Kim Lajoie's blog

When (and how) to use a gate or expander

by Kim Lajoie on November 17, 2014

Gating and expansion work similarly to compression. While compressors automatically turn the volume down when the input audio rises above the threshold, gates and expanders automatically turn the volume down when the input audio falls below the threshold. The simplest example of this is a basic noise gate – it mutes the audio when the […]

So what’s the point of expansion?

by Kim Lajoie on December 26, 2011

You’ve used gates, right? If you’ve ever recorded something with a microphone, you’ve probably had a situation where the background noise was just a little too high (or the acoustic sound was just a little too quiet) and the background noise was bugging you in the mix. So you reached for a gate, eh? Set […]

Downwards or upwards?

by Kim Lajoie on April 28, 2009

Every now and then, people ask about upwards compression or upwards expansion. Often when this is raised there is some confusion about what “upwards” means, and how it might be different to regular compression or expansion. This confusion is sometimes exacerbated by a misunderstanding about how compressors work (as distinct from what they’re used for). […]