Vocal Compression Cheat Sheet!
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Fast Attack (1ms - 10ms) - slow and soft vocals
Slow Attack (10ms-100ms) - modern “pop” vocals - more aggressive
Fast Release - Pop vocals
Slow Release - Natural smoother vocals
Start between 500ms and 600 ms and work down
Threshold and Ratio -
First set up the ratio 3:1 or 2:1. Slowly turn down the Threshold while listening to the vocals in the mix. If the vocal starts hiding in the mix then adjust the makeup gain.
Adjust these 3 parameters (Threshold, Ratio and makeup gain) until you can clearly hear every word.
Soft Knee or Hard Knee?
Usually use a soft knee
A Soft Knee will typically be used on vocals because the gain reductions takes place gradually after the signal has exceeded the threshold.
A Hard Knee will compress the signal as soon as the the signal exceeds the threshold.