Audio Compressor Settings Chart and Guide

Making great music can be fun. But if you are not sure about the audio compressor settings, such a task can become a nightmare. Luckily, there is a way by which you can avoid this problem.

You can get ahead by using a basic chart that has all the compressor settings that you might need. Although it isn’t the ultimate solution, it can help you understand the basics. If you are ready, let’s go through this article and find everything you need to know about audio compression.

audio compressor settings

Audio Compressor Settings Chart & Guide

Here is a chart showing generic settings for audio compressors. Even if you use this table, feel free to play around with the parameters and find what works for you.

Sound  Attack Release  Ratio Knee  Gain 
Acoustic Guitar 5 – 10 ms 0.5 secs 5:1-10:1 soft/hard 5-15 dB
Bass 1-10 ms 0.5 secs 4:1-12:1 hard 5-15 dB
General fast 0.5 secs 4:1 – 12: 1 hard 5-15 dB
Kik & Snare 1-3 ms 0.2 secs 5:1 – 10: 1 hard 5 – 15 dB
Loud Vocal fast 0.3 secs 4:1-10:1 hard -5-15 dB
Mix fast  0.4 secs 2:1 – 6:1 soft 2 – 10 dB
Vocal  fast 0.5 secs 5:1 soft -3-8 dB

There is nothing much to using the above table. For instance, if you want to use the compressor settings for a lecky acoustic guitar, set the Attack around  5 – 10 ms, Release to 0.5 secs, and Ratio between 5:1 – 10:1. Then leave the Knee on either soft or hard while the Gain stays at 5 – 15 dB. 

How Do I Set My Audio Compressor?

The setting of your audio compressor depends on the type of sound worked on. For instance, if you are working on loud vocals, keep the Attack on fast while the release stays on 0.3 secs and the ratio stays at 4:1 – 10:1. As for the Knee and Gain, choose hard and – 5 – 15 dB respectively. 

Compressor Settings for Drums

If you want to use the compressor for the drum sounds, make sure the ratio stays up to 4:1. But if the drums sound too vibrant, take the compressor up to 5: 1 or even higher. 

Compressor Settings for Guitar

As you set your compressor for the guitar, you can try the following settings. On the compressor, use an attack of 5 – 10 ms, a release of 0.5, a ratio of 5:1 or 10:1, soft/hard knee, and 5 – 15 dB.

How Many dB Should You Compress Vocals?

According to the table, you can compress vocals to -3-8dB. But before you can use this setting, choose fast attack, 0.5 secs release, 5:1 ratio, and leave the Knee on soft.

What if you are working with loud vocals? Well, you can compress it to -5-15 dB but with a fast attack and 0.3 secs release. As for ratio, set it to 4:1 – 10 :1 while Knee stays on soft.

What Compressors are Good for Vocals?

There are tons of options that can offer the best compression for vocal sounds. Such plugins include the Oxford Inflator: Sonnox, MV2: Waves Audio and Presswerk: U – he and the Ozone 9 Dynamics: Izotope

How Do You Compress Harsh Vocals?

If your vocals seem off, it would help if you worked with a De-Esser. When it comes down to it, this technique allows you to tune the sound until it feels less harsh.

Which Equalizer Setting is Best for Clear Voice?

If you want to get the best equalizer setting for clear voice, try using 8 kHz with a boost of between 1 – 1.5 dB. As for the high roll-off, allow the frequency to stay at 18 kHz with a reduction of 24dB per octave while using a 0.07Q width. 

What is the best Frequency for Vocals?

The ideal minimum frequency for vocals is 50 Hz. If you choose a lower setting, you will not get the desired effect. However, you can use a lower frequency ( than 50 Hz) for a male artiste with a low voice. 

Do You Compress EQ Before Vocals?

You can compress EQ before or after vocals. However, your preferred option depends on your desired output. For instance, if you want clearer sounds, use the EQ after your compressor or use the EQ before the compressor for rounder notes. 

How Do I Make My Background Sound Good on Vocals?

There are several ways by which you can blend the background noise with your vocals. For instance, you compress the vocals, mix them or even reduce the background volume to be lesser than that of the lead.  Moreover, you can blend several background sounds into a single distinct sound.