If you’ve worked with audio for any length of time then you’re likely to have used a compressor once or twice. The basic idea of a compressor is to reduce the dynamic range of the audio, even it out if you will, and then you can bring up the overall gain or volume of that now more consistent performance. Sometimes, however, we can push it a bit too much and you can “hear” the compressor working (not a bad thing if that is your desired effect).
So how can we benefit from compression while at the same time preserving the natural dynamics of a track? The answer is parallel compression. Let’s take a quick look at how to fatten some drums up naturally using this age old technique.