Is Over-Compression In Music Always A Bad Thing?

Hey guys, a while ago I posted a guide about mixing vocals and over-compression. It was a pretty controversial subject explaining why over compression in music is not always so bad that we may think it is.

While some people usually try to not bring up controversial subjects, because they want to avoid the chance to be seen as the “bad guy”, it’s not really my kind of style to keep my mouth shut, especially when I see newcomers to home recording follow blindly advice on forums by old members – without explaining the reason that they give that kind of advice.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some real golden gems-members on forums and I’m one that follows some of these people.

But there’s also a fair amount of people that have an “i-know-it-all” attitude and when you ask them to prove their sayings, they get offended and you turn out to be the bad guy.

I am not the best mixing engineer in the world and I’ve got no platinum records hanging on my wall. But if you’ve got to say something, don’t brag about it. And if you’ve got to brag, at least show some proof of yours sayings!

So, in this post, I’m talking mainly about the 2nd group of the forum people – the I-know-everything-I-get-easily-offended-if-you-question-my-skills guy:

I have created this blog to help people make better recordings and combined with my character, I just can’t avoid being controversial when I see something stupid to be praised, especially without proof.

When I went controversial, I knew I was going to get slammed by negative comments about this rant topic, by fanatics, but what can you do? If I would care about others opinion, then being a blogger is not the way to go.

So I just typed my opinion, got a cup of coffee, listened to some music and waited for comments – positive or negative.

Out of my surprise, I got an e-mail reporting that the guide hit 1st spot with 139 up-votes in one of the most popular music production reddit groups called WeAreTheMusicMakers – thank you guys!

Some of the comments gave some weight to the fact that I was right about my rant, that many people on forums are going crazy when they hear that sometimes we use more than 1 compressor on a single track.

The comments you saw above are linked to this article: Mixing Vocals – How To EQ Vocals, Compress Them And Use Effects.

Especially the comments talk mostly about the rant section of my post that was published to clear up some misconceptions about compression.

Here are the comments – click the images for full view:




Reddit guys, I’d like to thank you for posting and contributing with your comments, I really appreciate it!

You’re the ones that made me understand the importance of this matter, so this post is dedicated to you 🙂

Why Over-Compression Is Underrated

Today we’ll talk about over-compression, the reason it’s not necessarily bad and why productions are often under-compressed and not the other way around.

The rant section of the mixing vocals article caught the eye of the reddit readers, thus I decided to create a separate post for this, because I believe this subject needs to have its own place.

This is one of the most critical reasons people are afraid to use compression and end up with mediocre mixes.

What I am going to do right now is to keep the original text almost the same from its original article and will add a couple of words more to finish the post.

The Rant Text:

Bear in mind that while we’re talking about vocals in this one, the same concept can be applied to every single instrument and track.

Vocals are just one of the best examples to give for this matter. But bass, drums, guitars and almost everything can use the compression techniques that you’re about to read below.

How To NOT Compress – Getting the Right Mindset


Final Thoughts

Thank you everyone for following my blog this far and giving me the courage to continue.

More articles and video tutorials are going to be published really soon!

Please share some love for: When OverCompression In Music Sounds Better.

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2 thoughts on “Is Over-Compression In Music Always A Bad Thing?

  1. Mike Reply

    the reason i follow your blog is because you’ve got the guts to speak truth no matter what other people may say. you’ve got my support dude

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