If you use a compressor plug-in you're already manipulating the dynamics of a sound or the mix. In this enlightening long-read tutorial, Joe Albano explains exactly what dynamics is and more.  
Fig 1 Dynamics processors (hardware & software)

Dynamics and audio  

Dynamics and recording 

Fig 2 The relative Dynamic Ranges of various recording media

Macro and Micro Dynamics  

Fig 3 A waveform graph, showing an audio wave with a brief loud transient and the lower level of the body & decay of the note

Dynamics processors  

Fig 4 Typical Dynamics plug-ins


Expansion and Gating 

Close the gate

The big squeeze

Fig 5 The classic Compressors mentioned above (top to bottom): dbx 160; Urei 1176; Teletronix LA-2A

The wrap 

Joe is a musician, engineer, and producer in NYC. Over the years, as a small studio operator and freelance engineer, he's made recordings of all types from music & album production to v/o & post. He's also taught all aspects of recording and music technology at several NY audio schools, and has been writing articles for Recording magaz... Read More


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