"It's a Cap Slap!"
The following may help to train your ears:
1. take any typical instrumental loop
2. divide 60 by the bpm. Example if the bpm is 128:
1/4 notes are 469ms in duration (kick drums, every other snare)
1/8 notes are 234ms in duration (hi hats)
1/16 notes are 117ms in duration (closed hats)
1/32 notes are 56ms in duration
3. Set your attack and release to lowest setting. Then lower your threshold until you see significant gain reduction (-12db or lower) Set a hard knee if the option is present.
4. Slowly raise your attack from its lowest value to 60ms. You should hear the transient of the kick start to get louder and louder relative to the rest of the signal.
5. Using the ms to note relationships above try setting your release at just under 1/4, just under 1/8 etc. etc. You should start to hear the mix pump as a result of your release setting. This is because the release dictates when the compressor releases the volume back to normal.
6. Once you have a an attack and release that fits the 'groove' raise the threshold until your gain reduction is anywhere from -1db to -3db. Then level match your signal using the makeup gain so that your compressed signal is identical in perceived volume to your dry signal. The idea here is to make the compression more transparent so its more felt then heard.
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