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AW: Range compressing (was: AW: Mastering music)

> Great explanation, Rainer! I see what you mean. Over here I 
> have used the software plug-in compressor Neodynum, from 
> Elemental Audio, for doing exactly that. Do you know about 
> other compressing gear/software that offer such a "range" setting?

The multiband compressors C4 and LinMB by Waves are centered about this
concept, indeed, they don't even have the traditional "ratio" knob. It's
possible to use the C1 in the same way by some tricky settings (combination
of expander with a compressor with negative ratio).

For offline processing, the typical audio editors (WaveLab, SoundForge,
Sequoia) allow you to define a dynamic curve graphically, so you can also 
it that way.

If you want to do this with some tricky vintage outboard gear (or even with
a software plugin which doesn't allow for it), you could try something like
this. You'll need two compressors for this, one of them with a sidechain.

Feed both your compressors with your wanted signal. Connect the out of
compressor 2 to the SC in of compressor 1.
Now set (to go back to the example values from my original post) compressor
1 to threshold -30dB, ratio 2:1. Set compressor 2 to threshold -20dB, ratio
inf:1 (i.e. limiting).