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Understanding the Compressor on BEACN MicUpdated 7 months ago

BEACN Mic's Compressor will help you compress the loudness of your voice by reducing the loud parts to be closer in level to the quieter parts. In this article we are going to show you what the controls in the Compressor mean, which will help you use the Compressor correctly.

What is a Compressor?

A Compressor reduces the dynamic range - what this means, is it reduces the difference in level between the loudest and quietest parts of an audio signal. This is often used to help with peaking.

Using the Compressor

The Compressor on BEACN Mic has two modes:

Simple

This mode gives you three controls to set - Threshold, Expand Amount and Make-up Gain

  • Threshold - The Threshold is the level when compression begins.

  • Compress Amount - This is how aggressive the Compressor will be. A good starting point here is to set the Compress Amount to 33% and then drag the arrows on the THRESHOLD line located on the Input bar so the ATTENUATION meter is -3dB to -6dB when speaking.

  • Make-up Gain - Make-up Gain amplifies the output signal to "make up" for the lost gain from compressing. A good starting point for this is to turn up the Make-up Gain to the same level as the average ATTENUATION meter level. You don't want to add too much Make-up Gain as it amplifies the entire signal, so background noise can be more noticable.
Advanced Mode
This mode gives you five controls to set - Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release, and Make-up Gain

  • Threshold - The Threshold is the level when processing begins. A good starting point for this, is to drag the arrows on the THRESHOLD Line located on the input bar so the ATTENUATION -3dB to -6dB when speaking.
  • Ratio - This determines the amount of compression applied to a signal once it rises above the threshold. In the screenshot below from the BEACN App, we have a ratio 4:1 meaning for every 4dB above the threshold, it will Increase the output by 1dB (so if the signal is 4dB above the threshold it will attenuate to 1dB).

  • Attack - This is the time it will take for the Compressor to go from zero compression to full compression based on the ratio and threshold settings.
  • Release - This determines how long it takes for the Compressor to stop compressing.
  • Make-up Gain - Make-up Gain amplifies the output signal to "make up" for the lost gain from compressing. A good starting point for this is to turn up the Make-up Gain to the same level as the average ATTENUATION meter level. You don't want to add too much Make-up Gain as it amplifies the entire signal, so background noise can be more noticable.
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