How to use compression

Please I made some voice over jingles for a radio station using one of the compression presets I got. But the radio complained that they can’t be played because it doesn’t sound good at all on their feeder. But this preset is what I mostly use for most of my project and I think they make my work nice. Please what do I do?

Also I tried uploading the file here but it couldn’t upload, it says the file format is not authorized meanwhile I saved it in mp3 format which I saw here as one of the authorized file format. I font know why it not uploading. Please can someone help?

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Listen to the station’s output and copy it, then play it back on the same system. Simple.
There’s a limit on the upload file size.

When using compression you always have to be aware of the final destination for that audio.

A lot of my work is for my own internet radio station where I obviously control the final effects that the audio passes through before being streamed. I can then set my processing so it compliments that. I also work for an FM station, anything I produce for that I apply much less compression because I know they compress their audio.

If you’re producing for radio there will be some form of compression in the chain of their output. Probably a complex formula their engineers have worked out to achieve the sound they’re after that involves multiband compression, gain control and possibly hard limiting so the sound has the desired “punchiness” but also maintains a consistent level. There’s nothing worse for a listener to have to keep adjusting the volume so radio stations often process heavily to ensure the sound level is uniform all day long.

It sounds like the files you’re producing sound good to you locally because you’re hearing them with just the compression settings you’ve applied but when that compression is added to the station processing that covers all their output it sounds bad? Compression is a great tool but remember there’s nothing worse than audio that’s been over compressed, usually by being double compressed.

The best option would be to ask the radio station how they’d like the output but if that’s not an option you want to try then I would suggest that when you produce your work only apply light compression if it’s going to radio. Do your eq settings, normalise then apply light compression. Whether you use dynamics, dynamics processing, single band compressor or the multi-band compressor make sure it’s a light touch rather than a finishing. Remember the finishing will happen at their end when the sound leaves their desk and heads to the transmitter so you just need to make the audio ready for that finishing rather than finish it.

One other option I’ve thought of after I hit reply …

Ask the radio station to supply you an mp3 of some of their other vocal content before it goes through their output processing. Then you’d have a guage of how heavily processed that is and could work along those guidelines.

Thank you so much you guys are really amazing. I learnt a whole lot from what you all told me and I’ll put it into practice. I think to be on a safer side, I’ll leave out compression. But I mostly use dynamic processing and create something like a noise gate to cut out noise, as in the way mike Russell has taught in one of his YouTube tutorials which is one way of cutting out background noise without losing the quality of the audio .

That’s a safe bet Eric.

Your compression will make it sound punchier and remove dynamic range making it more uniform in volume which is what I guess you were looking to achieve but remember in this case the radio station processing will do that for you.

Good luck

ok, great. thanks so much

here is the sweeper i made. you can have a listen and criticize. thanks so much. all corrections and criticisms will be gladly accepted. thanks

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I keep my peak level at -6db on the master fader and just touch the red in the K14 meter.
Then you have -14LUFS when you export and can send it direct to Spotify etc. without them doing any changes to your music.

ok, cool. thanks so much. will try it out

A reliable metering system.

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Your biggest problem is that you are averaging at -7.7db RMS that is almost the same in LUFS. You can keep your peak level, but never go over -9 RMS. My complete radio imaging is between -15 and -10db RMS (gentle sounding imaging and one that is hard). Try to master it to that level, and try to balance the mix so you don’t go over digital 0. Mix it to max -3 db peak, then you can master it. Also take in consideration that if you export to mp3, you will get some clipping, so master at -0.5dm peak.

I use adobe audition for my mixing and editing and I don’t go below-3db. Everything I do is within -3db.

Your peak on this file is -0.08, so…

Really? What did you use in measuring it, I mean which software. I use adobe audition for all of my work.

I’m Steinberg user, and I used Wavelab for this, all measuring is by AES17 standard for RMS. On brainworx bx_meter plugin peak goes up to -0.2 db. I will check it on WabeLab 9 later today, my dongle is in my studio.

EDIT: Also, in Audition, I believe, that multitrack is set to -3db so that you don’t get any over clipping, but when you open in single file, you will see meter going up to almost zero. I’m not sure if Audition has analyzer.

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