With a compressor plug-in, you can reduce the dynamic range of audio. This makes your music sound louder and punchier. In this article, you’ll discover how to compress with the Fruity Compressor.
You just made a new track and compare it to a professional song. Bummer! Probably your track will be completely blown away. That’s because of compression.
With the Fruity Compressor in FL Studio, you can influence volume differences in audio. For example in a vocal. The singer sometimes sings loudly and sometimes softly. If you make the loud passages softer, you can increase the overall volume of the vocal. Now you hear the vocal more prominent, during the track.
Do you prefer to watch video? Then check this video tutorial.
Compression indispensable for modern mixes
Compressors are not only useful for vocals, you can use them anywhere. They are indispensable for drums. For example, with a compressor, you can emphasize the attack of a kick. As a result, the kick is better reflected in the mix.
Or send all drum sounds to a drum bus and compress them there. Then the sounds work better together and you ‘glue’ the sounds together.
Compression also works well when you’re using filter sweeps. If the sound is filtered, it will sound softer and you’ll hardly hear it. With a compressor, you automatically increase the volume. The sound is given a constant volume.
“Send all drum sounds to a drum bus and compress them. Then they work better together and they sound like a unit. ”
Fruity Compressor, a simple compressor for FL Studio
FL Studio contains a simple and usable compressor, the Fruity Compressor. It is very basic and therefore ideal for learning compression.
This is what the knobs in Fruity Compressor do.
This determines the amount of compression. A good starting point is 3.0: 1.
With the threshold, you set up when the compressor should respond. Think of it as a line. Only when the volume of a sound is above this line, the compressor kicks it.
The attack determines how quickly the compressor responds. With a short attack time, you get a snappy sound. This works great for drum sounds, for instance.
With a longer attack time, the compressor doesn’t affect the start of a sound. This way you can compress the ‘body’ of the sound. Try it on a guitar, synth sound, or vocal.
Release determines how quickly the compressor returns to its original state. For drum sounds, it’s best to choose a short attack and release.
Compression attenuates sound that exceeds the threshold value. The overall sound is therefore softer. You compensate for this with the Gain button. This is a smart thing to do because it makes it easier to compare. Turn the compressor on and off and listen carefully. Does it sound better with or without compression?
Compressor plug-ins often have multiple styles. In the Fruity Compressor, you choose them with the Type knob. Play with it and see what works best for your sound.
“Turn the compressor on and off during playback and listen carefully. Does your mix sound better or not?”
Audio compression is easier than it seems. With threshold you determine WHEN the compressor responds. Sounds above this value (line) are compressed.
Ratio determines the AMOUNT of compression. With a setting of 4: 1, the compressor compresses every decibel above the threshold value by a factor of 4. It compresses the sound, reducing the dynamic range.
With attack and release, you determine the RESPONSE TIME of the compressor. With short settings, you compress the attack, and with longer settings the body of a sound.
This is how you set up the Fruity Compressor
Do you want to set the Fruity Compressor quickly and properly? Then this is a handy step-by-step plan.
1. Turn the Threshold, Attack, and Release all the way to the left. You now hardly hear any sound.
2. Set the Ratio to 4: 1. That is a good starting point.
3. Slowly increase the attack until you hear the “snap”.
4. Now slowly turn the release upwards. It works like a “gate”. How much of the compressed sound do you let through?
5. Are you happy with the sound? Then use the Threshold knob to determine how much compression you want to apply.
6. Finally, bring back the volume to the old level with the Gain knob and compare before and after. Does the sound benefit from compression?
When should I use the Fruity Compressor?
Compression is widely used in modern music, but be careful not to overdo it. If you use samples, for instance, they are usually already compressed. It isn’t really necessary to do it again.
You can also use compression creatively. That’s often done in EDM and Dubstep, to make sounds as loud as possible. Compressors are an important part of sound design in these genres.
Finally, don’t use compression because ‘you should’ and always rely on your ears. Does a sound benefit from the Fruity Compressor? Then use it, and otherwise don’t. A listener doesn’t care which plug-ins you use. As long as your music sounds great.