A beginner’s guide to understanding the audio compressor release setting

A beginner’s guide to understanding the audio compressor release settingUnderstanding the compressor release setting

The compressor release setting allows you to tell your compressor how quickly or slowly it should stop affecting your audio signal once the signal has fallen back below the compressor’s threshold. The lower the release time, the faster the compressor will recover after it has applied gain reduction to a signal. So a short release time means that the compressor will stop applying compression to the signal quickly. A longer release time however, will see the compression subside more gradually.

Using the compressor release setting

What you set your compressor’s release time to is dependent on what you are compressing and how you want the compression to sound. As such, it’s important to tailor your release time to the specific audio signal that you are compressing.

Fast release times are great when you want the compressor to stop affecting your signal quickly. But be careful… If the compressor release setting is too fast, then it may cause the compression to sound unnatural or may cause a ‘pumping’ effect. Slower release times are ideal when you want the compressor to recover more gradually. But if the release time is too slow, then you may find that the compressor does not have time to fully reset before another part of the signal comes along which requires compression.

The compression release setting gives you a great deal of control over the way your compressor affects your audio signal. When used alongside the compression attack setting, the compression release setting allows you to really shape the parts of your audio signal that compression is being applied to.

Does this help you understand what the compressor release setting does? Is there anything else I can explain for you on this subject? Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.


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