Can anybody tell me the default settings in Audacity for the ‘Compressor’?
I am using Audacity to edit a podcast (speech).
The settings shown in the screen grab on the right in the photograph are the default settings in my Audacity, whilst the settings shown on the left are the default settings in Audacity on another computer.
You generally have to experiment to get the results (or the sound) that you want.
If you simply want to boost the loudness you can use limiting (with make-up gain). Limiting is fast-compression and there are fewer settings to play with (and fewer settings to mess-up).
There was a recommended procedure for audiobooks but they killed the wiki. You probably wouldn’t want the same exact procedure anyway…
For podcasting, you can use Loudness Normalization to get the desired loudness. Then run Limiting (hard or soft limiting) at 0dB with a “fast” setting and no make-up gain. If your peaks go over 0dB, this will bring them down to a “safe"level” and if your peaks don’t hit 0dB limiting won’t do anything. (Run the limiter before you export… Audacity can go over 0dB internally-temporarily but you can get clipping when you export.)
IMO Audacity’s native compressor is unsuitable for speech because the release-time cannot be set shorter than 1 second, ( a voice compressor must be able to act on individual syllables, which are ~0.1sec in duration ).
There are many free compressor/limiter plugins designed for speech
The Audacity specific plugin LevelSpeech2.ny reacts quicker,
(but you can’t adjust it in real-time: as audio is playing).
LUveler is a free “podcast” compressor/limiter plugin which works in real-time in Audacity on Windows …
IIRC Steve’s original version of “LevelSpeech” plugin has a fall/release time of 1 second,
That’s no faster than Audacity’s native compressor.
When a compressor has to act on single words, or parts of words,
1 second is waaay too long.
The free version of TDR Kotelnikov real-time compressor plugin is available for Macs … TDR Kotelnikov | Tokyo Dawn Records
[ Don’t ask me how to install a Mac plugin: I don’t speak Mac ].