As a physical medium, vinyl has certain limits on the frequency reproduyction possible. It varies but around 17KHz is found to be the upper limit.

Note that vocal sibilance should be dealt with in the production stage, this will ensure that the Mastering Engineer (ME) won't have to apply any filters or EQ over any large part of the audio.

Go over your vocal tracks and eliminate any over-exuberances and pops by applying a high-pass filter to that small section. It'd be a shame to have to high-pass a whole chunk of the mix for a few out of control pops.

Painful, high frequencies can occur when trying to boost vocals to compensate for a bass heavy mix. Avoid using an excessive EQ adjustments with narrow Q.


Depending on what you want your record to sound like, this is really just a matter of preference. The rule is the more compression you use, the less dynamic range that track will have. You may want to get a really loud, solid, wall'o'sound effect, you could care less about losing the top of the cymbals. You also might want to show off your vocalists talent and would need to be quite careful with any compression and especially careful of any gating.

The reality is that there's a physical limit to how loud a recording can be. If you want the overall volume to be louder then you will have to compress the higher peaks (snares etc..) down so that you can boost the overall volume without clipping (distortion). This is compression. The real issue to consider then is, how does it affect dynamic range.

The more you compress those high peaks, the more information gets hidden by all the other frequencies being boosted. This means that at first you lose clarity and air on vocals, reverbs and cymbals... and you can eventually make your audio sound like... well, like a compressed slice of audio cheese.

Think about it in terms of an image on a projection television. The brightness of any image has a physical limit - White. (In this analogy a colours brightness represents a frequency's amplitude).

At first you have the image, it is an accurate representation, with subtle tonal highlights, etc... but you want your image to really stand out, to have more impact.

So you bring up the levels of the colours, making them richer and brighter, this is similar to what happens when you compress audio.

The highlights are now boosted to even higher levels. The overall image now has much more impact (volume) but those more subtle tonalparts have been lost. Of course, the extreme of this image analogy is the brightest image possible - a pure white screen - and the same can be applied to audio whereby if every frequency were compressed and boosted equally, your audio would achieve, for all intents and purposes, pure noise.

So just keep in mind that whenever you compress, you will always be losing dynamic range for the sake of gaining volume.

note: Leave any really hard compression/ peak-limiting to the Engineer, as they will get you the best from your audio.


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