Welcome back for episode two of our Knowledge Drop series, Mastering the Master Compressor! The focus of today’s drop: applying our knowledge of compression to hijack the master buss and make a fuller mix.

Today’s Topic

Propellerheads’ Reason is known for flexibility in routing its various devices. (Reason let’s you literally get to the “back” of the rack and reconnect things at will.) But this is also true of Reason’s Mixer, whose master buss houses a Master Compressor. And while this is a special device, it is still a compressor, and we can make use of its hidden but powerful sidechain input. Using this classic studio technique can yield a stronger, more bottom-heavy mix.

Today’s Content Download

For you, we have included three Reason project files (made with Reason 8):

  • A musical example (Stereo Microscope) that allows you to A-B the technique demonstrated here.
  • An example file (Master Compressor sidechain method 1) that demonstrates using this technique to compress only when the high — and typically harsh — frequencies of your mix protrude.
  • An example file (Master Compressor sidechain method 2) that demonstrates using a separate mixer channel, including its high- and/or low-pass filters, to process the sidechain signal for this technique. (The high-pass filter is already engaged in this example.)

By signing up for our Content Mailing List, you can then download this Knowledge Drop content, and you will be the first to know when other downloads become available.

Download: Mastering the Master Compressor content

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Questions? Boom. Comments? Meow.


Knowledge Drop is a free series of focused tutorial videos with accompanying content packages from Knob Theory. Each Knowledge Drop video demonstrates a particular technique through the lens of modern electronic music production.

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