Achieving a well-balanced midrange in a recording is one of the biggest challenges of mixing. Beginning producers especially tend to struggle in this area. The ranges of many instruments overlap quite a bit, and some negotiation will always be necessary to help them share space in a mix. Muddy room resonances only complicate things further. When we have a session with a busy arrangement and high track count — a pretty common occurrence in digital recording — midrange problems can multiply out of control.
In this article, we’ll demystify the compressor and other dynamics processors. We’ll cover the four main types of plug-ins used to control dynamics: limiters, compressors, expanders, and gates. We’ll discuss the mathematical processes behind these tools, how they affect the sound, and the best scenarios in which to use them.
Expanders are my least understood tool. Gates are kind of troublesome as well. This is a good description of what they do.
Bill Evans single-handedly changed the sound of jazz piano—literally, with his left hand! His four-note, rootless chord voicings consist of guide tones (thirds and sevenths), along with chord tones, color tones, extensions, and/or alterations.
This was a challenge. Read some, look at the printed music, imagine what it sounds like, find the example audio on SoundCloud.
I made it work.