Default Compressor Settings

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.

How would I decide which are best to use?

Thank you!

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 …

This is awesome thanks!

Please could you tell me how to add the plug in to a Macbook using Audacity 3.2.2?

here is the latest Level Speech plug in: Dynamics Processing - Audacity Plugins

NOTE: This example is on a different version of audacity and the options to add plug in do not appear in the same place for me: Tutorial for adding Nyquist Plugin Effects

Thank you!

Hi, Anna.

Yes, that video was for an older and 32-bit version of Audacity. Note: (86) = 32-bit.

For instructions which will work in either version, see: Nyquist Plugin Installer - Audacity Manual

LevelSpeech2.ny , (accept no substitutes).

Hi Jademan, Thank you for this. Do I select allow or disallow overwriting?

Ah nice one, thank you Trebor!

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 ].

I have never used “Disallow”.

Hi Trebor,

thank you for the suggestions.

Is the audacity-specific plugin (LevelSpeech2.NY) adequate for speech?

I see that for the TDR Kotelnikov real-time compressor plugin I would need to pay for a licence to use it and don’t have funds for this at the moment.

Also, would you suggest using these plug-ins instead of using the ‘compression’ tool in effetcs?

And if so, is it still okay to add an EQ filter first and Normalise afterwards?

Thank you kindly,

Yes, (clue in the title).
Here are typical settings …

''LevelSpeech2'' suggested settings
Note the falltime (= release time) 0.1 sec, (a tenth of a second).
Audcaity’s native compressor cannot release quicker than 1 second. :disappointed:

There is a free version of TDR Kotelnikov.
Only the sexist “Gentleman’s Edition”: “TDR Kotelnikov GE” is a paid-for item.
The other version is a completely “free download!”, (no strings attached).
2 versions of tdr-kotelnikov, one is free

:joy: okay, haha! I meant will it still do an ‘okay’ job? I think the answer is yes :slightly_smiling_face:

Just imported the free version of TDR Kotelnikov. Do you have any recommended settings for speech?
The demo video is wayyyy too complicated for me

It has a preset for vocals: “Vocal Bus - warm”,
but there is no one-size-fits-all : you adjust the controls to taste as it plays, (it’s a real-time effect).
vocal bus preset

Thank you - super helpful!

So, I have been provided three different compressor options in this feed (thank you!)

if I was ever using a Windows computer, which would you say is the best option to use and which is second best:

  • LUveler compressor plug in for Audacity,

  • TDR Kotelnikov real-time compressor,

  • LevelSpeech2 Nyquist Plug-in.

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.