glue compressor fx chain

Mixing Tip: How To Use Glue Compressor FX Chain

(Last Updated On: February 19, 2019)

Probably you heard a term “Glue” in mixing. Mixing engineers use compressors via bus. This is generally called  Glue. But there is another way of glue Compressor in your mix.

You can “glue” tracks together by using two standard compressors in series, with low ratio and high thresholds. As a result, you get a clean dynamics control and can’t even know a compressor is working, but get the benefits of adding compressors.

So how to use Glue Compressor FX chain method?

You have to insert 2 compressors in series. As well as, use level metering plugin after the compressor to measure the peak and RMS level throughout the process. NOw setup the controls as shown below.

  • Compressor 1, Gain 0.00 dB
  • Compressor 2, Input Gain 0.00 dB
  • Turn off Auto Release, Auto Gain, and Adaptive Release
  • Turn on Stereo Link, and lookAhead

Now program the FX chain controls as shown below

  • Ratio: 1:1 to 1.6:1
  • Knee: 0.10 to 20 dB
  • Attack: 0.10 to 10 ms
  • Release: full range (set to 200 ms default)
  • Mix: 0 to 100%

Setup the remaining controls as written below

  • Threshold: Compressor 1 (-20 to 0), Compressor 2 (-6 to 0)
  • Input: Compressor 1, full range
  • Gain: Compressor 2, 0 to 6 dB

Keep the Input at 0.00 dB unless the incoming signal is very high or low. A threshold of -3.0 and a low ratio with an input signal is good to set.

Now adjust the attack and release as well as the knee based on input signal characteristics. Use gain level controls to get peaks between the bypassed and enabled states. Check the result by Bypassing and enabling the compressors.

Glue compressor setting differs from the traditional compressor which flattens the input gain. However, if you lower or increase the ratio or threshold you can achieve a good result. By adjusting the ratio and threshold you will hear an improvement in your mix.

Try it out


By Craig Anderton

You can download the FX chain Preset in the above link.

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