Bad Drum Compression

For our assignment we were asked to demonstrate and write about bad drum compression. I choose to use one of the O/H’s, as I thought the overhead would sound the worst over compressed because it captures the whole kit. I used the standard compressor from Pro Tools as an example.

Badly Compressed O/H

Bad drum compression White RabbitBad drum compression

The gain reduction is heavy on at -18 going toward -30 almost as if the after effect of the snare drum is white noise.

What should be a snap of the snare drum sounds like a knock of a door. Sharp

I’ve added a high release so the snare drum rattle lingers on past the next and you can hear it linger on as high as the initial snare snap.

It acts and sounds like a limiter on the initial snap of the snare drum hiding the rattle when first hit as a limiter completely prevents a signal from going over a specified setting. The threshold is at  -60dB  which means higher than that amount all the compression occurs after it hits -60dB.


After bypassing the compressor you can definitely hear the difference. The snap is more relaxed and instead of almost white noise, it’s a lot more clearer and concise.

The Original O/H

orig snare compression

The original snare drum never surpassed -11dB and no more than -3 dB noise reduction. I checked this by adding a new track and putting the original snare on, then adding a compressor in the factory settings. Where everything over -24dB gets compressed. 3:1 Ratio – for every 3dB going through 1dB gets compressed. Attack and release is part of the ADSR envelope, meaning how fast or slow the compressor reacts to the beginning and end of the signal envelope.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s