Tony Visconti famously said, “compression is the sound of rock ‘n’ roll”. Originally used for purely technical reasons, creative use of compressors has become part of the production process, with many popular music genres based around the sound of compression. Essentially, the basic concept behind a compressor is that it reduces the highest levels (above a certain threshold), thus reducing the dynamic range. Used creatively, a compressor can drastically alter the shape of a sound, making it more or less percussive, more or less punchy, more or less dense, etc. There are different types of compressor designs, all with their own characteristics, features and unique sounds, and as such, some have become ‘classic’ processors over the years, i.e. Urei 1176, Teletronix LA2A, Fairchild, SSL.
The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor has become one of the standards for mastering and mixing, thanks to its unique design which includes two compressors, an opto and a discrete VCA, and three transformers output. UAD in collaboration with Brainworx have created a thorough emulation of this revered hardware. We took a look at Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor in our latest Plugin of the Week – watch it above and make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tutorials and live events.
If you want to learn more production, mixing, mastering, sound design and composition tips, our Online Master Diploma course is perfect for you. Taken from anywhere in the world for up to 64 weeks, it’s one of our most comprehensive courses and has been taken by the likes of Claude Von Stroke, Plastician and Jon Rundell. Find out more here.
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