Kim Lajoie's blog

Audio examples of bus compression

by Kim Lajoie on February 24, 2012

Sam O’Sullivan:

Buss compression is certainly not a new concept, however, it is an effective and reliable engineering tool and its basic principles are vital considering you are affecting multiple voices. When approaching buss compression, there are two essential tools at your fingertips: Attack and Release – these two tools, when properly utilized, will have the ultimate say in the outcome of your efforts.


With this in mind, I have provided examples of effective and ineffective buss compression, focusing on attack and release settings, for a few simple approaches.

Excellent audio examples. With bus compression, if you hear it, you’ve used too much.

You have to feel it.


3 thoughts on “Audio examples of bus compression

  1. Stephen says:

    Great. Nice audio examples. Will listen to these more carefully to hear the subtle nuances. Lately I’ve been experimenting more and more with buss compression. In my own production work I’ve noticed just a touch of buss compression with a high quality compressor (I really like The Glue) really brings the mix together and adds a nice punch to the sound. I usually set the attack @ 30ms and release @ 100ms, with anywhere from 1 – 3 db gain reduction.

  2. Kim Lajoie says:

    I use mix bus compression to make the mix sound more compact or ‘packed’ or dense. I think 1-3dB is a reasonable amount of gain reduction for mix bus compression. More than that and things start to get really uncomfortable.


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