Compression Fundamentals

  • 3 hours of streamed tutorials
  • Access 24/7/365
  • Live and Logic projects
  • Written Notes
  • Audio samples

Compression is one of the most essential aspects of producing music, ensuring tracks have consistent dynamics and loudness levels that meet professional standards. On this comprehensive course from Senior Tutor Rob Jones, you’ll learn the main principles behind the technique, plus a tonne of different methods for how to apply it.

The course begins with a demonstration of how compression affects an audio signal, before moving into a series of lessons covering each of the main parameters. Once the theory is covered, Rob moves into his first realtime Compression Session, starting work on the course project by showing how to process the snare and leads.

The second half of the course then focuses on more advanced techniques, including sidechain options, peak and RMS detection, parallel processing and multi-band compression. Again, after the theory is explained, Rob develops each technique further in another realtime Compression Session.

Signing up to the course provides instant access to 3 hours of streamed tutorials, as well as the projects and samples featured in them, plus written notes to refer to and assist in the learning process. There is even an included assessment, complete with listening exercises to help with technical ear training.

Check out the free sample module for an example of the lesson content before signing up to the course, which will have you mastering compression and fattening up your mixes in no time!

Ducking a Bassline to the Kick Drum

Course Breakdown

Module 1 - What is Compression?
Rob starts the course with a brief explanation of what compression is used for, followed by a more comprehensive demonstration of what exactly compression does to an audio signal.
Lesson 1 - Introduction - 1.31
Lesson 2 - Compression Demonstration - 6.41

Module 2 - Main Compressor Controls
A guide to the main controls on a compressor, which determine how much compression occurs, including the level adjustment options and speed of the effect.
Lesson 1 - Threshold and Ratio - 6.39
Lesson 2 - Attack and Release - 4.49
Lesson 3 - Makeup (Gain) - 5.34

Module 3 - Compression Session Part 1
In this first realtime session module, Rob works his way through various sounds in a project, to show how compression can be used to even out dynamics and fatten up sounds.
Lesson 1 - Snare Compression - 15.23
Lesson 2 - Lead 1 Compression - 10.00
Lesson 3 - Lead 2 Compression - 11.27
Lesson 4 - Leads Summary - 9.08

Module 4 - Compressor Sidechain
Rob explains the various options you often find for the compressor sidechain, allowing you to filter the signal triggering the compressor, or change it to a different track entirely.
Lesson 1 - Sidechain EQ - 8.56
Lesson 2 - External Signal Triggering/Ducking - 4.48

Module 5 - Additional Compressor Options
A guide to the range of additional controls found on compressors, including Dry/Wet, Knee, Peak & RMS Detection and Vintage modes.
Lesson 1 - Parallel Compression - 7.03
Lesson 2 - Knee, Peak & RMS and Vintage Modes - 8.39

Module 6 - Multiband Compression
A module looking at the benefits of multi-band compression, including instructions for how to set it up without a multi-band compressor, before showing the same process within iZotope’s Neutron.

Module 7 - Compression Session Part 2
In this second realtime session module, Rob continues working through the course project, showing some tips for compressing Kick Drums and all drums together on the group track, before moving into sidechaining the bass and leads. He then shows some alternative techniques for fattening up the snare and 2 different approaches for compressing the whole mix.
Lesson 1 - Kick Drum Compression - 17.51
Lesson 2 - Drums Buss Compression - 11.06
Lesson 3 - Sidechain Compression/Ducking - 9.08
Lesson 4 - Alternatives to Compression - 5.40
Lesson 5 - Master Channel Compression - 16.13

A brief farewell from Rob, with some recommendations for further study and assessment.


Rob Jones

Rob is a classically trained musician, with piano as his primary instrument, and obtained a degree in music and sound recording (the prestigious Tonmeister course) from the University of Surrey. Having honed his skills both at University and in the studios in London where he worked in a technical role, he began releasing music on labels like Lot49, Dead Famous and Erase, under the artist name Anarchy Rice. Rob has been at the forefront of music software training since the very beginning, having kicked things off at Focusrite back in 2006. With both classical music and technical sound qualifications, as well as a wealth of presenting experience, he is ideally suited to the role of an online music trainer, and is 100% dedicated to sharing his knowledge and assisting others with what he believes to be one of the most rewarding things in life - making music!