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How to use your compressor’s release value for transparent compression of drum tracks

A neat trick to use for a starting point when setting the release value on the compressor for drum tracks, is to set the release value to the tempo of the song. You can do this on the track itself, or on a side-chained track.

  1. Go to http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-bpmtempotime.htm
  2. Look up the tempo of the song.
  3. Use the 8th note decay for the early peak value.
  4. Use the quarter note for the rms (average) value.

Over time you’ll train your ears and you’ll likely know what you’re looking for without using this technique but it’s a simple trick to employ and a great place to start.

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