Fast attack. A slow attack time (fully clockwise) allows the beginning envelope of a signal (commonly referred to as the initial transient) to pass through the compressor uncompressed, whereas a fast attack time (fully counter-clockwise) immediately subjects the signal to the ratio and threshold settings of the compressor. Often times, it can also push a vocal further back in the mix. The slow time here, or the fast attack turned off, this is going to be program dependent, but it’s been measured to be on the order of about 20-40 … The release refers to how long it takes for the compressor to revert to normal, or to an uncompressed state. Fast attack times may create distortion by modifying inherently slow-moving low frequency waveforms (Ex. Attack sets the speed at which the compressor ‘acts’ on the input signal. The light ratio is to retain the articulation of the word and minimize frequency skewing. Release Time. A fast attack makes the compressor clamp down immediately while a slower one will let a part of the volume peak come through. This can make a vocal smoother and less aggressive. If a cycle at 100 Hz lasts 10 ms, then a 1 ms attack time will have time to alter the waveform, which will generate distortion.) With slow attacks you’ll also have an easier time avoiding over-compression. Attack determines the time to reach the compression values. A fast attack would be useful for a rapper or anything that has sudden peaks early in the signal. This gradual compression will sound more natural, while a fast attack that will crush your transient, making it sound extremely compressed. Faster attack times will pull consonants down. Attack Time. The release control can really affect the sound of the compressor. If you’re really compressing a sound with 10 dB of reduction, a slow attack will roll that compression in gradually. The attack and release controls shape how the compressor reacts. The key is to set the threshold low enough to catch as much of the peak as possible while effecting the body of the signal as little as possible. This can add articulation and clarity to a performance. Slower attack times suit mastering uses and buss compression. Generally a fast attack and release, and a light ratio does the job. Release. This is literally the opposite of attack time. A slow attack can help the listener "grab onto" a sound, but won't sound great on vocals. I try to avoid using limiters for this purpose. With a quick attack time, the compressor kicks in virtually instantly, which is nice for those who’re making an attempt to stop signals from clipping or tame unruly peaks.As for tone, quick attack times can be used to tighten up sloppy performances and make things really feel a bit extra polished. 6. On the other hand, slower attack times will emphasize consonants. That's How to Use a Compressor on Vocals! A fast attack time is great if you have a sudden spike in volume but a slower attack time will allow the initial transient to pass unaffected, which is vital for instruments such as drums. That’s the fast time on the SSL. You'll typically want to stick with a faster release in general. So the attack time here, when it’s on the fastest setting, this is going to be one millisecond. Your compressor’s attack time will affect the consonants of a vocal performance.

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