“Dynamics” refers to the range between the peaks and valleys of a soundwave. Effects processors that change the dynamics of sound waves are called compressors because they are generally used to compress the dynamics so that the overall range (or volume difference from the loudest peak to the quietest valley) is lessened. The general result is that the track in question can be increased in overall volume because the dynamic range has been reduced. Because of the vast number of uses, and the unique ways that compressors can change sounds, I consider compression one of the most important effects in mixing.
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