Hi all -
I know there are no cut and dried answers, but I was just wondering how to use those two things the best.
I did a little experimenting, Compression 101, last night.
I have a piano that I compressed using a Fairchild 670. It’s pretty soft at the beginning, pretty loud at the end. I kept the same compression throughout. I turned up the input so that at the loudest bits at the end, the VU meter in the Fairchild was just barely going into the red. Then I adjusted the compression (“Threshold” knob, if I remember correctly) so at the loudest bits at the end had about -6dB of GR. I didn’t ride that knob at all. Then I turned up the output so that the loudest bits were just barely in the red.
Question 1: Was that a reasonable way to go about compressing? I didn’t turn the compression way up at the beginning, because I wanted some dynamics.
I fed all that to an LA-2A, ratio of 20 - the idea was to use it as a limiter, just to take care of the peaks, so that I could have a hotter signal coming out of the previous stage (the Fairchild) without running my master bus too hot. I “gainstaged” the input and output using the LA-2A VU meters the same way as the Fairchild.
Question 2: When using a limiter like this, how much gain reduction does one usually expect to see, and how often should there actually be any gain reduction? Should I only see the GR VU meter move rarely, and only a few dB? Or …?
The final sound turned out OK to this newbie’s ears, but I just wanted to hear how you expert guys and gals might use the limiting amplifier in these circumstances.