Take the 2-minute tour ×
Sound Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for sound engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This question has led me to request clarification on the names (and uses) regarding dynamic processing more widely.
The table below shows my understanding of the names of the processes when a signal goes above or below a defined threshold, and the action (block, cut, raise) that is then applied to the signal.

            ┌ Threshold ───┬────────────────┐
            │ Below        │ Above          │
  ┌ Action ─┼──────────────┼────────────────┤
  │ Block   │ GATING       │ ?1             │
  │ Cut     │ EXPANSION ?4 │ COMPRESSION ?5 │
  │ Raise   │ ?2           │ ?3             │
  └─────────┴──────────────┴────────────────┘

So, is there a naming convention (and a practical or creative use) for
1. blocking a signal completely when it goes above a threshold?
2. raising the signal when it falls below a threshold?
3. raising the signal when it goes above a certain threshold? 8|
and
4. why is attenuating a signal that falls below a threshold called "expansion"?
finally
5. COMPRESSION would include LIMITING ... so is there a better way of drawing the table?

tia

share|improve this question
add comment

migrated from video.stackexchange.com Feb 14 at 15:19

This question came from our site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation.

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

A few quick answers:

Q1. Probably not useful very often, since it would mean that the loud things you recorded you wanted completely removed. Might be useful perhaps if an otherwise good recording had been spoiled by occasional loud thuds or pops, but you would need a fast attack/lookahead for this to work well.

Q2 & 3. These are kind of the inverse of expansion and compression. For example, after compressing, you usually apply a gain boost ("make-up gain"), so the end result is similar to leaving the loud bits alone and boosting the quiet bits.

Q4. A compressor "compresses" the dynamic range of your music (the loud bits are not so loud compared to the quiet bits any more). An expander "expands" the dynamic range of your music (the loud bits are louder compared to the quiet bits)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.