First, let’s discuss the slider, which is linked to ‘Threshold,’ and is the point at which the peak signal is going to be compressed. So at ‘0’ (which is the loudest the signal can get before it distorts), there will be no compression, as all of it is ‘let-through’ uncompressed. However, as you pull down the ‘Threshold’ slider, more of the signal which is lower that ‘0’ will be included in the operation of the compressor. Light compression happens with low levels and heavy compression with higher levels.
However, you won’t actually see any compression until you start to make changes to the ‘Ratio’ parameter. Its default setting is 1 x 1 – which means that everything that is above the new level you have set for ‘threshold’ will have no-change applied. But, when you start to increase the ratio, say to 2 x 1 with the ‘Threshold’ at -6, you MAY start to see a little red dot appear at the top of the second VU meter on the left:
So, what is happening? Well, at a threshold of -6 and with a ratio at 2 x 1 – for every 2dB the signal goes above -6dB, the compressor will limit the increase to only 1dB.
Higher Compression Settings
So now, try moving the ratio from 2 x 1 to say 6 x 1 with the threshold increased (I’ve chosen -12). Now, you will start to see much greater compression, such that for every 6dB rise in the signal value above -12dB, the compressor will only give 1dB output. This is quite heavy compression:
I’ll have more on the Tube-modeled compressor in Part 3.
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