You set a threshold at a certain level, specify a ratio of 4:1 and then for every 4 dB below the threshold, the output signal is boosted by 1 dB.

Which tool/technique can be used to achieve this?

What is the appropriate term for such a dynamic processor?

1 Answer 1


You talk about increasing gain below threshold. An upward compressor does this.

You mention "inverse expansion" - this is normally called an upward expander (sometimes called an "uncompressor"), and works differently than the desired result you decribe.

Here is a description of both.

Upward Expansion

With an upward expander the loud parts are made louder. Instead of reducing gain above threshold like a normal compressor, it will increase gain. Useful for transient enhancements. You may think of this a bit like a normal compressor with additional make-up gain.

Upward Compression

With upward compression the quit parts made louder. This will typically raise the noise floor, so be careful with the settings. It may be useful for raising the general RMS like seen with parallel compression (mixed wet/dry).

Check out this article for additional info on upward compression, uplift compression and parallel compression:


Dynamic Functions In General

Here is a simple guide on the various dynamic functions. The gate is not listed - a gate is like downward expander (or simply "expander"), only the output is completely cut off below threshold (the lower vertical line is completely vertical).

The input signal is represented on the x-axis, and the output signal is on the y-axis. A completely untouched signal would be straight linear from lower left corner towards upper right corner (same in..same out):

dynamic functions

Image source: https://musicjourneys.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/dynamic-processors/


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