrong compressor if you just go by ear.
Compressors are COUNTER INTUITIVE by nature and you can’t just poke around.
You don’t know if you’ve got something useful.
At the same time compressors are essential tools when creating a good mix.
You have to learn them properly …

So inform yourself and in a few days you’d make quantum leaps of progress :sunglasses:


A compressor lowers the volume of the audio above a certain threshold*. This means the audio gets less loud so you can then compensate by using make-up gain. The end results is that you have reduced the dynamic range of the sound.

Some useful tips on attack and release are:

fast attack fast release - Less transients. The initial hit is compressed but the compressor then resets very quickly so the tail is not affected.

fast attack slow release - More consistent performance. Reduces the level of the whole sound. Hit is compressed and gain resets very little so tail is also compressed.

slow attack and slow release - Less sustain. The hit gets through without compression but the tail is compressed. So the level difference between the hit and tail is increased.

*to be perfectly correct it can actually start compressing before the threshold if you use a soft knee and can keep compressing after it falls below the threshold depending on attack, release settings.