Compression

Understanding make up gain, what it is and how to use it on your compressor

Understanding make up gain, what it is and how to use it on your compressorUnderstanding Make-Up Gain

Regardless of what compressor you’re using, almost all of them have some form of make-up gain control. This will usually be called ‘gain’, ‘output’, ‘output gain’ or some variation of these. Whilst the term used for this function may vary, its purpose remains the same. That is to manage the level of the output signal of your compressor.

You see, the level of the signal coming out of your compression-explained/">compressor often won’t sound as loud as it was when it went in. That’s because the compressor has turned parts of your signal down. So make-up gain is used to turn the output level of the compressed signal up to compensate.

Managing your compressor’s output level

The good thing about the make-up gain parameter is that it has no effect on your threshold-setting/">threshold, ratio/">ratio, attack, release-setting/">release, or knee-setting-on-a-compressor/">knee settings. It simply boosts the level of the entire compressed signal.

Using make-up gain allows you to match your compressor output level to its input level. This is handy if, like me, you mix/">set all of the levels in your mix before you apply compression to anything. If your compressor doesn’t make this type of control available to you, then it probably applies ‘automatic make-up gain’. This automatically makes the output level of your compressor match the input for you.

As you can see, make-up gain provides a simple way to increase your compressor’s output level.

Did you know you could manage the output level of your compressor? Or have you been altering the fader position to compensate for the level change until now? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

FREE DOWNLOADS

Get the best results from EQ, compression, vocals & drums with the FREE 'Home Studio Bundle'

EQ Settings Cheat Sheet Compression Settings Cheat Sheet How to record studio quality vocals at home How to record drums with one mic

Get all 4 guides sent straight to your inbox when you subscribe to our mailing list here:

* indicates required

We will use the email address you provide to send you free downloadable guides, notifications of our latest blog posts, general updates and offers on our products and services. If you are happy to receive these types of emails, please confirm here:


We treat your information with respect. You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in the footer of any mailing list email you receive from us, or by contacting alex@mixinglessons.com. You can find more information on our privacy practices at www.mixinglessons.com/privacy-and-cookies-policy. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *