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gain on the compressor

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"Irrespective of which compressor you choose, you'll almost always find that squishing a signal's dynamic range to taste will change its apparent overall level. You could use the channel fader to compensate for this, but because of the large level changes that compressors can bring about, this is rarely a good solution in the real world. Almost all compressors include a simple output gain control, usually called Output Gain, or Make‑up Gain (or simply Gain, or Make‑up), but whatever it's called, all it does is allow you to reinstate the compressed signal to roughly its former level in the mix."


From: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep09/articles/compressionmadeeasy.htm


A good read for a basic understanding of compression.

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The output make-up gain will not affect the behavior of the compressor*, so it's there in order to compensate for the loss of level you will experience after gain reduction.


An input gain would, however, affect the sound of the compressor as it would affect the level of the signal going into the threshold, but that's not available in Logic's stock compressor. You'll typically see input gain on compressor/limiters with a fixed threshold.


*There are two circumstances where the make-up gain will affect the sound inside the compressor plug-in:


1) When you have the post limiter (in the right side of the plug-in) activated and you're pushing harder into the limiter


2) When you have output clipping/distortion activated in the hidden parameter menu (click the disclosure triangle in the lower left corner). Pushing up the output gain will push into the output clipping effect.


Raising the output gain will always affect any subsequent dynamic plug-ins in the chain.

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