Chapter 14 was on Dynamic Signal Processing and Ranges, a topic that my new mentor Terence was enthusiastic about. Using Pro Tools tracks previously recorded, he demonstrated the different processors and limiters, and showed me both the physical compressors and digital ones and how they can be used. little did I know, that while mixing the assignment and working on the different song mixes, I've been using these. I admit I didn't really know what they were at first. I was just experimenting, seeing what would go well with what track. Though it's in hindsight, I have a better idea of what and how I've been mixing. I also understand compression better.
There is a debate on compression. Some say it's bad. Some say it's good. Some say it's used too much nowadays. Terence expalined that the reason compression exists is so when the final mix is played on the radio, CD, vinyl or itunes, it doesn't blow a persons ears out. Basically, he said that a lot of hip hop, rock and metal songs are very loud to begin with, but in the final mix, compression is often added so that the track is listenable. Otherwise, if it hurts a persons ears, they are not going to listen to it. Other times, songs are recorded dynamically, and to compress them will make them lose the dynamics, making it sound worse. So I know now that when it comes to compression, it all depends. It's good when it's needed, but bad when it's not. Some have a point when they say songs are too compressed: perhaps some of them only needed a little compression or not at all.