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Old 07-08-2019, 07:22 AM   #15
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 8,469

"It's all in the make-up gain....."

Since louder always sounds better to the ear... do make sure that the actual compressor leveling is actually doing what you want and you're not just hearing the whole thing louder and getting fooled by that. Just sayin'

You can put the output level of your compressor to match the the input level except for the peaks you're leveling.
The workflow for that is hearing proper level most of the time except for when the too loud peaks poke out. This actually makes it straight forward with how the compressor works.

Most people do it the other way around though...
You liked the loud bits and wanted the rest of the track to match. So you first set the compressor to knock down the peaks (that you liked). Then make-up gain to turn the whole thing (now leveled) up to the level that just the peaks were originally.

Just be careful that you aren't fooling yourself with a volume boost. You can get into smashing things too hard with a compressor but be none the wiser with a volume boost sometimes.

If you start doing it the first way - turn the level up until the quieter parts sit right and thus with the peaks poking out too loud - it's more straightforward to set that compressor to knock down those peaks to taste.
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