How to hear differences in compression?

I remixed this song (I feel I could have done better). I know there are several things to improve which is why I uploaded this. I tried to compress, but I don't know what to even desire from compressing. I tried researching but I don't know what to listen for. If I knew what people look for in a good compression I wouldn't be so confused.
mixing
edm
compression

Your Reply


Drag audio files here, or tap to choose
    Upvote (1)  
This is not really my genre, but I've listened to your mix anyway, and I think it sounds just ok. 

The problem is that it doesn't really stand out because it lacks punch for this genre. That's actually one of the main reasons to go for compression. Compression is used to turn down the loudest parts of a track, so that the overall level of the track can be brought up. 

In your case, I think your rhythm section (drums and bass) can be brought up in the mix, it would sound better.
If you just bring the drum levels up using the fader, there might be certain transients like the kick/snare that sound excessively loud and may even ruin the mix. For example compression on the kick can be used to push these loud transients down, without affecting the lower levels of the kick sound in the track. That will allow you to bring the overall kick level much higher. You could do the same with snare and the other instruments that you think should pump in the mix.
    Upvote (2)  
Good question. I'm always struggling with compression myself but there are many Youtube videos that aim to give you further insight. It is not only about volume.

Listening to your mix:

I instrumental part doesn't sound "transparent".  Not sure how to best fix this, but nowadays I tend to remove a few db around 500Hz for many of the tracks. Perhaps this helps to make the mix more defined.

    Upvote (0)  
Thanks for the advice guys!
    Upvote (1)  
I'm not an expert but I'll take a stab at giving advice!

Are you using EQ to shape your sounds FIRST? Cut out all the unused frequencies on each track and your tracks will sit better in the mix with the other tracks! You'll get better separation! Then use compression! This seems to work better for me! I'm still learning too but I think I'm right on this! 

Goodluck!
    Upvote (0)  
Take one instrument, a snare drum for example, then duplicate it onto four tracks. Make them so each clip plays after the other. Now on each track, put the same compressor and set it to 4:1 ratio.. Set the same threshold for all. 

on 1, set fast attack fast release.. like 3ms, 5ms 
on 2, set fast attack slow release... like 3ms, 40ms
on 3, set slow attack fast release... 20ms, 10ms
on 4, set slow attack slow release, 20ms, 40ms.

Listen to these tracks now.. hear how the transients have changed. Do some seem to have more sustain than others? What happens when you increase those releases?

Hope that's helpful.

Once you can hear compression on individual instruments then maybe you can move on to groups. then eventually to full mixes.