Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

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Electronic Music Blog

Glue Compressing Drum Tracks

2 min read

Ableton has a neat little utility called the Glue Compressor. I can’t say I understand all the science behind it, and I hate to just quote everyone else, but it does pull the sounds together. To me it sounds like it compresses the sound, and lifts up some of the tones lost to louder elements.

Dropping a glue compressor on a Drum Kit or a Drum Rack in Ableton can really boost the overall quality of the sound. Give it a shot.

The sweet spot, in my opinion, tends to be at a Threshold value of 5 or 10. So loop a drum measure, drop the Glue Compressor on it, and pull the Threshold back till the needle starts bouncing around 10 or 5 (try both.)

Once you get the Threshold set, start raising the value on the Makeup. This is where the overall sound starts to glue together.

Another important button in the Glue Compressor that’s “Soft Clip.” This acts as a type of limiter. Sometimes I don’t care for it, but if the sound is getting driven up with the Makeup nob, it makes good sense to use it. You could also try chaining Ableton’s limiter to the Glue Compressor (adding it after the Compressor.)

I’ve included an audio file of a beat in Ableton, first without the Glue Compressor running, and then after about 7 seconds or so I flip it on with the following settings:

Ableton Glue Compressor
Glue Compressor OFF and ON for Comparison

As with the standard Compressor, the Glue Compressor can be sidechained. It pretty much works the same as a Compressor Sidechain, except there isn’t the dragable pointer to set the level of the Sidechain Threshold. Instead you use the Sidechain Gain nob to pull back the track level to let the audio from the desired track through.

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