I'm a bit new to all of this, so I just wanted to get some advice from some pros.

I'm doing VOs for different segments that are all going to be strung together into one final track. In stage 1 of the process, for each VO segment, I've been told that I will need to apply compression to each. Then, once I connect my segments together for my final mix (stage 2), I will need to compress that final mix also. This initially made sense to me, because I noticed a drop in volume when combining the segments in stage 2, and compression seemed to restore that. However, when I let another experienced sound person hear what I had done, he complained that there was "too much bass" in the final mix. I didn't EQ anything in stage 2, so what could be wrong? Should I even be compressing things twice? If not, is there anything else I can do to fix the gain loss I am experiencing in stage 2 other than compression? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Yes, compressing twice is normally fine. In fact, as a tendency: the more compressing stages, the better – or rather: the less gain-reduction each compression stage applies, the better. One hard compressor will more likely sound unpleasant than two gentler ones. And in particular, compressing individual components before mixing results in a more uniform mix, whereas compressing the mix as a whole is more effective at balancing the master level. It is, more often than not, a good idea to do both of this, just don't overdo either stage.

If your mix is too bass heavy, this can't really have much to do with compression (unless you've used a strong multi-band compressor – and I'd consider it debatable whether that's ever a good idea for a VO). Probably you should have just applied more EQ. High-pass filters are seen as kind of too rigorous by many people, but often they're just the way to go, sometimes as high as ~200 Hz for spoken voice.

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