Chapter 4

Digging into Dynamics Processors


check Understanding and using effects in Pro Tools

check Getting to know compressors and limiters

check Introducing gates and expanders

check Examining side-chain processing

Dynamics processors allow you to control the dynamic range of a signal. Dynamic range, listed in decibels (dB), is the difference between the softest and loudest signals that a sound source produces. The larger the dynamic range, the more variation exists between the softest and loudest notes.

The four types of dynamics processors are compressors, limiters, gates, and expanders. This chapter gives you the lowdown on each type and how they can help you add punch to or smooth out an instrument’s sound, even out an erratic performance, or eliminate noise from a track.

Connecting Dynamics Processors

Dynamics processors are Insert effects: When you insert them into a track, they become part of it, affecting the track’s entire signal. To apply a dynamics processor in Pro Tools, follow these steps:

  1. Choose View ⇒ Mix Window ⇒ Inserts from the main menu.

    This makes sure that the ...

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