Compressing Vocals PART 3 (Limiting)

The other 3 parts in this compression series:

PART 1: Compressing Vocals PART 1 (Sand Paper Theory)
PART 2: Compressing Vocals Part 2 (Ducking)
PART 4: Compressing Vocals PART 4 (Parallel Compression)

Welcome back!  So in Part 1 of this compression series we discussed the theory of using a compressor like sand paper and in Part 2 we talked about how to push some sounds behind the vocals using the compressor.  In Part 3  we are going to discuss how to use limiting on vocals.

What’s the Purpose?

The purpose of using the limiter on the vocals is because its almost like your last line of defence.  So you’ve worked on your vocal and you feel like you’ve gotten it to a point where it sounds great but there just those the peaks that act up every so often.  In that case more often than not I would introduce a Limiter.  It’s job is similar to that of a bouncer at a night club.  The bouncer allows a steady flow of traffic into the club but every so often he has to reject a couple of people.  The limiter is similar in that you set it up so that it lets through majority of the sound without being touched and every so often it has to smack down a peak that gets out of control.

So Tell Me What the Settings Are

Okay, okay, okay.  Take it easy, I’m getting to it.  Normally theres only two settings I really look for, the attack and release.  The attack is set to very fast as well as the release. So its job really is to just knock out the transients that are too much.  We want as much of the transients in the vocals as possible but we also want to get rid of the ones that are misbehaving.

When Should We Use It?

You can experiment with it to find out what works for you but I always use it as the last insert in my chain.  Again like we discussed earlier, its your last line of defence.  So once all your shaping and sculpting is done, the limiter is there just to keep the the vocal in line.

Try it out and let me know how it works.

YouTube Video Source: How to Compress Vocals (Limiting) [3/4]